We went to peer support last night at The Shepherd Center. We hadn't gone all summer for whatever reason but it was good to get back and see some familiar faces. And, it makes me happy to see Jimmy sitting in a big circle of chairs.
In this room, I'm the minority being able to walk.
Peer support is two hours long. The first hour is eating dinner and the second hour we split off into groups. You got The Chairs, as I mentioned, and then the caretakers/spouses are usually in another room -- that's where I go.
Last night, when I told a peer-support friend that we had moved to Decatur she informed she taught here for 12 or so years so she was familiar with the area and could give us some tips.
She asked me if I had discovered Revolution Doughnuts yet. I said noooooo and that I would be promptly be contacting her to make a doughnut date. Are you kidding me? How do you even decide?
While her face is a constant at peer support, I get to meet some other people who come through. Last night, as we were going around doing introductions, I listened as a SCI wife talked about her husband who had contracted meningitis years ago, and just recently started using a chair. She also talked about how she and her husband went through IVF during it all. Uhm, interest!
They used the same facility we are using. Same set of procedures we're having to do. Hopefully I can soon say we have the same outcome. They have a beautiful two-year old boy.
She told me that you get a picture of your embryos in the dish to take home. Her husband was listening on and chimed in that it was a really cool process. I got chill bumps.
She also said that the facility does a zoo day each year to celebrate all the IVF babies and that you can see all the millions of dollars running around enjoying life. Fabulous.
Such a good path to cross; someone who is on the other side of this thing cheering us on. They were genuinely excited for us.
* * *
It was pretty hard for me to publish the post telling you all about our IVF journey. I was shaking not knowing what to expect. But within minutes I was reassured. We received so much instant support and well wishes and prayers and likes and exclamation points.
That is why. That is why we are sharing it.
So, here's where we stand in the IVF process:
*Jimmy had his testosterone, FSH, etc. levels checked. All was good.
*I got my estrogen, LH, FSH, thyroid, prolactin, egg reserve, etc. checked. All was good.
*I had an ultrasound done so they could check out the shape of my uterus and ovaries. All was good.
*I had an hysteroscopy done this past week so they could check out the inside of the uterus for any cysts, etc. Holy ravioli. Can I just tell you about this procedure? Like a pap smear times 100. Super unpleasant. I needed chocolate afterward.
*My doctors told me I needed to get my varicella immunization (even though I had the chicken pox as a child). They said I didn't have the proper antibodies, and if I were to contract chicken pox while pregnant, it could result in complications -- even fetal death. I would just have to wait a month until after the shot to get pregnant. But knowing the risks, it's a no-brainer. I got that and a flu shot this past week.
I feel grateful to be able to do some of these screenings that could eliminate any risks.
*Jimmy has a sperm extraction scheduled for mid-October. He will be admitted into a hospital OR and given light anesthesia for the procedure. Normally these are done in the doctor's office or an ambulatory/outpatient center, but given Jimmy's condition they want an emergency-ready setting. I can appreciate that.
*When that is done, I drive the sperm? specimen? little guys? back to our fertility center. Will I be driving 40mph with my hazards on? Perhaps.
They will test some (and hopefully give us the green light) and then freeze the rest for when we begin the IVF cycle.
And that's when Jimmy hands off the baton to me.