Post-Op Report

Last time you heard from Breanne, we were on our way to Memphis for an unexpected surgery last week.  As my mother-in-law reminds us, “Y’all can’t do anything easy.” So after work last Wednesday, the “crew” (Breanne, her mom Connie, her sister Caitlin, and me) loaded up the car and headed North.  Connie wanted to come along because her daughter was going under anesthesia. Understandable. Caitlin…well…she said she was just there for the barbecue. As we headed up I-55, Breanne pulled the surgery card and convinced us to make an impromptu trip to IKEA.  Sorry, Cait, but the barbecue would have to wait.

Let me preface this by saying that none of us had ever been to an IKEA, so when we pulled into a parking lot that reminded me of Wal-Mart on steroids, I knew I was in trouble.  The next hour and a half were a blur, but I have to admit – IKEA was pretty impressive.  And Breanne was right at home.  I have a feeling we may be taking a U-Haul with us to Memphis when we come back up for the next transfer.  After a quick stop at Central BBQ, we finally made it to the hotel.  Then, I had to turn around and go get some nail polish remover from Target.  Breanne said she didn’t need nail polish on in case the doctor needed to check her circulation by pressing on her fingernails or something.  Even though I was convinced this was something my hypochondriac wife picked up on Grey’s Anatomy, I made the late-night trip to Target trying to look as unmurdery as possible as I paced through the nail care section.

We arrived at the surgery center early Thursday morning. After prepping Breanne for surgery, Dr. Memphis called me in to see her one more time before heading to the operating room and to discuss the procedure with us.  In short, Doc was going to perform a laparoscopy to remove the two cysts seen on her right ovary at her ultrasound the week before and burn off any endometriosis tissue that had appeared since her last surgery in 2015.  Then, he would do a hysteroscopy to remove the mass in her uterus, which he figured was a blood clot or leftover products of conception.  He then took the time to discuss with us our next transfer, showing us pictures of our frozen embryos. Every visit with our doctor reminds us that we made the right call by coming to Memphis. He’s always so straight forward and open with us.  Once we finished our talk with the doctor, she gave me an awkward “we don’t kiss in public” peck on the lips, and they wheeled her off.

About an hour and a half later, we got the call that the procedure was a success! Evidently her two nasty cysts had resolved themselves, so no need to remove them.  The doctor also reported minimal endometriosis and only had to burn off a few new spots. More great news! It gets better.  The mass in her uterus was leftover products of conception, which he easily removed with no major bleeding.  Now all we had to do was wait for Breanne to pee before he would discharge her. Or so we thought.

As she made her second attempt to use the bathroom, Breanne noticed a hard knot forming under one of her incisions.  The doctor was worried she might be bleeding into her abdomen. Again, “Y’all can’t do anything easy.” They rushed her upstairs for an ultrasound.  If it was just under the skin, it would probably resolve itself, but if it was leaking into her abdomen, another surgery would be necessary. Son a b*****.

On the elevator ride up for the ultrasound, Doc commented on how pale Breanne was looking and grew concerned.  “Is she always this pale?” he asked.  Connie and I both nodded, which got an anesthesia-labored eye roll out of Breanne.  Then as the doctor pinched her unpolished fingertips, I could feel her giving me an “I told you so” face.

We finally made it to the ultrasound room. Good news – the bleeding was superficial! Whew! No additional procedures needed.  On our way back downstairs, the Memphis team wheeled Breanne through the fertility clinic’s waiting room.  As Breanne rolled through, pale and under a blanket with an IV bag hanging from the back of her wheel chair and a team of medical professionals by her side, I couldn’t help but notice the faces of the couples in the room.  I could feel them thinking, “What in the hell have we gotten ourselves into???”

After a few more minutes of monitoring and finally a successful pee, the doctor gave us permission to head back home.  There was no angry tweeting at C-Spire on this ride home (unlike the post-retrieval ride), but there was a very low tolerance for stupid, as she so lovingly put it. The nurse sent us home with a basin in case Breanne got sick.  As we pull into the neighborhood, Breanne says, “Bring the basin inside and put it by the bed for the night.” I responded, “Oh, in case you get sick?” She glanced at me with that go-to-hell look that she has perfected over the last 29 years and said, “No, Brennen, in case I wake up in the middle of the night and decide to wear it as a hat.” For better or for worse, right?

Breanne’s recovery is going well.  She’s still sore but getting better (and happier) every day.  Now, we wait for her next cycle to start in 4 to 6 weeks so we can begin preparations for FET #2.  Until then, we’ll have our Disney trip to keep us occupied along with the to-do list Breanne created on post-op day 3 titled “The Spring Purge.” Prayers…

Turning on a Dime

Last Wednesday I drafted my first blog post since the miscarriage, or at least I thought it would be my first.  It was an optimistic post about how very excited (and a little impatient) we were about our next step, transfer #3. Then, Thursday happened.

Thursday morning, I visited my OB for an ultrasound to see why I was still bleeding; I had been since Christmas.  I told Brennen not to worry about taking off work to go with me since I expected this to be one of our less eventful ultrasounds. Wrong. After the tech asked me a few questions about the miscarriage, she scanned over my ovaries where she found 2 “nasty cysts”, as she called them, on my right ovary.  These little guys weren’t there during my December scan.  Then, she moved on to the uterus and stared curiously at the screen.  She pulled it towards her where I couldn’t see it anymore and called in another tech to help her measure.  What they saw was some sort of mass in my uterus being fed by a blood supply.  The tech showed me the screen, and I thought, “Uh oh! Brennen should really be here for this.”

I got dressed and went to a patient room to talk to my OB.  She went over everything the tech saw; and since ultrasounds only tell us so much, she suggested surgery.  Yep, surgery. “COME ON!” I thought, “You have got to be kidding me!”  But I smiled, nodded, asked several questions, and tried my best to process and memorize as much information as I could.  Never again will Brennen not go with me to an ultrasound…because with me, you just never know! I mean, it’s almost comical at this point.

The next day, my Reproductive Endocrinologist (fertility doctor) in Memphis called and agreed that surgery was indeed necessary and suggested that the mass is most likely leftover products of conception or a blood clot and hopefully not a fibroid.  The surgery involves both a laparoscopy to take care of the cysts and check for any further damage from my endometriosis and a hysteroscopy to investigate and take care of whatever is in my uterus. He was on board with scheduling the surgery fairly quickly. So here I am, almost a week since that appointment with my OB, on my way to Memphis for surgery tomorrow morning. 

Bet you didn’t see that coming! Heck we didn’t either. In one day with one doctor’s appointment, we changed directions.  I thought the next time we made the drive up I-55 it would be for a transfer or to shop at the new IKEA. Hopefully soon I’ll get to share that optimistic post about the next transfer.  I’m sure it will still be dripping with the same enthusiasm and even more impatience. But first, surgery (or maybe IKEA).