Sometimes I feel fine with IVF. The needles get put away until the next try, the hard lump in my bum cheek goes down as the Progesterone makes it way out of the muscle tissue and I come to terms with another failed attempt. To be honest, sometimes I forget about it almost entirely.
You do all that, get a negative, life continues and you get on with it. You rejoice over the glass of wine you’re now ‘allowed’, spend evenings blissfully forgetting about needles and make plans that don’t revolve around trips to the clinic.
Sometimes though, you can’t help but be reminded of what’s coming up and worse still, what the ordeal could or could not mean. It’s not just the horrible bloat like something inside you is about to pop or the seasickness of sedation aftermath. It’s not even setting your alarm at 5am to stab yourself in the belly, it’s what it means if it fails again.
I feel sick at the thought of it all.
It normally washes over me when something nice is happening, when someone brings up a date over the period we’ll be doing our next round or after I’ve visited a friend with a little one. Sometimes it will just come completely out of the blue.
The same bundle of boulders that I’ve become so familiar with will sink back into the pit of my belly. It’s not too bad I tell myself. 10 days of bloat and jabs, 10 days of wait is how I rationalise it. 20 days goes in a flash. But after those 20 days….. what then?
Will we be having discussions about how we’re going to find more money or about a positive test? Will I have to do more tests myself? Will I have a positive result and then if I do will it be able to run the course?
Every single piece of the IVF puzzle is a hurdle until you have a healthy baby in your arms. A checklist with each box filled getting you that little bit further to your goal.
After the last failed attempt and before we embarked on the next renovation we took some time out and forgot about it all, distracting ourselves with Greek Islands, rose and quiet beaches. I really urge breaks from IVF any by breaks I mean holidays sure but mental breaks too. Just stop thinking about it. It’s what enables the waves of that hole in your belly feeling to be exactly that – waves – that come and go. Better to let them come and go and enjoy the breaks in between than to torture yourself with all the questions and the worry and the anticipation and more.
I know we’re all in a hurry and I know it’s not nice having the next round looming and I know that we all just want it over one way or another but it’s important to concentrate on the break and use it as one. To remember relationships, carefree evenings, friendships, holidays and all the other luck that is with us whilst this one unlucky thing is happening.
Don’t get trapped down that IVF bunny hole of self-pity – it won’t get you a baby.
Until the next attempt let’s live life as though we don’t have this problem. And in the meantime keep trying, because stranger things have happened… and it’s fun.