Saturday, July 21, 2012

LA Part 2, Head-shrinking, Margaritas & Whole Foods

After the Weenie Wand thoroughly examined my insides, it was time for Med School. Otherwise known as "How to shoot myself full of a variety of things to make foreign baby stick and stay (foreign to my body; the fact that he will actually be at least half from China is beside the point :) )." The nurse was very nice and very informative, and went over everything in great detail, and I've forgotten at least 75% of it already. Fortunately it was mostly boring and old news to Tony, who is a nurse and will be poking me, with needles, on a regular basis in a month or two. Lupron, estrogen and progesterone, all in injectable form. Nope, doesn't sound like I'll be lucky enough to get a protocol that involves oral meds or vaginal suppositories. More on the meds when that magical package arrives. A little aside that was funny to me: I've been reading the word "Lupron" in blogs for months now, and every time I read it, I pronounce a particular way in my head. It turns out my pronunciation is incorrect, but every time Dr. R and the nurse said it, I wanted to correct them. It wasn't until later I realized that I'm the one who has been saying it incorrectly.

After talking with the nurse, we had just enough time to run across the street to grab a quick sandwich at Subway across the street (besides a pack of airplane peanuts, our first food of the day) before our appointment with the psychologist, who would be borrowing an office at the IVF doctors offices. Turns out she was running a little late, so we probably could have chewed our food. Oh well, qué será. :-)

The meeting with the psychologist went well. At times I felt like I was talking too much, but I guess I was just over-enjoying the opportunity to be in the spotlight. As a former shy kid and the mother of two gregarious, adorable children, the conversation usually isn't all about me, so I found myself grasping on to every opportunity to talk about myself, to the point where I felt like the psychologist had to occasionally turn the conversation. Oops. I generally try not to be that person when I'm not completely drunk. Regardless, I felt it went well, and after the informal evaluation, I was left to the infamous MMPI. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure, this is a 350ish question test designed to gauge whether you have tendencies in areas such as bipolar, schizophrenia asks other mental illnesses. It features true/false questions such as "I hear voices sometimes even when I am alone. (False)" and "I feel I would enjoy the work of a librarian. (True. I love books, always have, and would love to be surrounded by them constantly)" Some of the questions are a little tricky ("Do I feel this way often or only occasionally?"), and some are rather amusing, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to take it with Tony looking over my shoulder to giggle at the more outrageous inquiries. After I finished the test, we were free for the day. We couldn't bear to give up our sweet free parking spot just yet, so Tony and I just walked Wilshire Boulevard for a bit, making it just about to Santa Monica before turning back, and then we enjoyed a giant Margarita and some yummy fajitas at a nearby Mexican restaurant. We should have stayed in the area, but I got it in my head to head back towards the hotel for dessert. We ended up walking a strip mall and picking up a caramel apple from Whole Foods before heading back to the hotel (I'm always drawn to Whole Foods). Unfortunately, even sans kids, I had a ridiculously poor night's sleep (I blame the proximity to the airport and the constant planes, because otherwise the room and bed were great. We made every attempt to sleep in, but 4 years of training by persistent kids had us up before 10, so we threw the little bit we had together and headed off to the airport. And that, more or less, was Med & Psych Screenings in LA. :-)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

/me pops head in

I so badly want to be a good blogger and properly update this, but I am scrambling around like a crazy person trying to catch up with life right now. Be back soon, I hope.

Monday, July 9, 2012

LA, Part 1: Hotels, Needles and Catheters

So we arrived in LA Thursday morning at 8:30 on very little sleep. We caught a shuttle from the airport to the car rental place. I still need to send thanks to my insurance agent at AAA, who, in a response to an email sent at 11:30 the previous night, emailed me proof of insurance literally one minute before the person at the car rental place asked to see it. We got our car and headed to our hotel, which was actually a 3 minute walk from the rental place, but involved us driving all the way around a big block 1.5 times to find street parking, in order to avoid the $15 parking fee at the hotel.

We arrived at the hotel around 9:15, which gave us just enough time for us to check in and take our baggage upstairs. I got to lay on the bed for literally 5 minutes, and dubbed it a fantastic place for a future nap, before we had to leave for our appointments.

Since it was the day after Fourth of July, it seemed most everyone was still on vacation, so we were lucky to avoid the infamous LA traffic, and made it to our appointment in time despite having to be detoured because of roadwork.

