Ross and I left our house just before 9am yesterday morning. I had to stop by the office for a few minutes to wrap something up and then we were on our way downtown. Traffic was light with just a few slow-downs. The nurse who had called the day before to give me pre-procedure instructions asked that we park on the second level of the parking garage and walk into the building. Simple enough, right? Wrong. We somehow walked into a completely different building!! We knew we needed to take the elevator up to the 3rd floor, but when we did, I knew right away everything was different. We were laughing as we made it down to the first floor, out the front of that building and into the correct building. The two buildings are so close together that they share the same parking garage, which I still think is totally confusing.
However, due to the fact that Ross insisted we leave an hour and a half early for a trip that typically takes just under an hour served us well. We were supposed to be there by 10:30, and due to the stop at work and then the parking confusion, it was 10:23 when I signed to to register. We have been to this location 5 or 6 times, but have always parked in the same spot and gone right in. That’s what happens when you change things up for creatures of habit.
They want you to have a full bladder for this procedure. I was instructed to bring two bottles of water with me. I was to empty my bladder at home before we left, drink one bottle on the way and the other bottle when I arrived and had checked in. I drank the first bottle slowly and was feeling rather proud of myself because we had arrived and I still did not feel the urge to go. As I was checking in at registration, the woman tells me that my procedure was at 11:30. I attempted to correct her, as I was positive that I had been told it was at 11:00, and she a matter of factly told me “No, you are scheduled for 11:30.” All of a sudden I had to pee. That was over an hour away!! I finished my form they had me fill out and we walked down the hall to the surgery center.
We sat down to wait. The surgery center shares another location for our clinic. I think there are 10 clinic locations in the Houston area. I went to the clinic side to ask about the whole water situation. Since I already had to go, I wanted to know if they expected me to drink another bottle of water. The receptionist misunderstood my question and said, “Oh, if you need another bottle of water, we have a lot back here. We can give you one.” That’s when she points over to a huge mountain of water. No, no, no. I did NOT need to see that in my current condition. I explained again my question and she directed me to go through the double doors on the surgery center half of the room to find a nurse to ask.
The double doors she was referring to led back to the surgery pre op side. They also have the words “Authorized Personnel Only” clearly marked on them. So, naturally, I walked right in. I was ready for someone to kick me out before I could ask my question about the necessity of drinking a second bottle of water. I walked around the corner where I knew there was a nurse’s station. I asked her my question, she asked for my last name, looked at her chart and said that since I already had to pee, I did not have to drink the second bottle of water. Now I wish I had asked for her name so I could send her a thank you note!
I walked back through the double doors, sat down next to Ross, and tried to keep my mind off of my bladder by scrolling through Facebook and playing a game on my phone. They called me back about 20 minutes later, took my vitals and got the list of my medications. She ran out of room on her form and I wasn’t even close to rattling them all off. I explained the urgency of my full bladder. When she took me to the restroom to change, she said I could pee for 3 seconds and then I had to stop. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD THAT IS??? Usually when I finally get to go after holding it for a long time, pray “Thank you, thank you.” This time, and hopefully the only time, I was praying “Please let it stop.” If you don’t have a full bladder at the appointed time of your procedure, they will make you wait while you drink more water and let someone else go ahead of you. I was NOT going to let that happen!
I walk out of the bathroom in just my socks with the paper booties over them, the blue cap over my hair, naked from the waist-down with a hospital gown on over my t-shirt and a blanket wrapped around my waist for modesty. At that point, they had called Ross back and he was already wearing the gauze-like coveralls and paper booties over his boots. He didn’t have the shower cap looking thing on yet, I guess because he didn’t want to look silly. Um, too late, buddy, but nice try. That’s just a taste of what my world has been like the last two years of fertility treatments. The nurse gave me a Valium and 800mg ibuprofen and said the doctor would be by soon. Dr G came in about 15 minutes later all set to go into the OR. Ross told the Doc that I might pee on him during the procedure. Without missing a beat, Dr G quickly replied “That hasn’t happened to me since Vegas, and I’m pretty sure I was the one on Valium that time.”
Dr G got up to leave saying he would see us in there and Ross put on his little blue cap since he had just seen the Dr dressed in all his garb and decided it was cool. The nurse came in to get us and we walked into the OR, where I got up onto the table and they immediately covered me with warm blankets. That’s my favorite part! They put my legs up on stirrups, quickly covered my whoo-ha and the Dr came in and immediately sat down and uncovered everything. Remember that blanket for mosdesty I mentioned earlier? Modesty doesn’t really exist in this world. The nurse pressed a sonogram on my belly (ah-hem, exploding bladder) and as soon as she did, the doctor exclaimed “Wow! Look at that full bladder!” Yeah, man, that’s no joke. Do what you have to do so that I can get to a restroom. Dr G inserted the speculum and began to prepare my uterus. As he was doing this, he asked about the movies I had lined up for the three days of bed rest.
The embryologist came in and proudly showed us the picture of our embaby and said that it had survived thawing process great and had started to hatch. She handed the picture to me to see and I gave it to Ross who was just behind me. Dr G inserted the ultrasound wand, had a few things adjusted on the monitor and faced the screen so that we could see too. He said that everything was looking just the way he wanted it too. I must have heard the phrase “One embryo transfer for Amanda G” at least 3 or 4 times as they each passed it off to each other. Dr G placed our baby in the catheter and sent it right in. We saw a bright flash. Immediately Dr G felt confident because he knew that this bright flash was more pronounced than it was in our first attempt back in April. They printed a picture for us and handed it to me which, again, I immediately handed to Ross for safe-keeping. They put the catheter under the microscope to ensure that the embryo did indeed make it out, which was quickly confirmed by the embryologist. Everything was wrapped up in all of about 10-15 minutes. Dr said that he wanted me in the office Friday October2 to check my hormone levels. He’s going to keep a closer eye on things this time around.
They rolled a gurney up next to the OR table, I scooted over and they rolled me to recovery. The nurse left after asking me to get dressed and told Ross to come get her when I was ready to go to the restroom. I quickly dressed and Ross got the nurse’s attention and she escorted me to the restroom. SWEET RELIEF!! I walked out and the wheel chair was just outside the restroom door and we made our way to the parking lot. I got into the car and immediately reclined the seat for the 45 minute drive home. I sent out a multitude of texts with the pictures and had to charge my phone by the time we made it home because the battery was down to 24%. See below for the pictures of our sweet baby and please pray that it will find a good place in my uterus to attach itself to.