Most of the time it's like reaching around in the dark, but every once in a while I feel like I'm making an educated guess.
All of last week I was waiting...and waiting...and waiting. I had taken five days of medroxyprogesterone to try to induce a period so that we could start with the fertility drugs. I took the last pill Tuesday. Wednesday, no period. Thursday, no period. Friday, no period.
Saturday, BF and I were leaving for a trip to Hershey Park, which is about two hours from our home, with the little man, my dad, step-mom, their kids, and my brother. We had booked our hotel and were going to take part in the park's preview plan; if you have tickets for one day, you can get in the park for free after 7:30 the night before. We had packed our bags and were stopping for lunch before going to the mall for haircuts and the semi-weekly kid swap.
As we split a milkshake I said to BF, "Okay. As long as I don't get my period in the next eighteen hours we're just fine." The I went to the bathroom and...Well, I'm sure you can guess how that story ends.
The way the IVF cycle works, the first day that you have your period before 9 am is day one of the cycle. Having gotten my period at 3:00 in the afternoon on Saturday, Sunday would have been day one. I didn't want to mess up this cycle, but I also didn't want to skip Hershey, make the guys skip the preview night, or drive the two hours by myself on Sunday morning after driving an hour back and forth from the doctor's office in downtown Philadelphia.
Luckily, my awesome IVF nurse had given me her cell phone number and had said to call anytime about anything at all, no matter how small. This, I figured, more than warranted a call. She agreed. She also assured me that waiting until Monday morning to start the cycle wasn't going to ruin anything and that I should go to Hershey and enjoy myself and then get downtown first thing Monday for blood work and an ultrasound.
So we went to Hershey and had a fabulous time. I was afraid it would be difficult to keep all eleven of us together, but we managed to keep it together pretty well. It helped that my step-mom had the baby to contend with and doesn't really like roller coasters or "thrill rides"; she kept an eye on the LM and her own six-year old son most of the time. It also helped that Hershey is laid out exceptionally well and the lines were incredibly short. There are eight or nine different areas, each with a big ride or two, a few kiddie rides, and a couple rides that everyone could go on. We were able to go to an area, split up for a little while so that we “big kids” could go on a roller coaster, my step-mom would take the little guys to ride on a ride they'd enjoy, and then we'd all get back together for a ride or two that we all liked.
I also got one of those great little scooter-like ride on ECVs. It was the best. They have keys, so I could ride it up to the entrance of a ride and take the key with me so that I didn't have to worry about someone taking off with it. And the lines were so short that I didn't feel like I was standing for too long, although there were still some long walks through queues and up stairs at the water slides. I was pretty exhausted and achy at the end of the day, but the point is that I managed to get through a twelve-hour day that would have otherwise been impossible.
Sunday night, we didn't get home until 12:30 and after two weeks of insomnia, I fell asleep minutes after my head hit the pillow, despite being sunburned and unable to lie on my side as I usually do. Monday morning, LM and I were up and out of the house at 7:30 and got down to UPenn about an hour later. He was a real trooper and reminded me all morning of exactly why I want another little person running around the house. He snuggled with me in the waiting room, asked dozens of questions about why we were there, told me about how he was going to help when we have a baby, and how he would like to work at the doctor's office and, the best, told me how much he loves me “a hundred million billion” and will be my friend forever, over and over again. We had to wait to have an ultrasound and then wait again for blood work and it was 10:30 by the time we got back to the car to leave. He was sound asleep in the backseat about five minutes into the trip home and slept for more than three hours that afternoon. Shortly after he got up from his nap, I got a call from my nurse with the good news that I could go ahead and start with 150 I.U. of Gonal-F every day through Wednesday and come back in on Thursday morning for a second blood draw. She also let me know that I have seventeen antral follicles (which I have since learned bodes very well for the success of the egg retrieval) and that my estradiol and luteinizing hormone levels are 77 and 4.5, respectively (which still means nothing to me).
The first injection was easy. I don't mind needles and this one is tiny and just a subcutaneous injection. It's also a cool pre-loaded pen; I just attach a new needle, dial in the right dose, pop the plunger up, stab my belly, and press the plunger all the way in. Very cool. This morning, however, I woke up to this fabulous little gem:
I don't have room for two weeks full of bruises that size on my lower belly. Also, later this week I'll be adding injections of Cetrotide daily and possibly Pergonal. Can you imagine how purple I'm going to be? How many different shades of bruise I'll be representing? I'm hoping that injection #2, which I gave my self this evening, won't prompt such an extreme reaction. On the whole I'm thrilled to be started. I'm not feeling any bad hormonal side effects yet and I'm just happy that we're able to do this and that I'm finally moving forward with the treatment. The purple…Well, I don’t like it, but it makes my stomach match my heavily-bruised appendages and it certainly won’t kill me.
Well, I'm off to bed. BF is getting antsy. I'll let everyone know how things are going as they progress and I'm working on a post about the schools that we're looking at for LM. So think about this one for me - but don't answer until you hear the whole story: what do you think about the child of strictly secularly thinking people attending a parochial school?