In the words of the great poet, Axle Rose, ‘all you need is just a little patience…’
And a whole lot of optimism. An army truck size load of it. Apparently eight is a lucky number in the Chinese horoscope. I’m hoping their little luck shines down on me like one of those little brass cats you see on the bench of Chinese restaurant with the waving arm. Things have been a little different in camp fertility on our eighth round. Dr Babies has tried a different protocol using something called Menopur, an older style IVF drug they bring out when women don’t respond to newer age drugs like Gonal F (of which I’m well-acquainted).
I rather like Menopur, she hasn’t caused me much bloating and even the crazies have managed to stay at bay…for a touch at least. I still get a daily (actually two) needles stabbed into my belly every morning and if you’re especially lucky and dehydrated it feels a hundred million times worse, bit like a cat claw ripping into your skin. After eight or nine days with my lovely new friend Menopur, I’m off for my scan. The specialist says he likes what he sees. I think even the word ‘wow!’ might have escaped his lips. When your fertility specialist starts to dance a merry jig around you, things might just be looking up. My oestrogen levels have tripled, he says, looking at my blood results. This is a good thing. Could be the naturopathy, could be the break, could be my stress levels, could be luck could be just that the flippin’ sky is blue…whatever it is this is a good thing, right?
He scribbles in his illegible doctor scrawl on a sheet on his desk and books me in for egg retrieval in three days’ time. There are 13 nice little follicles making themselves cosy in my ovaries, he says. Some on the left. Some on the right. I am so high on my happy news right now my smile’s bigger than Pharrell Williams’. Yes, 13, that’s like huge. Massive numbers. My surgery is booked for 7.30 in the morning on Wednesday.
Hospitals are the shittiest places. Their colour schemes, their staff uniforms, nothing says happy. They’re just drab, colourless pits of fear. They lay you on a gurney with your arm stuck out onto a vinyl strip that reminds me of those rooms where they do final executions on death row inmates. When the anaesthetist sticks his great big hulking needle into my hand he says I might feel a bit of pain. Is he fucking kidding? If they didn’t have a gas mask over my face I would have ripped that thing out of my hand and walloped him one right across his cheek. Shit it hurt, all up my left arm not to mention the hole in my hand where the electrical wire sized catheter has gone in. Five, four, three two…and she’s gone.
I wake up in recovery an hour or so later and the nice nurse in her blue scrubs is chatting away animatedly in my ear. She’s got an earring in her eyebrow and her hair tied up high on her head. For a minute I forget where I am. I want to open my eyes but it’s hard. I’m pretty sure someone has glued them shut. I look down at my hand and see the number 6 written on it in biro. That’s what they do when you have an egg collection, they write the number of eggs they fished out on your hand. Six? What? I thought there were 13? Bugger me! Well there’s as good a reason as any not to count your damn follicles before they hatch. Six eggs. My belly is swollen to the size of an NBA level basketball and the pain is like someone has taken a blender to your insides. I take six panadol when I get home and still the pain is hanging round like a Beverly Hills housewife at a restaurant opening.
That afternoon the scientist from the lab calls and lets me know they’ve fertilised five eggs. They’ll call again in two days time to let me know if they’ve survived and then by day five, if we have enough, two lil’ fighting embies will start renovating my uterus to make their nice new home inside for nine months. And for extra good measure, Dr Babies has decided he’ll also give me a Pregnyl injection when we go for the embryo transfer which will hopefully act like a bit of Spidey’s good stuff and make it stick like glue to the sides of my uterus.
I’m thinking if we have a girl, we might name her Hope. Not because I watch Young & the Restless but because hope really is all you have when you’re spun out of control down the path of fertility. Hope, patience and fear mixed with a tiny bit of strength.
While I wait for my belly to stop looking like one of those poor starving children, all distended and swollen, we also wait for our two little bubsicles to grow nice and strong so they can last the distance…maybe if we have twins we’ll name them Hope and Faith… Love n hugs, Lady MamaG xox Here’s a little ’80s rock to brighten your day. You’re welcome.