Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Magic of 8

My kid turns 8 today. 8 is a cool number, since it is the eternity symbol turned on its head. It's a thing I never thought I'd see: that is, my kid turning into a young lady. She was an IVF baby, and at one point she was a "Frosty," a frozen embryo lying in a freezer in a lab somewhere. 

When my husband and I started the IVF process, I had no clue what would happen. Things got real, fast, when I realized that IVF involved shots in the stomach (self-administered) and shots in the butt (administered by my husband.) To illustrate how awful the butt shots were, I can say in truth that the stomach pokes were a breeze. 

The first round came, and I went into the lab. I was told to drink 16 oz. of water and hold it so they could do an ultrasound if they couldn't see the embryo. I also got a valium (that was the cool part.)

Out came the turkey baster, and I had to lie on my back with my legs in the air for 30 minutes afterwards. That's when the 16 oz kicked in with a vengeance. Finally I had to beg to go and pee before my 30 minutes were up, and the doctor grudgingly allowed. 

The result : no pregnancy.

Round Two - More shots, more water, another valium, and more basting. Again, I had to beg to go and pee. Yes, my bladder is the size of a small soft fruit. 

The result : pregnancy, followed by a miscarriage five weeks later.

Round Three - This was the last batch of embryos. The lab tech told us that when they were defrosted, one egg started to grow immediately as if it couldn't wait any longer. 

And I had to do more shots, in the stomach and the butt. I now have permanent scar tissue on my heinie.

This time I didn't drink all the water, and I waited on that valium. I took it a few minutes before the basting procedure, and it kicked in quite nicely, thank you. I fell asleep on the table, and they had to wake me up to go home. That was it - all done.

A few days later, I started to dream about snow and ice. I was in a winter scene, and the light glistened off thousands of icicles and snowflakes.

Result : pregnancy.  Final result : My daughter is about to turn 8.

The funny thing is that she loves to suck on ice and eat snow. Weird, huh?

The first time I saw her heartbeat on the ultrasound monitor, it was the strangest feeling. I felt like I had been on a long voyage, and I saw a beacon that called me home. 

The Lighthouse

Lost in electronic hush, 
  Near-darkness clouds our vision
We peer, looking for something -
  Something we forgot, or
Had dreamt years ago.
  And then, a thousand miles away,
The many-structured crystal flash
  Sweeps by us, and again, and now
In steady rhythm, our comfort is
  Calling us, bringing us to land.


historywriter said...

Lovely, Alicia.

Bunnys Review said...

Wonderful story Alison.

Carlie Cullen said...

I know I'm a day late, but Happy Birthday to Genna! I hope she had a fantastic day (and knowing you, I'm positive you made sure she did!).

Going through IVF takes alot of guts and I applaude you for having the courage.

I also had medical intervention for me to get pregnant with my daughter, so I know the rollercoaster ride you go on. Mine was different though - we had to go the AID route (Artificial Insemination by Donor) as my then husband's vasectomy couldn't be reversed.

I was lucky and fell pregnant on the second attempt. The only downside was I lost my daughter's twin during the pregnancy. But I've got my precious girl, who's grown up to be a lovely young woman and everything I went through to get her was worth every injection and discomfort!

Allie, we're the lucky ones! We both have wonderful daughters to cherish who light up our lives in such awesome ways!

Alison DeLuca said...

We are indeed the lucky ones. My daughter is a treasure, and yours is too, of course, Carlie! I never knew that, so thank you for sharing that with me.

And thanks, everyone. IVF really is a blessing.

jenny milchman said...

Aww...happy birthday to your long-awaited joy. 8 is a wondrous age...mine just turned 9 and so far, even better--I hope for exactly the same for both of you!