Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Husband, The Poet

My husband is usually a man of very few words. He's an accountant, not a poet or a writer, but he wrote this the other day and it really touched me. It came from the heart and has given me so much strength that I am posting it here with his permission:

Our Unborn Child

Our unborn child is searching for us
We know how that must seem
It’s nothing too mysterious
We see her in our dreams

She’s got curly blonde hair
Just as beautiful as can be
And it’s through this poem I want to share
How much she means to me

Almost a year and a half has gone by
And she still hasn’t found her way
Sometimes I find I just want to cry
But somehow I know it’s going to be okay

We’ve found the path that leads to her
It’s lit bright so now we can see
For strength we’re relying on each other
And that’s exactly how it should be

I anticipate that moment in life
When two now become three
Me, my baby and my beautiful wife
Adding our own branch to the family tree

Friday, November 16, 2007

Teacher's Pet

I had my Lupron scan yesterday, followed by our injectibles class. I was feeling a little uncomfortable, as our "usual" nurse wasn't there. Our friendly, wry, Wanda Sykes-esque nurse was replaced by, well, let's just call her Bubbles the Clown. She was a very large woman, all smiles, way too chipper, and very close to annoying when she told us that she was terrible with names, but could "recognize an ovary anywhere." That's quite a feat to me, considering everything on the screen looks like gray matter. In any case, in that gray matter she managed to find 10 follicles on the right, 15 on the left. When we asked if that was "normal," she spoke to us like were were preschool students:

"How many babies do you want?"


"That's right." (She is now holding up one finger for those playing the home game.) "One." "Then one follicle is all you need."

Somehow I don't think we're ever going to get an answer to our question regarding what is or is not "normal."

Following our lesson in numbers by Nurse Bubbles, we were ushered into another room for the injectables class. Another woman in the class told us she was a physician, so that gave me some added level of comfort knowing that there was an M.D. in our midst who had chosen our RE over everyone else available in the Southern California area. The nurse was a little miffed when she learned that no one had notified us that we were supposed to bring our medications to the class -- she wanted us to be able to lay everything out on the table so she could point out what everything was, what it was for, and to generally answer any questions.

That was when my husband, bless his heart, pulled out his spreadsheet. Now, my husband is an accountant, and I usually tease him about the fact that he has a spreadsheet for everything. This one contained all the medications, when each one starts, the method for administering (including body part), size of the needle, extra notes, etc. Everyone "ooohed" and "aaahed." The nurses even asked if they could make copies. My heart secretly swelled with pride.

My husband had his opportunity to apply what he learned in class yesterday when we began the Lupron this morning. I have to admit, I did lose some sleep over this last night. As it turned out, it really wasn't so bad, other then some significant burning I felt after the fact. I came to realize only later (by way of a "DUH" email from my husband at work) that he was so nervous he accidentally swabbed the injection site with rubbing alcohol AFTER giving the injection! Hopefully, this can only get easier...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Down the Rabbit Hole

Monday was our mock transfer, along with some additional blood work (and I think some other procedures thrown in for good measure). I had a bit of a meltdown on Sunday night – in reading through all the consent forms, I formulated a huge list of questions I had, and realized that I didn’t feel educated enough about what my RE was doing to go through with the procedure (unless and until our questions were answered). My husband saw my panic and offered to call the RE’s office the next morning. At first they told him that the doctor was “very busy” and likely would not have time to answer our questions. I think the anger and frustration must have been radiating out of the email I sent my husband from work in response, because he emailed me just a few minutes later to tell me that there was no problem, we were going to be seeing the doctor just before the procedure anyway, and he would be happy to answer any questions we had.

We were in a bit of a rush to get to the RE’s office, forcing us to eat in the car. This was a mistake, because they gave me the half Xanax and Motrin on a full stomach. Seriously – I found the procedure more than a little uncomfortable and I don’t think the medication kicked in until we were in the car on the way home. Other than that, things went pretty well. They wouldn’t let my husband in the surgical suite, which was kind of a bummer, but he was a little busy in the other room with a magazine and a cup ;) It was also kind of neat to see everything (some of it in color!) on the video monitor. So THAT’s what my cervix looks like…

The doctor met with us before the procedure, and was very patient with our list of questions. With the spotting, he told us that we wouldn’t know if it was something to be concerned about until he performed the examination. Also, we were confused because the literature said we’d be doing ICSI, and I didn’t understand why (my husband does not have any issues with his swimmers, and this is our first IVF attempt). Apparently, my RE uses ICSI in about 95% of his IVF patients – I guess it’s more mainstream now. It gives us a better chance of more viable embryos, which is fine by me (and believe me, I’ve also read the risks of ICSI, so please don’t think I’m going into this blindly). The rest of our questions mainly surrounded discrepancies between the literature he gave us and the information in the consent forms. Turns out, the literature was a little outdated and he said they were in the process of revising everything. He was very impressed that my husband and I had gone through it all so thoroughly (although I don’t know what he expected – I am an attorney and my husband is a CPA – how could we NOT read every single word?)!

I felt so much better after our questions were answered. My husband had kind of an emotional epiphany after all was said and done, and wanted me to know how brave he thought I was and how much it meant to him that I was willing to go through so much for the sake of our family. It was a strange thing to hear. First of all, I never thought of myself as brave – I feel like such a wimp when it comes to pain. His response was, “Bravery is not about not feeling afraid – to me, being brave is being afraid of something, but going through with it despite your fear.” Also, all this time I’ve known my husband wanted children, but I didn’t realize exactly how important it was to him. I always thought that I wanted a baby a little more, and he was simply indulging me and being supportive by deciding to do IVF. I’ve felt a little guilty for that and for the fact that the anatomical problems lie with me. I feel so much better about everything knowing how he feels and I have to say it is bringing us closer.

UPDATE: We just got back my husband’s sperm analysis results from Monday. Turns out, he does have a slightly abnormal morphology plus low stress/penetration (we never tested for this before). So, I guess it’s a good thing we’re doing ICSI!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Big Box O' Medicine

The big Box O' Medicine arrived on Tuesday. I came home from work and caught my husband on the Internet watching educational videos on how to administer injections. I asked him were all the medication was, and he showed me the new "medicine drawer" in the kitchen (where, incidentally, we used to keep the cat medicine -- he said he took out all of the cat stuff, but I'm going to become really worried if he puts on a finger condom and tries to rub my ear...). He basically said the drawer was off limits and he was going to be in charge of the medicine -- that's fine by me, but after begging for a few minutes he finally let me see what was inside the drawer to take the mystery out. Holy crap! I couldn't believe the vials and the disposal containers and sharps and pens, etc. We even had to make room for some of the stuff in our refrigerator. It's now becoming VERY real. Significantly, there was a very large bottle of Darvocet sent to us along with everything else. I know Darvocet is a pain medicine, but it's making me worried -- seriously, what's the Darvocet for, and why do I need such a big bottle???

The Darvocet also sent me spiraling with several other questions relating to pain issues. I had contemplated the injections being painful, but what about the actual procedures? I hadn't really thought about it. I have the mock transfer on Monday, with the actual retrieval and transfer in December. Can anyone tell me what kind of pain I can expect?

On another note, we've decided that we were going to be more open in telling people about what we're doing. I've told a select group of my close friends at work, and people have been mostly supportive -- I've had some strange reactions, and it's been a little confusing (for lack of a better word) to some people, but it's a relief to not have to make up stories about why I'm going to have to leave all the time for doctor's appointments and procedures. My immediate family has known about this since the beginning, and my husband is finally going to tell his. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will be supportive as well.