Monday, May 7

Treading Water

Monday evening is here and well, I survived, although I'm still just treading water work-wise.  I got a bit of an extention on two projects, I will be robbing Peter to pay Paul tomorrow to get it done.  I did make it out to present today and outside of two wrong turns and walking into the wrong meeting room, it all went well.  At least I left early enough I could spend half an hour making mistakes and still be on time.

I often find with infertility treatments that I forget the details.  At the time, it feels like I couldn't possibly forget, but then I get to the next cycle and think... what did I pack?  Did I eat breakfast?  Should I bring a snack?  Was I nauseated?  (yes, most of my issues are about food, I like to know when my next meal is coming and I get grumpy and indecisive when I'm hungry).  It's good for me to write some of this out at the time so I can refer to it next time.  With this being a public blog, I hope it's of some help to someone going through it and wondering what to expect.  I'm afraid this post is going to be all infertility, I'll balance out some sewing next post. 

First, I forgot how much endobiopsies hurt.  I had a scratch done today (Day 5), not a biopsy, but that's essentially the same thing they just aren't keeping the tissue they scratch.  It is quick and the pain does not last long which is why I forget the pain but wow that freaking hurt.  I really wanted to scooch up the table.  I didn't take pain killers because I wasn't sure how it would react to the intralipids and I think that was okay.  Yeah, it hurt, but in half an hour all cramping had stopped.  Advil would not have taken away the really brief sharp pain anyhow. 

They booked me at 7:45 for the endo scratch, 9am for the intralipids.  This was about right, they did the scratch late so I only had half an hour to wait for the intralipids.  I was in the parking lot at 11:20 and I think they took me downstairs right at 9.  So good to have a book and the Playbook to keep me entertained, but there wasn't so much time to leave and come back.

At my clinic, there are three stories.  Upstairs, they do blood work, ultrasounds and the monitoring conversations with the nurses.  On the main floor, my doctor has his office and they have a few treatment rooms like a regular doctor office.  In the basement, they have all the serious treatment rooms and the, ah... men's room with assorted reading/viewing material.  For extraction of eggs and the transfer of embryos, they have an anteroom with 4 leather lazy boy chairs, each having a standard chair for partners.  Then they have the room where the do the transfers etc which feels more like a surgery room.  The ratio of 4:1 keeps things moving well because you do spend a fair bit of time resting after both transfer of embryos and extraction of eggs.  They do the intralipids in the comfy lazy boy chairs.  There were 3 of us this morning, I gather one of the ladies has passed her first pregnancy test so this was her second round.  They do it again when you see a heartbeat at the 6 week ultrasound.

They start by giving me gravol through the IV, this would be why "most" women sleep through treatment.  That stuff made me pretty loopy and my limbs felt oddly numb at times.  One arm has the IV and heart beat monitor clipped to my index finger, the other a blood pressure cuff.  Doing anything more than holding a book is awkward.  They recommend bringing a blanket and a pillow and I used the pillow in my lap to support the book so I could do it one handed.  Thank heavens I left the hard cover Stephen King at home.  I did sleep through parts of it, they took my blood pressure every 15 minutes for the first 45 I'd say, then it was every 45 minutes and the nurse pokes in now and again to take my temperature.  So it really is dozing more than sleeping because something is always waking me up.  I'd try to read and end up nodding off again.

I have fairly low blood pressure.  If I'm cracking 100/70, it's a good day.  Now that I have an idea of what is normal for me, I like seeing my readings because it means something to me.  Today I started at 104/70, dropped as low as 93/65 but I was back up to 100/65 on the last reading. 

I did not make Mr. Lina go, it just seemed like it was going to be a long time of him just sitting there.  They had said I did not need a driver although I was welcome to bring him.  I think I made the right call, I didn't need him while it was happening and I just drove slow going home because I did still feel tired but not out of it.  Although this means he missed seeing me all sleepy.  He seems to think I look cute like this.

Hmm, perhaps that is actually a good reason not to bring him along...  Can't trust a man with a blackberry.

