My Egg-Freezing Journey Part 3: Time For Shots! Not The Fun Kind.
I’ve now been off birth control for a full month. I’ve also ordered a lot of fertility hormones off the internet, which were hand-delivered to me by our office’s cheerful mailman, Papi. “I bring you lots of drugs, Mami,” he sang as he unloaded three cooler boxes from a hand-truck. Papi calls all the girls Mami and knows way more of everyone’s business then he lets on. It occurred to me in that moment that Papi is my stork. Only instead of delivering an actual baby he is bringing the baby-making drugs.
Before even starting the drugs, going off the pill has caused some slight emotional repercussions. Like where I thought I saw Gloria Steinem in Bed Bath and Beyond and started to cry. I’m also listening to Adele far more than should be necessary.
On Day 2 of my period, I’m more than ready to get this sh*t over with already. This is an important day in the process because it’s when they first test my hormone levels to determine the dosage of medicine I’ll later inject into myself.
It’s also important because it’s the day I have to pay for this whole thing IN FULL. At the doctors office I have to go to billing before we even do anything medical. “That’ll be $9200,” I’m told. “Uh, I have to put this on a FEW credit cards,” I say, rummaging in my purse.
I’m paying for half of this with Flex Spending money. I’ve contributed the maximum, $5000, this year, and am about to blow it all. I’m lucky insurance will cover the other half, but I won’t be able to file for reimbursement until after the actual surgery. Factor in the time it takes for the insurance company to write a check, and I could be waiting about a month. It’s a big bill to float on my credit card until then. Oh well! Gotta breed!
A nurse draws some blood and I get the first of many ultrasounds. I had to get here pretty early in the morning so I haven’t really bothered to match my socks.
On the way out, I notice the waiting room is full of Orthodox Jews. As I mentioned earlier, I am a Bad Jew, but I think egg freezing might be considered cheating to a really devout person? Like what if Day 2 of your period happens on Saturday morning, when you’re supposed to be doing religious stuff? Do you have to start all over again? I make a mental note to investigate later.
Later that day I get a call with my dosage instructions. I head home with my giant boxes and carefully lay out my workspace.
Alcohol, cotton swabs, drug vial, injection pen, and a plastic bottle to dispose of the needle when I’m done. I also fire up the laptop so I can watch the instruction video on how to give myself the shot. I watch it a good four times before I have the guts to make an attempt. When I finally do stick the needle in my stomach, it hurts way less than a bikini wax.
Over the next 10 days, I go to the clinic before work about every other day for blood work, an ultrasound, or both. I inject myself with hormones about twice a day. If I have to hurry, I heed the ‘no-bouncing’ warnings from my Egg Freezing class, and do sort of a forward moonwalk movement rather than a full jog. Around day 7, my belly starts to pop out from something OTHER than burritos, and I get a general lower-body discomfort that makes it more comfortable to waddle than walk. Even my most elastic jeggings are tight. I have more than a few emotional outbursts at work, at one point stomping out of a staff meeting, snapping, “My eggs and I are OUT!” Then I’m mortified that no one seems shocked by my behavior, because how crazy did I seem before? Oh also I’m totally paranoid.
On day 10, my ultrasound looks like this:
This apparently means I have a bunch of eggs up in there, and am ready for a pre-bedtime injection of Ovadril, which will make me release the eggs so the doctor can retrieve them.
In my next post, you’ll get all the gritty details about The Reaping...