I have learned a great deal about myself during the first
week of my two week wait. I am evidently slightly obsessive (OK, so maybe this
isn’t exactly new news). I keep Googling “two day transfers with 4 cell embryos”
as if Google is going to come up with some relatively new information at any
What I have learned in my obsessive Googling: Many medical professionals
believe the best place for the embryos to develop is in the uterus, and two day
transfers are early transfers that get those embies in the best place they can
be. Four cells embryos are exactly where you want your embryos to be 48 hours
post retrieval. That is all very positive news, and I am optimistic. BUT either
you are pregnant or you’re not and I soooo want pregnancy. And would it be entirely selfish to wish that
both tummy mummys could have a singleton pregnancy? That both kids are always healthy, they say
please and thank you, graduate summa cum
laude, and become the kind of adults who recycle? We are wishing right?
The first week of the two week wait was spent in
India and traveling home. It was a bit of strange route home: New Delhi to
Singapore - Singapore to Korea - Korea to California - then finally California
to sweet old Texas.The 38 hour trip was
all worth it, and my incredibly sexy husband met us at the airport with flowers,
jewelry, and cupcakes.Normally we are
not ones for PDA, but we hadn’t seen each other in three weeks…so after the
baggage carousel love fest of 2012, we headed home. I missed him so much! We
have been together now for 15 years. I feel so old saying it. But the truth is
we were just kids when we first met. I can’t imagine taking this ride through
life without him. And as crazy as this
two week wait is, I cannot express how glad I am to be back home with him.
India is so alive - the colors, the smiles, the laughter.
The genuineness and depth of the people is so inspiring. The food is
incredible, and if I eat another bowl of Chicken Makhani I will burst with pure
happiness.Elizabeth Gilbert could have
skipped Italy and Indonesia, and done the whole lot of "Eat, Pray, Love"
right here in India.
Although there is so much joy and love here, there is also a
great deal of poverty. The children of ART are so wanted, so you know they will
be cherished, loved, adored, and probably a little spoiled…but I wish all
children had that starting out. The unfortunate truth is they don’t, and that
has never been more exemplified to me personally than in the eyes of these
children of the street. Rahul our driver / generous teacher of Indian culture has
explained that I should stop giving them money. Apparently, there is a mafia
type system amongst the street kids; they have bosses who take their money, and
any that is left over goes mostly to drugs. I know I have been told if you
really want to help them, you should donate to a charity that attempts to get
these kids in school. But when a 6 year old grabs on to your taxi as you are
driving off full speed or taps on your window with eyes that say I haven’t
eaten in a really long time, how do you not? Delhi traffic is insane - I know another blog referred
to it as Cairo on steroids. Since my husband has never been to Delhi, I hope he
can appreciate that considering how fearful we were to even cross the street
while in Cairo. And these poor little
kids seem so vulnerable out in the middle of the cars, motorcycles, and tuk-tuks.
The sights are amazing, but I don’t want to spoil that for
you. For me to describe the architecture of the Taj Mahal or the peace that comes with visiting the
temples would be to truly do it an injustice.
India will always hold a special and very prominent place in
my heart. It is with much love that I
Optimism coursing through every vein in my body, I woke up early at 4:15 AM… I think due to sheer excitement. I took a shower and forgot I was not supposed to put on deodorant. I enjoy taking showers, so subconsciously it may have been an excuse to take another one before I headed in for the procedure. I donned my lucky shirt - a vintage looking t-shirt with Wolverine from the X-Men ready to attack on the front. I suppose it might be a bit odd for a grown woman to wear sci-fi cartoon characters outside of ComiCon, but I don’t care; he brings me luck, and today I am taking all I can get.
I had to wait a bit until they served breakfast. I managed to choke down my scrambled eggs. With all the talk of eggs - "How many eggs do you think they will get?", "How many eggs might fertilize?", "What is the percentage of quality eggs?" - actually eating eggs in any form is no easy task. But speaking of eggs, mine need protein. I am not sure if it is an old wives' tale, scientific fact or a new internet rumor, but the word on the street is that protein can help egg quality. Whether it is true or not, it seems worth doing.And scrambled eggs have protein in abundance - thus, the last and final day of choking these down.Tomorrow, I can eat the dosa or something else delicious.
