I thought that during this time I would be ready for anything, but I was sure nervous about the unknown. It began to hit me—the fear.
"What if I didn't have any follicles?"
"What if I couldn't make any eggs?"
"What if it didn't work?"
I was anxious and knew that I couldn't do a thing to fix it. That was a hard one to swallow.
Before leaving for Vegas, Darren had packed me a suitcase for what could be two weeks or more. I had never completed an IVF cycle in Vegas before, so this was a first. All of this was a first. This was the first time I didn't tell everyone, the first time I surrendered to the outcome (as much as I could ever surrender). I was watching this all go by as if it were a movie in which I wasn't playing the starring role. I began to shut down. It was easier to do that than to get myself into the state of obsessing about whether it would work. I had done that before so many other times and the disappointment and pain afterward was a kind I had never felt before—and I never hope to have to feel again. It would paralyze me and I would lose faith in everything.
This time, I am turning it over to a higher power, attempting in the process to resist my ever-present need and desire to control everything. I was hoping to find that which will guide me, protect me and support me. I began to pray. I began to go into my intuition and just let go. I began to know that I would have a baby no matter what and how and if this didn't work, the next time would.
As I waited for Dr. Sher to come into the room to view the follicles, I prayed again. I asked God to please give me a chance to make this happen. I wouldn't race through life, and I would be a present wife, and most of all I would be present as a mother for my child. I would embrace every moment and I would be a wonderful mother. I was as ready as I guess I can be, or anyone can be with IVF.
The doctor was really pleased with our first sonogram. I had 12 follicles—the most I have ever had. (By comparison, one of the first times I was with Dr. Sher I had four or six.) I lost it. I hadn't realized that some women don't make any, or make just one. It only takes one. I learned that no matter how many you have, it doesn't matter. You need a good egg inside these follicles for this to be a success.
There was a glitch though—my uterine lining wasn't what it needed to be. It was at 6.8 millimeters, and to implant a healthy embryo it has to be 8 millimeters or more. We hadn't had this happen before. Fortunately for me, my doctor pioneered, tested and documented the success of using Viagra to improve a woman's lining prior to transfer. He prescribed Viagra for me, along with other meds, to give the lining a go. I found a Las Vegas acupuncturist named Sharon Poon to calm me and to help improve the size of the lining. Acupuncture is key during a cycle for so many reasons. I missed Dr. Frank Lipman and Ming Jin from New York—my voodoo needle docs, as I lovingly call them—but Sharon was on the case.