March 30, 2017, continued…
Having communicated with my future little one in my journal, I was feeling calmer and ready for what was to come next… though still a bit disconnected.
L the acupuncturist arrived on time at 9am.
For some reason I stalled a bit getting to her. I guess things were starting to get real.
The hotel helped me stall, by making the elevator take forever. I was on the 7th floor, the top floor, and sometimes the elevator actually took 10 minutes to arrive. This was one of those times. I was grateful for the breather.
L was lovely, she took the time to explain things on the way up in the elevator and set my mind at ease when we got to the room, explaining again what to do. Take of your leggings (I was wearing a dress with leggings) lay on the bed, head at the foot. And she went to wash her hands.
That was a good sign, washing her hands!
Then she told me that some points might hurt a little bit. And that if they hurt it was a sign that those points needed attention.
She swabbed the points before inserting the needles with alcohol.
Then she started at my crown.
She put in four needles and every one of them hurt. I not only felt the prick of needle breaking skin, but the spot she chose was tender. I told her so, “unbearable?” she asked… “no.” “Good then we have the right spots.”
Next she did my hands, the right one hurt quite a lot – not unbearable, but still painful. And the left one didn’t really hurt at all after the initial prick.
Then points on my knees, ankles and feet. Knees and ankles hurt, left knee, right ankle. I wondered how I was supposed to relax while this was happening.
I did though, not completely and my brain didn’t switch off, it was still running over a checklist of things I would need, and things to take to the clinic with me, and what I would do after the clinic, where to get lunch and dinner, what to watch later.
When 45 minutes was up she started to remove the needles. I was grateful that was over, and prayed the discomfort was helping.
Then we drove to the clinic. She seemed stressed to get me there – I was not at all stressed, in fact, I was completely calm. I was not worried about being a few minutes late at all. Not even worried about the address because she had GPS.
I remembered thinking how without her getting to the clinic would have been much more stressful for me and that I would have likely been in a state of panic about how to get there. But now she did all the panicking for me, and I was free to be relaxed and calm.
I was super grateful – she was another angel on my trip. A sign perhaps?
We parked across from a pharmacy and then had to walk a block back to the clinic. I was glad of that too because I needed to go to the pharmacy after and now we knew where it was.
There was a coffee shop in the clinic building and she was going to wait there for me, but first she came upstairs to make sure I was in the right place and to find out how long to wait.
My first impressions were: clean, bright (everything was white), and spacious. I was grateful for all of these things as it gave the impression of a hospital, or a professional clinic. Phew!
The first person we spoke to did not speak English at all, and I was grateful for L being there. Then I met my coordinator.
She was beautifully striking, well groomed and proud looking – a bit like all of the Czech people I’ve come across so far.
L left and my coordinator and I sat and talked.
She wanted my paperwork first.
So we went through that. Then she asked me for E’s phone number. My mind went, “Eek!” did I have it?
I did, and I gave it to her. Relieved that I had the numbers, because my brain was drawing a blank.
Then she asked for his email address… oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.
I hesitated, then to stall I started to check my phone and she said “you know, your partners email…”
I felt busted, I made one up, and gave that to her then I told her some story about how he has several and I wasn’t sure which one to give and she assured me they wouldn’t email it, they just needed to have one.
Feeling sheepish, and like I’d done something wrong, I started babbling about how we met, and that we were planning on moving to the East coast, and that we currently work in separate provinces and how hard long distance has been, and how long we’ve been talking about children, and how we started off on the adoption track…. Babble, babble, babble.
I am pretty sure she knew I was lying, but she signed the forms, filed them, and said “let’s get you upstairs for the procedure.”
This is happening.
I wish I was excited but mostly I was wondering what the hell I was doing.
She tried to make small talk on the way up the elevator, things like “are you excited?”
It was hard to express how I was feeling.
So I blurted out “I’m scared, and now I’m wondering if I even want a baby.”
She laughed it off, “of course you do.”
How is everyone else so certain when I’m not?
I mean, I do want a baby, or I think I do, don’t I? I want the end result: a baby, or at least the idea of it appeals to me, the actuality – I don’t know just yet.
