Hi ICLW’ers. Welcome to the twisted humor / humour of a rare male blogger who does his best to support Mrs IVF through our 5th IVF cycle (with no luck to date, but we transferred today, so we’ll see). The “about” explains where we came from. I write too much and spell badly, but my heart is in the right place I guess.
Ever been at a turning point in life where something suddenly strikes you that going forward every day will be different? Maybe it’s the last day at school, or a day you move away from home, or if like Mrs IVF and I you are moving countries and you know things will be different, (or the day Mrs IVF and I went out our 1st date – after that I knew I found someone I wanted to marry and commit to a period of IVF hell, arent I nice?) Anyway, this feeling is like life dragging you somewhere else and “here” isn’t where you will be any more. Today it struck me that maybe, just maybe, life might take us somewhere else, away from IVF. Maybe we can cross this bridge. Maybe.
Today was transfer day, and what a coin toss of a day all day. On the surface things went very well, but there is ying and yang all around you. Maybe I was just sensitive to it today. I drove like a grandpa down to the baby clinic this am and Mrs IVF sat there surprisingly quietly, just squeezing three of my fingers over and again. Then she would squeeze them like she was trying to strangle them, then stop, the repeat the whole thing. She barely remembers it. Poor thing. She was stressed. 2 hrs before the baby wizards (embryologist) called and wanted to know how many they wanted to pull out of the esky / chilly bin / ice box / freezer. We went with 2, as pretty widely broadcasted by now. Mrs IVF was worried about their health. I, on the other hand, was completely chilled, there was nothing else to do. At the risk of clogging this blog with yet another analogy, if we were sky diving today, we have left the plane, we were free falling. We have done everything we can think of to make this right. Mrs IVF has done every drug, patch, insert, jab on time, we have been off booze, caffeine etc for so long it doesn’t even register anymore. Nothing more to do, enjoy the view as you plummet towards earth before the parachute opens. Mrs IVF was worrying that the chute wouldn’t open, I was talking in the view for once.
As we waited in the foyer of the baby factory, a couple came in and wanted their medical records on the spot, “sorry sir, 3 weeks”, “can’t I just xerox now…”, in my mind, people don’t move records fast unless not happy with something. A yang moment. Next min a woman arrived with the cutest, well behaved 3-4 year old girl. Mum was in for ultrasound, so I suspect Little Miss Lovely was a product of the baby factory herself. A ying moment. How lovely. Mrs IVF sat there in her own world pumping away on my fingers…. Next we headed in for bloodwork, Mrs IVF almost ran in as if to speed this whole thing up…from another room I head ” I did a test this morning and it was negative but I was wondering as I am flying out on Thursday if …..” Yang moment… Mrs IVF pops out of bloodwork and I hang out while she does a bit of bladder mgmt (critical for transfer days as many of you know) and Little Miss Lovely pops around the corners with her mum again….. ying… The baby factory is such a lay line of happiness or complete despair… this dichotomy is everywhere and its done with such calm, no raised voices, a nice waterfall in the foyer. It’s like nothing is going on, a fertile would not see any of this, but to the sub fertile its a world of hopes, amazing results and shattered dreams.
We headed to the 2nd floor where all the serious work happens (downstairs is just offices and ultrasounds, upstairs is all the procedure rooms – yes – inc the porn parlour). We headed into our room and, like the retrieval, I thought this was just a prep zone, where at some point Mrs IVF would be whisked away and at the end of some secret procedure they just fedex her back to me or something (like prior clinics), but I soon found out everything is done in the one room.
1st we had the acupuncture guru appear. It wasnt the oracle, it was her little sister but she still had cool oracle lines like …”let me just tweak these pressure points to ensure the chi / she / cheese keeps flowing”. Very oracle-ish. So we did around 25 mins of pre game acupuncture with some lovely soothing music. A picture of calm from all angles.(Note – “we” means I sat there invisibly in the corner, while Mrs IVF was looked after).
Next, the elf (nurse) appears and give us the game play for the day, what we need to do and not do later, and drops Mrs IVF a Valium. Mrs IVF turns to me and says “I think these pills don’t really affect someone like me, I am pretty chilled anyway, they would really have an impact on a guys like you who bounce off the walls”…..her increasingly glossy (but still gorgeous) eyes were telling me a slightly different story, dear reader.
Next up was the sonographer (or ultrasound elf in Mr IVF speak). Lovely no nonsence woman who checked out the bladder situation. We were overfull so we can “empty a cupload”. Mrs IVF, anxious about only doing a “half wee”, but keen to avoid the bed pan later, went for the half wee option and came back beaming with the new bladder control half wee skill she never knew she had and reckons I should give it a go. Hey – party time in our hotel room tonight!!! Woo Hoo!
