So, here are my confessions as an IVF patient:
I don't want to be asked, "When are you going to have kids?" or any variation of the sort. I'm scared of sounding snotty on this one, but it's hard enough to not think about my fertility 100% of the time. So, when I'm busy and not thinking about it, I don't want to be reminded.
Not all insurances pay for treatment. If you're one of the lucky few whose health insurance covers part of all of your fertility treatment, please be thankful for that. My insurance pays $0. As in "nada", "zilch", "nothing." When I say that, some people look at me like I have 3 eyes. Like I've surely not checked closely enough and that I must be doing something wrong. Nope. I wish I was. It's irksome that insurance will pay for things we choose in some way. For instance, drug rehab. My insurance will pay for stay after stay of drug rehab, costing thousands of dollars, much more than one round of IVF. Every time a druggie consumes a drug, they CHOOSE to do so. I didn't choose infertility. I didn't want to go through this treatment. And, quite frankly, the success rates of IVF are much better than that of rehab. Much cheaper than that of rehab, and I seriously wish it would pay.
There are many genuinely kind people that I am continually astounded by. Shortly after my miscarriage last year, a dear friend of mine (who will remain unnamed because I doubt she wants calls for fertility meds) whose sister is part of a surrogacy group contacted me. She sent me an email, which she thought was so odd. It was an email offering me some meds and supplies left over from her sister's group. She thought for sure I wouldn't take "used" meds, but about 34 seconds after she sent the email, I replied, "YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS send me anything and everything." (Remember insurance confession above.) You see, these meds can cost up to $5000 each round, so I was so grateful when about 1/3 of the medicine I needed showed up on my doorstep. Directly from my bumpfairy.
And, just to make me tear up, this note was attached:
There are a lot of mama's in the box. Mama's who have helped other women become mama's, mama's who have helped men become fathers. May the luck of the many women who helped fill this box touch you in your own journey to parenthood. This medication is available for you because it isn't needed anymore, so that's a lot of good luck.
I don't want to be told my hormones are crazy. If you know me, I'm VERY level headed. VERY. Intellectually I know these hormones have an effect, but I don't need to be informed of this every time I say I want Mexican food for dinner and not Japanese. Conform to me people....Conform!!!
Pedicures are a necessary treatment. Some women swear by acupuncture, but I will swear by pedicures. My feet are in the stirrups on a daily basis at this point, so shaved legs and pretty toes are a must. I chose purple polish this round.
I have to make insane decisions while on said hormones (and valium!). Fertile couples don't have to make the decision on how many embryos make it to the uterus. They are blissfully unaware of all the decisions their bodies are making for them. But for me, and so many other IVF patients, we have to struggle between making a decision to transfer more or less. To take the risk of multiples...or the risk of not having any at all. It's a decision that I doubt anyone in my position takes lightly.
Caffeine is a no-no. I'm under orders to have no more than 300mg per day. And, when getting pregnant is as expensive as it is for me, I follow all the rules. Just so you know, this is incredibly tempting since there is a Sonic directly across the street from my clinic.
I'm not sad when others get pregnant. I am genuinely happy when others get pregnant and have healthy babies. I know the pain of infertility. The wondering if I'll ever be a mom. The sadness that comes after a miscarriage. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
I'm a clock-watcher. I even set an alarm from time to time. I count down the minutes and hours till my next injection.
I pray constantly. I pray for the wisdom to make the right decisions with treatment. I pray with thanksgiving that I have this opportunity (and that our credit card had a large limit). I pray that this round will be successful and that I will one day know the joy of being a mom.
There is a secret society of IVFers. When I meet someone that's been through IVF, we instantly begin talking meds, follicles, and before we know it, an hour has past. Talking follicles is like a secret handshake. Oh, and if you throw in beta numbers, it's even better. Recently, I met someone with whom I have so much in common. We are both scrapbookers. We both think Ali Edwards hung the moon. We both are business owners. But you know what we talked about? Follicles. Yes we did. Then we emailed back and forth about 48 times.
I love my IVF nurse. Her name is Jennifer, but if you request her at my clinic, there's 2 others, so you may or may not get her. I think it's so important for treatment to like your nurse and to build trust with her (or him as the case may be). And, you might even want her husband to make concrete countertops for your house. I did.
I am not supposed to lift over 10 lbs. This is one of the hardest rules to follow. My doctor advises this because my ovaries are super-sized and my tubes could become twisted with too much exertion. Called, "torsion." A laptop bag plus a purse tip the scales. And, if Greg keeps feeding the dogs treats, I might not be able to lift them either.
I have never felt that I'm all alone. I'm blessed with a supportive family. I am blessed with supportive friends and coworkers. I'm also blessed by my blog and SC family. You have shared your stories via email with me as I went through my loss last year. And, even now, I've gained strength from your encouraging words, personal stories and successes.
Last year, I was blessed with one friend in particular. She had gone through IVF and has a healthy baby boy. She checked on me throughout the process and was one of the few that I shared my medical issues with. When I became pregnant, I think she was excited as I was and when we miscarried, I think she was equally saddened. And, when these came a few days later with an encouraging note, it confirmed how much I cherish her friendship. There are so many that are equally as encouraging and who I have connected with through our shared infertility journeys. I can't even put into words what your emails mean to me. Just know that I am incredibly grateful and I save each and every one to read when I'm feeling down. Not that I'm sad all the time. Because I'm not. I'm just being sappy.
Now the update on my progress:
- I thought I'd be having my egg retrieval today, but it will most likely be on Friday. After my appointment Monday, my follicles weren't quite ready. And then today, I went back for another monitoring and they were so close, but just not quite there. They need to be 18-20mm before we trigger (more on this later).
- My E2 is looking great, in the 3000's now.