We’re back from our Memphis trip, and our only plans for the day are 1) sit on the couch, 2) watch the Olympics, 3) eat take-out, and 4) watch Brett Favre get inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame (SMTTT!). We feel like we deserve a day like this, and it will be easy since my mom (or as she is more affectionately called, Mama) spent a couple days at our house while we were gone to clean and do laundry. It was so nice to come home to a chore-free house. Thanks, Mama!
We got to Memphis late Thursday night, ate some BBQ, and hit a few Poke stops on the way to the hotel. We knew the anticipation would make it difficult to sleep so we each popped a Benadryl as soon as we got there. What I didn’t plan for was the awful and constant humming of the room’s mini-fridge. At 12am, I sprang from the bed and declared, “Nope, can’t handle it.” Knowing that my stress level was maxed out, Brennen was so understanding and only rolled his eyes halfway back into this head. He suggested just unplugging it. Seems simple enough. But at 12am in a Benadryl fog, your brain magnifies problems, and I was convinced that unplugging it would create a pool of water that would somehow result in an electrical trap that would kill us when we woke up in the morning and put our feet on the floor. Dramatic, I know. I decided it had to go. So there we were at midnight, moving a mini fridge across our hotel room and into the bathroom. It was leaking a bit, and I kept yelling “It’s slipping Brennen. I can’t do it. I’m going to drop it. I can’t.” He went all coach-like on me and urged, “You got this. Just hang tight. Almost there.” Maybe he’s a super encouraging husband, or maybe he was exhausted and knew he could crawl back in bed as soon as we got the thing to the bathroom. Probably a little of both. Finally, we went to sleep, with the hum of the mini-fridge muffled by the bathroom door.
The next morning, we had our much anticipated meeting with the Memphis doctor. He was great! We initially met with him for about an hour and a half while he looked through my medical records and asked tons of questions about our previous IVF cycle, my endometriosis, and our family health history. The first time he looked up from his notes was to tell me that my mom’s side of the family had some pretty terrible genes. Thanks, Mama. We loved delving into our records and our story with him. Brennen told him upfront that we want to hear the truth, the facts, no protection. If it’s hopeless, we want to know. He gave us hope.
We hung around a little longer so I could have about a dozen vials of blood drawn and an antral follicle scan during which I was complimented on my “pretty ovaries.” I didn’t know what an antral follicel scan was; Brennen did, of course. He’s the researcher and knows more about my reproductive functions than I do at this point. In Brennen’s words, “At the very beginning of your cycle, it shows how many tiny follicles you have in your ovaries that could potentially produce eggs.” I had 33. Doc was pleased. And since I only had 10 eggs in the first round of IVF, he was hopeful we could get more.
We took a lunch break at Chick-fil-A. Yes, the line was wrapped around the building and into the street. I’m convinced they could build a Chic-fil-A next to every Chick-fil-A in America and they would both be packed. But I digress.
Back at the clinic, the doctor performed a test transfer. I had one of these done before our first IVF cycle, but, understandably, he wanted to test for himself. During a test transfer, a catheter is inserted into the uterus just as it is during the real embryo transfer to ensure there won’t be any problems on the big day. This isn’t the most comfortable procedure in the world considering your bladder is full, a sonographer is pressing down on your pelvis, and you have a catheter bumping up against the back of your uterus. Luckily, during the real transfer, you’re given a Valium. And when it’s over, you feel like a little bit of a bad A.
Finally, at 3:30, after 7 hours of tests and meetings with our doctor, we left the clinic; but not before hitting up two Poke stops at the pond behind the building. Brennen tried to play it off like, “Oh I want to look at this water.” Sure Brennen. Just get your Poke balls, and let’s be on our way.
Just as we were heading out, my dad called to check where we were. He takes roll call of the family about every other day. For those of you who know my dad, you know he has terrible hearing but is too prideful for a hearing aid. He doesn’t want to “look old” as he approaches 70. He asked me how the appointment went, and I told him I loved how our doctor was so factual. Then I hear him shrieking, “Do what? You like him because he’s sexual? BRE-ANNE!” I just shook my head. I’m still not sure if he thinks my doctor is sexual or factual.
For the ride home, we had lots of reading material and so much to talk about. I also decided to serenade Brennen with some Pam Tillis “Maybe It was Memphis,” which eventually turned into car karaoke with the ladies of 90’s country music. It was a fun trip! Our minds were exhausted from all the information we had been given that day, but in a good way. Visiting this clinic gave us a new sense of optimism, a much needed emotional boost. So, in the words of Marc Cohn (who also made it onto our Memphis playlist), “You’ve got a prayer in Memphis.”