"Let's Make a Baby"

Amanda Hobbs

"Let's Make a Baby"
Friday, July 31, 2015

Let's make a baby!!

Now we get to the fun stuff.

So I walk into a room and wait for the nurse. It is a small room with a table and chairs, models of the female reproductive anatomy and adorable photos of hundreds of little babies that have been delivered as a result of IVF in this particular clinic. 

Oh... did I mention the giant box of torture?

In the middle of the table sat a, rather large, box full of medications, syringes and NEEDLES. O_O I was officially terrified. I knew there would be shots involved (P.S. I am nearly 30 years old and I still cry when I get a shot) but I guess i didn't realize how many!!

The nurse gave me a calendar with times and dates for when each medication was to be taken/given.

I have since learned that the protocol for medications during IVF is different for each person and it depends on a number of factors.

We were set for 10-12 days of stimulation, egg retrieval and then a 5 day fresh embryo transfer.

She showed me how to mix and give each shot which was a little more than scary and extremely intimidating! We then talked about the finances and how to go about that part of things. I was a little overwhelmed!

Good thing I had one more week of my normal life to prepare.

Our very last day of "normalcy" was July 4, 2015, so we made a break for it and got away for the weekend. We had a great weekend full of fishing, eating delicious food and relaxation. It was perfect, just the two of us!

Now, I have to admit, I was more emotional this particular weekend than I have been in a very long time. For the ones that know me well, you know that I am always emotional. I literally cry every day of my life. My most recent cry session, seriously, took place while writing this blog. I am sitting in my living room with Fixer Upper on in the background. Chip and Joanna just revealed a house... I'm a blubbering mess.

I remember calling my mom the day we were leaving for the lake and crying because I knew that, that weekend was going to be our last normal weekend before we started this journey. It would be our last time to get away as a family of two. (Not counting Chopper)  I was terrified and excited all at once and I wasn't really sure how to express that, so I cried it out! She's a good listener and good thing I have a great husband that knows how to handle my craziness and did so with a smile all weekend!

Mr. H and I have shared the best two years of our lives and we are so looking forward to starting the process of making a baby together.  But in all reality I was the one that was going to have to have multiple shots in the stomach a day. I was the one that was going to have to have surgery... Me, the scared, emotional one! Perfect! I am still a mess.

I started out with one shot in the morning and one in the evening, all of which were to be given in the belly fat, located about an inch beside and/or below the belly button. At first I refused to give them to myself. Mr. H had to do it for me and I thought for sure that he would enjoy that part, you know, secretly getting back at me for the craziness mentioned above.

I was wrong.

After a few days of shots twice a day we moved to three shots a day. Two of them were to grow all of the follicles in my ovaries and one to keep me from ovulating on my own. Each shot had its own irritating trait, my stomach was starting to bruise and bleed after each injection and I was so bloated.

Every time I had to get a shot it was a huge ordeal. You learn as you go what works for you to make each one hurt a little less. In the morning I would wake up and put some numbing cream on my belly and then go back to sleep for about 20 minutes. I would then get up, mix the two liquids together, draw up the syringe and then cringe while Mr. H injected it. I would then spend roughly 5 minutes rubbing the extremely painful stinging feeling out of my belly. In the evenings I would again apply the numbing cream and then ice one side of my stomach. One of the medications had to be refrigerated and if I didn't ice, I couldn't handle the pain. After the evening injections I would, again, spend about 5 minutes rubbing the sting out and then I would sulk for about 15 minutes while holding the heating pad on my belly.

All in all, each injection session took roughly 30-45 minutes of prepping and soothing.

And every time I said, "I really don't want to do this." 

So, I told you before that I am emotional, and I do really try to contain it. But the one thing I cannot handle is seeing a grown man cry; especially when that grown man is my very own husband. I mentioned before in a previous post that the hardest part of this whole experience was when my husband teared up while apologizing to me and blaming himself.

He felt like it was his fault and he hated seeing me go through this. He hated giving me those shots. He hated that it was me... the scared and emotional one.

This broke my heart.

The fact is, I don't know what causes the issue at hand but I do know that it isn't his fault. I know that I would do this all over again in a heartbeat if it meant that I could give my husband children. I know that it will all be worth it. I know that he deserves the best because he is the best. This only happened once and of course I cried, he quickly wiped his tears away and acted like it didn't happen.

He's such a guy! He's so strong!

For the last 4 days of injections I had lab work and sonograms daily... great, more needles. Since our clinic was only a short 4 hour drive away, we decided that we would get a hotel room for me and I would stay close by. He would join me later. I had a great week of activities and shopping planned out; it was going to be a blast!

I quickly found out that it wasn't going to be the great time I had imagined. On my second morning at the hotel, I got up and realized that it was growing increasingly harder to walk, sit, lay, really just move in general. The best way to describe it is, there is about a three second delay between what my body was doing and what my ovaries were doing. Like, I would sit down and then three seconds later my ovaries would sit down. It was not a pleasant feeling especially since my jeans were a little tight because of the bloating.

In those 11 days of stimulation I had successfully grown each ovary to the size of a large grapefruit and it felt like it.

I tried to brave the zoo one day and I only lasted about an hour. I spent the rest of those four days (if I wasn't getting more blood taken or having another painful sonogram) in my hotel room either in bed sleeping or in bed watching television. I felt so worthless.

I was in so much pain. I had to talk to the doctor about it.

I was going in for my final sonogram before the retrieval and I decided that I would ask him about it then. He walked into the room and asked me how I was doing. He had no clue!

I said, "I might cry." He then said, "It's okay to cry, this isn't easy." I don't think that he really meant it when he said it was okay to cry and he obviously didn't know me very well at this point because when I let the flood gates come down he freaked a little. His face was hysterical but I was so consumed in my own issues that I couldn't laugh.

Thinking back, I laugh.... a lot.

I ugly cried, and he didn't know what to do.

Once he calmed me down, he explained to me that I may have the beginning of something called Ovarian Hyper-Stimulation Syndrome. (OHSS) This sometimes happens while taking the medications that are meant to grow the follicles in the ovaries. He explained that he didn't want me to have any issues so he was going to trigger me with a medication that would make my brain do the job instead of another medication doing it. Triggering is what they call it when they finally let you ovulate but before your body releases the eggs they go in and retrieve them.

I was so happy that I was getting to trigger I could hardly stand it but that also meant surgery would be soon.

I've never had surgery before.

Oh, gosh! A whole new can of worms.

On top of this, my Doctor tells me that because of all of the pain, swelling and possible OHSS that we can no longer do a fresh transfer. We will now be doing a frozen embryo transfer. I am so disappointed. I was really looking forward to being pregnant by the end of July. Again, I am filled with the overwhelming feeling of heartbreak. The Doctor explained to me that it was the safest option for both me and my pregnancy. My chances of having a successful transfer and pregnancy were higher this way. I was still sad that it couldn't happen as planned, but I completely understand why. Gosh, this is hard!!

I'm telling you, being brave seems impossible right about now.

Making a baby is harder!