May 2010


5:09 Alarm goes off.  Hit the snooze button.
5:18 Alarm goes off again.  Pull myself up and out of bed.
5:19 Wash face, brush teeth, brush hair.
5:25 Pack up purse.  Make sure Ty is waking up too.
5:28 Change from slept-in PJs to not-slept-in PJs.
5:31 Check weather, email, facebook.
5:35 Sort and pack up unused medication.
5:40 Pop on my glasses and my WoW beanie and head out the door.
5:43 Depart for clinic.
6:11 Arrive at clinic.
6:14 Whisked away to surgery prep.  Put on the gown and stuff my hair into the stupid hat.
6:20 Get tucked into a nice warm bed.  The nurse goes over consent forms and more details of the procedure.
6:35 The nurse puts my IV in and takes off.
6:40 I start playing some Picross 3D (it kind of rules my world these days).
6:50 A nurse with a southern twang comes in and introduces herself as “Dusty.”  I explain the backstory to my right ovary sharing the same name.  She’s only mildly intrigued.
7:07 The anesthesiologist comes in to ask a few questions.  He pats my knee (yesssss).  He looks exactly like Ira Glass. I want to snuggle up to him so he can tell me quaint, slice-of-life bedtime stories in his youthful timbre.
7:15 They start rolling me into the OR.  Ira Glass administers some sort of relaxing medication.  He asks me if I feel it yet, and I say I don’t.
7:17 I’m transferred onto the operating table.  And I am feeling those drugs.
7:20 Each of my limbs has a nurse attached to it, going about some sort of important prep.  Ira Glass asks me where I’m from and a few other questions, but I’m too busy trying to keep my eyes in focus.
??:?? I’ve been contacted by the parents of a jr. high student that I used to tutor.  They want to hire me again.  She’s now 16 and slowly turning into a zombie.  She and her parents live in an underwater palace.  I’m swimming around trying to find her.
??:?? I’m visiting my sister.  She explains to me that a PE teacher we shared in high school recently passed away.  I’m holding my niece, Lily, and I ask her what her opinion is.  She giggles.
??:?? I’m having awesome sex.  Mind-blowing.  Earth-shattering.
??:?? The nurse is trying to wake me up.  I don’t want to stop dream sexing.
??:?? The nurse finally succeeds.  I immediately forget what was even actually happening in the sex dream.  But I don’t care, because I have enough happy drugs in me to satisfy Keith Richards.
??:?? Nurses check in on me.  I tell everyone that I am doing just GREAT.  I tell Ira that I’m feeling a little goofy, but still GREAT.
??:?? I eat about 7 packages of saltine crackers and chug gatorade like it’s going out of style.
8:?? The drugs are starting to wear off.   The nurse puts a fresh hot pack on my abdomen, checks to make sure that I’m not bleeding to death, then administers some Darvocet.
8:?? The Darvocet kicks in, and I’m high as a kite again.  She tells me that they retrieved 49 eggs.  A new record for me!  Like everything that’s been said to me in the past half hour or so, it makes me incredibly gleeful.
8:?? I wake up after a short nap.  Still feeling goofy, but much more awake and alert.
8:50: The nurse gets me up and escorts me and my IV to the bathroom.
8:52: I stand patiently while she pulls off all the tape keeping my IV in.  Once it’s extracted, she tells me I can get dressed.  “Are you sure you’re feeling okay?  No dizziness or anything?”
I say, “Oh yeah, I’m feeling totally fi–” and promptly pass out.
9:00 I wake up moments later.  The nurse is half-dragging me back to the bed.
9:02 I’m tucked back into bed and hooked up to a bunch of monitors again.
9:05 At the nurse’s request, I babble at her for a while to show I’m doing okay.
9:15 I get up again, and this time I can successfully dress myself without taking a header.
9:20 I’m wheeled out to the lobby, where Tyler is dead asleep.  My escort wakes him up, and we make our way down to the car.
9:35 We chow down on some delicious sandwiches.
10:00 We depart for home.

The rest is too boring to extrapolate.  I’ve pretty much just been sleeping since then.  I’ve been feeling way better than I did after Cycle #2, which is awesome.  My actual instructions for the next few days are to wear comfortable clothing and be a couch potato.  I think I can handle that.

So what’s next?  There are two different couples interested in maybe booking me for a next cycle.  One pair is located here and one is located in New York City.  Obviously, I’m crossing my fingers that the NYC couple will take the plunge, because I wanna go!  I’ll be sure to post as soon as any details come my way.  Until then, Happy Egg Harvest Day!

I would so be on the "Infertility" episode of This American Life.

I’ve been at the clinic for ultrasounds and blood work for the past three mornings in a row.  My estrogen levels apparently spiked higher than they ever have in any of my previous cycles, so the clinic is keeping a close eye on me.  My estrogen and estrodial levels are being closely monitored, and they’re slowly reducing my dosage of Follistim to prevent me from going into hyperstimulation.

Believe me, I am feeling those higher estrogen levels.  I’m cranky, bloated, nauseated, and tired of carrying around these two distended, alien creatures the doctors are calling my ovaries.  Seriously.  When I went in for my last ultrasound, the doctor actually gave an audible “Whoa!” as soon as they came up on the screen.

