It’s said that sports players are some of the most superstitious people out there, and I am here to tell you this: they have absolutely NOTHING on women going through IVF. I mean, I don’t want to say bitches be cray-cray, but…..bitches be cray-cray.
I count myself among them, of course.
I call all of the things we seek out and rely on Pregnifying Talismans, or PTs. Because nothing makes science work as well as do random superstitious trinkets and attire that has magical qualities. So first let’s start with the socks. We have entire FB pages set up to find Sock Buddies, who are fellow IVF-ers with whom we exchange gifts, including the aforementioned socks. Generally we add other fun stuff as well, like journals, chocolate, baby dust, chocolate, brazil nuts, and of course, chocolate. So far I’ve had the BEST most amazing Sock Buddies in the world – Lisa L., Heidi, Tracy, and Lisa B., I’m looking at all of you. Muah. I’ve of course sent out similar fun packages too, which to me is the best part of this, putting that shit together. It works out well, except, umm, when say one sends a package to Heidi in Australia and it bounces around for FOUR MONTHS before it makes its way back to Silverton because of a smudged address. Oops. Attempt 2 for that one, which will hopefully arrive before Heidi actually has her baby.
Then there are people who get PTs from their friends, i.e. receiving pendants and bracelets and the like, all of it falling under the “fertility-r-us” category. I tell you, Etsy is making bank on this stuff, no doubt.
Me, I personally like to wait until something speaks to me. Like what happened when I was with Awesome Friend Tina in Astoria last October, at a really cute boutique there.
Me: Tina, look! LOOK!
Me: You see it, don’t you? I mean, that dragonfly necklace just SCREAMS good luck in a very distinctive fertility kind of way. It’s saying, pick me, choose me, love ME! But not in a creepy Grey’s Anatomy fashion of course.
That was how I wound up with good luck necklace #1, which got me BFU in IVF cycle 1, but couldn’t go the distance in cycle 2. But I blame not the little dragonfly, nay. It really was asking a lot to put so much additional work on one Pregnifying Talisman, which no longer had enough special powers, and so I needed to add another to make the magic more powerful. The science behind this is sound. Which was why I set out on a quest for another PT and subsequently found the most awesome dragonfly necklace on, yes, Etsy, which I added to the Kokopelli necklace PT I got from Lisa B.. There were also unicorn necklaces on Etsy, but that may have to wait until actual egg transfer in August. At some point I fear I may look like a refugee from Mardi Gras, with a yoke of necklaces around my neck, but so be it.
I may also have found unicorn socks at the sock store.
We do what we must.
* * * * * * * * * *
Speaking of egg retrieval, that was today, yes it was. Everything has been going so perfectly according to plan with this cycle that it of course made me paranoid, that things would in some way go FUBAR, as they tend to do with me. I mean, this time at my last ultrasound even Dr. Magoo saw 12-14 follicles, and when does THAT happen? So in stressing about this, I got basically no sleep last night. What if I ovulated early and there were no eggs to find? What if my alarm clock didn’t go off? What if all the highways heading into Portland were shut down? WHAT ABOUT THAT DAMN ALARM CLOCK???
I of course managed to wake up this morning and got dropped off at ORM for the festivities to begin. With brownies in hand – as well as boozy cherries, boozy cherry jam, and tomato chutney. Hey, never let it be said I’m not the ideal patient.
Once I got in back, poor Judy got stuck with m….I mean, Judy was today’s lucky person to be in my exalted presence. Yeah, that’s it. But first I saw Dr. B., and she was excited to note that The Man would be doing my egg retrieval. Yes, THE Man, Dr. Matteri, who was one of the ORM pioneers in IVF. A true Jedi Master! (And looking at his bio he is even WAY cooler than I already thought!)
Dr. B.: The Man will be doing your egg retrieval!
Me: Oh, that’s awesome! (To Dr. M.) Umm, you do know that I’m going to be bringing fame and fortune to ORM, right? Basically the future face of ORM, right here, me with my ancient self and embryos.
Dr. Matteri.: Umm…..
Me to Dr. B.: He kind of looks like a deer caught in headlights. Did no one tell him about me?
Dr. M.: That’s right, you have an embryo on ice, right?
Me: Yes! He has a name too: BFU.
