Image: Opus Moreschi via Flickr
The self-discovery I experience as a result of IVF never ceases. When I began this blog, I had every intention of posting something humorous about infertility every day. I vowed to readers I wouldn’t complain. I promised to not provide gory details of ultrasounds and other tests. And above all I promised no pity parties or rants. My goal was to bring a little levity to an otherwise heavy topic while also reminding myself to stay positive and laugh.
What was I thinking?
Positivity and humor are still great goals and I am not planning to dive head first off the deep end, but I am only on day two of estrogen and I am already throwing in the towel on trying to be funny every day. I don’t know how I forgot about the effects of that nasty lupron and estrogen cocktail. It’s like having a never-ending hang over. The headaches are constant and pounding. Fatigue has wracked my body. The moodiness is already wickedly bad.
The scary thing is that it is only just beginning. I am wearing only one estrogen patch at this stage in my cycle. By the time I fly out west to reunite with my long lost embryo I will be wearing four patches. Tears will be flowing and fights will be picked. I know myself and my body and its inevitable. Comedy writing on a daily basis is not in the cards.
You can already see the effects of the drugs in my writing. My posts have grown longer and just a wee bit darker as the injections have worn on and the patch was added. What I am learning is that there are just times when I am not a funny person. There are times when I barely feel like a person at all.
Freaking out and worrying are also tell tale signs of successful progression in an IVF cycle that are sure to make humor elusive. Yesterday I was convinced I hadn’t shed my old lining and that I shouldn’t start my patches until I did. I pleaded for an ultrasound to confirm that it was gone and I was getting a fresh start on developing fertile ground for implantation. As expected the ultrasound was fine. Despite the good news, I still dialed up my clinic twice today for no good reason to ask a couple of questions that don’t really need answers until March, if ever.
The questions were about the odds of success of our lone embryo. The doctor already told us the embryo had about a 35% chance of making it to a real life baby. But yesterday I spent some time with Dr. Google, never a good idea, and began wondering what factors went into the creation of that number. Did the doctor take into consideration that the embryo had to be thawed and retested because the first genetic test was inconclusive? What are the impacts of an extra thaw and biopsy on our delicate embryo? What are the odds that we will get all the way to our clinic and the embryo won’t survive the warming process?
I pestered my clinic with these questions even though I laid in bed late into the night last night reminding myself that the answers are irrelevant. The clinic has a 95% survival rate for thawed embryos. And even if the odds were lower, its not as if we aren’t going to go through with the transfer. What would this information change? Nothing good can come from this knowledge. I have already been meditating on the only statistics that matter, my very own 100% success rate. I visualize a SART data report with my name on it and in every column my results are 100%. Why would I want to mess with that image and its mojo by finding out what some doctor thinks?
One word, hormones. Hormones make the sane insane. They make the intelligent foolish. They make the happy sad. And above all else they make the confident worried. I don’t like worried.
Worry is a meditation on shit.
Worry and hormones aside, there is another reason that I am having troubling channeling my inner comedian.
The real self-discovery has been that its not only that I am not always capable of humor, I have also discovered that I want to try a variety of types of writing. I don’t just want to tell cute stories about IVF, I want to pour my heart and soul out on a page and see what it looks like in black and white. I want to hear my emotions and deepest thoughts roll of the tongue of the voice in my mind. I want the therapeutic jolt of liberation I feel when I hit publish on something I have created. The writing process won’t allow me to limit my life to one genre.
With all this in mind, I made a little change to the Laughter Through Tears subtitle today. Yesterday it read “for those in search of the lighter side of infertility.” Today its simply “In search of the lighter side of infertility.” It’s a subtle change, but its recognition that I can’t promise anyone levity every day, especially not myself. I can’t always be funny and witty. However I will commit to always being in search of the lighter side. For you and for me.