Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stranger Than Fiction

Squirty Up The Clacker Day dawned bright and early.

The House Of Groovy Love informed me late on Monday afternoon that I was scheduled for 8.45am which sucked for two reasons; firstly the Chinese Fertility Goddess wouldn't be open before 9.30 and I was hoping for a pre-transfer pinning and secondly Tricky wasn't due to start childcare till 8.30.

Luckily for us Tricky's carer was happy to take him half an hour early but the acupuncture would be post transfer only. This is apparently the one that actually matters and I had that session with the CFG the day before, but I am a Cancerian Creature Of Habit and since that was the routine last time which ended up in Tricky...well.... what can I say?

It was wierd beyond belief being back in the stirrups. Things felt, well...abnormal.

It had started with the strange Alice In Wonderland like rabbit hole that passed as a parking station, just opposite the House Of Groovy Love. Having squeezed into the bowels of the place we got into a lift fully expecting it to take us up to the street we had just driven off. Instead we found ourselves on the street behind. It took us at least a full minute of staring about before we realised which way we needed to walk.

Dr Lovely Accent was all smiles and warm hands, the fertility sisters were all caring words and pop your undies in your pockets and the embryologist had the most enormous eyelashes I have ever seen outside of a drag queen, but even so it all felt odd and discombobulating.

Last time our whole world revolved around what went in and out my lala.

Normality was spending every waking hour of every day devoted to mindful babymaking. We were on strict strict diets, both of us, no alcohol, coffee, sugar, fats, chilli... we drank Horrid Teas and we had regular acupuncture. This time, it seemed to have caught us up unawares. Somewhere in between the work and the child and the broken sleep I made some phone calls, had some blood tests, dated the Dildo-Cam and now we were about to have this tiny cluster of cells, like a soccer ball, the embryologist explained, her enormous eyelashes fanning the air as she spoke, inserted into the jam sandwich that was my uterus. She was telling me all about percentages of intactness and compressions and outer shells but all I could think about was what mascara she used.

And anyway, the good news is, said Dr Lovely Accent, no doubt clocking my bunny in the headlights stare, the embryo survived.

C and I nodded and smiled and followed him into the room, whispering to ourselves as we did.

Are you feeling alright? Dr Lovely Accent asked and I said yes, yes...but see this feels so wierd...and I tried to explain the strange non-normality of it all. He laughed and offered to give me a few more bloodtests if it would help. I climbed up onto the little seat and scooted into position, C sat beside me. The embryologist showed us our progeny up on the big screen and I felt my eyes prickle with tears. And that felt wierd too.

And then in went the speculum (thankfully not the plastic variety) and in popped Dildo-Cam for a bit of a look see, and a great wash of emotion swirled in my guts. Oh yes, my body was saying, it's this again, this having to be poked and have things stuck up you and swished about just so that you can have a chance at pregnancy. I was aware of what was happening but I was also aware of the pain I felt, not just for me, a general amorphous pain of infertility; why does this have to happen? The embryologist brought over the catheter and syringe with its tiny cargo awash in a saline sea. I reached out for C's hand. It seemed important that there was at least some sort of physical connection with my husband taking place while our last chance embryo was squirted up my clacker.

At that point C, nervous, also feeling the wierdness of the situation, said Is it good for you darling? and I began to laugh. It was one of those high pitched hysterical giggles heee heee heee... not advisable when one has a tube through the cervix. Dr Lovely Accent paused considerately to let me stop. I mustered all my strength, thought Stern Thoughts and managed to both repress the giggles and relax. I guess that means it must have been said Dr Lovely Accent suddenly and I laughed again.

I'm so sorry said C, it just popped out.

But maybe that laugh at the end was good, a quick Dildo-Cam check confirmed that the embryo was in a great position and we were good to go.

Except, unexpectedly, as we were leaving I thought I saw Dr Lovely Accent nick past us in sneakers and a pair of green satin running shorts. Surely not, said C, but as we stepped out of the House Of Groovy Love, sure enough, there was Dr Lovely Accent, shorts and all, not jogging exactly but certainly walking very fast as one might do if one was about to jog after one finished one's mobile phone call.

Within an hour we were back with the Chinese Fertility Goddess. Scarily there were at least four women waiting to go ahead of me, all lined up on the stairs. Eventually they moved themselves up into the acupuncture rooms. The CFG herself was in a consulting room with another patient. She had told me to knock on the door when I arrived but I didn't think that felt right. Instead I sat on a chair outside the office and waited. And waited. Finally I knocked on the door, apologetically. The CFG leapt up when she saw me, bustled me into a room, stuck me with pins and wrapped me in a blanket.

An hour later when I came out, there was a woman sitting in the chair outside my room and she was reading my book. I goggled at her and she waved it at me. It's great, she said. Congratulations. And good luck. Thanks I said smoothly, as if I was entirely used to seeing strangers reading my book in the corridor outside my acupuncture room, good luck to you too.

Twenty four hours, two cups of Horrid Tea, one pessary and a handful of forbidden chocolate later, I feel vaguely hopeful, generally apprehensive, reasonably worried and slightly excited.

Completely normal, I expect.


Anonymous said...

Hi there Vanessa. Just wanted to say your blog is fantastic and the photos of your son are are all so beautiful. I'm 10 weeks pregnant after 3.5 years of trying everything under the sun - in the end it was science that got me over the line at a NaproTechnology clinic taking a cocktail of clomid, low dose naltrexone & pregnyl + some horizontal folk dancing with preseed thrown into the mix. I wish you all the best for your next child.

Jess said...

I am so very hopeful for you dear OvaG.

Rebecca said...

I only realised with this post what huge emotional bravery it is to write about all of this. All the best, all will be well...

Linda said...

Good luck, Ova Girl! I'm hoping so hard for you.


Nico said...

I cant' believe that squirty up the clacker day has already come and gone. I am also hoping like mad that that little ball of cells is snuggling into your jam sandwich nice and tight. Grow, Tricky's twin, grow!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here at my desk with eyes all filled with happy tears for you.
Not only have you used the word "discombobulated"; which is one of my all-time favorite words,
you made me giggle.

"Is it good for you darling?"

I raise a cup of Horrid Tea to you and C and Tricky with my best wishes.

Betty M said...

Delurking to say all best wishes for you.

Grit said...

'clacker' has got to be the finest descriptive word for this most tender part; i will be driven to use the word immediately in as many circumstances as i can get away with, just for the pleasure of the saying. thank you for that, and good wishes to Tricky II!

LL said...

luck.... and lots of it dear OG

How exciting to actually see a stranger reading your book!

Mony said...

Embryo on board.

Mima said...

Sorry not to have got here quicker, didn't have a good day yesterday, but just wanted to say all the best of luck, I have everything crossed for you. I think you would probably be amazed if you found out how many lives your book has affected.

Dramalish said...

You know that Squirty Up the Clacker Day is one of my most favorite IF Holidays ever, right?

Thanks for reminding me about "normal." Normal for me will be mixing and injecting synthetic drugs meant to mimic menopausal women's urine, dates with a breezy wand-wielder, and lugging a tall cardboard box stuffed with styrefoam and a nitrogen tank all around the Greater Bay Area.

Ah, how I've missed "normal."

Good luck, OG. Win one for the good girls.

lucky #2 said...

I felt the same way this time around...your toddler keeps you so busy you do "sort of" forget the minute to minute thoughts of IF. It is always there in the back of your mind, but seems when up the clacker day arrives, that you are shocked it has arrived. I will cross ALL of my fingers and toes (that includes my babies too!) Best of luck!

Maggie May said...

Waiting with bated breath....... Hope all goes well! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Good luck!