I vividly remember the last time I had to pee so badly that it physically hurt. It was in 1997 or 1998, when I was a junior in college. We were walking home to the dorm after a particularly marathon-esque night of imbibing. Now that I think about it, there were probably at least five buildings on campus between the (off-campus but right next to the edge) bar and our dorm that would have been unlocked in which I could have made a mad dash to a fluorescent-lighted throne with my name on it. For some reason, though, I had to wait until we got to the dorm and it was Torture.
My friend tried to distract me by having me tell him a story, and I played along, walking fast but gingerly. But, in reality, I was still just as cognizant of the fact that the dam was going to burst, sooner rather than later and I really didn’t want it to burst in front of my friends. In the end, we made it to the dorm with nary a drop spilled and I was able to give my eternal thanks to the builders of that 10-story cinderblock menace from hell for having the wherewithal to install a bathroom on the first floor.
Fast forward, eleven or so years, and once again I had to pee so badly it hurt. Only this time, there was no booze to be blamed. No seal had been broken and drinking had continued. All that had happened was that I was swigging water like I was on a desert island in a desperate attempt to actually completely fill my bladder.
Ever since I had known that we would probably have embyros to transfer, I began to think about what special thing I wanted to have with me at the transfer, especially since my most special thing, Mr. X, wasn’t going to be there. The powers that be sent him to the northeast yesterday and he won’t return until tomorrow. My mind kept coming back to one item that just made me smile: a pair of turtle socks that Mr. X game me for Christmas a few years ago. It’s rare for him to pick out clothes for me and so these were extra special because he had chosen them. And, they are just so darn cute. I knew what I needed to wear so that I could feel him with me even if he was far, far away. And they really helped. Thanks, little turtles.
Once I had gotten dressed, walked the G and dispensed with the feedings of the various animals, I began to swill the fluids that usually run right through me: tea (decaf, of course) and water. I also had some grapes (so juicy!) for breakfast. About an hour later, still not getting that ‘gotta go’ feeling, I headed out the door with my glass of water in hand and made my way to Dr. Salsa’s office for my acupuncture treatment before the transfer. I was swigging at stoplights and taking a slurp on boring stretches of road. I still didn’t feel much need to go when I got there and I began to worry that maybe I wasn’t drinking enough, after all I had peed when I got out of bed.
I needn’t have worried. By the time she came back to take out the needles, it was getting uncomfortable. By the time I was ushered back into the procedure area, it was really uncomfortable. And, adding insult to injury, I had to change into my gown in a bathroom. There was the toilet, pristine and white and untouchable. I grabbed my iPod and walked as best as I could to the bed before getting in and trying not to think about how I was now sweating because I had to pee so badly.
I listened to a podcast of Car Talk because I needed distraction from the agony going on down below. By the time I was in the room with the ultrasound, I was almost writhing in pain. My legs were shaking and I was spewing four-letter words. I was on the verge of tears when Dr. Salsa appeared and I had a glimpse of hope that relief was going to be coming soon. And it did, in the form of a catheter that he inserted and placed in a bed pan and I can easily tell you that I have never felt so good as when I was literally peeing in the face of my RE.
After this relieving interlude, my bladder was still full enough that they could do the ultrasound visualization on my belly, but I was blissfully comfortable. I was so comfortable, in fact, that I didn’t even feel the catheter for the transfer. It was the smoothest transfer I have ever had – even of my 6 IUIs. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
So, how many embryos were sent down the fun chute? Two beauties. As of this morning, these two were the real over (ova?) achievers of the group and were apparently raising their little hands going, “ooh, oh pick me!” to the embryologist. The other three are still doing well, but were not as enthusiastic. We’ll know tomorrow if they developed enough to be frozen. I’m going to fight the urge to pass judgments on the success of this cycle if the other three do not in fact make it to the deep freeze of the nitrogen tank.
As for whether this will work, I’m not thinking much past tomorrow. There’s a stack of books that are waiting to be read, beautiful weather to be enjoyed and animals to be scratched and loved on. If there was anytime to just be, it would be now.
image top left: Mark Kempe