By: Kerrie Olejarz
The next day started off with two injections. First –Superfact 2cc for down regulation and then 300iu of Gonal F. Both are given subcutaneously with very fine needles. Day One was easy: no pain, few side effects, and the excitement of being on the program again. Added to my fertility regimen were the supplements from Dr Mitwally and also a five-day course of Letrozole to assist in optimal ovulation induction. But with every cycle, I would have a very unusual sensation in both calves. I was sure it was the down regulation drugs, but it was the Letrozole. Dr Casper recommended I stop using it. (We had solved the weird calf pain issue; what a relief.) Fortunately, my legs were fine the next day and I continued on the double injection path.
Three days into the stimulation I was back at TCART for a quick look at my ovaries and blood. Dr Casper sat in on the ultrasound and we chatted a bit about all things India. My scan showed many little follicles and my uterus was looking good. Despite the fact I would not be using it, the uterus is a key measure in cycle monitoring. Later in the day I received a fax from TCART detailing my hormone profile, follicle count, and measurements. I forwarded it to Dr Shivani with a note of excitement about meeting her in a few days.
I was set to fly to Delhi by myself the next day, and I started to feel nervous about traveling alone. Mark was a nervous wreck. But we banded together and mustered up the strength to just do it! The next day was spent with last-minute packing and reading many emails of good luck. I had a 6pm flight through Brussels and onto Delhi. Mark stayed with me until the latest possible moment at the airport. I was sad to leave him, and had a good cry as he walked away. We do everything together and I felt lost without him. Regardless of my feelings, I had to hit the security line and start my travels. I had one small carry on bag, two letters stating my need to travel with medications, and a small cooler full of fertility meds and syringes. Security took all of two minutes and I was off to the gate, ready to start my long trip.
The flight went as planned and eight hours later I was in Brussels for a two-hour lay over. The Brussels airport offered very little time-killing opportunity. I was fortunate to talk with a girl en route to Calcutta. Eight and a half hours later we started our descent in to Indira Ghandi International Airport. This was a huge airport, recently renovated to accommodate the 2010 Commonwealth games. I walked and walked and walked and finally made it to customs. There were multiple lines, most of which were designated for Indian nationals or Indians from other countries who kept their Indian passports. The lonely line for foreigners was long and slow. Finally, after over an hour I was given my entrance stamp on my visa and I was on my way to find my driver.
I made a quick pit stop to check the temperature of my drugs; all was fine. I had to go through an additional checkpoint through a group of airport officials dressed in full military gear and carrying rifles. My driver, Rahul, found me easily since I was pretty much the only non-Indian! I had heard wonderful stories about Rahul and his crew of drivers. Rahul owns five cars and is contracted with SCI. Surprisingly, the air was cool. I asked Rahul what the temperature was, and he told me “about ten degrees Celsius.” That’s when I knew I had not packed the right clothes.