Freeze Tag

Yesterday was like a long, drawn-out game of freeze tag.  Start. Stop. Start. Stop.  I’m it.

Let me state the obvious.  Freeze tag, when it’s not a game but real life, is stressful. 

The day began with me walking to the clinic from where I was staying with my best gal pal and her two kids.  I needed the exercise and head-clearing time alone.  And it was snowing buckets, making everything look magical and beautiful (if slippery) at 6:40 a.m.  When I got to the clinic, the nurse said I didn’t need bloodwork, just ultrasound.  Bonus!

At the ultrasound, the RE (not mine, another one but I like him and he wasn’t Dr. Claw so it was all good) found not one, not two but three black holes in my ovaries (2 on right, 1 on left).  I’m going to call this RE Dr. Intuition (you’ll see why in a moment).  Dr. Intuition also found some resting follicles of miniscule size on the left, I didn’t spot any on the right and he never gave me a count.  Instead, we talked about those black holes.  He said they are cysts left over from the IVF cycle 2 months ago. Great. Because I needed a few cysts to interrupt my TTC journey.  Seriously?

Dr. Intuition said that he had a hunch these were not functioning cysts, just residual puppies left over that hadn’t shrunk back down yet, in which case we could go ahead with the stims.  (A hunch? I pay you people all this money to go on your gut? Okay, I’m okay with that. Heck, I go on my gut all the time).  Of course, if his hunch was wrong and the cysts were functioning, all bets were off and I would have to take birth control pills again (have I mentioned how much I hated those?) for 21 days to quiet the ovaries before we could start any kind of monkey business with them.  I needed a blood test to determine whether the black holes were producing estrogen.  All plans were on hold for the next several hours. So much for the bonus.

I walked back to the hotel.  I chose a route that was mostly uphill and I kept slipping on the fresh wet snow, stopping and starting repeatedly. (Maybe running shoes were a poor choice of footwear but I used to live in this city and it snowed once every couple of years.  It has snowed on the day of both of my baselines in the last 3 months. What the heck?).

Then I waited.  Started.  Stopped.  Thought about the pros and cons of waiting 3 more weeks and not waiting 3 more weeks to get this party started.  Waited some more.

Finally, less than an hour before the clinic closed, I got a call from the nurse who’d drawn my blood saying Dr. Intuition said my estrogen levels were low so I could come and slap down $2K for my drugs and monitoring costs.  Yippee!  I arrived and finished the paperwork and payment process one minute before closing time.

Dr. Intuition lowered my dosage of the stims (Puregon) from 450 to 300 units.  I wish he’d said that when he was still at the clinic (he was gone by closing time), because I would have liked to ask why.  Perhaps it’s because he figured out what I did last time – I may have few eggs but my follicles responded quickly to the meds on max dose.  Perhaps too quickly – I triggered on day 9.  I wonder if this means that my response will be slower and more evenly distributed or if they are hoping to produce fewer overall follicles since I’m doing IUI not IVF this time.  I might send this question to the nurses to have them get an answer for me, in case my next monitoring appointment (February 28) is with Dr. Claw.

Then off to the airport after a little shopping (for my friend and her munchkins, though I got the Miracle Baby a much-needed new winter hat).  Of course, my plane was delayed.  And it was a connecting flight.  At first, the next plane was only slightly delayed and the first plane was getting more and more delayed.  I started to panic – what if I don’t get home tonight?

Thank goodness I had the forethought to jab myself with injection #1 while still in airport #1 (the window of time within which one must inject had come).  Doing that in my seat or the bathroom on the plane could have been tricky. 

After waiting on the tarmac an hour and a half, plane #1 took off.  There was a lot of alleged de-icing going on.  I read everything I’d brought and listened to my IUI meditations. Twice. Before we took off. 

On to plane #2.  It was scheduled to depart 94 minutes late.  That didn’t happen.  I arrived more than 2 hours late and was exhausted and grouchy.  My flights to and from the fertility clinic this weekend cost me almost as much as the entire IUI monitoring and procedure (which, combined cost $800 at our clinic excluding any sperm cryopreservation, which is another $400 if we (meaning the LP) can “get ‘er done”). 

I had to get the Miracle Baby back to sleep when we finally got home (it’s a long drive from the airport to our little abode).  I’m still tired and a little cranky but trying to breathe deeply and let that go. I have been visualizing red lately – sacral chakra’s colour.  I’m hoping this means I’m grounded and ready to go.  Fingers crossed!

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