in between dreams

The period of time between growing as many follicles as possible and having as many beautiful embryos as allowed placed back inside is very much akin to banging one's head against the wall several times. What are you doing?

When you are growing your follicles, you have doctor visits nearly every morning, blood is drawn, ultrasounds are completed, judging of the fellow waiting room inhabitants commences. For me this time around was much more relaxing. The nurses and office staff knew me by name, not because I am a pain (at least I don't think), but because, honestly, I think they have the toughest jobs in the world and I am extra sugary sweet nice to them. Think about it, they have to deal with women all day everyday, on top of that, the women are hormonally-crazed...it cannot be easy. But I digress...

You are there nearly everyday with something to do. A purpose. For me it always made the day go faster because by the time I got to work I had so much catching up to do. It was a routine.

After the trigger shot things change. Instead of having blood work and an ultrasound you just have the blood work. There are no more medicines to take at night because you aren't supposed to take anything yet. The shots for that period of time are done. It's strange and odd and you feel like you are forgetting something.

After the egg retrieval (ER for those not so "in the know") you begin new shots. This time in the morning, with a MUCH larger needle. These shots need to be administered by Mike (my husband) because I would probably break the needle off in my ass if I had to do it myself (I am a bit of klutz, you see). These shots interrupt (at least for me) the only time I have that I am not consciously thinking about IVF, babies, pregnancy, or the like. Even if it is Saturday, you have to wake up at the same time you did all week to administer the shot.

The two week wait that everyone talks about is hellish. You are constantly analyzing your body, every twinge, bout of nausea, breast pain, etc. It is the kind of torturous hell I would not wish on a soul. You waiver between "This worked" and "This didn't work". And honestly, it doesn't really matter if it did at that point because there are many more weeks before you are "in the clear", if ever. But at that moment in time, you do not know of those days. You can only think of finding out you are pregnant.

Hellish as it is, the two week wait is not why I wrote this post. I wrote this post about the time in between ER and ET (egg transfer for you laymen). The time in between the dreams of growing follicles and becoming pregnant. The space where there are no doctors visits, no mixing of medications, no distractions.

During this time you worry about your embryos. Are they growing? Are they growing at the right speed? When the embryologist says 3, 8-cell embryos that are ideal does she mean that this is going to work? When the embryologist says we should have 1 hopefully 2 to transfer on Thursday does she mean that she is not expecting there to be 2? It is the time where you really are completely disconnected from your prospective child(ren), as well as the entire process of getting pregnant. You are not housing your eggs, or your embryos. You are as far away from them as is possible. There are no visitation rights.

This time for me has always been the worst.

Jack Johnson sings, "We're just human, amusing, but confusing. But the truth is, all we got is questions. We'll never know."

Infertility is full of questions, and not so many answers. It full of amazement, but no truth. What works for one may not work for another. We put faith in our doctors and nurses, in God, in ourselves (at least some of the time), but we don't really know anything for sure.

Life is funny that way. The moments of uncertainty, for me, seem to always remain in between dreams...that's why those damn progesterone shots suck.

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