Friday, September 28, 2012

Boobies. Let's discuss

image from:
Great. Now I'm craving boobie boobie cupcakes. And feel weird. 

Seriously. Does anyone else's boobies hurt during/after a cycle? Because mine do. They are super sore and sorry to be so frank, but my nipples get hard in that painful way quite easily. (Sadly, not in the good way.)

After my first cycle in June, a good friend of mine for 17 years exclaimed over lunch how ginormous my boobs had become. Truthfully, my boobs are normally pretty ginormous thanks to former pregnancies and an inexperienced plastic surgeon from 13 years ago that I saw after I couldn't take looking at the droop in the mirror anymore. Apparently he didn't think I was serious when I said I DIDN'T want large boobies. He gave some excuse of them getting so big when I was breast feeding that he had to go with a bigger size to fill, but if that was the case then he should have pushed for a lift instead: BEFORE my after-surgery-surprise. Anyhow, I graceously pointed out to my BFF that HER own boobies are bigger than mine, thank you very much.

Wait what were we talking about? Oh yea! My boobs hurt. And while I'm not sure if their size has increased (it's possible), they actually remind me of how my boobs hurt during my last month or so of pregnancy. Hurting boobies started again with my September cycle.

Is it my imagination? (Note: there is no possible way for me to be pregnant, so banish that thought.)  No, it can't be. My nipples can cut glass at times and my poor husband gets his hands slapped if he tries to go near when this happens. I assure him that it doesn't mean I'm excited to see him (at least not right THEN). My thoughts fly to how I could get away with asking someone at the massage school to "rub my boobies", while maitaining a straight face, preferably not flushed completely red.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that any manipulation of your girlie parts (NO NOT THAT! - I'm talking about IVF or similar) can have the potential of a boobie reaction. When will it go away though? Is anyone else experiencing this or have you in the past?

If we are lucky enough to have a baby, a part of me considered trying to lactate, but screw that.1 It may have been 20 years since I breastfed my son, but the boobie soreness is all coming back to me now. There's no way I could deal with this again for a year. And I'm sure my husband couldn't.

1 I know that all women don't experience this and/or deal with it better than my sorry butt. Have GOBS of admiration for any women that can induce lactation with pregnancy. Let's just say I have a low boobie pain tolerance and leave it at that. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Carrier's Perspective (possible tissue alert)

This is a hard one for me to write. Because even with my veil of anonymity, it reveals something so personal and secretive, that few people in my life actually know about it. Many of my closest friends do not know about it and it was even hard to admit to my husband, but I realized recently how very relevant it is to my journey. And how much it will make me cry to write about it. 

Some recent stories I arrived at via Stirrup Queens showed me the importance of sharing my story. I apologize in advance for any grammar mistakes, for I don't plan on check editing like I normally do for long posts. Feel free to comment, but if you ever meet me in person let's agree not to bring it  up - ok? Alright, here it goes:

When I was barely 16, I gave up a child for adoption. 

There. I said it. Or at least wrote it. 

Surrogacy is not an easy option for me. Wait, I need to rephrase that because surrogacy and infertility are not easy options for ANYONE on any side of the fence, as blog after blog can attest. Let me try again... Like many cases in infertility land, our path to use surrogacy was an extremely difficult one.

For you see, I know the pain of carrying a child in your womb for 9 months and then giving it to someone else. I can pretend that my pain was "more" because the child was genetically linked, but I really have no way of knowing that. The best I can hope for is that the verbal evidence I am given from those "in the know" is what my surrogate will experience: that it's not easy, especially that day in the delivery room, but that the surrogate knows from the beginning that the child is not hers. Knowing that her GIFT will enable her to help her own children - something HUGE that I think most articles on the subject seem to miss, but mothers pick up on right away - helps to ease the worry. At least a little. 

My main nurse in Anand is twice a surrogate. She is always happy with a smile and her recent deliveries occurred when she was about 39 and 41, the last one being only a year earlier. She has worked at the clinic for approximately 9 years. She's not the only nurse that is a former surrogate and I dare say that they would certainly have inside information on what the women go through before making those decisinos for themselves. 