I’ve put on my requisite 5 fertility pounds, but I feel much, much larger than that.  Ty says I still look good, but I snapped a photo of the two of us, so you guys can be the judge:

His decision to grow out a sweet 'stache hasn't helped matters.

I actually had a runway gig last night.  Considering the way I felt (see above picture), I wasn’t all that psyched about doing it.  I showed up early and started changing into my first and, thankfully, only outfit.

The skirt wouldn’t zip up.

I cursed as I realized that I had been fitted for this far before I’d ever gone on the drugs.  It wasn’t exactly roomy back then either. When it came to this skirt, apparently 5 extra pounds made quite the difference.  I was about ready to shoot myself in the face when one of the designers came around the corner and saw me struggling.

“Oh no,” he said. “You are NOT telling me it’s too small now.”

I was preparing to vomit out a healthy pile of excuses and explanations, but he simply reached around, fixed the tangled fabric, zipped it up with no trouble, and ran off to fix some disasters elsewhere.

The show ended up going down with only minor hitches, and I was allowed to take off as soon as my set was over.  Unfortunately the end of my set coincided with when I had to do my injections.  I retreated to the changing room, which was like Grand Central Station at that moment, but it was the only place I had.  I laid out all of my many syringes and vials and tried to ignore all the odd looks I was getting.  One girl finally came up to me and peered over my shoulder.

“So, is this for like…? Are you like diabetic or….?”

I was about to tell her that I was an egg donor, but I knew that I was in no mood to answer the 500 questions that would follow.

“Oh, no.  This is just a part of my weight-loss plan.  I’ve already lost 17 pounds in two days!” I stabbed the Lupron syringe into my stomach for emphasis.

I was met with a look of both disgust and genuine, perhaps even jealous curiosity.  Thankfully, she just slowly nodded and walked away without asking any questions, as I hadn’t really planned the charade that far.

Aside from being cranky and pulling the legs of total strangers, I am pleased to announce that my retrieval is all on schedule for Tuesday morning.  I’ll be taking my trigger shot tonight at 8:30, and it’ll all be downhill from there!  Until Tuesday!

PS — Operation Jack Off Room Investigation was a success.  The drawers were stacked with messy piles of smut mags.  I was expecting and maybe even hoping for a neatly cataloged and extensive library of naughty DVDs, but I only saw one unmarked DVD tucked under some Hustlers.  Whatever. Porn is porn.

In typical Los Angeles fashion, it took me an HOUR to drive the 10 miles to my ultrasound appointment this morning.  I’ve been on Lupron for quite a while, but only on the hormonal stimulation meds for about five days now.  The whole way I experienced the now familiar stirrings and foreboding twinges in my ovaries that, if I didn’t know better, I might mistake for some sort of Lovecraftian STD.  Other than that, my side effects have mainly consisted of laughably intense mood swings and smelling really, really good to myself and others.

The doctor gave me a good ultrasounding and determined that I was progressing nicely.  My right ovary is producing more follicles than my left, as per usual.  I think Dusty (my right ovary) is the overachiever of the family, while Lefty is perhaps just more free-spirited.  It takes all types to run a village.  Of organs.

Anyway, the only really interesting thing that happened was when I went to the lab to get my blood work done.  As I was being sucked dry, I took a glance around.  Directly across from me in the hallway was a slightly cracked door.  The lights were off, but I thought I could spy maybe a sink?  The sign outside the door simply said “Specimen Collection.”  I realized that that’s probably just the bathroom where they send you for collecting urine samples.

When the phlebotomist was done with me, I gathered my things and went into the hall.  Just a few feet down were two bathrooms.  Now that’s kind of silly, I thought.  Why have a separate bathroom for “specimen collection” when you could just send people to the regular bathroom?

But then I woke up from what must have been my 9 a.m. stupor and put 2 and 2 together.

“Specimen Collection” = “Jack Off Room”

There was no one in the hall, so I eagerly peeked inside. It was just like in the movies! Small, cozy, almost intimate…There wasn’t a sink at all, actually–just a little shelf with a box of tissues on it.  And there was a very comfy-looking chair, facing directly towards a small television about two feet away.  The TV was sitting on top of some big drawers.

I stared at these drawers.  If this jack off room was really like how they portray them in movies and TV shows, I knew those drawers must have been filled with porn.  I mean, what the hell else are you gonna watch on that TV?

My mind was teeming with questions. What kind of porn would a fertility clinic provide?  Would they stick to mainstream, vanilla stuff?  Or would they try to cater to a variety of tastes and kinks?  Whose job is it to make this kind of decision?

I had to find out.  I had to know what was in those drawers.  The instant that I put my foot down inside the room, three lab techs came into the hall.  I quickly aborted the mission and left the clinic.

My next appointment is on Friday.  I’m planning on using the ol, “Oh!  Silly me!  I thought this was the bathroom!” should my stealth be compromised.  For the good of us all, I am determined to lay these questions to rest.  Until next time.

PS — For more information about Lovecraftian STDs, do yourself a favor and read this.