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Selvaggia

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Egg Harvesting: My Journey Begins

Posted: 06/12/2012 3:30 pm

At home, I go through the documents I received at the fertility clinic. I can start the treatment on the second day of my next period. I have to be in the same city, within reach of the clinic, for two weeks from the day I start, and I'll have to inject myself twice a day. I will be moody and experience a lot of water retention. I cannot drink too much coffee, have to keep alcohol at a minimum and can't exercise. I have to decide who will receive my eggs if something should happen to me and I need someone to pick me up the day of the retrieval.

From my calculations, I'm in the middle of my cycle, which means I can travel for a week or so before I need to ground myself for at least two weeks. On the one hand, this will seriously disrupt my plans; I haven't been in the same place for two weeks for the past year, and my agenda says I should be in at least three different countries over the next six days. On the other hand, this is the perfect excuse to stay in New York City for 14 days! Although, without drinking or exercising, I doubt it is going to be fun. But priorities are priorities, so I start sending emails to my husband and my bosses informing them of my two-week furlough.

Except for my husband, I get very little resistance -- he had wanted me to accompany him on few trips occurring at the same time, so it's on to Plan B: I will go to the class and see if I can go through with everything on my own or delegate the injections and other tasks to someone who is in the best position to deliver on their promises, as I do at work -- in this case, a nurse!

The water retention PMS state is a bit more tricky, almost a dry run for pregnancy... I have to look at it like that, as a drill. The weight gain worries me as well as the lack of physical activity. I'm less concerned with my nerves; for once, I have a great excuse for snapping back at a few people I have been wanting to snap back at for a long time...

Taking a break form coffee and alcohol? I prefer to see it as a detox. I know I can do it, plus they said to limit it, not drop it down to zero...

Now, for naming the beneficiary of my eggs in the event something happens...

Now this is a difficult question.

It is not like giving organs to others in case of death. My eggs could create a new life with a piece of me in it even after I'm gone... heavy ethical stuff. My first instinct is to name my family as beneficiary, but because of the important implications linked to it, perhaps putting one's family in the dilemma of disposing or fertilizing of your eggs, which would represent the only living thing remaining of your daughter or sibling, is not exactly a nice present.

I have a couple of gay friends who will surely make good use of them... or my best friend since I was 5. I send a couple of bbms to sound out these friends and it's a done deal. I will go for my best friend and will provide her with some instructions based on how many eggs I have frozen. I don't mind giving some to science so it can progress and more women can benefit from it.

The following day, I go and meet with the psychologist, an important step in the IVF process. She asks similar questions to the doctor's and tries to make an argument to corner my husband to have a child now or fertilize a few eggs... but she just wants to make sure I have explored all of the options I have in front of me (quite many in comparison to 90 percent of the patients around me) before going ahead with the freezing of my eggs, a process which has a lower rate of success than others and will put my body under stress and heavy doses of hormones. Not to mention the intrusive procedure of extraction. But I have made up my mind. I control what I can control -- and that's me (and at times, only barely).

It is a go. She congratulates me and I move into the training room, where a nurse teaches me and another woman how to assemble the syringe and what doses to use in our twice-daily injections. I immediately decide to listen carefully and to hire a nurse!

When I get back home, two paper bags full of medicine are waiting for me at the door; the center was quite efficient in setting it all up. I store part of them in the fridge and start counting down. I will begin the treatment after a blood test on the second day of my period...

On the day I come back from my last overseas trip, I call the center to book the blood test which will occur every two days from now on and then daily from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.

I call my nurse, a lovely young girl from Europe who, with amazingly gentle hands, gives me my first two injections and for the next two weeks will come to my place every day at 6 p.m. to perform the same task diligently, changing doses according to the results of that morning's test, cheering with me when we get good news or as the number of follicles increases. She is also great at explaining what is going on in my body. She is so nice that the daily appointments became a moment for laughter, especially after a good friend of mine decides to show up daily to "observe and learn how to do injections, just in case I need it."

There is no way I'll let anyone but the nurse touch me, but I have another task for my friend, as I have decided to blog about this experience. I would need video and pictures, so an official photographer comes in handy, as well as a morning blood test escort. I hate blood tests, not to mention waking up at 6 a.m. daily.

Kidding aside, thanks to the kindness of my friends and my nurse, the two weeks are filled with 7 a.m. breakfasts in odd New York City early bird joints and 6 p.m. injections and decaf high teas at my place... overall, a great human experience.

Previous posts in the series:

My First Consultation

What It's Really Like Inside a Fertility Clinic

The Question People Won't Stop Asking Me

 
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