The life and emotional well-being of my nurse is a strong contrast of how my life was a year after giving up my child for adoption. Maybe emotionally she's an exception, but I don't think so. Speaking and reviewing empirical information on former surrogates lets me see how their lives are changed for the better, but I still don't fool myself into believing that the initial period after births are easy-breezy for them.1

When I was pregnant and 15, I listened to people tell me that, "if I loved my baby, I would give it up for adoption." No one told me how the pain would rip me apart. The pain didn't even fully settle till months after, when it was far too late by legal standards to do anything about it, (even though I did try). Having been ostracized by any "good girls", combined with an already deep ability have depression (even before my pregnancy), it's no surprise that I continued making bad choices for awhile. I have no doubt that post-partum equally contributed it's ugly head during those times. 

And then I stopped making bad choices, (at least for awhile). At 19 I was engaged to a man 5 years my senior and became pregnant. While I certainly had not (I promise) PLANNED on being pregnant, after I got over the initial shock, there was a sense that a huge hole in me was in some way going to be repaired. I had to clean up my act for my baby. My marriage lasted for a very brief period, as my husband did not share my epiphany, but my second son helped me heal. Tremendously. 

I won't pretend that I haven't had other ups and downs in my life, many of my own doing on both accounts, but to say that giving up my first-born for adoption didn't have a huge impact on my life would be a lie. My first-born is now old enough to have tried to seek me out and even though I put in the initial papers that he could, he never has. Something that both grieves me and relieves me. It's probably been over 20 years since I dared even open the box containing all of the documentation and correspondence I had during those difficult times, but I still have the box. And it's a big box. It has been a long time since I grieved on his birthday, but there were many, many years that I did. Now, most birthdays go by without even remembering. Not because I don't love him, quite the opposite, but I guess my mind finally kicked in it's defense mechanism that we humans are so famous for. 

Invariably when I see surrogacy articles, I get enraged when I see all the comments about "they are selfish and should just adopt!" Do people think the mothers of adopted children didn't equally grieve? Some maybe less, but many possibly more. (There are more reasons that these comments enrage me, but I will save those for another day.) Do people not know that the amount an Indian  surrogate makes, even though small by western standards, can effectively change her and her families life? The surrogate can start a store or buy a rickshaw for her family to earn more. Things that were never even remotely possible for her prior.

Surrogate mothers choose their paths for a variety of reasons, but as long as it is their choice and they are fully informed, we should not take away that right or even judge it. Not even if the woman is poor and does it simply for the money. A poor woman wanting a better future for her family should not be held to a lower standard than other women. Knowing a little bit about Indian culture, I know that these women don't do it for pure altruistic reasons as I sometimes see touted, but that doesn't make their GIFT any less. 

Surrogacy is hard for me, but the adoption option would be even harder. My baby may have been unplanned, but he was definitely not unwanted. Not any more than my second child. I can not imagine reliving my 15 and 16 year old life from the other side of the fence. Adoption is not even on the table for us for us for many reasons, including simple ones like wondering if we would even be allowed AND our desire to have a genetic child. It was not until my most recent trip to India that I even acknowledged to myself about how my teenage years affected some of my angst of our current journey. 

Does the 40 year old me regret giving up my child for adoption? Surprisingly - no. I don't think the 20-ish one did either. I knew that the 16 year old me could not give a life to a child that even a 20 year old me could give. Even the 20 year old me had difficulties, but I think my second son turned out pretty awesome,. My first son would have had less of a chance and there is a high likelihood that if I had kept him, my second son would not have been born. 

I don't doubt that most surrogates go through pain when giving a child they have carried for 9 months to the intended parents, but I don't believe that most would want to keep the child either. The financial burden compiled with the stigma would be something that we westerners could not even begin to understand. At 16, I may not have understood all the pain that would occur with my decision to give my baby up for adoption, but it was the right decision. For me, my future self, and both of my sons. 

 I can ONLY speak from my experiences with my clinic, there are tons of nefarious ones out there that I hope are regulated out of business soon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bye bye India

Sniff sniff.

I met some really great people this trip: some only briefly and some were there every step of the way. (And to the cute girl asking me if she should blog - YES! I won't mention your name in case you want to end up going incognito like me, but I think it would be great if you did.) Best of luck to all my fellow IVFers and surro buddies.

Would also like to mention how much I really like our surrogate. She is a beautiful (inside and out), healthy, bright, and charming young woman. Exactly what I hoped for. Hopefully, fate will shine down on us in this and in the future.

Was happy to have a chance to see some of our family while we were here, even if only briefly. Wish we had more time, but alas it was not so.

