Our first IVF cycle begins in January and despite the fact that it’s taken 812 days and 29 sad, unfertilized eggs to get to this point, I’m still in a state of total disbelief that we’re here. But we are here and this is happening.
[For any fans of The Office (US version) – that scene where the fire alarm goes off and they all run around screaming “IT’S HAPPENING OH MY GOD IT’S HAPPENING EVERYBODY STAY CALM” is pretty much what it’s like in my brain at the moment.]
People keep asking me if I’m excited and the honest answer is no. I’m very conscious that friends and family (including my husband) are excited but I’ve been feeling everything BUT excited. Grateful – yes. Anxious, terrified, confused, emotional, frustrated, hopeful, realistic – also, yes. I don’t know whether it’s because of my personality or if this is just what it feels like to be the woman going through IVF but I’m hyper-aware of all the things that need to go right for us to even be in with a shot of it working. Either way, it’s highlighting some fundamental differences between mine and my husband’s outlook – which I’ve detailed below….
His thoughts on starting IVF in January:
We might have a baby by October.
I need to eat lots of nutritious food and get lots of rest, avoid the flu, maintain a healthy weight, and spend hundreds of £££ on acupuncture to make sure my womb lining is nice and thick. Must also stay stress free during what is probably the most stressful time in my life ever, distract myself – without losing focus and stay active to keep blood flowing BUT NOT TOO ACTIVE because apparently that can be detrimental and a bad use of energy. I’ll have to tell work but I don’t want them to know alllllllll the details so I will only tell them bits. Imagine if I told them everything and then it failed and then I’d have to go in and explain it all? No thank you. OK I won’t tell them. Maybe January is too soon? Maybe I need more time to prepare… or try naturally for a bit longer??! No. It’s been over 2 years. This is happening. OMGOMGOMG. This is so weird and scary.
His thoughts on the hormone injections:
Poor Lauren, I’ll buy her chocolates.
Once the injections start, my body will have to respond well – but not too well because that would mean over-stimulation which is serious and would risk cancelling the whole thing and in very, verrrrrrrrrrrrry rare cases – can be fatal. Must avoid death at all costs. Hopefully I won’t have too many side-effects to the hormones and my job won’t suffer…..but if work does get stressful then it might impact the IVF so maybe I should take some time off? I’ve heard women can get really bloated during the injections. People will definitely think I’m pregnant. And I might be very nauseous from the hormones so that will fan the pregnancy flames even more. Ughhhhh. Am I actually capable of stabbing myself in the tummy with a big needle or is it easier if someone does it for me? I’m going to look like a junkie if I have to shoot up with the hormones in public. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a seat on the train and none of my fellow commuters barge into my sore, swollen tummy. Perhaps I should get one of those badges that says “please offer me a seat”…..
His thoughts on the egg retrieval:
Should be a good number, she’s quite young.
Age means nothing. Bodies are unpredictable. There’s no telling what the outcome might be. Even if they get just one egg then that’s still a chance. Hopefully they can get a few though, I’ve heard some women get twenty! What if I wake up and they didn’t get any and it’s all over before it’s even begun? Let’s not think about that. I’ve never been under anesthetic before. I’ll probably say something embarrassing when I’m off my head.
His thoughts on providing the sperm:
I’ve been practicing for this day since I was 14.
Simon will have to take a mini fridge full of my eggs on the train across town to the other clinic and if he leaves my eggs on the train I’ll never forgive him. What if the train breaks down and all my eggs die on board? What if there’s another man on the train with a fridge full of his wife’s eggs and they accidentally get muddled up and we fertilize the wrong ones? What if Simon gets to the lab and can’t – erm – perform? Could somebody maybe help him out? No, that’s weird. We’re going to have to get him to do a frozen sample before the date of my operation just so we have a backup.
His thoughts on the fertilization:
If two are fertilized, we should transfer them both and maybe end up with twins.
If we get just one good quality embryo I will be over the moon. That 5 day wait to see if they survive is going to be torture. I’ll probably already feel a connection to them. No that’s ridiculous, they’ll just be a bundle of cells at that point…….but they’d be my beautiful embryobabies….. I think transferring one is sensible. Twins would be bonkers but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’ll have to take this time off work, there’s no way I’ll be able to think of anything else.
My thoughts on the embryo transfer:
There’s a 75% chance this won’t work.
There’s a 25% chance it will.