Those two words were probably my first thought as I stared down at that blasted pregnancy test. I think there might have been a “fuck” thrown in there for good measure, and a real loud, dramatic one like...
But then you read and re-read the instructions like you haven’t taken 100 tests in the last few years, and you’re left with the F word. The one from up above. And then the phone rings that afternoon and the doctor confirms what the asshole little sticks already told you. It didn’t work. And now, since everything looks good and the least invasive measures aren’t working, we should probably move on to something else.
She asks you if you’d like to take a break or soldier through, and you immediately say “soldier through” without thinking because what the hell is waiting going to do? Besides allowing me to wallow?
And the fun begins.
I started birth control a couple of days after that call. Seems like a strange thing to do and pretty much counterproductive, but the birth control helps level out your hormones to prepare you for the IVF cycle. You guys, I haven’t been on birth control for over four years. And boy oh boy did I forget what delightful little pills those were.
Mood swings. Random bouts of crying for no apparent reason other than the dog ate yet another sock AND the arm off my favorite sweater and oh I’m fat. My tatas are GINORMOUS and not in a modelesque sexy kind of way. In a, oh shit, I accidentally rolled onto my stomach in the middle of the night and—sweet Mary Martha—Mike Tyson is under my mattress walloping my lady lumps kind of way. I ran one into the doorway the other day and just about had to fetal position it in the hallway until the pain subsided.
Birth control lasted for three weeks. I took my last dose two days ago. This morning I went in for blood work and a LOVELY saline sonogram (both necessary before I start the stimulation medications). What a way to start your day with a catheter threaded through your cervix, into your uterus, and a rush of saline washing your insides. “Little cramping,” she said. Um. No. I’d call that moderate cramping. My bum flew off the table, and I almost yelled “I’M GOING TO POOP!” but then I remembered I am a lady and instead murmured “Sorry.” (I did, in fact, not poop.)
It hurt. Yeah, it hurt a lot. But the procedure was quick, and then I was out of there (leaking saline and all). I am supposed to start my follicle stimulating shots in the next few days (more on this later), but I need to wait for the results of my blood test for them to tell me exactly what day to start. Clear as mud, friends!
I joke a lot, but for some reason these last three weeks have been kind of an emotional beating. Mostly, if I’m being honest, I’m just pissed off. I never wanted my fertility journey to come to this. And I know millions of women walk this path every day, but I didn’t think I’d be one of them. I prepared myself to have trouble conceiving, but I think in my naïve mind that just meant trying longer than most. Maybe some oral meds. But, damn, not this. I’ve cried. And talked with friends. And distracted myself with some good books.
I think the anticipation of it all is sometimes worse than the process. At least that’s what my IVF girlfriends have told me. And I am honestly so blessed to know some great friends who have traveled this shit heap of a journey before me. I ask them a ton of questions or shoot off texts that say really brilliant things like “I can’t do this.” Or “I might be losing my mind today.”
I’m sad, yet hopeful. This isn’t the easiest thing I’ll ever do by far. And my mind can sometimes swing to only focusing on the negative. So, I’m taking steps to prevent that. Reading. Walks with my insane clothes eating dog. Writing. I’m going to have to try really hard not to succumb to bad habits (I’m looking at you “eating my feelings”). And to those of you who I see regularly, don’t let me hermit. It’s a way to protect myself, but it’s isolating.
We’re at the beginning. And the forest is thick and murky and full of creatures that want to feast on my fluffy bones. But here we go.
Part two coming next week. I hope you come along with me on this journey. Any tips/comments welcome below!
Until next time,