I went to Arizona all on my own this time for an embryo transfer.
The trip there was fine. I told Natalie I felt like I had a secret sign that everyone could read that said, “Be extra nice to me, I’m doing something big!” because people really seemed to be going out of their way to help me out in little ways through the whole trip.
Logan was out of town for the few days before the transfer, so Natalie and I had a super girls’ weekend experience. We got facials (which were amazing!), saw Beauty and the Beast, and took the dog for walks. I heard that Southwest Shakespeare was performing Wittenberg at Taliesin West, and I really wanted to go, so we did. Natalie doesn’t see much live theater because it can be difficult for her to hear, but I got us seats right in front so she could see the actors’ faces clearly. It was fantastic. I saw a rather disappointing production of Macbeth on my way to Arizona, so this was the theater redemption I needed. I would love to go back to Taliesin West in the day time to tour it. What I saw of it was incredibly beautiful, it felt like part of the landscape.
When the day came for the transfer, I kept waiting to freak out about it, but I felt really calm.
The experience itself, though, was pretty awful. I have rarely felt so much like I was being treated like a walking uterus. The doctor hardly spoke to me. She talked to Natalie and said things about me right in front of me, but didn’t talk to me at all. She didn’t ask me how I was doing or anything. She got me all prepped and then people were coming and going–and I was not at all covered up. The (male) embryologist came in and the doctor introduced him to Natalie…and then Natalie had to point out that I existed and introduce me. I don’t think I’ve ever met somebody when I was in quite so compromised a position before.
Then they started the transfer, which wasn’t painful, but also wasn’t comfortable. They used an abdominal ultrasound to help guide the embryo catheter into position. The way the room was set up, there was a monitor for the doctor to look at and another one behind my head (Natalie could see it). Every other place I’ve ever had an ultrasound, there has been a monitor positioned so that I could see it. Literally everyone in the room knew what was happening to me but me. The doctor told me not to look at either of the monitors because it would change the angle of my body and mess things up. So I couldn’t see anything. They put on some crappy hippie meditation music and told me to close my eyes and relax, but I was not about to close my eyes in that room. The doctor also didn’t say anything to me while it was going on–she didn’t warn me about instruments coming at me or when I would feel pressure or anything. I just tried to stay still, but I was completely furious and confused.
After it was done, they left me and Natalie alone in the room. “I’ll be back when you’re done cooking,” the nurse said. I was by this point so frustrated that her phrasing irritated me. They put a video clip on the monitor of the moment when the transfer happened–it looked like a little shooting star. Which was kind of cool, really. Natalie held my hand and we just waited for someone to come tell us we were done. We watched the clip and held hands, and both of us got teary, although I think it was for different reasons.
And the next day, I went home.
I wrote, at the time, that it felt like Schoedinger’s pregnancy–for the two weeks that followed, I was both pregnant and not. It turned out to be not. The wait was torturous, particularly because the medications I’m on so perfectly mimic pregnancy symptoms, down to a heightened sense of smell and lower blood pressure!
And now we’re struggling to decide what to do next. I’m committed to attempting another transfer, but after I told JC how the doctor at the clinic treated me, neither of us is comfortable with me going back there. We’re exploring the possibility of shipping an embryo to Virginia and doing it here, which would be better. I’m not sure what I’ll do if we can’t do that.