Tonight I unexpectedly spent the evening with my mother at the hospital. She is O-K-A-Y. Mom had a scare with high blood pressure and is being well cared for by a very young and handsome nurse. She will be spending her night trying to hook him up with my single sister. My sister, while are on the topic, is adorable, smart, employed, hard working, and super funny.
You know, in case any of you single men out there reading about infertility are interested. Now back to the hospital…
I had a special moment with Mom tonight after the lights were out and the rest of the family left. We talked in a way that a working-mother-going-through-IVF (WMGTIVF?) rarely has time to these days. But the whole time we were talking I was distracted by the drip, drip, drip of her IV, the pills she was prescribed to take, the monitoring, and the blood work that was drawn. I have been in a lot of hospital gowns lately, popped a number of meds, and have been poked like a pin cushion. But right now I am between treatments ever so briefly AND I AM JONESIN’.
When you have done a number of treatments your brain becomes trained to think about taking medications and scheduling procedures constantly. In one of my recent protocols there was a point where I was taking 4 injections a day in addition to two pills. Each had to be taken at a specific time of day every day. It becomes a routine, a way of life. You set alarms. You obsess over the list and make sure its all done. You do all this while trying to make sure you have all the blood work, ultrasound, and consultation appointments that you need set at the right time. When you travel for treatment like we are you also plan accommodations and flights while rescheduling work and other events. It should consume your life but somehow you weave it in.
Then it just ends. You either get that call to go off your meds because your cycle didn’t work or you graduate to your OB when you are 10 to 12 weeks along in your pregnancy because by then the placenta has taken control. You abruptly stop everything. Cold turkey. Done.
When you have been through a number of cycles, especially consecutive cycles, it can feel really strange to not have to do anything. It should be a relief, but its not. Even when you are pregnant it feels odd, like its unatural not to proactively supplement your hormones for pregnancy.
Tonight in that hospital room I had a strong desire to roll up my sleeve and make a fist every time the nurse came into the room. I longed to have my own gown. I craved an IV giving me meds like the anesthesia given at egg retrieval. I love the anesthesia by the way and am not ashamed to admit it, at least something in this process makes you feel groovy. Some clinics even prescribe valium at transfer… yum, yum give me some!
The good news is I get started again tomorrow. At least in a small way. Tomorrow morning I will take a birth control pill to help shut my ovaries down so the doctor can be in the driver’s seat with my hormones to prepare for transfer. Unfortunately, I don’t get to start shooting up again for nearly two weeks. The heavy stuff, the intramuscular injections, are three whole weeks away! Three weeks! Ugh.
But tomorrow I start something. So yes, while it is indeed laughable that it is birth control pills of all things I am still down right excited.
My name is Alisa Winslow and I am addicted to IVF.
Anyone with me?