So much to write, but I'm on my phone and need to start prepping for our long flight, so I'll cut it short for now. Made lots of notes along the way, to write for a different day.

Bye bye India. Hope to see you soon.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The results are in! Stage (I forget by now)

The number 3 is the first odd prime number, and the second smallest prime. It is both the first Fermat prime (22n + 1) and the first Mersenne prime (2n − 1), the only number that is both, as well as the first lucky prime.

It has significance in many world religions including Christianity (Trinity), Hinduism (Trimurti), Judaism (3 Patriarchs), Islam (3 holy cities for pilgrimage), Buddhism (3 Jewels), Taoism (3 Pure Ones), and Wicca (Triple Goddess).

According to Pythagoras and the Pythagorean school, the number 3, which they called triad, is the noblest of all digits, as it is the only number to equal the sum of all the terms below it, and the only number whose sum with those below equals the product of them and itself.

Personally, the number 3 is how I used to always hang pictures or decorations on my walls for what I believed to be the perfect balance and auspicious design.

And most importantly, 3 is the number of good embryos that were transferred to our surrogate yesterday.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Egg total = 4

Less than I thought for 12 good follicles, but still twice as many as last time.

Today we go and see if they fertilized. Already my stomach is a tad in knots. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Ganesha Chaturthi!

And Happy birthday Ganesha!!!

Wish I could see the whole immersion ceremony, but I guess that is for another time.

Large idol outside my hotel

Guys giving some sweet powder to kids (and me!) 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You know you're hormonal when...

The movie Gladiator makes you cry.

Those last 5 minutes are a doozy.

Day 9: 12 are good to go!

12 follicles are between 16-21mm and 1 is at 14mm. YAY YAY YAY. This is so much better than last time (and with the original 5 we thought we were starting with). I'm still on the antagonist protocol, but with extra meds that Dr. P says has recently shown really good results in poor responders. Now let's just hope everything else goes well and that the follicles are filled with good eggs, that make good embryos, that make BABIES. It would really suck to feel so positive this time to have it all go to crap.

We are going to retrieve on Thursday. My husband has switched his travel plans and it taking an earlier flight into Vadodora, where the hotel car will be waiting for him. We nixed the train idea. That should shave a few hours off his time, so maybe he will make it before I go under. I hope so.

My husband wanted me to ask the doctor if we could do the retrieval in the afternoon, but she said she doesn't want to take the chance and compromise everything. I knew that would be the case. If we don't time things exactly right, then we could miss our window, especially with my larger follicles.

So Thursday it is. Right now my husband should arrive around 8:30AM and I am scheduled for retrieval at 9:30am. With any luck he will be there to hold my hand before I have to go under. Hoping that Dr. P is able to retrieve many and that they are good.

While we are waiting, here are some pics of a small local temple nearby.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 8: Yay! and try not to freak out.

Had another sonogram today, more shots, met the surrogate, and went over some preliminary paperwork.

Sonogram showed 13 follicles (yay!). 5 really good size, 6 average, and 2 small. Hopefully we will get some good eggs and then embryos out of these. Right now we plan on extracting on Thursday, but Dr. P said she will confirm after my sonogram tomorrow. 

Starting to get a little worried with the timing of my husband's arrival. I recall when we were planning this trip that I commented we didn't have much buffer room for mess-up (time wise), but I didn't think much more of it. Don't think I even thought of the timing for HIS arrival at all. Saturday I realized how short we were cutting it with his arrival. He gets here on Thursday - right now I'm tentatively scheduled for egg retrieval that day. That means he will not be there when I go under, something I am NOT happy about. Think "scared" is more the word I am feeling around for. In case of emergency, we do have 2 backup samples from last time, which is  good to know, but still don't like the idea of possibly having to use them if ANYTHING goes wrong with his travel. 

Try not to freak out, Try not to freak out. 

Last time we had to go a day earlier than expected. We expected 10 days of shots (not including the trigger) and ended up with only 9. If I go on Thursday, this will mean that I only had 8 days. I think the average person goes 9-12 days. I'm hormonal and irritable at my husband right now. Even more at myself for not looking at his schedule more closely and insisting on better buffers. 

Try not to freak out. Try not to freak out. 

Ok, got that out of my system for now.

On a different note: met the surrogate today. The surrogate is 28 years old, 121 lbs and 5'3 (I think she's 5'2 1/2). She has a brightness to her eyes and is ready with a smile. Sadly, she is going through a divorce and wishes to have enough money to get her own house and have some left over to go towards her son's education. 

