If you, a friend, or family member have ever had the displeasure of meeting with an fertility specialist, you most likely know a little (or a lot) about the different types of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART). These technologies and treatments are offered to couples who are trying but just can’t conceive and successfully carry a pregnancy to term the old fashioned way. My husband and I spent a lot of time in the office of our fertility specialist over the years. We’ve gone through many different treatments in a bid to get pregnant and carry to term. While this sounds exciting and hopeful, in reality, it is truly exhausting. We spread our treatments out over the years, not just because of cost, but also because of the emotional and physical toll these take on you, your spouse and your family.
Pregnancy loss is detrimental emotionally and mentally.
Combine pregnancy loss with infertility treatments and this will forever change the way you view pregnancy and family. After discussing with the husband that 2018 was the “right time” for us to try again, I scheduled my appointment. Yep, you read that right. Instead of finding babysitters for date nights and ordering some lingerie from Victoria’s Secret, I called my doctor’s office. I scheduled an appointment to discuss our next round of IVF. Since we had done our first round of IVF in 2014 and had one embryo left, we knew this was our last chance.
You are on a rollercoaster full of hormones, mood swings, and anxiety throughout the entire process.
I truly believe you have to be a little off your rocker to go through this at all. IVF is very involved and heavily scheduled. There are ALL the medications – in injectable and pill form. You are pumping yourself full of hormones every day for at least four weeks before your embryo transfer. And then for two or more weeks after. Do you know how much fun that is for you and your spouse? Can we say mood swings?! Then there are the weekly office visits for blood work and ultrasounds to track your progress and reaction to said medications. The medications and office visits definitely affect you physically. Mentally, you have to be strong too. All of this was so overwhelming for me that I know I yelled at my husband more than once for no good reason. Sorry babe. It’s the hormones.
I was excited and hopeful, but I was also scared.
While I tried to stay cool, calm and collected on the surface, I was freaking out inside. I was so worried that it wouldn’t work. I worried that we had spent all that money and time and energy for nothing. Multiple pregnancy losses and slight complications during my last pregnancy had me cautiously optimistic at best. I didn’t want to celebrate anything. I feared I would jinx my pregnancy If I got too excited after getting a positive pregnancy test. What if we announced early on and it ended up not being a good, viable pregnancy? Why didn’t anyone understand how stressful, fearful and hopeless this process was at times? And of course, in true mom fashion, I was consumed with guilt for not feeling more hopeful and joyful.
Excitement permeated from our family and close friends who knew what we were doing. But I just could not bring myself to their level. Thankfully, our family and friends checked in on us through lots of supportive, loving messages and calls. They may not completely understand the science and the emotion of going through IVF, but they did understand that we needed support, love and a little bit of space to deal with everything coming our way. I still have a ways to go, but I am getting better at being more positive about this experience every day. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I am trying.