Things for next time... I would arrange to work from home afterwards, I wouldn't want to do that wearing work appropriate clothes.  I would pack the blanket and pillow again.  I'd bring water, maybe with a little flavouring.  I found I had a tinny taste in my mouth about 45 minutes in and I'd like to have water at hand rather than asking for it.  I'd also eat a better breakfast, I was hungry about half way through (thankfully I brought a granola bar, but that was difficult to unwrap).  Socks would be a good call too.  I wore capri yoga pants and ballet flats, the blanket kept my feet warm but cozy socks would have been good.  I always pack a pair for treatments.  It's fairly cool in the basement and more noticable because for 2 hours I'm not moving to keep blood flowing.  I'm sure it is fine for the nurses who are walking up and down the stairs.  Oh and short sleeves, I accidentally did that right.  It's obvious I'd need my arm available for IV but it's amazing what I can forget when leaving the house about the time I usually wake up.

With Lupron-Depot stopping my body from creating hormones, I have to replicate everything with medication.  Saturday I started taking Estrace which is an estrogen pill.  One a day until tomorrow when I take two, then two for a few days before stepping up to 3 pills a day.  Just like you would normally increase your estrogen levels leading up to ovulation.  Next appointment is Day 12 (Monday - a whole week without appointments) for the usual ultrasound and blood work, we'll see how thick the lining of my uterus is. 

So here is a crazy thing with due dates and pregnancy.  When I say 6 week ultrasound, that's starting to count from last week. Yes indeed, my embryos are still frozen but my weeks of pregnancy started with Day 1.  That nearly broke my brain the first time we went through this, I didn't realize how soon the 6 week ultrasound was going to be.  It sounded like forever, but really, by the time I pass a pregnancy test we're already at 4 weeks.  It's not that much longer until the ultrasound.  Good times, good times.


  1. This is really interesting -- I have friends who have gone through this but they haven't been forthcoming on details and for obvious reasons, I don't like to pry. Middlest has a school mate whose mother did several cycles before conceiving her.

    Yes, yes, always bring socks and water to a medical environment. I like to have a cardigan or sweatshirt as well, but then I run cold. I also have freakishly low blood pressure. What does that mean, that we're exceptionally calm? Hah. Good luck with the next week!

    1. It is hard sometimes to be really open for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes it feels like I'm giving friends grief councelling about me having issues at all (which generally doesn't help me). I can sometimes see interest in the details but it's overwhelming in a conversation and it starts to sound "oh poor me for choosing to do this". I mean, I am paying good money for this, I am not sick, it is my choice to do it all. It doesn't bother me to talk about the medical aspects of it, it's actually like talking about someone else in a way. At this point, I find people just don't ask me questions any more and it's the emotions I struggle with not the physical stuff, so I don't bring it up in group events because I want to pretend it's not happening.

      You know for having low blood pressure I would figure I'd be cold a lot too but I don't find that I am. Low blood pressure does mean we don't have to worry about our salt intake.

  2. Oi. Yeah, the count beginning the first day of your last period is a little brain-breaking in early days. (especially when I was pregnant with Syo and wasn't sure if my last period actually was a period or just weird breakthrough bleeding as I came off Depo-Provera) I agree with LSCG, it's really neat to hear all this, grueling as it sounds.

    I know it's a total head-trip---hang in there.

    1. I am glad to hear people find the details interesting. It almost has me wishing I started my blog a little sooner, IVF has much more to cheer along as my eggs grow. But extraction sucks, it's another swiss cheese memory issue though because the sedation drugs really do have that side effect.

      I have had those weird period-not a period then in retrospect realizing it was the mid point between two periods so yes, maybe it was... Add pregnancy to that mess and it can be strange. I just know I don't ovulate every cycle never mind on day 14, with my one natural pregnancy, it was the ultrasound that dated it, my period would have been off by nearly 2 weeks.

  3. Um, you DO look cute in that photo. Yes, the weight of 11/23/64 has almost persuaded me to get an eReader...almost.

    Glad you are hanging in there. Sending good stuff your way. I know every case is different, but I have a buddy who just got a "second line" after lots of hard work, needles, and money spent. Hope yours is next!

    1. That picture was post anethestic from my hysteroscopy in 2010. I have an odd look on my face because I was trying to understand why he was holding his blackberry away from him like that and... snap. He was very pleased with himself.

      Thanks for the positive thoughts!


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