When people talk about exploiting the poor, I really wonder if they think of things like this. Many months ago I looked up Gujarat house/flat prices and I remember being amazed how low they were. A surrogate in the USA could NEVER buy a house for what a woman could here in India. Sure, it may be a small house/flat compared to what we are used to, but so are most of the homes I have been to here. Even in very well to do homes. A woman could not earn the equivalent of 10+ years salary for surrogacy in the USA and they could not have left over funds to educate their children. When you see the lives here that have had such a positive impact due to Dr. Patel and surrogacy, it's easy to see why she does not let her critics affect her. 

Ok, got that out of my system for now.

Please let this take this time. I don't think we could come back again for another try with my eggs. Please please please. 

Hopefully this cow gave me her blessings. I gave her and a baby cow some of my leftover Malai Kofta and rice. Actually I gave it to the calf, but then she came and took it over. I'm ok with that. Maybe I'll get double blessings. 

Boss cow

Baby cow eating bushes after a few bites of delivery

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Good article about surrogacy in India

Not familiar with this news source here in India, but the few articles I perused were done quite well. The article they have on surrogacy is here: Though I don't particularly care for the first picture they have in the slides, the article is a positive one none-the-less. Worth the read.

Note: the article is a bit confusing when it is referring to clinics . Even as a person who knows a ton about my clinic, I had some confusion when they flip between some details about clinics. For example, on page  1, the author writes "Parvati works for – Akanksha Infertility Clinic" and noting earlier that is is located in Ahmedabad. Then they flip to "Dr Kamini Patel, the director of Vani IVF Centre, in Ahmedabad". Even though these two clinic are in Gujarat and both have a Dr. Patel, they are two completely different clinics. The article flips back and forth between quotes from Parvati and quotes from Dr. Kamini, that it sounds like they are the same clinic. I actually wonder if they just misprinted which clinic Parvati was with. 

Also, while the Vani IVF Center they refer to frequently and write as having 48 surrogate babies born, I do want to note that Dr. Nayna Patel at the Akanksha Infertility Clinic has had over 500 surrogates born as of June of this year. I know this because I was here for the HUGE celebration, flanked with media from all over. I include this information because I can see that the most people would confuse the two clinics when reading the article

Friday's hustle

As noted in my post: Days are Flying By: Day 6, I ran into some hustlers the other day. Be forewarned, by the way I feel today, I am clearly hormonal from my shots. Happened to me last IVF cycle right around this time as well.

Friday I went in search of a store I heard about from the forum (started from a former patient of Dr. Patel's). The store was called 7-eleven and it was the local baby store. I wanted to check to see if they had any Indian clothes for one of my BFF's that is expecting in October. She and her husband lived in India for a short duration many years ago and I knew she would love it.

A gentleman at the clinic gave me directions, but I got a little lost on the way. Not a super big deal because I was close enough to the clinic that I knew I could find my way back if needed. Plus I had a map on my phone of where I was going, and used it in tandem with the remarkably accurate iPhone map (that locates where you are.) No biggie.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a woman walking some distance away, carrying another women. Having recently watch the CARE video (netflix) on polio, I instantly assume she is carrying a relative that has been struck with that horrible disease; especially since it is not uncommon in India. I've seen it in many other parts of India, but I can't remember seeing it in Anand (with the possible exception of a girl I gave money to outside the clinic the other day).

The ladies and I were walking at opposite ends of a right angle, thus our paths were bound to cross. I knew she would ask for money, and I'm a sucker for that sort of thing (though less in major cities as it is sometimes connected to nefarious groups). As soon as our eyes met she headed for me and I acquiesced by giving her a small bit: more than my Indian friends would have approved of, but still a paltry amount by US standards. She asked for more, but I declined. Something about when a beggar asks for more usually sends a red flag up in my experience. The heat is getting to me and I sit down on some stairs for a minute. Sure enough, I watch as the woman, now a block away, sets the other woman down and they continue walking, smiling, and chatting. I shake my head and smile as you can only do when these things happen.

Another elderly woman approaches and I give her a small amount as well. She's old and is almost completely void of pigment. Something about her rings true and she thanks/blesses me as she walks away. I figure at this point I should move away from the area I am in. It's heavily populated and too many people have seen me give money away. There are no other non-Indians anywhere to be seen and I have just painted a big bulls-eye on myself. Start walking a different direction and less than 60 seconds passes when 2 girls start following me.

