Perks to Going Through IVF During a Pandemic
I don’t see children. I don’t see moms come in with little ones and babies for story time, because we’re not open to the public. I don’t see my nieces or cousins’ kids. I can largely avoid the longing that these encounters bring.
I don’t have to go to baby showers or weddings, where people will inevitably ask me when we’re having kids and I’ll shut it down in a way that makes them equally uncomfortable, but gets Belle talked about for the next five years.
I’m not spending my money on much, since there’s nothing to do, so I can make larger payments on the tens of thousands of dollars multiple rounds of IVF will cost.
Everyone is getting fat, so no one has noticed the bloating and larger breasts caused by the copious amounts of fertility drugs. We’re all wearing frumpy clothes, so no one has picked up on the depression.
I’m working from home about half the time, so I don’t have to pretend with my coworkers as much. I don’t have to answer as many questions when I am out. When the test is negative, it won’t be as noticeable when I’m gone for three days.
I don’t have to see Jake’s or my family. I don’t have to see the looks of sympathy or answer questions. I don’t have to hear more installments on why this is hurting Jake’s mom and sister. I don’t have to wonder if Jake’s aunt knows.
Deficits to Going Through IVF During a Pandemic
I don’t have enough to keep my mind occupied. I’m at work right now, with literally nothing to do. I have no programs to work on or outreach to brainstorm. I have no community connections to build. I can’t concentrate enough to read or listen to audiobooks most days. I sit and I think about the test being negative, whether or not I’m willing to try this again, for the cost, the emotional and physical toll, the fact that Jake is apparently incapable of following through with an agreement to keep his mouth shut about our test date. I slip and imagine a positive for a moment and I think about how much more devastating it will be when there’s only one line.
I have to avoid everything. I can’t watch movies and shows with babies and kids, which is basically all of them these days. I can’t watch kids’ movies or escape with Harry Potter, or I’ll start to cry because I won’t be able to share them with my own children, as I’d always planned. I have all the time in the world and very little I can do with it, for fear of triggering a prayer-filled crying jag.
I have to assume I’m pregnant, despite my fight to assume I’m not so I won’t be disappointed. I can’t drink more than one cup of coffee or get drive-through soda. I can’t have a drink to calm my nerves or take medical marijuana to sleep or calm my anxiety. I can’t go for long walks, because I might overheat. I can’t go shopping or out to eat or see the limited family and friends I might want to see, because I can’t get Covid-19 even more than if I’m not pregnant. I can’t do these things when the test is negative, because while I don’t know what or when the next step will be, I can’t risk delaying it over an extended illness or the hospital bills that accompany it.
My tolerance level is at zero. I cannot deal with the coworker who won’t back off or the book snob on Reddit. Both political parties tick me off and stress me out, but it’s an election year. I’m already beyond stressed, but oh yeah, we’re in a global pandemic. Everything my husband says and does is wrong or cruel.
2020. Covid-19. Infertility.