My last post ended when we found out that there were eight embryos from my first cycle using donor eggs. I was on pins and needles for two days waiting to hear how many, if any, survived. The phone call (I don’t think the phone had ever caused me so much anxiety before my IVF cycles) on the morning of the transfer brought tremendous relief. All eight embryos had survived! Of course, that relief was short lived because being me, there was always something else to worry about, and soon would be the dreaded “two week wait” for the pregnancy test.
Let’s back up a little bit. In my opinion, the worst part of the transfer is the water. I was told to drink 32 ounces of fluid within two hours of the procedure. This was to provide a more accommodating angle for my uterus and to allow better visualization of the catheter used for the ultrasound-guided transfer. So, on the hour trip to Fairfax, I consumed a massive amount of water. Needless to say, I thought my bladder was going to explode. I couldn’t even sit in the waiting room because I was too uncomfortable. I then had to endure the transfer and lying flat on my back for thirty minutes with a full-to-bursting bladder. It was so bad; I think that’s going to be what stands out about IVF in my mind forever. But anyway… The doctors transferred three healthy looking embryos that day and froze the other five to use later.
Once again, I was at the mercy of my hormonal body. I attempted not to think too much of my symptoms, but I’m always apt to overthink everything anyway. At least, I had Master Yi-Yi to keep me busy. Two very long weeks later, I headed back to Fairfax for “The” blood test. Once again, the phone produced massive amounts of anxiety. But this time, I heard “congratulations, your numbers look great, come back in two days to make sure they increase.” I was happy, though the numbers thing left some level of anxiety. But, the numbers did exactly what they were supposed to do. And two weeks later, I had an ultrasound and saw Little H’s heartbeat for the first time.
My pregnancy was relatively uneventful after that, and I kept busy with an almost two year old Master Yi-Y for the next several months. I couldn’t wait for the 20 week ultrasound to see if we would be having a boy or girl. I have to admit that I was really hoping for a girl this time. I was so excited when the ultrasound showed that to be the case (of course, being me I wouldn’t believe it 100% until she was born). That didn’t stop me from picking out all sorts of cute pink things for the pending arrival, though! At the same time, I wondered what she would look like. I didn’t know what to expect. Little H had a pale skinned, red haired donor and a father who was half Thai. We wondered what genes would win out.
About three weeks before her due date, I ended up in the ER for what I thought might be contractions. It turned out to be false labor. You would have thought I would have recognized real labor pains the second time around, but apparently not. Around four in the morning on February 2, ten days before she was due, I was cruelly reminded of what labor really felt like. Up to this point, my thinking had been if I could do “natural” childbirth once, I could do it again. Pretty much as I had the first contractions, I radically changed my mind.
Because it was early in the morning, I was admitted through the ER. The orderly sent to take me to the maternity floor made for a humorous start. First, he sent me to the wrong place, and then he arrived with a broken wheelchair. Once we got the chair straightened out, he took me to the wrong floor, and he jokingly told us he hoped he didn’t get fired. Eventually I did reach the correct floor, and I made it clear I wanted an epidural as soon as possible.
Labor progressed rather routinely, and with the help of that epidural I wasn’t in much pain, so I sent Mark to get himself something to eat.He hadn’t been gone long when the baby’s heart monitor went off, so all these nurses came running in, flipped me on my side and shoved an oxygen mask on my face. Mark returned in the middle of the chaos. After that dramatic moment, labor continued on uneventfully. Little H’s heart rate didn’t drop again until delivery, at which time they told me that I needed to push her out “now.” Well, “now” didn’t happen, so they moved things along with the vacuum. Approximately eight hours after labor began; Little H was born, complete with a little tuft of red hair! Both Master Yi-Yi and my brother Michael adored her. In fact, the nickname Little H was coined by Michael.
Life was hectic, yet rewarding with two kids. Those frozen embryos did stay in the back of my mind, and I knew I would use them eventually. Adoption was something else I considered, but that came later. I will get into that more in my next post, as well as the events and circumstances that would eventually lead up to Monkey Boy’s birth.