Here is when I start to bristle. These girl are not poor. This is quite obviously a game to them. They are dressed well in good saris and are giggling as much as they are begging. Clearly this is a game to see if I will pay them to leave me alone. They follow me creating a scene, begging, giggling, and occasionally pulling at my shirt as I walk. Let me pause here it say that the last part is especially stressful for me as I used to have anxiety attacks about stuff like that. Just crowds in general with people bumping into me. (I've come a long way baby.)

I repeatedly tell the girls "no" in english and in Hindi. My breath starts getting a little shallow, but I'm determined not to let it get to me.  Realize that even if I WANTED to pay them to leave me alone, that this will invite others to harass me, so I hold steadfast in my principles even though it is only a miniscule amount. A shopkeeper, half laughing, takes pity on me at a corner and tells the girls to leave me alone. After a few stern comments from him and my continue refusal to give in, they finally walk away laughing. I take a deep breath, shrug/smile at the shop keeper, thank him, and continue on my journey. As I resume looking for the 7-eleven, I notice that I had just begun to shake a little. My in-laws words "take no tension!" echo in my ear.

The shop is right around the corner, and I welcome the cool AC. They have some FREAKING AWESOME Indian baby clothes. In my heart I know I can't buy these on my own because I will be horrifically overcharged, so I tell them I will come back with my husband. I think he will be tickled when he sees the little outfits, but may have been irritated if I let them rob me. Anyway, I'm in no mood to bargain.

This is probably one of my biggest stresses of India. I do not mind helping people (beggars) who are genuinely poor and have very few options, but the scammers make this difficult. Part of your heart begins to harden because you begin to notice so many hustles. What is one to do? Many times I  think of trying to start a project that helps people in severe poverty, but right now the idea is overshadowed with self-doubts of how I would be able to do this effectively as a foreigner.

Had some further things tried on me today when trying to purchase some local fruit, but I'll save that for another post. That's probably what set me off today as I was trying to buy extra fruit to give away instead of money. In my mind I thought it was a win-win: help a vendor by purchasing and have something for people on hand that are genuinely hungry (and makes me less of a target.) Hormones and people trying to charge me too much, made this idea a bust.

These are the complications I don't have to worry about when I help animals.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Days are flying by: Day 6 - Part deux

Good and bad.

The bad was the AMH results, but for reasons I will not go into right now, I don't have absolute confidence in the results from the blood peeps. That could be a preserving mechanism, could be erroneous results, maybe my cyst threw it off, or maybe the results were simply wrong. Whatever. I'm not going to focus on that either way. PLUS, from what I understand, AMH is a direct reflection of follicle/egg count and if that's the case then it doesn't make sense that....

MY FOLLICLES ARE WAY UP! I have 11 that are growing. 7 of them are good sized. The 4 smaller ones can always potentially catch up, but I'm very happy about the 7 follicles. That's much better than last time.

(pic my send friend sent me during my 1st cycle)

I realize that 11 follicles isn't earth shattering news for some, but it's great news for me. Let's just hope that they have good eggs inside and that will grow into great embryos. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Days are flying by: Day 6

I've met the most interesting people this time from all over the world. Couples from Africa (including Casablanca!), Europe, Japan, China, USA, and of course many from other parts of India. My husband and I  are not even the only mixed couple this time. There is a Chinese lady married to a Norwegian, a lady from South Africa married to an Indian (they just had twin boys!), and a Irish guy married to an India lady (who graciously invited me to dine with them at lunch yesterday.)  Everyone is super friendly and I feel much more relaxed.

Well, except for today. Today I get my AMH results back and a sonogram to see how I am progressing. I'm  very scared. I've had flash thoughts of having to tell my husband "don't bother coming". Fortunately I'm not obsessing over those thoughts, but this morning they are definitely there.

Have had several mini-adventures that involve me trying not to get lost while still exploring new places. Managed to find the Anand version of Target on foot, something that I am extremely proud of given my propensity to get lost. Doubly exciting as my flip-flops broke on my walk to the clinic that morning. The road was a slushy mix of mud, trash and probably poo (lots of cows here!), thus barefooting it was not really an appealing idea. Was able to pull a temporary McIver move with a safety pin as you can see below. It held till I was able to find Target - yay!

