Scrolling through Facebook the other day I came across a post about a friend trying for a child through IVF (in vitro fertilization).
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of IVF. You probably know a friend or family member who has been through the process, but unless you have gone through it yourself, you cannot possibly understand the trama of it all.
Instead of some wild night of sex you barely remember, you get a box of meds in the mail that cost anywhere from 4-10 grand depending on the protocol.
You get to give yourself multiple shots for weeks and go in for blood draws every few days.
You get to go to a doctors office and pray like hell the injections you are giving yourself that cost thousands of dollars are working. That your ovaries are producing up to 18 eggs instead of just one.
Eggs that will require an IV and a retrieval. A retirieval where they put you under and stick a needle in your cervix poking the sac and extracting all the eggs
You sit in the doctors office knowing your odds of conceiving. Looking around the room and wondering who will win the baby lotto.
You wait for the nurse or doctor to call with the news
How many eggs survived?
They grade them.
You hold your breath for day three when they tell you how many embryos “survived”.
Depending on the outlook you go in on day three or five for the embryos to be transferred.
Five day transfers typically have a better chance of survival.
You go in again to the doctors office. At least you have made it this far. You try to nod encouragingly to those around you. You don’t have to speak. You know their pain. And their hope.
You are told to have a full bladder, and then legs up, here goes nothing.
They insert the embryos and you can watch on the monitor as they go in.
Then you (or at least I did) pray like hell as they instruct you to hold your legs up for 20 minutes.
After that, the doctor comes in, mine was wonderful and encouraging and said to remember I was PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise).
Ten more days or so of more torture and you go in for a blood test.
Two more days of waiting.
If you are lucky enough to hear yes you go back in two more days for another blood test to see if your PSA levels (pregnancy hormone) are rising.
Sometimes they aren’t. And the journey ends. Just like that.
If the levels are still rising, you are scheduled for a six week sonogram to find out if the embryo(s) have attached to the uterine wall, at which point you can hear a heartbeat.
Sometimes the process ends here. I can’t tell you how many friends I had who made it this far in the journey only to hear devastating news. It’s heartbreaking.
And for many, the process works.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am for my doctor, Dr. Kaufman, who I credit in helping me become a mama!
I wrote this post with the notion to write a post about my baby boy who turns six tomorrow, but as I started writing, it brought be back to the process that made me a mother.
I am grateful for God. I am grateful for science.
I’m not going to sit here and reassure you if you are trying to get pregnant to “just relax” and “it will happen when it’s supposed to happen.”
I hated that more than anything.
I can just tell you this, I know the pain you are going through, and you are not alone.
Visit http://www.resolve.org if you are struggling with infertility and looking for support and or resources.