Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Strange Place for an Ultrasound Machine

When I reached the point in the stimulation phase that I had a sufficient number of healthy follicles, I was told it was time to head to New Jersey for one final ultrasound and the retrieval. My appointment was to be at noon on Saturday. A convenient time for someone traveling from Maine. We left very early in the morning and managed to arrive on time. The only IVF clinic I had been to prior to this was Boston IVF, a vision of stainless steel, elegant woods and beautiful colors. The New Jersey clinic was dirty and outdated. The ultrasound was located in a room that doubled as a filing room. I was shocked, discouraged, overwhelmed and hormonal. I made it through the appointment and the retrieval was set for Monday. We left the clinic and I cried. It was NOTHING like I had expected. I was tempted to turn around and head for home. But we talked it out and agreed to stay, we had made it this far, a filing/ultrasound room wasn't about to scare us off!

We spent the next day in Atlantic City and were at the clinic Monday morning bright and early. At this point I had nearly 30 follicles and very high estrogen levels. I was told that they may not do the transfer later in the week due to the risk of over stimulation. I was crushed and hoped they would change their minds. The only other thing I can remember from that morning was the anesthesiologist in the room with me. He introduced himself, and, as I was laying next to him with my feet in stirrups, he asked me if I had been imagining him in the room when conceiving my child. I laughed, he definitely was never a part of the plan.

Things went well and they retrieved 24 eggs. 12 for me and 12 for my recipient. They fertilized 10 and I found out the next day that 8 continued to grow. It was going to be almost a week before the transfer and since my husband had to return to work, my mom came down to keep me company and take me back to the clinic. We spent a week in a pretty trashy HoJos in a pretty trashy part of New Jersey, but by the end of the week I was told to come back for 2 perfectly healthy embryos!

I was elated! I was receiving one 9 and one 10 cell embryo, both of excellent quality. 4 others were going to be frozen for later use, if I wanted them. The transfer went well and I was sent home a few days later with some more hormones and orders to take it easy.

After two weeks of impatiently waiting, the day of the test arrived. We opted not to test at home, just wait for the blood test results. In hindsight, a bad decision. The call came and sadly, we were not pregnant. Devastated does not even begin to describe it. I spent a long time in the conference room crying and then lost it again when a coworker asked if we had our happy news yet. I went home early that day and went to bed.

Things were not good for a few months. This failure just hurt. It hurt badly. I disappeared for a while into books. The escape from my world was such a relief. The only little light at the end of the tunnel were the 4 embryos I had frozen in New Jersey. But at the moment, I didn't have the money to get them out.

And then my dad sold his motorcycle....

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