So here’s a thing. I would like to write all about retrieval number two, but it’s kind of uncomfortable for me now to read my post about retrieval number one, given the lack of anything that happened from it. On some irrational level, I feel like I’m going to jinx this current cycle by acting positive about it at any point.

Which is pretty darned silly.

Let’s make a deal, universe: you and me. I acknowledge that this sucks all around and that nothing is guaranteed. You agree to let me laugh at parts of it. Okay? Good.

I survived the retrieval today, and the count was… well, it was okay. I feel like the number of eggs retrieved doesn’t matter until you know how many fertilize, etc. But we got the same number we got last time, and honestly I’m just stoked the number did not go down.

I know that tomorrow I will be plunged back into the ice-cold waters of suspense and unpleasant surprises as I wait for the fertilization report. We lucked out last time, with more than 75 percent fertilized; will we get similar numbers? When you start out in the single digits, losing just one egg for any reason is more drastic, a bigger blow to your odds. Reality is unkind.

But tonight, I’m writing from the remnants of a drug-induced la-la land in which fertilization reports happen to somebody else.

First: I don’t feel comfortable identifying my clinic, but I do have to say how awesome the experience was this morning. I mean, apart from having to go through it in the first place, which sucks. But aside from that, I was taken aback once more by the dedication and simple human kindness of everyone who helped us.

The same nurse prepped me as did before, and bless her, she remembered me very clearly – and this is a place that works with hundreds of patients each year. We had an enjoyable chat before today’s retrieval, and she gave me a much-needed pep talk. The RE poked his head in for a moment. The anesthesiologist was also the same as before, and this time he picked up on my anxiety – not about the procedure, but about the strong possibility of waking up to bad news. He said some kind words, and his manner was so thoughtful. Once in the OR, he simply said, “You’ve done this before. You know it works quickly,” as if I were someone he could rely on to do my part – a strange thing, but comforting. I caught a glimpse of him inserting a syringe into my IV, and as expected, within seconds, I was out.

And then, I was back in the room. The RE was there, telling R. what happened. At this juncture, I tried to participate in the conversation. Which is absurd. I should have kept my mouth shut, but honestly, my internal filter is not very active even at the best of times, and when I’m coming to after a quasi-surgical procedure, it’s nonexistent.

“You change clothes fast,” I remarked. Which, to be fair, is true. When he appeared briefly in the room before the retrieval, he was in street clothes, and within literally two minutes of seeing him there, I was asleep in the OR. When I woke up, he was standing in the door of the room in his scrubs, and my advanced calculations tell me that he changed his clothes very quickly at some point in that sequence of events.

I’m grateful that he laughed. He suggested that I rest up and not drive today.

“Whatever,” I said, looking at my husband. “I could totally take you home.” (Note to self: Sarcasm remains unaffected by anesthesia.)

“The problem isn’t you,” the RE agreed. “It’s the other drivers.”

“I’m like Mario Andretti, yo,” I said.

The RE looked to my husband. “She won’t remember much of this.”

Aha! I defy you, sir. I recall all of the stupid things that I said today!

Once home, my husband attempted to serve as nursemaid for the first time ever. (My mother stepped in last time, because R. had unavoidable work commitments.) His method of doing so was to get in bed under several blankets and promptly fall asleep.

I woke him up to ask for some food.

“What?”

“I’m hungry. I need food.”

“Oh.”

“You have to get it for me, sweetie.” I’m an independent lady, but I’m also an independent lady who prefers not to pass out on the kitchen floor.

“Oh. Okay.”

And I had to nudge him a few more times before he actually did anything about it.

He then proceeded to take a three-hour nap. Upon waking, I asked him which one of us was caring for the other one.

“You don’t understand how tired I was,” he said.

Kid you not.

I’m actually grateful he just came out and said that, because it gives me the most priceless ammo for anytime in the future that I feel like I need the moral upper hand. I’m not typically an advocate of dredging up the past in a marriage, but dude – could anybody just let that one lie there?

And now I’m here. As I mentioned before, whatever does fertilize will have to play the odds of vitrification while we wait for my body to re-balance after the recent hormonal assault. I’m sorry to miss my January cohort, but I think my RE made the recommendation based on good reasons. All that’s left is to muster some kind of hope, if not for myself, then for my fellows – because it’s easier to hope for other people than it is for oneself.

I wish, more than anything in the world, that the delay simply means that our child will be a month younger than yours.

For now, thank you for indulging my storytelling. I wish all of you the best, and may the future be a bit kinder to us all than the recent past has been.

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