Perhaps I am afraid to really want it. I’ve really wanted it before and been shattered when it didn’t eventuate.
She had me sit in a waiting room for a few minutes while she talked with the doctor. There was one man and a couple sitting in there too. The man I presume was waiting for his wife, and the couple waiting for their treatment.
No one looked freaked, nor happy, everyone looked a bit “blank”.
Then she took me in to meet the doctor.
We’re going to call him Dr Scrumptious (Dr. S for short), because he was a bit of all right!
He too expected me to be excited. I didn’t know what to say, I am not a good liar on the spot. He only spoke a little English so my coordinator translated and I’m sure she said I was super excited. Even though I probably I looked as scared as a rabbit cornered by wolves.
He told me that the embryo they had for me was a 6 day fully hatched blastocyst and of the highest quality, he felt certain it would result in a pregnancy.
Oh boy. Pregnancy.
He asked if I had any questions. That morning while laying in bed I’d had plenty of questions, now I was drawing a blank. So I asked the only things I could think of…
What should I do with the rest of my day? They told me that I should take it easy, nothing strenuous, no running but walking was fine, no hot tubs, no swimming, no baths. Showers were fine. No heavy lifting for a few days.
I asked about lifting my suitcase on and off the train in a couple of days and the doctor was like “pfft, that will be fine” (except he said it in Czech and it was translated by my coordinator).
Then when I had no more questions, my coordinator led me to a little changing room that was off the procedure room.
She told me to take my underwear off and wrap myself in a sheet.
I was wearing a dress so didn’t use the sheet as a wrap, instead I carried it in my arms like a safety blanket.
Then I went through the doors. The procedure room was large, white and sparsely furnished, the only thing I saw was a TV mounted high in the corner of the room and under it a cabinet/desk combination, then smack in the middle was the table with the enormous stirrup things, surrounded by screens and medical type stuff.
At my coordinator’s gesture I hopped up on the table and laid down sticking my legs in the stirrups. They were super high up and I struggled to get my legs into them with my little shorties. These were made for a much taller person it seemed.
My entire underside was uncovered, completely exposed, and because of the positioning of my legs wide ‘open’ to anyone on that side of the room. Breezy!
Several people came in. Nurses walking around, two doctors, and my coordinator; everyone had a good look at my wide open vulva.
I felt uncomfortable and yet strangely invisible… as a human being.
My girlfriends who have had babies laughed at this and told me to “get used to it” pregnancy and childbirth takes all of your most private parts and stretches, exposes, and removes all sense of dignity.
Was I ready?
One nurse, who entered the room came over and covered my area with some of the paper stuff they had lining the bed. I thanked her and she smiled.
My coordinator told me to look up at the TV screen. There was my embryo. I asked my coordinator to please take a photo, and she did:
Looking at it on the screen I felt as forlorn and alone as my 6 day old embryo looked.
She told me that it had been thawed today and was looking healthy and ready for implantation.
It was then I remembered that I was there to have that embryo inserted into my body to make me PREGNANT!
I had a moment of not wanting to go ahead, and wondered what would happen if I upped and walked out.
Of course I wouldn’t do that, it was not my style. My style is to go through with something I didn’t want to do, and beat myself up about it later!
I ran through the whole process I’d been through so far. All the emails, all the forum discussions, all the conversations with friends…. I wanted this, didn’t I? I’d certainly worked hard enough to get here. I even flew across the world to do this. So I did want it right?
Then Dr. S arrived and broke my train of thought.
Like a God, the sea of people parted ways for him to enter the vagina zone.
His bedside manner was a little rough but he exuded confidence and ease in his surroundings and I appreciated that above comfort.
He whipped the cover away and sat down to have a look.
At the same time a nurse put the ultrasound thing on my stomach. She was pressing lightly and Dr. S took it from her and dug into my pelvis with it. I thought perhaps he was trying to embed the scanner into my spine he was so deep with it.
Then he gestured for her to hold it.
At that point and without warning, he slathered my area with lube and immediately put the clampy thing in opening me up. It was a bit shocking and made me wonder if he makes love the same way.
Yep, my brain went there.