Also managed to find the baby Mart (called 7-eleven), but that was a little more hectic as I ran into a couple of hustlers along the way (more on that later.) This almost never happens with my husband around and it's interesting to notice the difference. Often I tease my husband for walking around with such a stern look on his face, but now I see why.

Well that's it for now. Have to get ready to go to the clinic.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 1 and 2 with the doc

Some of my meds

Yesterday was my first visit with the doctor. We thought we were going to have to aspirate my cyst, but Dr. P thought we should check my hormone levels first. We would only aspirate if the hormones were off.

 Last cycle I had a 3cm cyst and my estradiol was way off. I only had 3 follicles and we had to aspirate in order to proceed and get my hormones back in line. Once it was aspirated (general anesthesia - ACK!), we saw 14 follicles. Not exactly sure how that works (were they hiding???, why were we able to see more later on the unaffected ovary?), but that made the initial panic of 3 follicles easier to deal with.

This time I knew I had a 5cm cyst walking in. Turns out it had reduced to 2cm, but I only have 5 follicles currently showing. 4 and 1. My hormone levels came back normal, so we opted not to aspirate. Dr. P ordered an AMH test, and I get the results back tomorrow. Truthfully, I am a bit horrified to get the results back from that one. The follicle thing I can not worry about and simply hope more "appear", but a bad AMH right off that bat will crush me.

We are starting off with a stronger course of meds this time, though the Gonal F is at the same range we started last time (we increased it halfway through last time). 4 shots to the belly right now. Here is the breakdown:

gonal f - 375 IU
luveris/lutropin - 75 x .2
lupride/ leuprolide - 1. mil IU
human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): HOCOG - 1250 IU

I started researching some stuff yesterday and then I just stopped. It was too depressing and I don't think it is doing me any favors right now. Hopefully my AMH has not tanked (it was 1.7 in February) and then I can be cautiously hopeful. Not even sure if cysts can affect AMH, but I'm too afraid to keep looking. 

Today I'm ok. Got shots in the belly and then socialized a bit with some other patients. For some reason, buying dog food to leave for homeless dogs (I especially worry about the lame ones) made me feel better. I don't know why, it just did. Maybe because it gives me a little bit of control or maybe it's because I feel like I can do a little tiny something to help. Right now I need a super simple way to make myself happy and that did it. I'm sure there are plenty of more laudable things I could be doing right now, but that comes with such complications at times and often tons more stress. 

I'll confess that in the last few weeks, I have, on occasion, semi-prayed. Given my atheist/agnostic ideology, this is quite complex to me internally. Not posting this because I want I bunch of comments regarding religion (quite the opposite), I just thought since it is part of my journey that I better fess up. If you are religious and are reading this, feel free to send your prayers, good vibes, or whatever else my way. I need all the help I can get. :-)

That's it for now. 

I'm fairly certain this makes me a Crazy American

Especially given the looks I was getting from the store clerks...

Now if I can just figure out a way to feed the homeless dogs I see everyday on my walk without
a.) having them maul me
b.) having them follow me
c.) offending anyone

UPDATE: Ok, apparently I'm not too crazy. Saw a guy today on his moped with his dog in his lap (complete with sindoor blessings on the dog's forehead), with his child and wife seated behind him. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Arrived and all is well

I realized last night that I hadn't posted an update. Getting to Anand is not a quick journey and I usually am a bit "off" for a few days when I get here. The travel was smooth but long. Here's an approximate timeline

4:45pm - board plane
6:30pm - plane takes off (45 min delay).
fly 8 hours. Different time zone.

8:30am -  Amsterstam time land.
9:00am - unnecessarily rush to see where my next gate is. It's 2 gates back. Go through security. Realize after standing in line I can go through Sky Miles line. Switch lines. Go through security. Board around 9:45am.
10:20am - flight takes off for Mumbai (7 1/2 hour flight, time zone changes again).
10:30PM - land in Mumbai.
11:30pm - through customs and see nephew waiting outside to pick me up.

12:30am - arrive at BIL/SIL/nephew's flat. Eat, talk for a bit and try to get a few hours sleep
4:45am - get up and get ready to go to train station. Nephew is riding with me to Anand
6:30am - train leaves
11:50am - train arrives in Anand
12:30pm - check into hotel, eat lunch, see off nephew (he is riding train back to Mumbai)
4:00pm - pass out (I didn't sleep on train for fear I would miss our stop.)
8:00pm - wake up. Eat dinner. Contact everyone I need to contact. Watch a movie, read, pass out again.

