Exposed: MsErinsita’s Egg Freezing Journey with the Fertility & IVF Center of Miami
It is day seven of me giving myself injections of Menopur and Gonil. Four shots per day, alternating sides of my belly. Yes, you inject two fingers below your belly button. In the AM the right and PM to the left. If you have been following my very public journey of freezing my eggs with Dr. Fernando Akerman on Instagram– you may have a better of understanding of the current details in my universe. But, if not, let me share my story. Thus far, out of the thousands of stories I have shared, the interpersonal engagement between my friends and total strangers, has been the most wonderful, inspiring chapter of my 30’s. What I thought would be something small, trying to guide a few out there who may be too fearful to learn about the process has transformed into a underground ‘dm’ movement among patients of the Fertility & IVF Center of Miami. Then, there are the former patients who reached out, unsolicited and have followed me, sharing their stories, tips and tricks. And, there is my inner circle of friends who want to do it but are scared. Well, my social media channels have undressed me now, more than ever. And – voila. Here I am, sitting in the parking lot of Mount Sinai Hospital, on my MAC laptop, using my hotspot from my cell, typing because I just need to get it out there.
Here is how this all began. This is my story.
When I was 27 (10 years ago!), my boyfriend convinced me we should have a child. I really never wanted kids. I definitely did not like his – but he certainly seemed to desire another shot at being a dad. After endless conversations on the ‘canoe,’ while soaking in the Bahamian waters off the coast of Cat Cay, we agreed to pursue the opportunity. Why not. I had never gotten pregnant naturally, and birth control was just not my thing. So, clearly something was not right within. My friend Lesley Abravanel had gotten pregnant with twins via IVF at the same office with Dr. Akerman (there are a few partners). She referred us. And, that was my first glimpse into the world of fertility treatments, and learning about the inner workings of my body, my hormone structure – etc. So, here was my 411. I had an over production of testosterone paired with an underproduction of cortisol. They sent me to an endocrinologist, and this was all uncovered. And, on the way to the doctor, nerves caused me to smash into his antique Corvette ’67. Yep, I smashed the entire front of it just from nerves. A very painful hysteroscopy, too, (that my best friend Anna stood next to me for), right before we were supposed to start the process on my end, he disappeared for one month. I got grey hair from this. On the front right side of my face! And, I got physically sick from the stress. It caused me panic attacks like the ones that you see Brickell Avenue turn upside down while driving on the highway and you have to pull over, and even cold sweats in 67 degrees with near feinting and all. That was that and my life carried on…
Ten years back was when my journey essentially began. With simply fond memories, I really appreciated the doctor and the center, hence me returning to their office three months before my 37th birthday. This time, alone. After taking the past two and a half years off, post Narco and a Bernie Madoff-esque ponzi scheme criminal, I realized that once the crap was out of my life, my time was now.
An investment indeed, I started my ‘process’ a month ago. At first, the doctors put you on birth control to halt the production of eggs. I gained no weight and became minimally insane. With my levels all over the place, this was challenging, but I made it! After 19 days, they test your blood for progesterone and begin with the ultrasounds. I had discovered through my panels of work that I had low egg reserves. So, Dr. Akerman felt the best route was a stronger dose of medicine. Speaking of medicine, I found that the best pharmacy price wise was out of Arizona, and I discovered this online. They shipped me the meds I needed, and to be transparent that cost around 4,700 usd. The pharmacy is called AvrioRX and the service was amazing and the prices competitive! And, so, it began. I learned how to inject via the nurses and seven days ago, 28 shots later – here I am, and I survived.
A minimally bruised belly from injections plus some side effects like nausea (the first two days), super hyper behavior paired with a complete stoned drowsy was my reaction to the medicines up until today. Sleeping has been a bit of a challenge, too. I have not gained weight, and do not look bloated. Seven days later, my follicles are growing. At first, they saw only seven. Today we say eight! Thank god, I have been seeing my expert in Chinese medicine and acupuncture for my balance, Dr. Elizabeth Trattner. She has been my rock and if you are undergoing this, I highly suggest you are treated by her throughout.
I am overly emotional as a result of the camaraderie and overly hydrated with Pedialyte. Eva Hughes wrote me that I was an inspiration this AM, I cried. A stranger named Rosie wrote me on Instagram, and, I cried. Last night my girlfriend Alicia gave me some excellent pointers. My sister Julie Fogel has been a guiding light. All of my friends have been rooting for me, from my EIC and chosen relative Jenny Starr, to my other sister Lauren Gnazzo and her daily check-ins – I am doing this with a community of strangers, friends and family by my side. Thank you to all, and to my baby-momma Leslie Rimboeck, I haven 0 words for how you accompanied me to get the mandatory Covid-19 nasal swab at Baptist Hospital at god awful early hours of the morning.
Friends. Followers. I will continue to update you throughout.
Signing off from the garage of MSMC on 7/9. X. Erin Michelle