So here we are, on the day of our consultation for IVF. We knew this from the previous discussion with Joe’s doctor, but the purpose of this meeting was to go through the entire process in all of its glorious grandeur…and to stare up my crotch to make sure I was A-OK…I mean while we’re at it why not probe me just for good measure, right? Yeah, I know…get used to it, right? I don’t know when shoving tools up my vag will ever be easy to handle but it’s a necessity through this process so I guess I’ll just man up and deal with people having to see me in stirrups proudly displaying my naked nether regions for a while…
Yes, I had a scan with (in an obviously sarcastic tone) my new best friend the Renault Espace.
The scan checked out – both ovaries looked AMAZING…follicles looked great and so did my uterus! Now I have 2 more appointments set for tomorrow and Thursday to once again probe my lady parts…fun!
I will eventually have to take 2-3 weeks of birth control to take over my system
7-10 days of daily injections,
self-administered in thigh or tummy, to pump me full of eggs.
Scans to look at said eggs. LOTS of scans.
The dreaded egg collection, or “harvesting” – this involves being sedated, strapped up, and once again probed with the Espace which will be accompanied by a needle which will pierce (there’s a word you don’t want associated with your lady parts) my vaginal wall and pop into my ovary to extract the abundant amount of eggs I better be filled with after all the injections.
At this point, Joe has to do his “business” in a cup…sexy, huh? That’s gotta be just plain old awkward knowing that everyone knows what you are doing in there…I wonder how many handshakes they get in that neck of the woods?
Anyways, they will then look at the outcome of said “business” and after washing them (basically making them dizzy in a test tube and they sink to the bottom in a pebble like formation) they will sort through the sperm and find the best looking ones to inject into my eggs and put it in an incubator overnight. By morning (fingers crossed!) several embryos will be visible in the petri dish squiggling around waiting to be implanted back into me and, God willing, become our future children.
If all goes well and you have at least one good-quality embryo, you go in a few days after to have it transferred back into your womb via a balloon catheter, this time sans sedation. On the day of the embryo transfer you’re not allowed to wear perfume, body lotion or strong deodorant, not even makeup as strong smelling scents can be detrimental to fertilized embryos…you are allowed to take a water only shower (gross!) and that’s it.
You then basically hope, dream, pray, do a rain dance, cross everything, avoid breaking mirrors, walking under ladders, stepping on cracks, (you get the point) and wait for what seems like forever to see if the embryo(s) implant. If you haven’t bled by the two-week mark, you go for a pregnancy test, and if it’s positive, you freak the fuck out with joy all the way home and then return in a few weeks for a scan. If everything is ok thereafter you are turned over to the care of your GP who will arrange a OBGYN for you.
This is no small task, this is scary as shit…it is deeply traumatic and life-changing. Where I am right now is complete and utter terror let alone my nerves are so jacked right now I feel like throwing up every second of the day. I am, however, starting to not be so scared of the process itself…I really think I can handle this especially after everything Joe has been through already (hey, if Joe can play stabby stabby every day for the last 2 years I guess a few weeks of
my worst fear needles is the least I can do to pay him back for all the self inflicting torture he has endured for the future of our babies). I know I can put myself through all the physical trauma and survive, but I can only do that because of the shred of hope that it will work…if this is what we have to do to become parents then I will do whatever it takes. What I am most terrified for is putting myself through all of this and it failing…and I am sure Joe has the same fears as myself.
There are a lot of days when I’m not doing so good, and some days when (with enough distractions) I cope OK. It has been extremely hard watching friends, family, co-workers, and seemingly every other woman on the planet getting pregnant when we have been trying for a very VERY long time with nothing to show for it yet. Joe is very concerned for me, he told me his biggest job right now is keeping me stress free…I hope he knows he just took on probably the hardest job he will ever have until there are viable results.
But in the midst of all the craziness going on now, there is finally a light shining at the end of this long tunnel…I really may end this year or start next year with a tiny embryo (or two) in my womb and that is pretty awesome. Just getting to that point will definitely be worth all the pain and suffering we will both be going through (or in Joe’s case have already gone through) just to get there. I keep repeating, soon we will have a baby to call our own and we will be Awesome parents. I can’t believe that we’ve been going through all of this for so long and finally there is an end in sight. I am so ready to finally be happy again because this journey has been indescribably painful, emotionally, for me. I am ready to become a whole new woman because once this happens I will be the happiest I have ever been in my life and I will once again have the light in my eyes that I have been missing for a few years.
It looks like we will be starting the whole process of injections in December when my doctor returns from maternity leave. I will be be at the nurses discretion as they take hold of my system and start this crazy roller coaster ride. They are so kind and so helpful and I feel like there is finally some good happening in our lives. I look forward to and dread the next few months as we prepare for this journey. The only thing we can do is take it one day at a time.
No one said this was going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.