Late-night pre-retrieval, acting as if

I am extremely uncomfortable! My stomach is so swollen I can’t even wear my dang yoga pants. I can’t let my shirt touch my nipples, they are so sensitive. Of course, this is all the estrogen and the HCG working its magic…

Yes, I have been triggered. At 2:30 a.m., a wonderful nurse whom I will call Lynn came to our hotel room and shot my behind with HCG. She also drew up my lupron for me. And, most importantly, she offered me humor, words of wisdom, and a hug.

While I was lying on my belly on the bed here, Lynn plunged that long needle into my backside, and it barely hurt. “Now when your child is a teenager,” she said, “be sure to use guilt on them when they’re misbehaving.” She looked at DH and said. “You can say to them, ‘Do you know that your mother took a four-inch needle in her backside to have you?'” We all laughed. It was exhilarating to be thought of as future parents.

Lynn was short with short hair and glasses, a mom in her fifties, with braces. I couldn’t believe how kind she was, and how clearly she loved her job—driving from hotel to hotel in the wee hours of the morning, triggering IVF hopeful mamas like me.

“Before I leave, I want to offer you one piece of advice,” she said, smiling and looking at both DH and me as if she knew us well. “Act as if. Act as if this is going to work, and when you go to transfer, act as if you are pregnant the moment the procedure is done. You don’t need a pregnancy test—you’ll be pregnant. Because if, in the off-chance that it doesn’t work out, the pain will not be any greater for having acted as if. And acting as if might just help a little—or a lot. Let me give you a hug.”

She came toward me and hugged me with such intimacy and warmth. “Good luck, good luck, the very best of luck to you,” she said.

When she walked out the door, DH and I sat on the couch, a little stunned. Yet another guardian angel. Yet another sister and mother. She really helped me in a serious way. I’ve been thinking about and trying to live her words ever since.

A nurse and an ultrasound technician at CCRM today were very smiley and excited for me. It felt so good. We chatted amiably in the hallway about the amazingness of Lynn. Apparently, they have heard my story many times before. Bless that woman! Something about the way the nurse and technician were talking to me made me feel hope. It felt like I had come to the end of a very long and arduous race and they were there waiting and cheering at the finish line. It felt like This is going to work. I am going to have a baby. I am going to send them photos of our baby and thankful, gushing letters.

After CCRM, DH and I found the best pizza place ever, where I got an incredible gluten-free dairy-free pizza (unheard of). And then we went to the city park, where we happened across the zoo. On a whim we bought two tickets and went in. It was an absolutely beautiful day today—sunshine, warmer temperatures. The animals were out in the sun—zebras, giraffes, elephants, tigers, monkeys, rhinoceroses, and many animals from Africa and Asia we did not know existed. They let the peacocks run around the zoo freely, and DH and I suddenly found ourselves walking beside one brilliant-feathered guy. He seemed like a good omen.

So in about three hours, I will have a 3 a.m. breakfast—the last I can eat before retrieval. We will arrive at the clinic at 12:30 for a 1:30 retrieval. Dr. Minjarez will be doing my retrieval—how funny, in all of this, I have never once met Dr. Schoolcraft in person! I’ve spoken to him on the phone twice, but Dr. Surrey sat in him for him during my ODWU. In any case,  Dr. M. sounds amazing and I know I am in excellent hands.

The timeline after tomorrow goes like this:

Day 1: A call from embryologists about how many eggs fertilized

Day 5 or 6: A call form embryologists about how many made it to blastocyst

3 weeks post retrieval: A call from my nurse informing me of how many euploid embryos there are to transfer. (This will happen February 7th, one week after my 39th birthday.)

Sometime after that: A regroup with Dr. S about the next steps

Wish me luck!

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