So one thing I've learned about IVF is that it makes you hungry - I mean Hungry Hungry Hippo hungry. I do apologize for all the references to food, but I haven’t been able to satisfy my stomach since I began these injections. So food and eggs (mine that is) are nearly consuming all thoughts.
My procedure was scheduled for 3:30 PM, and after 10:00 AM I was to halt all consumption of food and beverage. Trying to hold off the thirst that was sure to follow, I downed a Gatorade at 9:59 like a frat boy with a Natty. I then waited for 3:00 to roll around… I checked in on all of my blog family and took another shower. I went to the clinic and then got dressed in the gorgeous gown supplied by all hospitals.I remember the anesthesiologist asking a few questions about asthma and snoring, and then I remember waking up in the room I started out in. The whole surgery took about 20 minutes.Dr. Shivani came in and said that everything went really well - they were able to retrieve 14 eggs.My 14 sweet little egg babies!
I was fortunate to get to meet the beautiful surrogates who
might carry our babies. I don’t want to use their names out of respect for
their privacy, so I will call them Tummy Mummy D & B.Tummy Mummy D is a 26 year old housewife with
two small boys aged 5 and 4. Tummy Mummy B is a 31 year old divorcee with a 7
year old daughter. They both had such warm smiles. The cheerful Arpana acted as
our interpreter and I started off telling them how humbled I was by their
generosity for doing this.I had been
practicing Hindi because I wanted to tell them thank you without an interpreter
- I told them "Dhanyavaad".Evidently, I must have needed a bit more practice as they smiled at my
painfully weak attempt.
I went on to say through Arpana as our gracious interpreter that
my husband couldn’t be here, but of course wished me to convey his gratitude.
Our babies are not safe inside my belly and we are so grateful that you will
protect them. They smiled back at me as if they understood that it was hard for
me to admit that my body could not protect my children. I thanked them again
with another attempt at my one Hindi word – " Dhanyavaad ".
Arpana then asked if I had questions. I was so
focused on how to express how grateful I was that I didn’t prepare for the opportunity
to ask any questions. For the past six months, I had a thousand questions that
had been racing through my mind about what the surrogates would think, feel,
and be. But in that moment, I froze and could only think of one - “Are you
comfortable in the surrogate apartment?” They both nodded that they were and I thanked
them again. They shook my hand and then they were off. I have such admiration for these women and
their strength to do this - not only for me and my family, but I also admire
what they are doing for their own children's future. It truly is an amazing act
I didn’t have many of
the symptoms associated with IVF until the last two days. I now have experienced
some nausea, back aches, and more severe cramping than I had previously. My mother gave me my last and final trigger
shot of Lupron.We set the alarm for 6:00
AM and groggily woke up to give the shot, whichin hind sight was great because I was able to roll over and return to my
dreams of Rahul's prediction of us having three babies. Wouldn’t that be one
non-stop party! Anyways, I completely slept through the burn J
IVF CYCLE DAY 10: I can feel that my ovaries have become quite swollen,
although the pain is still relatively mild. The ultrasound showed the follicles measuring
13 - 15mm. My injection prescription has changed to Orgalutran and Humog HP.
From what I understand, this will help the follicles to mature a bit more for
egg collection which is tentatively scheduled for the end of the week.I meet the surrogates and the lawyer tomorrow
evening. I hope that I am able to
express the magnitude of what carrying this child will mean to both me and my
family, and how grateful I truly am. After all the planning and research, I could
absolutely pinch myself that this is really happening.
I was really nervous going in for my IVF Cycle - Day 8 (Stim day 5) ultrasound.
I had some symptoms the night before that had me completely convinced I was
prematurely ovulating. I laid down on the bed for the scan and in very "woe
is me" fashion, I told Dr. Shivani that all is lost - I am ovulating. I
didn’t exactly bring my hand to my forehead, but I might as well have. Dr.
