Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Knee-High Socks

Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hello readers! I’m so happy all 5 of you made it down to read my very first guest post! I’m Kay, Lefty’s more fertile half.  Since our most recent fertility news has more to do with me than Lefty, he asked me to do a super special edition guest post on the blog, to give you some insight from my perspective. Buckle Up!

On March 7, Lefty and I went for our follow-up consult at PCRM to discuss the results of the repeat semen analysis. We were told since the doctor we were initially seeing was gone (mat leave of all things, oh the irony!) we would be seeing someone new.

After providing reception with our IDs and healthcare cards, we were led into one of the cubicle rooms overlooking Jasper Ave, and spent a few minutes trying to decide if this had been THE room in which we had received the news about Lefty’s Highlander swimmer (there can be only one!). After deciding that this was most definitely not the same room and relaxing a bit, Lefty – who is an inherently fidgety person –started leafing through the helpful little info-graphic books they have in each room.

“Sooo, what’s the difference between this one and that one?” he asked, referring to the different types of cycles they run based on your individual fertility issues. Since I’m really into researching (What? You don’t say!), I had a basic idea of what was involved in an IVF cycle, so I did my best to give Lefty a quick run-through of the basics. “Sweet! So do I get to help you with your injections? I want to be as much a part of this process as I can.”

Bless his heart, but between you and I, Lefty has a kind of a…tremor sometimes when he’s trying to do delicate tasks. The thought of him coming at me with various (and numerous) sharp objects over the course of several weeks is on my list of ‘favorite activities’ right between number 776: watching non-stop reruns of my dads old fishing shows and number 778: letting moths swarm me in the dark. I have a completely irrational and uncontrollable fear of moths and butterflies, so this is a real issue for me.

Our new doctor came in shortly after and introduced himself. I immediately liked him; he was totally approachable and easy to talk to. He answered ALL the questions I had written down in my handy-dandy notebook. ALLLLL 47 of them. We talked about timing of IVF and how I had to go on birth control before going into the stimulation phase (Right? Opposite day!). Why you ask? Well apparently they want to quiet the ovaries in order to give the follicles (where the eggs grow) a chance to all grow together, so none get ahead and become over-ripe, so to speak. We also talked about the different drugs I would be on, and the dreaded Progesterone shot I would have to take after the retrieval. “No, we actually don’t use the Progesterone in oil shot,” (Yessss!) “We use the vaginal suppositories.” (Ohhhh…)

He also informed us that Lefty’s latest semen analysis - lucky number 3 - produced a count of 300,000 sperm with a motility of 32% and we were able to freeze 5 more straws! I asked the doctor if 300,000 was enough to just dump the sperm in with some eggs and say “go for it boys!” (Which he got a chuckle out of; apparently the embryologists would not find it as funny. I guess it takes a bit more finesse than that. Who knew?) The doc shook his head, “No sorry, we’ll still have to do the ICSI”.  ICSI - intracytoplasmic sperm injection (say that 10 times fast!) - is the process of injecting a single sperm directly into an egg to pretty much ensure fertilization.

We then talked about how many eggs we would transfer back into me after all the magic happened. Lefty, the doc and I all agreed we would do 1 egg at a time, to decrease the chance of multiples and extend the amount of tries we might have, by not putting in 2 at once and potentially having neither ‘stick’. Given my age (27), he doesn’t foresee any issues with that part, so he wants to be as conservative as possible.

At the end of the consult the doctor asked me if I had done my ‘internal ultrasound’ yet. “Hmmm, that sounds ominous” I thought. Well, let me tell you. I was not wrong. I was led to a change room by a nurse and instructed to remove everything from the waist down, and grab a ‘sheet’ from the cupboard. HAHA, I think they meant giant napkin, because I ripped that thing about 4 times just walking across the room. I sat on the table with the super nifty stirrups and waited. It was about this time that I realized I hadn’t shaved my legs in GOD knows how long (it’s winter!) and immediately regretted my decision not to wear knee-high socks. Buuuut, then that would have been a whole different level of weird and awkward so I decided to suck it up and assume that no one would care because they were doctors after all. Weeeeee! A super invasive and slightly uncomfortable ultrasound was then performed and I got to see my very own uterus and ovaries on live ultrasound TV!
“So you have an retroverted uterus,” the doc said. “Not a big deal, about 1/3 of the population has it. It shouldn’t cause any problems.” So basically my uterus points towards my spine, instead of my belly-button. WEIRD. Apparently this should correct itself when we get a bun in that oven. 

It took him a little while to find my right ovary, but it’s definitely in there (Go me! Matching set!). I was then informed that I had 16 Antral follicles, which is one of the values they use to base how successful they expect to be during retrieval. Evidently, 16 is pretty decent, so we are hoping to get lots of healthy eggs!

Goodbye to the napkin sheet, hello to my own pants, out into reception to get our consent forms, and Lefty and I were 1 step closer to being parents!


  1. I love how this story is Progressing and hopefully the ending will result in me being a Great Uncle <3