Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Visit to the Fertility Clinic

Today was my first visit to the USC Fertility Clinic…fertility clinic. I never imagined I'd be saying those words. I rolled up to a sweet parking space in front of the building (Thank you parking angels!) and headed to the 14th floor for my 8:40am appointment.  

I could feel my stomach flip-flopping as I waited. Not counting myself, there were five other people in the waiting room. Two couples, who were probably in their late thirties/early forties, and one other single lady. Well, I don’t know if she was actually single, but she was there by herself - like me. As I gazed around the waiting room, I started to feel alone. I decided to send my best friend a text, “I’m at the fertility clinic!” I can't remember what he responded, but I do remember it made me laugh and feel a little less anxious.

Relaxing into my breath, I continued to wait. Before I knew it, the nurse was calling my name. She led me to a chair where I had my blood drawn. The idea is to see what my hormone levels look like since I haven't been taking the pill. After she taped a cotton ball to the inside of my arm, she brought me into the examination room.  "Remove everything from the waist down. The doctor will be in in a few minutes", she said nicely before she left me standing in the room alone. 

I did as she instructed, put a blanket over the bottom half of my body and sat on the table shivering a little. As I looked around the room I noticed a machine that looked like computer, which I later found out was an ultrasound machine and the usual jars of cotton balls and q-tips, medical posters, magazines and the sound of crinkling paper as a swayed my feet.
During the ultrasound, the doctor pointed to the screen and explained "the view". "That's your uterus, cervix, ovaries and the follicles on your ovaries", she told me.  To be honest, I felt like I was looking at a small black and white television with a fuzzy picture.  If she can see the follicles and decipher what's on the screen to count them, that's what matters, I told myself. The doctor paused to count. Thirteen follicles on my left ovary; ten on the right. I’m hoping that means we can get at least 15 eggs. We'll just have to wait and see.

The scenarios I imagined in my head were a lot scarier than anything that happened during the appointment. I left feeling light and excited about my egg freezing decision....but there was one thing. I wish someone was with me.

The plan: begin the process of regular visits to the fertility clinic, blood tests and hormone shots the week of January 15, 2012. The injection schedule is 9-12 days depending on how my body reacts to the hormones. Once the shots are done, the doctor will go in and retrieve as many viable eggs as possible. Now, I live my life, do more research, buy the fertility drugs and get all my ducks in a row before the process begins. So exciting!

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