As the story continues….
Without fallopian tubes, the only option for me to have children was to do in vitro fertilization. Before we could start the process with our fertility specialist, there were things that both me and my husband had to do. I had to have multiple blood tests at different times of the month, sonograms, questionnaires, and planning sessions with my doctor and his nurse. My arm looked like a pin cushion from all the vials of blood they took.
My husband had the easy party. He just needed to provide a sample. He was lucky that he got to do this at home. I put the sample jar in a brown paper lunch bag and hauled buns to the clinic. When I dropped it off, I told the receptionist what was in the bag, filled out the form, and turned around to leave. At that time I saw another couple in the waiting room. Obviously they had overheard my conversations because the husband looked over at his wife and said “isn’t her husband lucky”. I left laughing!!!
It’s Not You – It’s ME!
Now, let me back up a minute. My husband does have two children from his previous marriage. They are 9 and 13 years older than my girls so some time had gone by. When I mentioned to my mother in law that we were having issues her exact quote to me was “Well, OBVIOUSLY 2 times over it is NOT him.” Umm, I realize that, but a lot of time had passed and the doctor wanted to be sure. Ugh. Much to her delight, his “sample” came back with an extremely high sperm count so that was one thing off our list. If I had to hear him say “I have super sperm” one more time, we might not have the kids we have today, just saying. Deep down, I was glad he did not have an issue but knowing it was all me was hard for me as a woman. Why would my body now do what it was created to do?
Now What is In Vitro?
So, let’s talk about in vitro. Many people know about the concept but do not know the actual process of how it works. Here is it simplified; they take the egg from the woman, put it in dish with the man’s sperm, let it do its thing, then put the fertilized egg back into the woman. Sounds like a simple process, right? WRONG!!! Like I said, that is the simplified version. Now let me tell you how it is from a woman’s perspective.
Let’s face it. If you are looking into this process, this means that you have not gotten pregnant after trying for at least 6 months. Either you have no idea why you it have not gotten pregnant or your doctors have found an issue which happened to me. In vitro is a last resort for most women. Its emotionally, physically, and financially hard!
If you read my previous post, you know that I had already met with my fertility specialist and had a procedure done before we started the in vitro process. I never asked if I was a candidate for in vitro, I just assumed I would be. I remember my first meeting with him do discuss our next steps. I had A LOT of tests done after my surgery, who knows how many vials of blood they had taken, and questionnaires out the ass. When we started discussing it, he put his glasses on top of his head, scratched his face, rubbed his eyes, sighed, and put his glasses back on. At that moment, I was scared to death that he was just going to say no, I cannot help you. Sorry, you are too old, your eggs are scrambled, and there is zero chance.
The news was not that grim. Instead of a hard pass, I got to hear about my low hormone levels, my advanced maternal age, blah blah blah, and the end result is that he was going to have to put me on the strongest protocol. My first thought was “Whew! We are going for it!!” That was quickly replaced with the question of what the heck was a protocol? Oh, and as a side note, thank you again for letting me know that 39 is ancient in reproductive years. The phrase “advanced maternal age” became my most hated phrase during this process.
In laymen’s terms, the strongest protocol was a large quantity of hormones, stimulates, and who knows what else! We talked for a bit and he was going to have his nurse, Ruth, schedule our planning meeting and have all the drugs delivered. You might remember Ruth from the enema story. I was also told during this time that at my age and hormone level, I had a 33% chance of getting pregnant with one, if we transferred 3 embryos back.
My husband (with his super sperm) had the easy part in this process. Nurse Ruth told him that he would just need to go in the special room and come out with his sample (pun intended.) That was it for him. Of course, he had to ask all sorts of questions such as what type of materials would be in there, is it cleaned after each use, and other questions that were supposed to be funny. Ruth said that yes, there would be magazines in there and his only comment was “will there be National Geographic?”. I have to say, I laughed a little too hard at that!!! Fast forward to Valentine’s Day that year, I went through the National Geographic sections at our local Half-Price Books and found 4 that had naked aborigines as part of his gift. Best gift EVER!
I did it again (insert face palm)
Now ladies, if you have never had children before or had issues, you may appreciate this next event on my most embarrassing moments. Obviously, there are several. I went in for my first sonogram before I started my shots. I was kind of excited, get the jelly on my belly, have them put the thingy on my uterine area, and let’s see what we are working with. I was on my cycle and therefore did zero lady scaping. My sonographer was a lovely woman named Nadia. She tells me to strip down from the waist down. Umm, excuse me? I told her I was on my cycle and she said I know, I do this on a daily basis.
Then I see it! The huge dildo looking thing that she was putting what looked like a magnum condom on it. The realization hits me that this is an internal sonogram and my first thing I did was apologize for the state of my lady parts. She said it was no big deal and then added “but if I were in your shoes, I will feel the same!” Be rest assured, I thought about bedazzling my vajayjay to make up for the mess I was downstairs! I never went back looking unkept. #pride
All the pre-appointments were finished after that sonogram. Whew! The next step was to schedule yet another meeting with Ruth to go over my schedule and the actual steps. The monster payment was made and the drugs were going to be delivered that next week. The next step of fun was about to begin.