The Tale of Absence
Six months later. I’ve been uninspired. We took our break and thought lets give it a go in June or July. Well, June and July came, and I didn’t want to. I was struggling through summer school and just when that came to a close, my family suffered an unthinkable, horrendous loss of someone we loved more than words. I didn’t even think about a baby…for a good period of time. Then, I was looking forward to my cousin’s out of town wedding. I thought maybe I would like a glass of wine then. Yes, I would. Let’s push it out. And after that, it was another excuse.
It was a bit after the wedding and I felt ready. My other cousin’s two adorable children came in from out of state for the affair and I noticed how much they were growing up. My 2 nephews were creating traditions and memories within our immediate family. I want my child to grow up with them. I always imagined spending Halloweens trick or treating my sister and her children. I pictured our holidays with all our cousins and their children…and my children. I decided to push forward for a WTF appointment with Dr. Z.
The Tale of the WTF Appointment
So we went to the appointment and met with Dr. Z. Long story short: we reviewed how the embryos had progressed, why we went from 41 eggs to 6 embryos, if these fibroids were a problem and a plan of attack. The growth of the eggs to embryos had ceased within the first 24 hours indicating that the eggs were a problem, not the sperm. Sperm influences growth after 48 hours, so, clearly, it was my eggs causing issues. My egg quality and quantity are not so hot. He can’t say for sure that the poor quality is due to hyper-stimulation or it is just me. The only way he could figure that out for sure is if he did another round of IVF and we all know that is a hell no for me. Not only financially, but physically and emotionally. Then, he went on to talk fibroids. He said he can’t say for sure if they are 100% not an issue. The only way he could know that is if he cut me open and looked. I told him that they cause me chronic pain so I can not imagine them not causing a problem. He said if they are causing that much pain they should come out, not only to ease my pain, but could also help my fertility. He told us either way, he believes that the next FET has no reason not to work. He also said that because of the poor egg quality and that 2 embryos are 6 days old, he would like to transfer 3. The last 3. He said we needed to seriously discuss surgery. He would support either decision. If I thought they were an issue…bottom line…take em out.
The Other Side of the Bed Rails
2 weeks ago today.
I had talked to my husband, my mom, my dogs and my best friends. This was it. I was doing this surgery. The old Hail Mary. Ya know, 10 seconds left in the game. The ball is on the 50. 4th down and the team pulls a Hail Mary. Sad thing, in my world, I am an Oakland Raiders fan so that rarely works.
I was sitting in my “bed”, which my friends is actually a fancy gurney. I had my IV in place. I had my lovely pea green gown on and those fun socks with tread on the bottom. My husband was now in the waiting room, while I was waiting in pre-op. The anesthesiologist had been by, the nurse anesthetist had been by, the scrub nurse had been by, the OB/GYN resident had been by. Missing in action: Dr. Z. He was running late, and I was losing my mind. I was hungry and anxious beyond belief. Now, I have had surgery (as you all know), I am familiar with the dance of it. Not to mention, I work in a hospital. Still, I was sorta, kinda, nervous as hell. I am usually the person on the other side of the bed rails. I am the one telling the patient or family that everything will be okay, that this is quite routine and to relax. But seriously, it was not okay, and for me it wasn’t routine, and I could not relax. It gave me a good look at how my patients and my patient’s families perceive things.
Finally, he arrived. The first person I actually knew and it felt like home. After all, I have trusted this man with the most precious and wonderful thing I have ever done, my embryos: beautiful and frozen in his clinic. With that trust, I could easily trust him to slice into my abdomen and finally into my uterus. I could trust him to remove these fibroids without harming it or my bladder. Giving up this control was big…for me.
So there we were in the OR. Different hospital, same scene, bigger surgery. The CRNA placed the mask on my face and right before he sealed it, I said, “Please don’t break my teeth and please take good and respectful care of me”. He said, “I promise”.
Next thing, I can hear a monitor alarming. I heard a woman’s voice commanding a patient to breathe. I laughed in my head. I thought to myself, they always forget to breathe. How hard is it to do something that is so essential to life. My brain quickly re-oriented myself. Ummm, I am not at work. And I am the dummy that isn’t breathing. I heard her voice again, “K, sweetie, you need to breathe. You have to wake up and breathe. Wake up!” I forced my heavy eyelids open. I saw the hustle and bustle of the post-op area. It was a pretty fuzzy view. I saw another man being wheeled by me, looking back at me, squinting. I wanted to yell out, “Hey brother! I am with you. This sucks. And wow…. this HURTS”. The first thing I said outloud was, “Pain. I need something. And I need my husband”. I also remember randomly asking how the dogs were, where my little sister was, and that if I have kids one day they better appreciate it. HA. I really said that!
The days passed slowly. They were filled with unexpected pain. I really believed I would be different. It hurt. Way worse than that old Laparoscopy I had. I couldn’t pull myself up. I needed my husband or the cane.
Side note, my grandfather gave me a cane made of wood that I had found on one of our camping trip hikes. He smoothed it out and put a stopper on the bottom. He even carved my name into the leg of it. He is one smart man. He knew I would need it, even at the young age of 32. On my to do list: take a cool cane picture for Grandpa.I needed pain meds around the clock. Getting into and out of bed was ridiculous. I was like a rolly pulley bug stuck on it’s back. So helpless.
Today, 2 weeks later. I am getting better. Everyday is different. I can’t imagine being pain free and strong enough for my 12 hour night shifts. I know in time I will.
The Tale of Tomorrow
Now, I wait. I wait for my uterus to heal. I wait for my uterus, my heart, my brain and my husband to be ready for the embryos to move from their nice, frozen apartment into the much improved palace called my uterus.