The RE consult went well. I mean, it went as expected. I brought Jackson with me and the staff oohed and aahed and fawned over him, which I like to imagine is fun for them given how much they watch people endure to get to where we are. And then we got down to bidness. We still have insurance coverage (except for meds, boo!) so we can afford several cycles if needed. New bloodwork for me and KB, to have current proof that neither of us picked anything up that one night in Bangkok. Another date with the jizz cup and a magazine in a medical clinic bathroom for KB. And then a saline sonogram for me, about 2 weeks from now, that will be the last piece of evidence we need to march on. So, yeah, if everything checks out (mainly, if Jackson didn't leave behind a mess when he vacated my uterine accommodations, in which case I'm taking the full deposit from him with no refund whatsoever) then we could be starting a cycle in mid-February. For those of you keeping track, that's in a month.
This time, things are different. They have to be. And they also just are. For one, my RE told me that continued weight loss (I'm at my pre-pregnancy weight but not yet at my pre-IVF weight) and aerobic exercise 5 days a week is considered beneficial for fertility and IVF. That wasn't the case 2 or so years ago, when I was advised to limit heavy exercise due to its potential effects on metabolism. You know about medical research, right? If you don't like the guidelines, wait a couple of years and the conventional wisdom will change. So my efforts to exercise (I'm going back to my personal trainer/torture buddy next week to get this weight loss show on the road again) and drop ell-bees apparently will dovetail nicely with my desire to get knocked up. But that's the surface stuff. The biggest difference this time is that it's not all or nothing. We don't emerge from this as either parents or not parents. And it's not an endless tunnel with no light. KB and I haven't set any limits on how many cycles (in my head I am prepared for 3, since it took that many to get Jackson) or discussed whether or not we'd move on to donor egg (which we were thisclose to doing last time around). I have no idea if I will feel emotional or sad if the first, or any subsequent, cycle isn't going well (I sort of expect it, as none ever did), or if they fail. I reserve the right to be a raging hormotional bitch when I'm jacked up on megadoses of gonadotropins, but for now I feel a sense of calm. Of determination. Of hope. I don't even feel cynical about it. I think, after all this time, I've finally accepted that this is our normal, our shifted baseline, and with that I can let myself daydream about another pregnancy, another baby, a completion of our family on our terms. I already have the baby's nursery theme figured out, you guys.
And so until my next period starts and the testing begins and then the next period starts and the cycle begins, I just live my life. I've got prescriptions for doxycyclene (for the saline sonogram) and estrace (for priming the antagonist cycle) sitting in my purse from this morning. In a remarkable show of restraint, I did not fill them today. See? Whole new approach. This is the new normal.