Okay, that thing they tell you about your ovaries going from the size of grapes to the size of grapefruits? It’s true. Holy smokes. I cannot believe how swollen my abdomen is! It’s this little mound. My shirt sticks out. My pants hurt. And my nipples are huge and on fire.

Basically I feel like I did when I was pregnant.

And I have been emotionally allllll over the place. Yesterday, I was slap-happy and as talkative as a five-year-old. Last night, I became angry, then tearful. Today, I woke up depressed. Now I feel relaxed and fine.

At the clinic today, I had a little melt-down.

My ultrasound this morning showed a shrinking of follicles—which cannot be true, I found out later. It’s just that I had a different ultrasound technician today, looking at the follicles from different angles, and measuring them differently than the technician yesterday. Still, it was weird (mis)information to receive. Then I had to rush to do my shots at the clinic, in between appointments, and I was having trouble finding a place to stick the needles in my belly. Because my skin now looks like this, all over my lower abdomen.

bruises Yay!

This feeling started happening—this feeling of being a pin-cushion. I’ve got the technique of giving myself the shots down, but I’m starting to feel overwhelmed by puncturing my skin again and again and again. Four injections a day. Here’s my little cheat-sheet, which I don’t even need anymore, amazingly.


So I rushed from doing my three morning injections to my IVF physical, during which a nurse pricked my fingertip to test my hemoglobin. After all the shots and blood-draws, this tiny prick on my fingertip, which hurt like hell, broke me. As soon as the nurse left, I burst into tears.

DH was there, listening as I described my feelings of being a pin-cushion, about the strange ultrasound results, about how suddenly my finger was pricked and how much it hurt, and just how exhausted I was. When the nurse practitioner came in, she was incredibly empathetic, warm, kind, wonderful, and I melted inside her nurturing gaze. She understood everything I was going through. She really  got it. The pressure. The hormones. The stress. The injections. Without my having to bring it up, she said, “I imagine when you found out about some of your pregnancy losses you were getting an ultrasound, yes?”

Yes,” I said nodding emphatically.

“So it must be so triggering for you just to get up on that table and put your feet in those stirrups.”

I loved her for understanding me!

She went out of her way to find the psychologist on staff to see if she had a few minutes to see us. As luck would have it, she did, and DH and I got to sit on her couch for twenty minutes or so, and I got to talk a blue streak. Everything came out. What I was feeling now, what I feared in the future. I barely let her speak. I just needed to vent. From my work as a clinician, I know that sometimes, a patient just needs to hear herself put her feelings in words.

I felt calmer afterward, and DH and I, after getting me some more ganirelix at the pharmacy, went to Snooze for amazing egg dishes and damn good gluten-free blueberry pancakes. Then we came back to our hotel and have been vegetating ever since! You wouldn’t believe the number of movies we’ve seen. Movies are the best medicine for me right now—not thinking of myself of what I’m going through, I can just watch Molly Ringwald make her pretty pink prom dress, or Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt spar and kiss, or Emily Blunt seduce Natalie Press in one of my favorites ever, My Summer of Love. (DH loved it, too.)

I’m trying not to think too much about the fact that I will most likely get my trigger shot tomorrow night. One more night of growing my follicles, one more ultrasound tomorrow, and then my nurse says Dr. S will most likely say go to trigger. Which puts my retrieval on Thursday. How many eggs will it be? It’s still hard to say. Could be 4. Could be 8. I’m trying not to focus on the numbers anymore.

Now back to watching movies.

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  1. Hey, was looking for a route to PM or something but couldn’t find one. Because of how timing is shaking out, I will likely be in Denver alone the first 3 days of that second week of stimulation. I’m already feeling the separation anxiety over being juiced up on hormones and super scared of what’s to come and thousands of miles away from my husband and my therapist, so I was just wondering if you could recommend some things you did to pass the time there.

    • Hi, check out this post
      for some ideas, and I will say the the High Line was my favorite. You simply rent a bicycle (you’ll see rows of city bikes available for rent with a credit-card swipe near the High Line and throughout the city) and go riding on the paths around the city. Go on a sunny day—gorgeous! If you don’t want to ride a bike, just walking around the High Line is nice. I’d also check out the museum. The restaurants and cafes are so good—you could go to a cafe with a book and enjoy hanging out for hours. I’ll ask my friend for the name of her favorite cafe and get back to you if you’re interested in that.


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