Dr. M.: BFU?
Dr. M.: Umm…..
Me to Dr. B.: See, there it goes again…….
Anyway, I go with Judy to get set up, and we proceed to have the usual conversation one has in such circumstances:
Me: So I understand you use quite a bit of GE equipment? Do you lease or pay cash?
Judy: A bit of both.
Me: Aha! How about for those new hand-held ultrasounds? Are you guys looking at those?
Judy: Oh yeah, those are great! Really amazing equipment, so much better than the big bulky machines.
Me: And those you might lease…?
Judy: Well, it depends…
Me: You know, with medical equipment advancing so quickly, you don’t want to be stuck for years with obsolete equipment. Leasing can be a great option.
Judy: That’s very true – plus I think with the leased stuff they’re more on top of service.
While having this conversation, the words of Brilliant Badass Sales Transformation Guru Mike Kunkle, now at GE Capital, are going through my head: “Don’t think of it as surgery where you’re being sliced open, think of it as a selling opportunity.”
(Okay, so he might not have actually ever said that or even anything close to it, but I stand by my MSU [Making Shit Up] 100%.)
(Psst, GE, yes I’m this good. Call me, we’ll talk.)
I also see my Most Awesome Nurse from last time, Gina, and of course ask her for dilaudid. I like to do this to see if they can keep a straight face while I come up with this ridiculousness. We then laugh together, and I get told to take ibuprofen, which I guess is the next best thing?
Then as usual, Dr. M. the Most Awesome Anesthesiologist comes in to chat about my hatred of Versed. We talk about this, the fact that most people want to be doped up to the gills, whereas the astute ones such as myself want to be annoying as long as possible.
Me: So this time I won’t whine and complain when the propofol starts painfully coursing through my veins. I was pretty annoying last time.
Dr. MAA.: Right.
Wait, what? He’s not supposed to agree with me. Hmm. Still, he’s no Dr. CrankyPants, so I’ll take it.
Before my egg retrieval surgery they try to tell me I should take off my PTs, but I’m too clever for that (by “clever” I mean “clutching at them like a banshee and refusing to let anyone take them off.”)
Of course, when I get into the surgery room and am hailed as the returning rock$tar that I am, I manage to not complain about the propofol, but I also wind up on a tangent about Young Frankenstein.
Me: Right, so Marty Feldman, he goes to get a brain, and he gets the Abby something brain. The….the ABBY NORMAL brain, yeah, that’s it! And of course that’s not really a good thing bec…
I then fall asleep, and it may just be my suspicion that Dr. MAA. jacks up the amount of drugs going through my veins, to knock me out as quickly as possible. Maybe.
I dream of Kone as a unicorn. No really. It’s The Kone looking majestic as always, but even more so because he’s sporting a beautiful long unicorn horn. It’s quite something.
My dreams of Konicorns are interrupted when I’m woken up, but to good news: Dr. Matteri has achieved and overachieved the plan, as they say in the old country. 16 eggs! I tell him that studies show that 15 is ideal, but that I’m okay with the spare. I can sense his relief.
So as I’m waking up, I’m noticing that the fine folks at ORM seem very intent on making sure I have a ride out of the joint. As in, making me wait in back, making sure my ride, the Most Awesome Tyler, actually comes up to the waiting room area rather than just letting me meet him downstairs, etc. It’s a bit…..bizarre. Like they think I’m going to make a run for it or something, then stand out in front powering up heavy machinery. It makes me wonder if some fool tried to leave on her own, with things subsequently all going to hell in a handbasket or something.
But then a more plausible reason occurs to me: I *am* their rock$tar patient after all, and they want to be extra sure that nothing happens to me. I’m surprised they haven’t made me sign a contract that I’ll only leave the house if wrapped in bubble wrap.
Anyway, now we wait. 16 eggs, I’ll get the call tomorrow on mature eggs and fert rate, and then we wait until Sunday for blasts. I predict 14 mature, 10 fertilized, 8 blasts, 8 normal and perfect narwhals. So it has been spoken, so it shall be done. Go big, Universe, go big. They say older women just don’t get those kinds of numbers, to which I say, don’t expect me to come along on that joyride of lies.
Now if you’ll all excuse me, I have some chainsaws to crank up.