For some reason, although my ovaries seem to be cooperating more this round, my veins have decided not to cooperate. Each time I go in for an ultrasound to check out how my little Easter baskets are doing, they draw my blood. Now I'll admit, I'm what's known as a "hard stick," in medical language. My veins are deep, move around, and generally try to disappear the minute a needle clears the skin. But the phlebotomist at YFCF21C was phenomenal last round. She managed to get my blood with the first stick each time it was drawn. I even thought that perhaps my "bad vein" days were over and I had entered into a more harmonious, symbiotic relationship with them. Alas, this has not been the case. I've had my blood drawn about 6 times in the last 2 weeks. And only once has it been done with one poke. Neither elbow vein seems to be cooperating this round. Even more distressing, about half the time it's taken 3 pokes to get blood, a try in each elbow, and finally, with much sighing on the part of the phlebotomist, moving to my hand.
So here's my concern. Let's say I pass out at the grocery store or something (I don't anticipate this happening, I' m just posting a scenario) and they call the paramedics. One look at my tummy will reveal a constellation of needle marks and bruises. At least 40 at this point. Then they'll look at my arms. My elbows are covered with needle marks. One look at my hands reveals the same. Thus, instead of searching for a deeper medical cause for my passing out, they'll label me a junkie, give me some narcan and toss me in the back of an ambulance. I mean, at least I look like one of the "Snooty, Upper Crust, Eastside junkies," but with the needle marks, a junkie nonetheless. I can see this case of mistaken identity leading to either tragic consequences, or a great number in the musical.
I can't believe how much is going on at this point. OK, first of all, "Lisa's" lining. It's looking ok, but she's travelling from Portland to Seattle on Thursday to get that all checked out, and I'll be her wheels for her time in town. Then on Friday they're doing the retrieval. The excellent news is that I may have as many as....12 good follicles by then! Yes friends, God asks us to pray specifically, and praying for a dozen may have done the trick! The doctor keeps remarking that this, "is a very different cycle from last time." I don't know if it was the acupuncture, the herbs (oh gosh, another thing someone might overhear and think I'm a junkie!) the prayers, or just simply another month, but things are looking good. With the retrieval on Friday, depending on how the embryos look, the transfer will take place on either Monday or Wednesday. Here's where things get a bit complicated. On Monday, at 10:00, I have my every-3-months-oh-how-I-love-them botox injections. Which means I reduce down on my medications and go way up on the pain scale. (oh man, I get about 20 shots then. Yet another reason I will be mistaken for a junkie in my supermarket scenario) Anyhow, this should be ok because my physical labor will be done by then as far as baby-making goes. But it will mean that I have this am appt. then off to the train station to pick up Lisa, then off to YFCF21C, etc. On Tuesday I've been invited to testify to a Senate committee on behalf of the bill that passed out of the House. Then, if it's a day 5 transfer, I work most of Wednesday and will have to figure out a way to get around that one.
So things are super busy...but I also have much to be thankful for. For how well this cycle is going. For the support I'm getting from my family and friends. For our wonderful surrogate and her family. For the bill that I can speak on behalf of. For a medication like Botox which, although painful, does wonders for me.
And perhaps, for understanding paramedics who will look beyond the myriad track marks and consider the fact that, perhaps, I am not a junkie.
What you can expect is updates as often as I can over the next week to let you know how things are going, and what specific prayer needs are. Right now I've got 4 follicles that need to grow about 2 mm more to possibly be mature, and Lisa needs a safe journey to Seattle and back to Portland on Thursday.
Oh yes, and if that wasn't enough, I've taken a real step out now (not that I've exactly been hiding in the shadows up until this point or anything). Last night I received a call from the Seattle Times. They asked if they could interview me for an article they are writing about the bill currently going through the legislature. With Aaron's blessing, I was interviewed this afternoon. I really think this is the right thing to do. I think more people need to understand what gestational surrogacy is, and isn't, and the challenges that can arrive when Washington State makes it so difficult to do. At the same time, I've basically opened up our story for anyone who picks up a paper to hear. Sure a blog can reach a wide audience, but mostly it's my friends and family who are reading this, and other interested parties who have heard about it through word of mouth. Now, anyone from my kindergarten teacher, to the grocery store clerk (the one who is going to respond when I pass out in the grocery store), to someone very opposed to surrogacy is going to see my name associated with it. So I'm a little bit anxious about that. As I said, I think it's the right thing to do, but I'm still a little anxious about it....and the needle marks....all over my body. Thank goodness it's still long sleeve weather.