January 2010


My cut off point for food or water was midnight last night, but Tyler and I were prepared.

Around 10 we started making one of our favorite Pioneer Woman recipes: Spicy Peel-And-Eat Shrimp.  It’s incredibly easy to make; literally, it’s just putting some ingredients in a pan and then broiling it for 10 minutes and you’re done.  It left me with plenty of time to try to eat as many as humanly possible as well as gulp down a bunch of water.  It was uncomfortable, but eating a lot paid off for me in the morning.  I didn’t feel hungry or weak at all.

Drinking all that water didn’t help too much though.  I woke up at 4 a.m. totally wired and thirsty as all hell, along with indigestion and feeling like I was having a hot flash. I got a wet wash cloth for my forehead and tried to fall asleep again on the couch, but at that moment our pet rats decided to start enacting American Gladiators on the top of their cage, complete with squeaks of intimidation/protest.  It was about an hour and a half before I could sleep again.

Tyler drove me to the clinic and we arrived shortly before 9:15.  After a 20-minute wait, they took me in.  I didn’t spend too much time in the prep room this time.  As soon as I was in the gown and silly hat, they brought me into the procedure room.  The anesthesiologist hooked me up to an IV and some EKG monitors, then strapped an oxygen mask to my face.  The nurses started strapping my legs down to the stirrups.  I wasn’t all that nervous going into it, but I was asleep for most of this during my last retrieval, and getting all hooked up and plugged in and strapped down instinctively brought all of my apprehension to a head.  The doctor came in during all this and immediately took my hand and put his other hand on my knee.  Something about that hand to knee contact, man.  Calms me right down.

The anesthesiologist injected a small vial of some relaxation drugs into my IV.  I instantly felt pleasantly drunk. The doctor said something to her, and I got double vision of her as she laughed, and then I was out.

I woke up a half hour later, just as they were letting Tyler into the recovery area to see me.  I didn’t feel as goofily happy as last time–mostly just groggy.  I also had a lot more pain than last time, too.  The nurses switched out hot compresses and warm blankets while I drank some juice and shivered as the drugs left my system.  I was informed that they retrieved 17 eggs.  1 less than last time.  I hope that one slacker who got away is having a good time.

Once I felt well enough to get up, they sent me home, and I’ve been spending most of the day sleeping with heating pad on my stomach and drinking lots of fluids.  Tyler’s been taking very good care of me, and I’m already feeling much better than I did earlier today.

Nothing too funny or spectacular happened, but once again, I’m so happy and relieved that everything went down without a hitch.  My post-op appointment is on the 5th, and my very first appointment for Cycle #3 is on the 9th, so I should be updating again soon.

Happy Egg Harvest Day!!

Taken from Deviantart, username: Furryness

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With follicles looking as monstrous as ever, my doctor declared that my retrieval date would be this Saturday.  Tomorrow!  Last night I took my last dose of Ganirelix (*said with a flourish*) and a dose of Novarel, my trigger shot.  Today my only instructions are to rest, drink fluids until midnight, and play some video games.  Well, some of those are instructions from me to myself.  But I digress.

Today I have to start taking Doxycyclene, which is an antibiotic.  Fortunately, they are oral capsules that are a delightful robin’s egg blue.  My instructions for taking it are interesting thought.  I’m supposed to take it twice daily on a full stomach, and I have to avoid sun exposure.  I haven’t yet asked the nurses about the sun exposure thing.  I hesitate for fear that the answer will either be terrifying (“Your eyes will fall out.”) or very underwhelming (“You’ll sunburn easier.”).  For the moment, I prefer leaving it shrouded in mystery, just as I shall shroud myself in shadows and the glow of my monitor until the antibiotic runs out.

My apologies for not really delivering an “Egg Extraction Extravaganza Week!!” this time.  I’ve spent an unusually large amount of money on video games this month, and my attentions have been fully retained by Harvest Moon: Animal Crossing (so many crops and adorable farm animals!) and Mass Effect 2 (so many alien sexual encounters and adorable sniper rifle kills!).  Anyone familiar with video games will probably have already guessed that playing both games at the same time leads to some…interesting dreams.

This definitely happened in my head last night. Don't ask me where Emeril came from.

Today I had an early morning blood draw and follicle check, so I got up early and fought the traffic (which was quite present this time due to the absence of a national holiday).  Today was the first time that I was actually examined by the doctor who will be doing the retrieval.  Nice guy, but had a sort of nervous demeanor.   The nurse had forgotten to prep (read: lube) the ultrasound probe, so he had to do it himself.  He immediately rushed to make small talk, I suppose to maybe distract from the fact that he was somewhat suggestively Astrogliding a stick blender in preparation for its entrance into my nether region.  When one rushes conversation, you end up stuck in strange topics, such as how my socks reminded him of the Brady Bunch, and what Disneyland was like 30 years ago (thank goodness they got rid of that lettered ticketing system, huh?).

Pillow talk aside, it turns out that I do have lots of follicles growing, but they aren’t as big as he was hoping.  He decided to increase my dosage slightly–from one vial of Menopur to two–in the hopes that it will kick my ovaries into shape.

The only other thing that happened was that I had to go back and do another blood draw, since a few of the vials from my appointment on Monday apparently got accidentally frozen (??) and couldn’t be tested.  I’ve been called an ice queen before, but I didn’t know it was that bad*ba dun chh!*.

Sorry.  The jokes don’t really get any better from here on out.