Shivani smiled and told me that I am not ovulating and the symptoms that are
similar to ovulation can be brought on by the rise in Estrogen. The poor doctor deals with hormonal women all
day and I have a stinking suspicion she might get this reaction frequently. Fantastic!
I am sure my mother would have wished this information was known the night before,
as I spent the evening recollecting all my baby dreams that have crashed and
burned in such a dramatic fashion that Meryl Streep would have blushed. All is
not lost, and the Day 8 ultrasound looks promising. In fact, it appears we
should get 16 eggs which is two more than initially expected. According to
advancedfertility.com, it is just enough to put me in the higher success rate
threshold– I’ll take it!
I've had a few of the injections now. Dr. Shivani put me on
400g of Repronex and Puregon. From what I understand, the Repronex is to
stimulate the follicles. The Puregon is to prevent premature ovulation. So far
it has been relatively easy. I kind of chickened out on giving myself the shots.
I tried – ok, so by "trying", I mean I had the intention of giving
myself the shot, but then the nurse asked if I wanted her to stick me insteadand that I could just come to the clinic everyday and not deal with that
scary needle myself. I jumped on that
like a cheerleader on a trampoline.
The shots themselves haven’t been so bad. They just burn a
bit going in, kind of like a bad bee sting. Some time ago a friend recommended
to another friend going through IVF that she buy some maternity jeans to wear.
I have no idea how or why I remembered that, but am so glad I did.Since
the shot is given in your stomach it is nice to not have anything binding on
that area. Anyway, it was such great
advice, I thought I would pass it on. But I have to admit it's a little ironic
to be wearing maternity jeans while going through surrogacy treatment.
The Hilton Garden Inn at Saket Citywalk is fabulous.The hotel has a direct entrance into the DLF Mall, which is great for dining - you literally walk out your door of the hotel and into the mall with both a food court as well as some sit-down dining options. There are American chains likeTGIFridays and Hard Rock Cafe, but also a lot of other attractive sit down cafes and restaurants as well. Speaking of dining, the breakfast at the Hilton is unbelievably good. (So between hormone injections and all the deliciousness, I have no doubt that I will have some extra “incentives” to hit the gym back home.) In addition, there is a hop-on, hop-off city tour bus called HOHO with the mall / hotel as one of its stops. All of that and free wifi!!! I am very pleased, and grateful to those that recommended the hotel.
I am still adjusting my circadian clock, but I feel it is almost a losing battle. I have had so little sleep in the last 4 days. I tried to sleep on the plane, but the airline put me in the middle (UGH.) In fear of getting dehydrated and doing an IVF cycle, I may have went a bit overboard on the water drinking. Needless to say, I didn’t want to climb over a stranger all night.I asked the flight attendant if I could change seats - no problem, there are lots of empty aisle seats. So picture it: (Me) - (empty seat) - (smelly, incredibly limber gentleman). Before take-off, my "neighbor" decides to make a bed out of his seat and the empty one between us and puts his nasty, smelly feet all over me. He keeps pushing me with his feet in a similar way that my dog does when he wants the couch to himself. The flight attendant walks by and asks if I would like to move to a different seat before take off - Yes, Yes, Yes! I move and he says thank you - whatever. The pleasantries are quite surprising considering he literally just kicked me out of the row.
So now the seating arrangement is: (Me) - (empty seat) - (very nice lady). She at least waits until I fall asleep before she tried to make a bed out of the two seats she claimed. I literally woke up with her smelly feet in my lap! The only feet I would allow in my lap are my husband's size 13s, and every time I tried to fall asleep – her feet appeared in my lap. Ah, the tales of economy class.....
No worries, we arrived safe and sound so that is what really matters. At first, I was so excited to meet the doctor and see the clinic that I could manage on a mere 3 hours of sleep. Now I'm determined to get on India time and I want to stay up, but for some reason I am still sleeping intermittently for 3 hours at a time.I walked around the mall a bit, and it is really nice. But when I realized I was talking to a mannequin and not the store clerk, I surrendered to my tiredness and went to lay down in my very comfy Hilton bed.So be it - if I am stuck on American time, at least I won't be the crazy person talking to mannequins.