As I sat in the dark room with my legs stretched out, I knew something was wrong.
“Hemorrhaging cyst” said the doctor to the nurse who made a note on the computer. “You are sure she is on her day 10?”
“Yes” said Caroline the lovely nurse whom I recognized from doing my first IUI procedure.
They were speaking to one another as if I was not in the room.
The last time I had an ultrasound before my IUI, things felt different. There were three people in the room and my fertility doctor was there. Now, I was with a male doctor and my lovely nurse Caroline but the whole vibe felt different.
I just stared at the wall trying to figure out how to feel.
“You are ready to go” said Caroline.
I searched on the face of Caroline and the doctor for something but wasn’t sure what I was searching for. Was I okay? Was this bad? Last time it was so positive but this time things didn’t feel right.
I went into the dressing room and changed from my hospital gown into my regular clothes. Last time I had four women around me and this time I was alone in the change room.
I walked down the hall to wait for the nurse and told myself that it must be my anxiety. I decided to flip a switch in my personality and become super positive. The vibe may have felt off but things must be okay. Right?
“Sarah?” asked one of the nurses.
“Yes” I said giving my best smile. Fake it until you make it, right?
“I just have to say that I love your energy” said the nurse. “Most people come in here after their ultrasound and they are very anxious and distressed. You are so positive.”
“Thank you so much” I said, proud of myself for appearing so calm when I was ready to panic.
“Okay well you are not ovulating” said the nurse. “I am giving you a prescription for Ovidrel and I am going to show you how to use it. You may not need to use it but I need to train you on how to use it.”
I just sat there watching her quickly explain how to use a needle in order to help prepare me for my next possible IUI. I didn’t take in anything she was saying. Instead, I was just focused on the words “hemorrhaging cyst” and “not ovulating.”
“Any questions?” asked the nurse.
“Nope, I am good” I lied.
That happened on Tuesday morning this week and to be honest; this week has been a complete blur. I have made my own record for visits to the fertility clinic as I was there every morning for four days. On Thursday, I got to visit Mount Sinai Fertility twice and Mount Sinai Hospital once.
Until Thursday afternoon, I felt sorry for myself. Sorry that it looked like my second IUI would have to be cancelled. I knew something was off in my body. Plus, I had spotted for several days before I found out I wasn’t pregnant last time.
Then I turned to Google and began my search “spotting before period”, “taking letrozole and your cycle”, “hemorrhaging cyst”, “reasons why you don’t ovulate.”
On Thursday afternoon I received a call “oh Sarah. Thank goodness I finally got you. I have your IUI booked for tomorrow at 10:45 a.m.” said the voice.
“What?” I asked.
“You are surging” said the nurse.
I had no idea what that meant but didn’t even care.
“So you need to get here now to sign the consent forms. You also need to give yourself a needle at 10:00 p.m.”
At 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday night I got over a huge fear. One of my biggest fears is needles. I can’t watch someone getting a needle and always look away when I am getting my bloodwork taken. There was a time (actually a couple weeks ago) where I couldn’t sleep the night before I knew that I’d have to have my blood taken. Now blood tests were so routine that I was slowly getting over my fear of having to take a needle.
I’d also never given myself a needle so I was going to add that new fear to my list. As a single woman living on my own, I started to really worry because a) I could break the needle and the pharmacy possibly couldn’t get me another one so late at night b) I could faint because I am so scared of needles and nobody would know what happened to me. This is what anxiety does to you. It doesn’t have to make logical sense.
Then I realized something.
I have been kicking ass at getting through every irrational fear I’d been having lately.
I have challenged myself with all of this fertility stuff in a way that was making me stronger and more confident.
Before I had any more time to think about it, the needle was pressed into my stomach and I was ready for bed. I slept so soundly knowing that my IUI 2 would be okay. I had done it before plus I had my first choice sperm donor. Things were looking up.
On Thursday morning I woke up and I was completely calm and excited. I went to Mount Sinai Fertility and gave myself a lot of time to get ready and to get there.
“Sarah?” asked a nurse at 11:00 a.m.
“Yes?” I said.
“I am ready for you” she said.
My nurse’s name was Stephanie and she was amazing. She would totally be someone I’d want as a friend. She was a bit younger than me but was so friendly and funny.
“I love your tattoo” I blurted out.
“Thanks so much” she said. “It is a wave but people have asked me if it is sperm.”
“What?” I asked.
“Yeah” she said. “It doesn’t even look like sperm but people thought it was sperm because of my occupation.”
We laughed and then she went over everything with me. She reminded me what to do and who to call if/when I have issues. She also booked me for my pregnancy blood test.
“So should I take my own pregnancy test?” I asked.
“Do not take a pregnancy test. It will just mess with your head and please don’t rely on Dr. Google either.”
It was as if she was reading my mind.
“You don’t want to have a false pregnancy test and then find out later that it was not actually positive.”
“Can I celebrate after the nurse tells me if I am pregnant after the first blood test two weeks from now?”
“You will be pregnant” said Stephanie with a smile. “Don’t get too excited about the first test” she said. “You can celebrate after the second test 2-3 days after the first test and then really celebrate at the six week ultrasound.”
Stephanie and I started talking about so many different things and then we got onto the topic of celebrities and child stars. We played a game where we had to think of a child star who was at their “A” game as a child but who is now at their “Z” game as an adult. Yes, I made up the game.
“Britney Spears” said Stephanie. “I also need to ask you if you are getting any cramping.”
“Not at all” I said. “What about Lindsay Lohan? Did you watch her reality show?”
“Yes. It was a train wreck. Your cervix is very easy to find” said Stephanie.
“Thank you so much” I said.
It’s amazing the type of compliments I am accepting these days.
Our convo kept switching from fun celeb gossip to the actual procedure that was happening. Honestly I wouldn’t want it any other way. Well actually….it would be my ultimate dream if a man was talking about celebrity gossip in the bedroom but my donor was “there” so maybe that counts?
“You are done” said Stephanie. “I hope we don’t see you back again” she said with a laugh.
I must have made a strange look on my face.
“We don’t want you back because that would mean you are pregnant.”
Somehow, in a span of twenty minutes I was totally in love with nurse Stephanie. She kept me so calm through everything, talked about issues that I loved, and made me laugh. I hope everyone gets their own nurse Stephanie.
So now comes my two week wait. This time I won’t be searching up anything on Google (let’s be real….maybe I will search one thing instead of 5,000). I won’t be buying anything on Etsy (because that has already happened and all of my pregnancy announcements are sitting in a drawer). I also won’t be staying at home (because I’ve made sure to get out of my damn apartment this time so that I get out of my own damn head).
Thanks to everyone who keeps supporting me on this journey. It feels so amazing to be able to share this process with you and you help me feel like you are my “partner” on this journey. Wishing you a great week and see you next Sunday!