After a short canyon walk with S late this morning (maybe more like a waddle, because my stomach still feels tight and kinda painful), I went to my acupuncture appointment. The office was a really relaxing environment, very spa-like with nice scents, soft lights, and the soothing sound of water trickling down a stone wall in the lobby. I was offered my selection of beverages. I started with some warm peppermint tea (which purported to be soothing to the stomach) and followed that with some Vitamin Water soon thereafter. After a few minutes, my acupuncturist J came out to greet me. She was very warm and welcoming. She had read through the forms I had filled out so knew the medical aspects of our situation already. She talked with me for a while, asking a little about my relationship with S and how the ER went and how the embryos are doing. She then told me a little bit about she would be helping me to "create a welcoming home" for my embryos. She showed me the needles that she would be using as well as a "moxa stick." It is sort of an herbal cigar-like thing that gets very hot.
After our introductory talk, she left the room and had me disrobe (except underwear) and get onto a massage table with pillows under my head and knees. I placed some thick towels over my midsection. After several minutes, the acupuncturist returned. She put an eye pillow over my eyes, and after a few moments she started placing the acupuncture needles into my skin. The needles were tiny and placed into my abdomen, lower legs, lower arms, and even on my crown, right foot, and right ear. During this time, she asked me to visualize S, his face, his eyes, think about him holding me, and think about our love. It sounds cheesy, perhaps, but at the time it was actually really moving and made me cry (but my eyes were covered by the eye pillow). Next she had me visualize a warm white light and think about it moving slowly into my fingers, toes, and abdomen. During this segment, she was moving the moxa stick down my arms and legs, close to my skin, and I could literally feel heat radiating from it. It felt really nice and had a nice aroma. She then stepped out of the room. I believe she was gone for about 25-30 minutes. I tried to think about the images that she had helped me to create, but at a few points my mind did wander onto other topics. I did become very relaxed, though, and I believe that I even fell asleep for a few minutes at some point.
Eventually she returned. When she removed my eye pillow, I was surprised to see that the room was almost entirely dark. She removed the needles and then did a bit of upper back and shoulders massage. I decided to tell her about the emotions that had come up during the imagery portion. She started to talk to me about the transfer more, but then she got summoned to another room (someone was pushing the alarm bell). I think because of this interruption, she mentioned that she will be at my RE's office tomorrow (with another couple), but she says that she will stop in to see me and talk a bit.
I don't think I can say it as well as she said it, but one statement that struck me was something along the lines of: "I don't want this to be a purely clinical process. I want you to feel like you are playing an active participant in the conception of your child."
Anyway, it was a nice experience. I don't know if I'll do it again post-transfer, but I might do it once more if I am getting really stressed out.
We spent the evening with our friends G & Y, who have two beautiful IVF/ICSI daughters, ages 4 and 2. It was great to spend time with people who listen with genuine interest, who completely understand our situation, and yet have two beautiful children as a testimony to the procedures' potential success.
Probably no updates (or comments) from me for a couple days. After tomorrow AM, I'm supposed to be on strict bedrest for 48 hours. I have a (borrowed from work) laptop that I am going to use for some work stuff, but so far I don't have it hooked up to the internet, and I probably won't be able to figure out how to do that while lying horizontal.