On a final note, I keep getting a lot of people coming to my blog because they searched for “mcgriddles.”  I feel sorry for them–wanting information on a truly delicious snack and instead getting anecdotes about some person’s reproductive organs.  Although I am tempted to use it to my advantage.  If I plant more fast-food related treats, will more people come to my blog?  Let’s find out!

Second to McGriddles, my favorite fast food indulgence is Taco Bell’s Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes.

The most authentic of Mexican dishes

Now, Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes don’t really need any more advertising from me.  They already have their own myspace page, but for the sake of science…it must be done!

Yesterday I had an appointment scheduled at 8:30 a.m. to do my hormone/Estradiol blood tests as well as re-screening me for any infectious diseases (they’re apparently easy to pick up in this town.) They were also going to give me all of my meds.

Now, I had to go to bed very early Sunday night because of the situation that would be facing me when I left for my appointment Monday morning. I’d be traveling at between the hours of 7 and 8 (the peak of rush hour), heading toward downtown (where everyone else is trying to go), on the 101 freeway (usually functions as a parking lot most weekdays), in the rain (oh boy). The drive is only 15-20 minutes, but I wanted to give myself plenty of leeway. Tyler posited: “If you were heading to a set, what time would you leave here?” I said 5 a.m.

I had a feeling, however, that fertility clinics were a little more lenient than film sets about people being late, so I gave myself just an hour. Having forgotten that Monday was MLK day and thus the freeways would be practically deserted, I arrived at my appointment much, much earlier than expected.

Fortunately I was able to get my tests done right away and just had to wait around for my examination and to pick up my meds. The nurse was relieved that she didn’t have to teach me how to do the injections, so after a quick review of my calendar (and a horrific anecdote that I’ll mention later) I was unceremoniously handed a bulging shopping bag and sent to checkout. Later that night my first injection went down without a hitch. This time around I only need to poke myself once per night, as I learned that the Follistim and Menopur can be mixed and injected simultaneously.

Now for the story. Before she handed over the meds, the nurse told me to make doubly sure that I switched to the smaller needles after using the mixing needle to reconstitute the Menopur. This was old news to me, so I sort of just nodded and brushed it off, but she was persistent. She told me that one patient was constantly complaining that the injections were extremely painful and was there any  way she could take the drugs in some other form? It took a while before they figured out that she was using the mixing needle instead of the proper injection needle. Just to clarify, this is the needle that you inject with:

27 gauge 1/2" needle: tiny but terrific!

And this is the mixing needle, the one this woman was using:

22 gauge 1.5" needle: gaaaaaaahhh!

Straight into the stomach too!! No wonder the injections were hurting.  Yeesh.

No bones about it, I’ve definitely been procrastinating on updating this thing.  Now that holiday traveling madness is over and I’ve recovered from my recent bout of the flu, I should be a little better about keeping everything up to date, especially now that there is a huge laundry monster in the closet that I’m trying to avoid.

My current cycle is looming ever closer.  I take my last birth control pill on the 14th of this month and starting injections shortly after that.  My retrieval is tentatively scheduled for the 29th of this month.  The doctor is keeping me on the same medication protocol, because if he said that if he changes my protocol and it doesn’t work out so well for me it will “make him look bad.”

While all of this has been gearing up, there’s actually been a bit of a kerfuffle over who is getting my eggs next!  There’s a couple here in Los Angeles who are interested in having me for a next cycle as well as a couple located out in Houston.  I wasn’t entirely sure how the agency would handle this.  If two couples request a donor at the same time, who exactly do they defer to?  Tyler suggested there might be an arena-style fight to the death.  I was thinking more of a Memoirs of a Geisha-styled mizuage bidding war.

The agency called me yesterday and asked me which I preferred.  I had no real thoughts either way–a free trip out to Houston could be fun, but someone in Los Angeles is also convenient.  I told them such and they said they would get back to me.

The situation with the Houston couple was a little different.  They apparently really wanted me, even though they already had a donor all lined up and ready to go.  It’s her first time donation and she was all ready to start medication, but they were ready to switch to me if I was willing and available.  I felt a little strange about that.  I know that if I was all on board for my first cycle and just days away from starting medication and I was suddenly informed that the intended parents were dumping me for someone else, I’d be pretty pissed.  And maybe develop some strange reproductive-rejection complex.

This morning my agency sent me an email letting me know that they matched me up with the couple in Los Angeles for my next cycle.  Maybe they felt the same way about screwing over the Houston donor.  Or maybe there is no Houston couple any more, as the Los Angeles couple have effectively smote their ruin upon the mountainside, declaring, “There can be only ONE!”

Anyway, six weeks after my current cycle ends, I’ll go in for my first appointments with the next couple.  These eggs are going like hot cakes!

With that, I really do need to attend to that laundry problem.  Until next time!

PS — The wikipedia entry for mizuage mentioned a book called The Japanese Art of Sex: How to Tease, Seduce, & Pleasure the Samurai in Your Bedroom.  How could I resist finding a little more information?  The first 30 pages are available for viewing on Google books.  It’s mostly just a bunch of trash about how you should be submissive and demure like the stereotypical Japanese woman (who always wears a kimono and keeps her eyes lowered when entering a room) if you want to attract a guy.  However, I’d recommend reading “Your Walk” on page 23.  Try following the diagram on the page for the apparently eye-catching “figure eight” step pattern.  If anyone can make this actually look sexy or alluring and not like you’re a duck with hip dysplasia, do let me know.