It’s Sunday evening. The night before the embryo transfer. The day we’ve been waiting for for a long, long time. It’s surreal that it’s here.
Almost surreal, that is. As dreamy as the evening may be these really fucking painful (new) shots of progesterone in oil (PIO) make it all a reality. Holy Moly, those hurt! It’s not the shot itself (even though it’s a longer 1 1/2 inch needle that has to be plunged all the way in the muscle part of my butt where nerves are, and has to be injected over a long 2 minutes) it’s that it’s in oil (sesame oil to be exact) and is painful for the body to absorb it over the following 24-28 hours. The first time we did the shot, it hurt a bit the hour after but woke me up in the middle of the night and by 2pm the following day I could barely walk without a limp and getting up and down made me sweat! It felt like how you might feel after you’ve had a really bad skiing accident and been deeply bruised or broken.
Gina and I googled a bit to learn what other women out there do to make these less painful (we’d heard these new shots would be bad but didn’t realize it was for days, we thought just in the moment). Up until now I’ve stayed off the internet and IVF chat groups. And am glad for it, but also glad that we checked this PIO thing out now and got some advice. Turns out there are a few tricks; like heating the oil in the needle for 15 minutes, then sitting on a heating pad for 15-20 minutes after and massaging the whole butt cheek for a long while, too. We did all those things and while still painful today, MUCH more tolerable. Whew. More like I’ve had a hard work out. Thank goodness, because I am suppose to get these shots for 2 weeks and I wasn’t sure how I was going to tolerate it (and some women don’t, we learned).
The other side effect of the progesterone is that it seems to be making me a bit cranky. Whereas the estrogen was like taking ecstasy (MDMA), this is definitely NOT that. Though, it’s hard to tease it all out, too because then I also had all those eggs in me and all that creation. It was magical. And now I’m excited and even a bit nervous about tomorrow so my change in mood could be from that, too.
Prepping for the Big Day
Gina and I spent much of the weekend prepping for the big day and for me to be on bedrest the following few days. Turns out, there’s a lot of planning involved to get a girl on her back for the better part of a week. Besides having a clean house with food in the fridge (soups made and ready to go, etc.), we got the room I’ll stay in ready, Gina arranged all the “Regina sitters” as she likes to call them (for the times that she’s at work), I wrapped up work stuff, we did last minute errands, and then of course I got as much outdoor air and walking in as I could get (though it’s been cold and pouring down nasty rain all day).
One fun thing we did to get ready was have a night out. A treat. We went to Ken’s Artisan Pizza. A place that I was craving and later realized was the place Gina and I were at when we chose our current donor (yep, the man of the hour, the one who is currently fertilizing my eggs). While we were home and in bed early it was good to drink (what I trust will be) a last glass of wine and toast our little embryos growing over there on 19th and Lovejoy, the donor, and each other. Needless to say, that night felt like a full circle.
The last thing we did to prep for tomorrow was a ritual.
We lit a candle a friend gave us (in a great little “bedrest care package”, complete with the lovely candle below, chocolates and magazines- very sweet), sat on the couch and each made a list of the fears, crap and concerns we are letting go of. Then we made lists of the things we are standing for and grateful for.
Standing in front of the fireplace, we used the gifted candle to burn the fears away. Then, we read out loud our intentions and gratitudes and put them in a big vase that I’ve used for previous gratitude exercises. It even already had a little “What am I grateful for?” signage on it. Perfect.
The ritual felt good. It felt cleansing and it felt right. I feel partnered, full of love and ready to go.
Keeping it Real
As ready as I am for the transfer tomorrow, I notice that my cool, steady, confident mood is not quite the same as it has been. I’m a little bit nervous (seriously, not a lot, but enough to say it out loud and let it breath).
Before the ritual I was nervous about things that were less rational (what if no embryos survived, what if something is wrong with me and I’m a failure, etc.) but now, post-ritual, I just feel a bit unsure about the unknown.
What will it be like to rest and be so still?
Will it work?
What will it be like to rest deeply and have friends here helping?
Will my hoping and not knowing if it’s “taking” drive me insane? Will that insanity ruin my chances of this working? Will I then, fuck it up?
After tomorrow, all the “work” I’ve done up until now will be done. Sure there’ll still be a few pills and shots to take but really, there’s not a lot else to do except incubate (which I know is actually the most potent part but my western mind doesn’t totally buy it). Up until now, I could really “stay on top of it” by “Doing” all the right things. I got to buy in to the illusion of control. All those doc appointments, charting, pilling, needling, massaging, praying, supplementing, exercising, etc… made me feel like I could actually control the outcome. Oy.
In the next few days all that will be called for from me is to surrender and receive (no wonder I’m nervous… those are two things that don’t necessarily come easy to me!). Let go, let God. All I get to do is relax. In fact, explicit instructions… DO NOT GET OUT OF BED UNLESS YOU NEED TO USE THE RESTROOM. I am to stay laying down mostly, too (no greater than a 45 degree angle). I’m not sure that I’ve ever slowed down this much this long in my life when I wasn’t sick. Of course I’ll still eat well, pray, take my supplements and meds and by the second week will be back to a normal kind of life (though still taking it easy). Interesting still, that the slowing down part is what feels most vulnerable, most “out of control”.
That said, it’s also the part of this whole process that I am most looking forward to. Besides getting to read magazines and catch up on documentaries, I’ll get to just rest, be quiet, be still. And, perhaps my body will get to heal a bit. Truth is, as much fun as I’ve been having with this process, it’s pretty intense and has really taken a toll on my body by now (recovery from surgery hasn’t been easy on my belly and meds in general are a bit harsh). And so, there is a big part of me that is deeply hungry for and craving the silence I’m about to enter.
As always, we are grateful for your prayers, good thoughts and good energy you send our way. We know we are held in light and highest good. We watched I Am and we are believers that way. 🙂 In that, we believe your prayers and love really do land with us (and our embryos) and make a difference.
Our appointment time is at 12:30pm pdt and the actual transfer will be somewhere between 1:15-1:30. We’ll be home by 2:30.
So, bring what you got, if you are so inclined. We’ll open our hearts to receive your love across town, across the ocean and across the lands. And we thank you.