I’m supposed to chronicle this “adventure.” That’s the point of this blog: to process my feelings and emotions, to eventually share it with others who are going through the same trials and can only find horror stories online, to show it to the children who might never exist. Yet, I feel like any reports I give could potentially jinx everything, when there are enough wrenches that could be thrown into this complex process. IVF has literally been one of my worst nightmares, since I obsessively watched A Baby Story on TLC in high school. IVF during a global pandemic… it’s like a Family Guy cutaway, at my expense.
I started my shots last Saturday, with 150 daily millilitres of Follistim and 1 unit of Menopur for the low, low price of approximately $4,000. Having grown up giving shots to livestock, Jake does the injections for me. I haven’t had a real aversion to needles since I was six years old, which is handy, since I also have to have blood work done every three days. I suppose the medication itself isn’t so bad. I find it nearly impossible to sleep, feeling like I’ve had a caffeine injection, despite only getting a few hours in each night. I feel like I did in grad school, when I’d go for three days straight and down enough Five Hour Energy to stop my heart. The doctor told me I can take Benadryl, though, and that’s helped… a little. I’ve had a couple of epic headaches and mood swings that could just as easily be attributed to the stress and fatigue. All in all, I expected much worse.
The doctor seems pleased with my reaction to the medication, based on his response to the blood work and the ultrasounds. I’ve lost all modesty in this process, no longer embarrassed that my doctor is a dude. I’d show my vagina to a packed stadium if it would guarantee success. Regardless, he hasn’t had to change any of the dosages unexpectedly. He seems positive. I wish I felt the same way… maybe… I don’t know. Perhaps it’s best to be mostly pessimistic. I can always work backward from there.
I haven’t been going into work, expect for on Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings. I could probably work through all of this, were it not for Covid-19, the biggest wrench of them all; because although they’ve resumed treatment, any signs of infection mean a canceled cycle with no refunds for services rendered. We could literally lose everything. I’d rather take the leave, even if I miss the distraction of my coworkers. I’ve finished rereading most of The Sorcerer’s Stone and made some great progress watching The Witches of East End. I’ve walked a lot. The cat and dog are thrilled to have me home. I’ve been able to continue my programming from home, so I don’t have to completely drain the hours I’ve built up, in my nine years with the system. I still get to see my teens… through Zoom.
These are truly terrible silver linings.
Jake and I finally got the results of his urinalysis back. As a standard procedure, the clinic requires blood work and urine samples from both of us, to make sure we have no infectious diseases. I haven’t done anything to catch any, aside from have sex with my husband who once started drunkenly naming rodeos when I asked if he could name the women he’d been with… that is, unless someone actually named their daughter Pretty Prairie. The odds of Jake or I having had undiagnosed chlamydia or gonorrhea were mighty slim, but then again, so were the odds of his sperm count being in the hundreds of thousands. I’ve been sick all week at the thought that we might have to postpone, while he takes antibiotics to rid himself of his whorin’ days. I’ve been angry and hurt that I could go through IVF, my literal worst nightmare, which I fear is going to break me, but Jake couldn’t pee in a cup four years ago. Logically, I knew the chances of this being an issue were low… but it was a rough week and I don’t fully understand why they wouldn’t have done these tests weeks ago, when they put me on birth control.
I have blood work and an ultrasound in the morning, at 8:00 on a Saturday. They’ll tell me how much more medicine to order, if needed. They’ll schedule more appointments and possibly my retrieval. So… that’s where I am: in the middle of an IVF cycle in the middle of a global pandemic, hoping and praying I don’t get Covid-19 or a fever in the next week.