Then things get towards the main event. Time for the wizards to drop in. These folks are the behind the scenes magicians you really don’t see that much of. They have amazing jobs. They make children for a living. There are 2 things they measure when you wake the kids up from the icebox: hurdle 1: how many cells survived (hello !?!?- no one told me they die off a bit?). They want anything above a 75% survival. We scored a 95% and 98%! Nice work team. hurdle 2: are the kids stagnant, growing nicely, going off like Tiger woods at the match.com christmas party? we got 2 “growing nicelys”, which they said is excellent. Mrs IVF was silent, but you could see the relief. The parachute opened.
The wizard and baby maker (Dr) decided to defrost the 4AA and a 5AB (Here’s a post explaining how blast grading works: https://misterivf.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/final-biopsy-results/)
From checking with Mrs IVF speadsheet here is the gradings of the 6 that passed mircoarray:
5AB, 4AA, 6BA, 3 with a 4BB
So I was surprised they didn’t go with the 6BA so I checked with the wizard. She says they choose the 1st letter (the quality of what will be the embryo) as the top grading criteria. So the 5AB and 4AA got the nod. Mrs IVF was back on her game now. “Oh, so thats embryo #13 and #15, got it”… “wow”, says the wizard “thats right”. Mrs IVF appears to have memorised the ordering of the kids from her embryo spreadsheet. Bless her. I hope we find better names for them one day, (“#13 clean your room!!!” doesnt really work well and the playground bullies will have a field day). From checking back over the spreadsheet Mr / Ms 5AB was also the 12 cell monster we had at day three (when we should be around 8 cells)….. well enough, can you disect this any further, I think not?
A bit after 11.15 then whole gang is in the room, we have the ultrasound elf, the baby maker himself, the elf, the radient (yet a tad glossy) Mrs IVF, the non joke cracking Mr IVF in the corner amazed by all of this and the wizards has returned with the most impressive machine I have ever seen. This thing – the baby transporter – is a full on incubator (complete with these gloved hand holes like you see on the Simpsons in the radioactive part of the nuclear reactor). On the side are two unmarked canister of something, probbaly oxygen and something else that is cooler like “baby grow juice”. There is a big monitor on top and all sorts of big words on it that I can’t remember but probably said something like “BABY MAKER – STAND CLEAR AT ALL TIMES. NO STANDING”. In the middle of this contraption is a huge microscope that has a gentle soothing beam of like from it shining down on a small dish. Its by far the brightest light in the room, which is quite fitting. Its like looking at one of those si fi movies where if you can take the petri disc out of the light, then you will cause a thermonuclear reaction across the whole death star and take out Lord Vader and the rest of the dark side. If only we can get that one good shot at the energy core… stay on target… stay on target…..
Anyway – Mrs IVF was whisked into position and we went through the whole “say your name” bit, which was good. Not only did they have the right Mrs IVF, but they had the right Mr IVF as well – but not sure why I go so many strange looks for saying my name (no – I didn’t do it, this is not the place for humor / humour folks).
Soon the wizard had a needle the size of your forearm (in length not width!!) and with the steadiest hand I have ever seen, passed it to the baby maker who did his injection in seconds and the whole deal was done while we all stare at a TV screen that looked like a whole lot of static to an untrained eye (that would be my eye and not his thank hevens!). Gloves off, legs down, head tilted downhill, best wishes to you both, and Mrs IVF is officially up the duff.
The elf checked in to see if the bed pan was required (which it wasn’t) so we got the oracles prodigy back again for another session of chi / she / cheese with the needles Mrs IVF drifted off for a snooze with another round of calming mongolian throat gurgling from the CD player.
After an hr of rest, Mrs IVF was wheel chaired to the car where, in recliner mode, I drove like my grandpa’s grapdapa back to our hotel 5 mins away and this is where Mrs IVF has been bed based ever since. She will stay there until Wednesday.
As the ultrasound elf said, maybe this bed rest is “voodoo” but hey, can it hurt? “No” says Mrs IVF, remembering how nice it is to be looked after.
So there it is folks. 2 in and all went as well as we can expect. Preggo test next Wednesday. 30th Dec.
I called family tonight giving them updates. My darling, but somewhat blunt, sister summed up the ying and yang in my head today with one of her trademark oneliners: “Look, I am sick of the crap going on in this world. I have friends with crap marriages and nightmare lives, for me work sucks, and things are tough and well, there is just a lot of shit going on, so you know what, we need more good in this world so you need kids, thats how we fix this world, lets get more good in it. Time to start a new decade and write this one off, and thats how we’re going to fix the bad, inject more good, you need kids.” With that, she hung up and I thought, “I could live with that.”
Filed under: Cycle 5, IVF | Tagged: CCRM, colorado, Denver, doctor, humor, humour, In Vitro Fertilization, infertility, IVF, pregnancy test, science, transfer, ttc, ultrasound, waiting | 13 Comments »