As if on cue, he was looking at a screen beside me that I couldn’t see because it was facing away from me, he leaned on my legs like they were arm rests specifically put there for him. His bare arms felt warm, beefy, strong and soft all at once. It was a nice sensation him draped across me, familiar, comfortable, like he was completely at ease with my nakedness.
I definitely had a crush, which I think is a nice thing to have when someone is impregnating you…right?
Though, now I really wished I’d shaved my legs that morning!
My coordinator told me that he was now going to look around for the perfect spot to launch the embryo.
Then she said “see they’ve just put the embryo into the syringe.”
I looked at the TV screen and it was now empty.
I could feel him insert it, then poke around inside my uterus.
Did I want this? I closed my eyes and searched my soul.
Yes. I wanted this. All fears aside, I wanted this.
Again he leaned his arms on my legs as he looked for the perfect place while he maneuvered the catheter inside of me.
His warmth was soothing and I felt my body relax.
Then I felt a “pinch” just as he said “done”.
I had been staring at the clock on the wall, it read: 10:53am. A 9 – A good sign for me, meaningful.
My coordinator said, “you’re all done”.
Then the hive of people around me launched into activity.
The doctor turned the screen he’d been looking at and gestured to the screen.
Then he shook my hand, which was awkward as he leaned between my still upright and wide open legs, and I was having trouble lifting my torso, while looking at the screen. Then he and his assistant doctor left the room.
My coordinator told me that the dot on the screen was the embryo inside of me.
Another nurse moved the cursor so the arrow pointed to the screen. I took two photos of the screen (not good ones) and felt myself moved to tears.
I swallowed them back and pretended all was well.
A nurse was wiping off my belly and the inside of my thighs, then she pulled the blanked down to cover me, then added a piece to the end of the table so my legs could lie out flat.
They told me I was to lie flat for the next 15 minutes to allow the embryo a calm environment so it could adjust.
It was bright in that room and I was grateful to have my scarf.
When the last person left the room, I covered my eyes and tried to meditate. I spoke internally to the embryo and let her know I was there for her, that this was all very weird for us both, but that I hoped to provide the best environment for her growth and then for her life.
Her. Yes, I keep calling the embryo a her. Premonition?
I’ve always wanted a boy, but perhaps this was a reminder that only a healthy baby matters, gender does not?
When my 15 minutes were up my coordinator came back into the room, helped me get up, then said to get dressed and she would meet me on the other side of that door.
I went back into the dressing room and put my clothes on, and cleaned up all the lube and stuff.
Then we went over the care plan for the next few days and wrote a prescription for the rest of the drugs I would need.
The care plan included: No sex for two weeks, no baths or swimming for 12 weeks, no extreme activity, or extreme heavy lifting. I think that was all.
Then I paid for the procedure, and with a final hug, I left to find L.
Our next stop was the pharmacy to fill the prescription. It was a stupid amount of meds! Here’s a photo of all of the boxes lining my suitcase: (Note: I ended up carrying them on because I felt uncomfortable having them in my checked baggage.)
Then another acupuncture session. This time she used slightly different points – not the top of my head (thank goodness) but the top of my forehead instead. And several other points on my legs and hands, including one on my wrists.
Once again, not pleasant, but not unbearable.
When the session was over, she gave me a pamphlet on what to eat and what to avoid, along with some herbal pills that she told me would help the pregnancy.
Then she left, and I stayed lying on the bed my mind a whirr.
I tried meditation, and when 30 minutes passed without feeling more relaxed, I decided to get up and get some food.
L had suggested fried rice, vegetables, and soup for dinner. So I wandered back into Olomouc to the Vietnamese restaurant next to the grocery store I’d seen the day before and ordered exactly that.
Then I walked back to the hotel (about 15 minutes) and ate my dinner, then lazed around the rest of the day uploading photos, reading, watching TV, and napping.
Thoughts of what had transpired, of the embryo transfer, of what could potentially result were far from my mind – back in the land of disconnect.
Secretly though, I really hoped it worked – and occasionally I would sneak a hand onto my belly protectively (while I wasn’t looking! Haha.)
I really wanted this baby.
Warm smiles and Love,