Getting Pregnant Is a Part-Time Job (for Those Dealing With Fertility Issues)
When most people think about the process of “getting pregnant,” it doesn’t usually seem like something that takes a lot of effort or time. I mean, really, doing the horizontal tango doesn’t have to take that long (Hey, everyone loves a quickie!) or be that aerobic (although that can be fun and a total bonus!). But when you’re talking about having issues getting pregnant and undergoing infertility treatments like I am? Well, let’s just say that I am well acquainted with the waiting room.
In fact, this whole infertility thing is beginning to feel like a second job. Here’s a pretty typical cycle for me…
Infertility Treatments: Cycle Day by Cycle Day
Cycle Day 1: Get my period. Cry for at least an hour. Mope around. Eat chocolate.
Cycle Day 2: Call the doctor to schedule appointments and refill prescriptions. Eat more chocolate.
Cycle Days 3-7: Try to see the upside of getting said period and begin to focus positively on this new cycle. Go to pharmacy; begin fertility drugs. Try not to let the medication’s side effects make me bonkers.
Cycle Days 8-11: Try not to think about it. But think about it. A lot.
Cycle Days 12-18: Go to the doctor about every other day to have “relations” with the trans-vaginal ultrasound wand to see how the whole egg situation is going.
Cycle Day 19: Be excited that I finally have a big ol’ egg ready to drop. Pick up HCG shot at pharmacy. Drive back to doctor’s office to have HCG shot administered (Owww!) to ovulate. Go home and think good pregnant thoughts. Pray.
Cycle Day 20: Go with husband to the reproductive specialist to give “sample.” Make immature jokes. Get turkey basted (aka IUI). Pray some more.
Cycle Days 21-33: Wait to test for pregnancy. Try not to go insane with excitement/worry.
Repeat, repeat…I estimate that in a typical cycle I spend at least 12 hours in the doctor’s office and pharmacy (or driving to and fro), and gosh knows how long thinking about it all—or trying not to think about it, which is just about impossible.
I say all of this not for you to feel bad or sorry for me—this is the path I’ve chosen and the lot I’ve been given (and I’m trying really, really hard to accept it with grace). I say it because, well damn, that’s a lot of time! I’m lucky enough to work from home and pretty much make my own schedule. However, I know there are lots of ladies who have done this with jobs that are not so flexible. And I wonder: I know this is hard for me, but how do you do it?! Between the waiting and the stress and the doctor appointments (and don’t even get me started on what happens when there’s a scheduling error and you have to come back a few hours later!), it takes a lot of physical and emotional energy. And some days, after an appointment where the doctor tells me that my endometrial lining is too thin or that the sperm count isn’t ideal, I can’t imagine doing anything else but going home and curling up in a ball for a few hours. And eating chocolate.
So, ladies who are going through this now or have in the past, how do you deal day after day as the emotional—and time—toll ticks by? And, seriously, you guys are my sheros! —Jenn