Here's a cool public domain National Park Service photo (by Peter Jones) of Lechuguilla Cave (named for an agave plant . . . mmm, tequila!), which — according to one shaky-looking online source — might also be known as "Halloween Cave."
It's a nice visual representation of the follicle hunt, don't you think? (Please note that I'm on drugs.)
I don't think I blogged before that my ER doc was the one from both our empty-follicle cycle and the D&C. I got a tad emotional Thursday at hearing he'd be on call today. Despite knowing he's one of the best anywhere, I'd envisioned working with someone else for this last gasp. But, I quickly accepted reality and decided it would be a good way to come full circle on my IVF loop.
In lieu of a costume I wore a camouflage-print tank under my sweater (had to take it off, but I soaked up its combat-ready vibes in the car), wrote a sparkly-silver "BOO!" on my IV-arm, and drew a mini goblin on my shin. Might as well lighten things up. The nurse gasped when she rolled up my gown sleeve ("Did you get a tattoo!?"). Whether the OR staff discussed my goblin, I don't know. I was out before getting fully settled on the operating table. Last thing I remember, the gentle-giant surgical assistant (he could probably bench press everyone in the room) was moving me and saying, "Okay, Lisa, lift your bottom and I'll —."
I was down for the count. Didn't even get to hear what music they turned on or see the doctor enter the room.
Afterward I ran the "6 maybe 8" through my foggy head. I tried to reason whether the "maybe 8" meant good things for any of the ones over 5 I hadn't planned to hear about at all. And I hoped it might translate to maybe getting 4 mature instead of 3. Or just 3 really great ones — or 1 really excellent one! No way to further predict a single thing until tomorrow's fertilization report, though.
The doctor came back and explained that he'd retrieved 8 big-enough follicles, and that 6 gave up the ghost rather easily. The embryologist got nothing out of the other 2 . . . but she did flush the bejeebers out of them.
I mentioned my earlier worst- and best-case predictions. The doc grinned and said, "We usually get good Halloween news here."
DH and I are relieved to have made it this far, and we'll sit on pins and needles till the phone rings tomorrow.
I chuckled at this (minimally monkeyed with by me) wiki description of Lechuguilla Cave, aka MY Halloween Cave. Every time you see "the cave," and so on, substitute "Lisa's uterus" or another suitably parallel phrase. It's fun. ------
Access to the cave is limited to approved scientific researchers and survey and exploration teams . . . [the cave] was known until 1986 as a small, fairly insignificant historic site in the park's back country. (Hey, how do THEY know about 1986?) The cave contains [an] entrance pit known as Misery Hole, which [for a time] led to 400 feet of dry dead-end passages.
The cave was visited infrequently after mining activities ceased. Although there was no obvious route, different people concluded that cave passages did in fact lay below the rubble.
[Explorers] have mapped passages and have pushed the depth of the cave . . . Cavers, drawn by the caves' pristine condition and rare beauty, come from around the world to explore and map its passages and geology.