First eIVF Blog: It's not IVF- It's Life and IVF
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8/3/2016 2:33:38 PM
This is something we can all relate to. Beautiful writing from Hilariously Infertile!
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It’s not IVF – It’ Life and IVF
Written by: Hilariously Infertile
Before starting my IVF cycle I asked one of my co-workers, who had been through IVF, how it was. She answered, “It’s not that bad.” I looked at her for the real answer that I was sure would come after that BS answer. She smiled, “No, really, it’s bad, but it’s not that bad.
In preparation for my IVF cycle I had no idea what to expect. I took the class, I watched the videos of the lady with the fake nails inject herself again and again, but I didn’t really know what to expect. I kept telling myself that it was 14 days; “I can do anything for 14 days,” I lied to myself again and again. I was channeling Cameron Diaz in What Happens In Vegas when she says, “I can do anything for 6 months” regarding how she could be married to Ashton Kutcher for that period of time to claim her million dollar winnings. News flash world: I would give one of my overstimulated ovaries to be married to Ashton Kutcher for six months and then win money at the end. Trying to compare my upcoming IVF cycle to that very realistic Hollywood situation was just the beginning of my misconception of what the 14 days held in store.
When people use the term “emotional roller coaster” I don’t think I ever fully understood what they meant until I went through IVF. In the beginning, I was on top of the world. I can do this! I can kick IVF’s butt. Then I went into my clinic in New York City for my day two appointment. I live outside the city. Depending on traffic my house is anywhere from 45 mins to 3 hours away. The clinic opens at 7am, and I had to be at work promptly by 8:30. I woke up at 5am, left the house at 6am. In the dark cold December morning this trip should have taken 45 minutes. I’m cruising down the highway, listening to the radio, trying to wake up when, all of the sudden, I am in bumper to bumper traffic on the Deegan. I’m watching the minutes tick away on the clock as I don’t move past Yankee Stadium. My blood starts to boil and my heart rate is climbing. “What are all these people doing on the road at this hour? Don’t they know I have to start IVF today?” I start irrationally thinking.
I was supposed to be early. Early so that I am the first person signed into the computer, early so that I can get my blood and ultrasound done first, early so that I can leave and drive back out of the city to get to work on time. Early. As the clock continues to tick I realized that I am not going to be early, I’m going to be ‘on time’ which in my mind means late. Tick. Tock. Tick. Late, now I am officially going to be late.
I get off the highway and start weaving in and out of the back roads around Yankee Stadium, to get over the Harlem River, to get onto the FDR Drive, to get to my clinic. I’m swerving and making moves that only a yellow taxi would do. I secretly love my driving. I get to my clinic. I’m not first. I think I’m eighth, which might as well be one-hundredth in my book. I wait my turn to go to the “Blood Room,” trying to catch my breath as my anxiety is raging out of control. I haven’t even started any hormones yet and I feel the Hulk within me is rearing his angry green head. Go away Hulk, try to be sane. Not a chance.
I get back in my car; head back up the FDR from whence I came and actually get to work on time. Incredibly impressed by myself and my Jason Bourne driving ability, I think I can handle anything IVF throws my way. I am, however, apprehensive. It’s not IVF that’s the hard part, it’s handling life along with IVF. If all I had to do was head to the clinic, and then go home and rest, do shots, and do nothing else, I could handle that. It would be hard, but manageable. No woman going through IVF that I know of has that cushy situation. We are women; we are running around doing a million things, balancing a million things, planning a million things. IVF is fine. IVF with a hearty, out of balance side portion of life, is difficult.
When I first started the shots I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to actually administer them to myself. I had never given myself shots before. Prior to my months of fertility treatment I didn’t think I was great at getting my blood taken either, clearly infertility cured me of that. The night after my traffic jam incident I was told to start the Follistim. I had watched the videos. My kitchen counter was cleaned and prepped. Can I do this? What’s my back up plan? My back up plan was to walk to the next block and knock on a random woman’s door who I met once at a drunken block party and who I vaguely remember saying she was a nurse. That was it. That was my back up plan. I had hit the ‘Outrageous and Un-normal Sounds Perfectly Normal’ phase of IVF.
I took some (ok, really twenty plus) long deep breaths before sticking myself for the first time. Eventually I got the courage from somewhere deep inside of my desire to make a baby and administered the injection. Success! I walk out to my husband, sitting on the couch, and start self-aggrandizing. “I’m pretty much a nurse practitioner,” I say. He gives me a side look and shakes his head like, ‘Good job, but you’re no practitioner.’ His look was similar to the look he gave me when the smoke detector battery alarm was chirping in my toddler’s room and I snuck in, replaced the old batteries with new ones, and left without ever waking her up. “I’m pretty much that dude from the Hurt Locker.” I told my husband.
“Hardly,” was his simple response.
Two days later I drive to the clinic in the wee hours of the winter morning again. This time I am determined to be early. I leave my house at 5:30 a.m. and, because Life has a wonderfully funny sense of humor, I was 45 minutes early and forced to sit on the floor of the elevator vestibule until the clinic doors opened. Touché Life, touché.
A week and an half later I was getting ready for my trigger shot. I was at the clinic, feet in stirrups, vagina enjoying the breeze, wand fully up my cooter. I could feel the light at the end of the IVF tunnel. I was almost there. The doctor explains to me that they might want to give me another trigger in addition to my Ovidrel. “There are only two pharmacies in all of Manhattan that make this trigger” she explains to me.
“That might be tricky.” I start to explain about my crazy life that hasn’t let up even a second, because Life doesn’t give a crap about IVF. “I don’t actually live in Manhattan,” I continue, “I live in Westchester, and my sister and her two sons are visiting from Chicago today, because we are doing Christmas tonight at my house with my whole family because we won’t be here on Christmas Day. It’s total chaos.” I cringe and wait for the plethora of questions that I’m sure are going to follow.
Instead the doctor smiles, “Oh, so like totally not stressful at all,” she says.
“Ha-lle-lu-jah,” I hear the church choir sing loudly in my head. She get’s it. She’s a woman, of course she get’s it. She knows that we are determined; and experts at overcoming our fears and accomplishing our goals.
If it was just IVF, that would be fine, crappy, but fine. IVF with a toddler, with a full time job, with traffic, commuting, financial issues, regular everyday stress, that’s a totally different monster. IVF isn’t the most difficult part, it’s Life on top of IVF that keeps us on our toes. But Life knows we are determined.