Friday, November 9, 2012

Close to Parents?

The egg retrieval yesterday was a complete whirlwind, but it didn't really seem like one to me because I was drugged up for the majority of the day--- which was fine with me! I need to back up a bit though as I want to recap everything, even the little things, that God placed in my path over the course of the last two days. 

Chris and I drove down to Philadelphia last night and stayed over at The Valley Forge Casino Tower so we could be close to the clinic in the morning. I know what you're thinking: Casino Tower? Yes, due to a huge convention in the area, multiple hotels were already booked, which limited our options. I was hesitant to book a room at the Casino Tower, but hey, we were rolling the dice with this IVF procedure, why not stay at a place infamous for dice rolling?! As an English teacher, I could not walk away from the symbolism and irony....

You should have seen us: two stragglers, rolling in from the snowy PA Turnpike, dressed in sweatpants and sneakers. 

As we checked in at the front desk, Chris says, "We don't exactly look like high rollers, Rach. I think people are looking at us!" 

I didn't mind. All I was looking for was a clean room with a soft bed. However, I was a bit nervous and wasn't really expecting a grand hotel stay as I had booked our room at the discounted rate. 

We sloppily plowed into our room, bags, disheveled hair and all, and were completely shocked: the room was huge! Pristine linens, a huge jacuzzi bathtub, immaculate carpet and sinks... This couldn't be right.

"I think they gave us the wrong room," I said, still standing in the doorway, taking it all in. 

Chris checked with the front desk, and yes, we were in the right room. Thank you God!

I am not a high maintenance gal; if I were asked to vacation in a tent or a hotel, I would pick the tent.  But last night, I just needed a no-worry, relaxing, clean place to sleep. Thank you God! I slept like a rock until my alarm at 5:30. God knew I needed recharging before the day ahead! 

As we walked out of the hotel to our car, we looked up and saw a huge letter "V" atop of the hotel. It stood for Valley Forge, but of course, Chris says, "Oh yeah. That's a good sign. 'V' for victory for us today!" ... I told you he is always Mr. Optimism.

Once we got to the clinic, things went quickly. I changed into a gown and started IV meds. I was so glad that my nurse for the procedure was Stephanie, a kind, funny nurse whom I've grown to love. I immediately was comforted knowing that she was going to be with me for the morning. Thank you God!

As I was rolled back into the operating room, I started singing a song from my childhood days at Agape Fellowship-- the core verse is Joshua 1:9:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

It was perfect timing for some mental song and dance! 

To be blunt, there was a period of time prior to being completely put under where I panicked, as I was strapped down and prepped. Still, Joshua 1:9, Joshua 1:9, Joshhhhuuuuaaa 1 ..... and I was out! 

I woke up in recovery, feeling pressure and cramping, but feeling relieved it was over. Stephanie and Chris were right there, giving me extra blankets and watching me wake up.

Apparently, Chris said I was somewhat emotional, crying softly, telling Stephanie: "I am not a wimp. Really. I'm not. I'm tough." 

I don't remember this at all. Will confirm with Stephanie at my next office visit. (I think Chris just likes to finally have some ammo against me...)

Dr. Sasson came into recovery and told us that he retrieved 13 good eggs. He seemed happy with that number and told us that the eggs would be fertilized that day. He would call us tomorrow, and each day until transfer, with the total number of viable embryos. 

When I was awake enough to leave, I was given some more pain meds, wrapped up in warm blankets, and put into the car. After yesterday, I am convinced that heated seats are the best invention of all time, with Vicodin in a close second.

We got home and I slept on and off throughout the day. La la land is a great place in which to recover! 

This morning (morning after) I am feeling good. I still have cramping, but Tylenol is enough to cover it. 

As I was writing this post, Dr. Sasson called. He said that of the thirteen eggs retrieved two were too small to fertilize, and three simply did not fertilize at all. So, we have eight tiny Knipe embryos at this point. He still cannot predict a Day Three or Day Five Transfer; he should be able to predict that, based on the strength of the remaining embryos, tomorrow. He said that they would watch the embryos closely and call us if there are any changes. 

In this moment, I am overcome with emotion. This is the closest thing to being parents that Chris and I have ever felt.  It is unbelievable, terrifying, thrilling... To someone outside of the IVF experience, we might look strange, looking longingly and lovingly at the mention of our petri dish children. But really, this is the closest we have ever been to the realization of parenthood. 

Looking back over the past two days, I see how God hand picked each person (Chris, Dr. Sasson, Nurse Stephanie), each place ("Victory" Valley Forge Casino Tower, Shady Grove Fertility Center), and each thing (drugs and heated seats!) into our paths. 

Now, we anxiously await more news from the embryology lab, and are once more reminded that He is a God who loves us so deeply that He knows what we need before our minds conceive of it. Now that's inconceivable! 

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