My case manager, L, met us at the IVF office. I'm realizing now that that is the place the magic, the embryo transfer, will actually take place in a (hopefully) short time. It was a beautiful building just a short ways from Santa Monica. It was a pleasure to meet L, who is a very nice, patient woman almost 20 weeks pregnant with her 3rd surro baby.

When we checked in, they took Tony back for his blood work, and had me fill out all those same papers you fill out at every doctor's office you visit. After that, I got to get my blood drawn and got to pee in a cup. I think the blood draw went better. :) I've been listening to my HypnoBabies ""Needles are Okay!" track almost every night for at least a month now to prepare me for this and all the future needles I will be encountering, and I made it through 5 vials of blood without needing to lie down, so I'm thinking it's helping. I never get better at peeing in a cup, though.

After the testing, Tony and I were called back to meet with Dr. R, who will be in charge of this transfer and the pregnancy up until about 10 weeks. He was a nice, soft-spoken man who explained the medications and transfer procedure to us, which, thanks to all my fellow bloggers, is pretty old hat to me.

We were then led to the ultrasound room where L joined us. The nurse took my blood pressure, and asked if I was a very calm person, which I took to be a compliment. I always rock the blood pressure.  :) Dr. R used the vaginal probe to start the ultrasound on my uterus, and then used a thin tube to fill my uterus with saline so he could check it for lesions and other bad stuff. Apparently, it was spotless, because he dubbed my uterus "beautiful," which I thought was something that only happened in other people's blogs. :-D The procedure wasn't painful, but did result in minor cramping for the next half hour. Dr. R did say, however, that my lining was not as thick as they would like, which is very common for someone on birth control pills, so he wants me to stop taking them for the time being. Tony was rather bummed at this news, as he hates condoms, but we will survive.

We've got to get to the gym while the kids club is still open, so I'll dub this LA Part 1, and finish up my lengthy account of our LA trip later. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What a difference a week makes

I was feeling a little down last week about my surro stuff. It just seemed like not only were we not making any forward progress, but things were moving backward. Although I guess it's hard to move backwards when you haven't even crossed the start line yet. But, at least, it seemed like the distant finish line kept getting moved further and further away.

But, this very minute, we are finally moving. Literally, Tony and I are on a plane, heading to LA for our medical and psych screenings. I'm very excited, or at least I would be if I had had more than 3 hours sleep last night and had the energy for excitement, and a little nervous about the medical testing. Not that I have any real reason to be, but what if my children were not the most polite tenants of my uterus, and somehow made it less than hospitable? And then I wonder about the occasional pain I get from what I am fairly certain is my ovary area. And then I remind myself that they're not concerned with my ovaries. As a matter of fact, it'd be perfectly okay if they were gone altogether. I think. I've been doing my HypnoBabies "Needles are Okay" track, so I'm looking forward to utilizing that today for all the blood I'm fairly certain they'll be taking.

After the poking and prodding and uterine inspection, we meet with the psychologist after lunch. I was trying to explain to Kismet, who is 4, everything Mommy and Daddy would be doing while we're gone. I used the "talking doctor" description for the psychologist, and she said, "That's boring! Grown-ups like to talk, but for kids, that's boring!" :-) I didn't mention that used to be Mommy's career aspiration. I'm not worried about the psych visit for myself, but I am a little worried that the psychologist might not feel that Tony is positive enough about everything, although he is totally supportive and gets all excited whenever we get letters from J and S.

Speaking of which, we got a very nice email from J earlier this week, saying he's booked his flight for 10 days in late August. He talked about how excited he is to meet me, and the things he wants to show us when we visit him someday, which was all really sweet and endearing. :-)  He also mentioned that progress had been made with the egg donor, which I was really happy to hear because I know all of that can take a long time. I wish he was coming sooner, but it is what it is, and I've got to get over my desire to schedule all of this to fit my personal desires, because that mindset is just going to get me in trouble every step of the way.

In other good news, it sounds like contracts are already in the works, at least preliminarily, which I was very happy to hear, because before I thought they wouldn't even get started until J got his medical clearance, and contracts are yet another possibly lengthy process that I would like to get out of the way ASAP.

Well, it took me all day to write this post, so screenings are all done, but I'll save that for another day. :-)