After four years, two surgeries, two years of Traditional Chinese Medicine, one year of herbal fertility treatments, my second failed pregnancy and more than our fair share of sadness and disappointment M & I have finally begun our journey into IVFland and have started the suppression – the first step in a long and icky process.
My feelings about IVF are mixed and messy. I’m excited and scared and my over active imagination is jumping about all over the place.
I’m a little concerned about the eight hundred million dollars it costs but think there really isn’t any amount of money that is too much in our quest for a child. My other half, M, is surprisingly chilled about the money. He says it’s irrelevant, unimportant and not to worry about it and if he isn’t worried I shouldn’t be. Normally he is the more sensible financial tight arse of our merry twosome… I am more easily distracted from financial matters with a colourful bouncing ball or a shiny new toy. I’m quite shallow that way.
I am uncomfortable about the invasion of my body by a thousand new doctors and nurses. But then I’ve had so many people hanging about ‘down there’ doing so many invasive procedures over the past three or four years… ’tis a touch late to worry about keeping my dignity intact. My ‘bits’ have been checked out so many times by so many people that they are practically a public playground – in fact they’ll probably install a swing set and slide as part of the IVF treatment.
I’m terrified of what I will learn about myself in this process. If it doesn’t work am I going to become a nasty bitter hermit with 42 cats who hates children? What kind of person am I? Will I cope so well and be so strong that I will impress people with my utter fabulousness about it all? Will people be saying ‘she is a rock, that girl!’ or will I be a dribbling pathetic mess who calls the IVF counselor daily in hysterics and leaves people with more of an impression of “she’s a total nutjob – don’t get too close to her she smells like cat piss and spits at strangers”
I’m a little worried about my relationship with M. We don’t really ever fight. We barely bicker. We laugh. We have fun. We smile a lot and our relationship, if I had to do it in one word, could best be summed up by the word ‘lovely’. We have been happy for so many years through so many ups and downs but now it’s changing, we are already sniping at each other. I am ‘negative’… he is fed up. He is ‘snappy’… I am fed up. We both feel resentful… we are both pretty fucking fed up.
We are questioning each other a lot. Is this normal? Why us? Will it makes us stronger or will it destroy us. We’ve discussed this and have agreed that what matters the most is that we love each other and we will do our utmost to make sure that whatever the outcome we protect ‘us’. ‘Us’ is the most important thing and it’s nice to know that we both feel the same way.
Have we given up on ourselves and nature too soon? Is this really our final hope? If it doesn’t work, then what? I am scared of becoming a mere science project. It’s all so ‘sciency’ that I feel like a nerd just thinking about it. Everything is timed to the hour and everything is so matter of fucking fact and unromantic. We have a Doctor who will perform the procedures but we also have ‘scientists’ who work with him. That is the actual term used to refer to the rest of the team involved. ‘Scientists’ … I’m imagining Stephen Hawking will turn up at one of the procedures.
We’ll get to see our potential child come out when it is still just an unfertilised egg… they have you watch and see as each egg comes out on a monitor. The egg! M is likely to want to poach it and serve it up with hollandaise sauce. In some ways this is quite cool (not Eggs benedict, which is quite nice too, but the seeing the egg bit) as we’ll get to meet our potential child when it’s still in pieces. It’s quite Frankensteinish as we get to watch them mix the mummy and daddy bits together to make a person. On second thoughts it’s more like those Sea Monkey things we had when we were kids… watching them spring to life and grow and change colours… but of course it turned out that they were just some kind of brine shrimp and were kind of disappointing.
How much is this going to hurt? There are needles, lots and lots of them for weeks and weeks. I don’t think that will be very much fun. Sex is fun. Needles are not. Sex is the way to make a baby, not impaling myself on a syringe twice a day. Maybe the control it gives me may make it not so unpleasant or maybe I am just kidding myself.
I have to try to stay positive but not get my hopes up at the same time as it’s unlikely that we will fall pregnant from the first treatment. This is a hard balance to find. How do you do it? Is it really possible? It’s very hard not to slide one way or the other.
I feel resolute about doing this because I think we’ve exhausted all our other options but I am still full of clashing and contrasting thoughts and questions. Is it because one side of me is realistic and I know the odds are that it won’t work, so why get excited? But the other me, the positive one, knows we are doing everything that we can so there is no sense in being negative. Is there some magic middle emotion I should be latching on to here?
I am sure I will drone on about this endlessly as my IVF counselor suggests writing about it is helpful to analyse my emotions and fears going through the process. And I ‘d rather write it down than talk with her. She scares me. Freak.
Anyway I apologise upfront for boring anyone to death.