Saturday, February 16, 2013

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait...and Wait

It's finally happening.  Nearly 5 years after we started trying to conceive, three years after we were told unequivocally that we had no chance of conceiving naturally, after two surgeries on my endometriosis, over a year after applying for our scholarship through INCIID, 6 months after we raised $3,000 for their organization, WE'RE FINALLY GETTING STARTED!!!!!!!!!

I want to again thank all of our family and friends who donated to INCIID on our behalf.  We are truly blessed with an incredible network of support.  Many couples navigate IVF in private, keeping the dates and details to themselves.  This makes a lot of sense, of course, because, when things go wrong, you don't want to have to share THAT news with everyone.  While this sort of privacy is appealing, we know our journey will be a slightly different one.  We've made this project a public one from the start, and you are all a part of this process.  You've a right to know what we're doing and how we're progressing.  Additionally, there are so many people whose faces screw up with concentration and wonder whenever I speak about this procedure in broad terms.  I have gotten the distinct impression that people are deeply curious about how this whole thing works.  If you're not in that camp, read no further.  But if you're like 90% of Americans and delight in all things voyeuristic, do enjoy.

INCIID matched us with the Reproductive Medicine and Surgery Center of Virginia, pretty much the most ideal match we could have had.  The clinic is only a little over an hour away, and we are familiar with our doctor since she did our official scholarship testing, as well as performed my most recent hysterosalpingogram (running fluid through the fallopian tubes under x-ray to see if they work) and laparoscopy (minimally invasive surgery to look around the pelvic region).  The latter had been performed last April for the purpose of cleaning up my endometrial adhesions and removing my blocked (and therefore toxic) fallopian tube.  She managed to open up the tube during surgery, doing exactly what two previous doctors had attempted to do three other times.  As a result, I have two working tubes and a new hero.

We had our first appointment on Tuesday, and it was a doozy!  Not difficult, just a lot of new information and decisions.  First, we did a practice run of the egg transfer, basically mapping out the size and shape and tilt of my uterus so there are no surprises on the day of the real thing.  The most amusing thing has to do with the ultrasound, which they move on the top of the belly to guide the catheter.  Now, between the surface of your skin and the uterus is your bladder, so they basically use it as a window to look through.  The bigger the window, the better the view, right?  Consequently, I was told to come with a full bladder.  The appointment was at three, so I made sure I used the restroom for the last time at lunch and spent the second half of the day sipping water.  By the time I got there I was rather uncomfortable and proudly told the nurse when asked, "Oh, yes.  VERY full bladder."  Well, apparently in egg transfer world, "full" has a totally different meaning.  They were looking for ready-to-burst; I was told to aim for twice as full on transfer day.  I wonder how many women have had "accidents" in that waiting room.

After the trial run transfer was a saline ultrasound, basically just a look-see around the uterus and ovaries to make sure there are no polyps or cysts that should be treated before we proceed.  My lady-junk got rave reviews, and the procedure was a breeze.  This ship is ready for boarding!

More on our first appointment in the next entry...

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