Egg donation


Alright kids, it’s that time again!

HALF BABY-MAKE VACUUM UP GAME 3.0!!

Unofficially endorsed by Lady Gaga. Bad photoshop not attributable to me.

Our winner last time was Paige E., who still hasn’t told me what kind of knit and possibly reproduction-related product she wants to put on her body.  Hit me up, Paige!

You guys know what to do.  Here comes a list!

–Price is Right rules apply.
–Eggs produced per cycle: #1: 18 eggs; #2: 17 eggs; #3: 49 eggs, #4: 53 eggs, #5 43 eggs
–I’m on approximately the same dosage levels as my last cycle
–I’m rockin’ about 20-30 follicles.
–Two nights ago, I belly danced to fast songs for 22 minutes straight, completely against doctor’s orders.  While I feel the same as I did before dancing, a few little scoundrels mighta gotten knocked loose.

You’ve got the knowledge, and knowledge is power.  Use that power for good.  And for eggs.  And knit goods.

Steve E: 48 (insists that this is the winning number exactly)
Lee P: 27
Erik N: 42
April CH: 39
Tamra M: 32
Ben D: 40
Jason W: 37
Joe K: 54
Ben B: 45
Trevor P: 20
Paul S: 23

I’m gonna see if I can crank out this blog post before the narcotic painkiller I just popped kicks in.  READY! GO!

I am very pleased to announce that Jon K is the lucky winner!  They retrieved a whopping 53 eggs!  That’s right, people.  I will beat personal records for human caviar production any day of the week.  My thanks to everyone who decided to play. Under the influence of my anesthesia cocktail, I apparently told my nurse about the betting pool like three or four times.  She was fortunately quite patient with me.

Anyway, Jon has quite vehemently insisted that I make the knit uterus into a hat, which should be easy to do with a few tweaks to the pattern.  My only request is that he sends some pictures of himself adorned with said hat.

Next post will probably be a while from now, once I find out more details about being shipped off to Arizona.  Until then…

Happy Egg Harvest Day!

Amigurumi!

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.

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.

The ball is finally rolling on Cycle #3, so here’s a quick update.

The last few weeks have been spent primarily trying to get legal matters out of the way.  I had to leave my signature and initials all over this 20 page contract.  I ended up printing out said contract a whole 3 times because I messed it up the first two times.  That’s 40 sheets of wasted paper.  My condolences to the trees.

Anyway, I received a letter in the mail a few days ago saying that I was legally cleared, which means we could move on to setting up a med calendar and getting a prospective retrieval date.  Yesterday, the nurse called me and said I could expect a retrieval around the 18th of May, meaning I’d probably start injections sometime around the 4th or 5th of May.

This morning, I received an email from the nurse informing me that while I’d be on the regular Follistim/Menopur protocol starting around then, I’d actually be starting Lupron injections this weekend!  The clinic that I’m doing this cycle with highly prefers using what’s called a leuprolide-based analog protocol for egg donors.  It involves using Lupron to bring the ovaries and the ovulation cycle to a sort of neutral state before punching them in the face with stimulation drugs.

Now this is all fine and good, but this is what it actually translates to: I have to give myself a Lupron injection every night until the 5th, at which time I’ll be adding Follistim and Menopur.  So for that last week and a half it will be three injections a night.

Don’t get me wrong–I’ve long since grown accustomed to puncturing my abdomen, but I don’t exactly get off on it.  And it was awkward enough belly dancing with all these bruises across my lower abdomen; now there’s going to be even more/bigger ones.  Someone’s going to think that I resorted to a Chris Brown-styled abortion.

And unfortunately, just like the regular stimulation meds, there’s no sex, smoke, painkillers, or alcohol while on Lupron.  I’m not a nympho, a smoker, or an alcoholic, but when someone restricts you from these things for 10 days, I’ve found they become the only things you want.  I can only imagine what’s going to happen having to live like a saint for several weeks.

There is an up side, though.  I can still go to the gym and exercise while on Lupron, unlike the other meds.  Perhaps therein lies the answer to my immanent frustrations.  Need a drink after a long day?  Go to the gym.  Invited to a hookah bar with friends?  Politely decline and go to the gym.  Watched back-to-back Ewan McGregor films and feeling randy? …..go to the gym?  Hey, it works for some people.  Check it out, ladies.

P.S. — The hamstring curl, not hanging leg raises, worked for me.

This is a poor approximation of my body, but a near-perfect approximation of my O-face.

I had to move my post-op appointment from Friday to Tuesday, which was the day that my initial appointment for my third cycle was.  I went to my post-op early Tuesday morning.  I just had a brief ultrasound.  My ovaries are still large, but everything else was looking normal.  I do feel pretty normal, but my recovery was kind of a bear.  I definitely experienced a lot more pain and cramping and bloating than the first time around.  My antibiotics also made me puke, which is totally not okay.  I severely frown upon having to vomit more than once a year.

I drove from my post-op appointment to the new clinic where my next cycle would take place.  They had me fill out lots of paperwork and then led me into the doctor’s office.  We went through my paperwork and medical history quickly–he knew I’d been through this and asked the same questions several times before.  He explained that their office usually uses a different medication protocol–they start you out on Lupron for a few days before stimulation meds in order to “neutralize” the hormonal state of your ovaries.  Apparently, this makes it easier to grow follicles to a consistent size at a consistent rate.  However, since I seemed to do so well with my past protocol, he said he’d probably keep me on it, depending on how my ovaries looked as we approach stimulation.

Now, he had lots of interesting information about the advantages and disadvantages of using a ganirelix antagon protocol versus a leuprolide-based analog protocol, as well as highlights of the follow up studies of each.  All I can say is I hope this guy never goes to lecture for a class.  He spoke in a very steady, quiet monotone.  He was sitting less than three feet away, talking directly to me, and I could still feel myself wanting to fall asleep.  This doctor definitely made it onto the list of “People Whose Voices I Can Easily Fall Asleep To.” Currently, the only other occupant of said list is Bob Ross.

After the period after my next one, I’ll go in for an ultrasound and they’ll see where to go from there.  So in the meantime, I just have to continue recovering and letting my body take a break for a while.

I received my check in the mail a few days after my retrieval, which gave a momentary respite from the pain.  I decided to donate a portion of it to the Los Angeles Library Foundation, since I’ve taken advantage of the library countless times since moving down here.  I also donated some to the Ensemble Theatre of Chico, which puts on Shakespeare in the Park every year.  My last acting gig in Chico was with Shakespeare in the Park, and I appreciated having it as my send off from the Chico theatre scene before moving to Hollywood.

That’s all the egg news I have for now.  It will probably be a while before there’s anything new and exciting, but I’ll be sure to post as soon as I have any relevant information that isn’t related to video games or more fast food products.

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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