I'm going to start out by saying something that may tick some of you off, so I apologize for that. But here goes. I've never really had PMS before. Things were pretty easy for me. However, call me Miss Empathetic now, because I FEEL for those who have PMS. With the doses of hormones I've been on, the last week has been really weird. I felt cranky and weepy, and wondered was it A) The end of Thanksgiving and hanging out intensely with my family, B) Worries about getting to this point, C) The hormones or D) I was losing it and about to go off the deep end. Fortunately my nurse coordinator reassured me that while it was most likely a combination of A-C (but not D, although others in my life might disagree ;>) C was a big factor. Whew.
So the chicken thing. I've been going to the doctor every other day for the past 12 days for a date with the intrusive ultrasound machine. And each time I go in we get a peek at my follicles. The medication that I give (see previous entry!) causes the body to produce more than 1 egg in a month. Each time I go in they measure my follicles to see if they are getting bigger or big enough to harvest. It's all about my eggs! However, in my case, at least my eggs are in 2 baskets, so to speak. ;)
The thing is, I don't think the chicken ever really thinks about her eggs. They pop out, get carried away, and she continues around the barnyard (I'm thinking of a happy free range chicken) pecking up worms and enjoying life. And yet for the last week I've had my eggs on the brain quite frequently (sounds like a weird breakfast dish). Sure, twice a day with the shots. Then every time I go into the doctor's office. Then, particularly, about 2 days ago when my "baskets" started to ache. Thank goodness I had a friend go through this less than a month ago and she mentioned the bloating and feeling odd. Otherwise I, once again, would have wondered if I was going off the deep end. I suppose it makes sense. These follicles are growing inside me, and whereas in any given month a woman usually has 1, about 2 cms round, I have a handful. And, to be blunt, it sort of feels like I've got two bags of marbles sitting on my pelvic floor. In a way, it's kind of cool. It's sort of a psudopregancy. Right now my bladder feels really full even when it is completely empty, and my tummy is a bit hard. Perhaps it's a poor substitute for actually being pregnant, but at least I kind of get what it might feel like, at least a little bit.
Now, for the not so good news. I don't have nearly the number of follicles they'd like to see. Today I had about 5 mature follicles (it all depends on their size) and 3 other ones. The mature follicles are most likely to contain a mature egg. The smaller follicles may, but, from what I understand, probably will not. So, in a best case scenario I'll hopefully get 5 good eggs. The thing is, most people have between 15-20 follicles at this point. Oops. Guess my body missed getting that message. OK, we know I have a funky body. That's why we're doing surrogacy. But until we started the stimulation of the follicles, there was no indication that I might not produce a good number of eggs.
So, I'm worried. I know that I shouldn't be. But I'm being honest. I am. About 70% of the mature eggs will fertilize, so we may have 4 embryos. I keep reminding myself, all it takes is 1. The other thing that's interesting is Aaron and I have been praying and talking through all of this about embryos, and the thoughts about when life begins. Is it when the sperm and egg meet? Is it when they are in a habitable environment? The answers just aren't clear. What I know is that I wouldn't feel comfortable with our embryos frozen forever. And that's just me. I'm not saying anything about the choices anyone else makes. That's totally up to them, and I respect any choices people make. Believe me, until you've been in this position, you really can't understand what it's like. We pretty much agreed that we wanted to create as many embryos as we can "use" be it this round, or with the idea of a sibling. If we had many eggs retrieved we probably wouldn't fertilize them all. And maybe this is one of the ways God is working. Maybe He's limiting the number of embryos that are being created. I don't know, but the thought has crossed my mind. What I keep reminding myself is that ultimately this is all in His hands.
So here's the schedule, Tuesday, they retrieve the eggs and they get their groove on with Aaron's swimmers. Then, on Wednesday we'll know about the quality of the embryos, how many got fertilized, who's looking good, etc. The transfer will either be on Friday or Sunday, depending on how the embryos look. I'll keep you all updated. Thanks so much for your prayers. I can't believe how supportive you all are!