Cheers, dear readers,
Hello wonderful readers and patients of Conceive Hospital. I have missed speaking with you and I look forward to writing another excerpt for you about my journey down the infertility path that many of you are on now. Please know that you have all of our support and warm thoughts, and that you are not alone in your struggles. We are here for you.
Last I left you on our chronological journey with infertility, Eric and I were in the midst of starting our first hormone-induced IVF cycle, after our natural cycle IVF was a proverbial bust. I was completely overwhelmed with all of the needles that I had to inject into myself. I have never had to do that before. It made me much more empathetic for my mother who had insulin dependent diabetes. Wow, she has to do this every single day? (as well as others with insulin-dependent diabetes). I remember seeing all of the little vials in the refrigerator and just staring at them… thinking “Can I really do this?” Then “I must do this.” And finally, “Why can’t Eric do this? The women really get shafted in this IVF stuff.” More self-pity. I was feeling that a lot those days.
But I had to be strong. I reviewed all of my notes and instructions over and over, and went ahead an injected myself. Geez, did I do that right? I had no idea. Fingers crossed I did. Soon, it did in fact start to become at least somewhat second nature. I surprised myself with this little act of bravery. Eric would cringe every time he had to watch me do it. I wondered if anyone at work was suspicious of me carrying around little odd looking packets that I had to keep in our work refrigerator, and the trips to the bathroom for longer than normal. Oh well. I just wasn’t in a place where I wanted to tell people at work this awkward and embarrassing state of affairs of our attempt at family building due to our reproductive bits being somewhat broken and wonky. What a surreal experience.
Then, the big night came. We had to inject a huge needle into my bum at a rather exact moment at midnight on a Wednesday (this is the “Ovulation Trigger” shot to time when my eggs / follicles burst out of my ovary for the good doctor to retrieve = hugely important!) I went out and had dinner with a new friend to distract myself. My friend knew and understood why I was drinking water all night (instead of wine, but wow, I really wanted a glass of wine to calm my nerves). I had considerably cut down on how much I was drinking during this “trying to conceive” (TTC) phase of our lives. I tried not to have more than one glass here and there. Many of my friends told me not to worry about it, and that it didn’t affect my fertility. But again, if I was going to give this treatment and my potential unborn child a fighting chance, well then I had to do everything in my power – and cutting back on vino was certainly in my power.
I came home that evening, with Eric in our little living room having this look of utter sadness and disgust on his face. He was terrified of putting that big needle in my bum. We talked for a few minutes. I reminded him that we HAD to do this, that I was a big girl, and I could handle it. And that he was brave and he could do it. He still looked scared. I tried to be super brave for him, so that he would have the courage to do it. I said something like “I am totally ready for this! Let’s do this!” We looked into each other’s eyes, took a deep breath. And I dropped my drawers and faced the wall. My bum had a big “X” on it where the nurse had drawn to show Eric exactly where to put the needle. He stared at it. Looked up at me, and I nodded a “go for it” nod. And faced the wall again. I heard him take a deep breath, and he plunged the needle in! Frankly, it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. And then it was done. He asked if it hurt, and I told him no, not really. He was almost in tears. We hugged and took a big breath. And eventually tried to get to sleep. But how do you sleep when the next morning, they are retrieving a bunch of timed eggs from your body? I thought to myself, “Seriously, this is so weird. Wow.”
Please join me next week to hear more about my personal journey down the infertility path. I look forward to speaking with you. And I wish you the best on your journey.
This post is also available in: Arabic