Still adjusting and don't get a blog post out (but I think of some interesting ones to post!) Go exploring in hood (ie, walk to clinic and a restaurant..) Still adjusting to time change.

Monday morning: now. Off to see the doctor. This will probably be an all day affair as not only do I have to do blood work and exam, she's been out of town, and she has to squeeze me in to aspirate my cyst. Meaning I have to have general anesthesia. I'll be too wonky to post then. And if I do post, there is NO telling what I may say. :-)

Here is a pic of a warm-and-fuzzy I brought along for the trip. I'm pretty sure he ate all my ice cream.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Leavin... On a jet plane

Yea yea yea, I'm very non-original today.

On my plane to India. I hear there are potential floods.

Women in front of me across several rows are going on about one of them who adopted a baby from Russia. I'm not sure how the conversation even started since no one seems to know each other, there aren't any babies, and the women aren't sitting next to each other. I think someone else recently internationally adopted or is about to. That's my guess. I wonder if I would ever feel comfortable about taking to total strangers about my ordeal. Well, EXCEPT YOU GUYS! But that's totally different. :-)

Feeling better today, but sad I will be without my husband for a few weeks. It's just setting in. I really hate being without him. Especially during sleepy time.

Plane is hot. They said one of the vents are having issues, but it will be resolved once we take off. Someone near me is a smoker and it's making me a little nauseous. In a non-drama queen way.

Prepare for take off.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another day...


Woo hoo! Off to Indian by myself on Thursday. Can't wait for the general anesthesia to aspirate my ginormaous cyst right off the bat.

Yea, it's like that today.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Spot Check Part 2: Calming down

Right now I've calmed down enough to realize my spotting yesterday may  have been caused by the sonogram on Thursday. It has happened before with a sonogram. I don't know why it didn't occur to me till this afternoon when I was at a baby shower and was relieved to see no blood on a ladies room break. (Sorry to be so graphic.)  Or it could have been a minor nick on the cyst. I think if it had burst at 5cm, then there would have been a lot more blood.

Must have been pale as a ghost last night and my wonderful hubby helped calm me down. All I could think of was how I had some how messed up my last chance. I'm still a little worried, but not massively freaked out like I was last night. Tiny, tiny spot this morning, but then no more blood today. I was so freaked out last night I took an extra BCP. I may take extra ones till the 5th just to be sure.

Thinking that my side effects (like dizzy) may be merely from the cyst itself. (Or the freak out!) Not surprised that I had one as I had started cramping on occasion. I'm not bleeding today, so I'm hoping and hoping that the sonogram caused it. If I'm ok till Monday, then I will be able to breath a sigh of relief. If I'm not, I will contact Dr. Patel in India. As long as I am not bleeding, I will try not to worry.

In other news, if all goes well, I will have my cyst aspirated in India. Not ideal (will be alone initially and I will have to undergo general anesthesia), but I don't have much of a choice. Was able to confirm that my OB/GYN had been talking about laparoscopy and Dr. Patel said that she would have to cancel the cycle if I did that. Dr. I's staff (and he) were using laparoscopy and aspiration interchangeably (they most certainly are NOT) and after a series of confusing discussions with his staff, I was finally able to clarify with him on Friday morning. Apparently he DOES NOT aspirate, and told me that an infertility clinic would have to do that.

We have a really good infertility clinic here (ACRM) that we have used for all of our initial tests, but the chance I would be able to get an appointment in time are very slim. Not to mention that it most certainly WOULD NOT be covered under insurance. My old company insurance covered some things, but my husband's BCBS covers next to nothing for infertility. The mere fact something is done at an infertility clinic usually means they won't pay for it. The money we have spent at the infertility clinic does not even go against our yearly deductible.

Just as well. My husband did not have a warm and fuzzy about my having it so close to international travel. And my travel to India is not direct - it usually takes about 36 hours of travel time. I don't sleep well on planes, trains, or automobiles (all of which I have to take), so it's best to do it in India. Dr. Patel said she would do it and she did it last time. Pretty sure she didn't even charge us extra. Hopefully it doesn't affect the cycle.

Please keep your hopes/prayers/warm wishes for me that it was just a result from the sonogram and that I will have a successful cycle in Anand.