There’s a picture of us on our wedding day, over nineteen months ago. We are so unbelievably happy. There is nothing that can break how good we feel. At least we think there isn’t. Yet what neither of us know with our smiling faces and twinkling eyes is what lies ahead in our first year of marriage is a ride on one of the most painfully emotional journeys that will test every ounce of our souls. Constantly. We thought we’d be pregnant by the end of the honeymoon. Hell, I thought I’d trip over The Vet and instantly become up the knock. Oh. How. Wrong. I. Was. Because I Once Was Fertile. Hells to the yes I took it for granted. I thought I was born as fertile as a field bunny. Turns out maybe I was in my 20s. Another decade (okay, and a bit) later and it’s taking every little bit of my courage left in the jar just to keep getting out of bed in the morning.
It’s not just the fact my wardrobe seems to have shrunk…along with my (very cherished) Tank Cartier, my equally beloved wedding rings and even any type of shoe that doesn’t resemble an open-toed jandal (sorry, can take the Girl outta Kiwiland). It’s not the fact my once taut belly has turned into mushy tiramisu. It’s not that we’ve spent so many thousands of dollars we could have gone on a round the world trip – and still had money left over to buy a luxury car. It’s not the fact the hormones make my personality switch from lovely to Kathy Bates’ Misery in the blink of an eye. It’s not that my bowels think it’s a funny joke to either withhold everything for days or expel it immediately (sorry for overshare) when there isn’t a loo within cooee. It’s not that I have had more general anesthetics this year alone than Courtney Stodden has for all her surgeries put together. It’s not even that I’m taking every kind of hormone you can think of and then some (and deeply concerned there could be an onset of facial hair growth at any minute). It’s not that my arms look like pin cushions and my belly is full of little blue bruises from where the needles have gone in.
No, the really suckful thing about this ride is that I. Lost. Control. Of. Everything. Long. Ago. My body, my emotions, my ability to be any sort of rational. To be patient or even positive.
Everything about IVF and infertility involves waiting. You wait until you can start your daily hormone injections then you wait 10 days to see how many follicles have grown. Then you wait to see how many of those turn into eggs. Then when you get the eggs out you wait to see how many of those they could inject. Then you wait to see how many of the injected ones make it through the night. Then you wait each day for five days after that for your phone call to tell you how many cells they’ve progressed. Then you wait to see if you’ll have an embryo to implant. Then you wait 11 days to see if that embryo has embedded in your uterus. Then you wait to see if it makes it to your first five week scan and blood test. Then, just to be sure you wait for another week to see if your hormone levels are still increasing. Then you wait until eight weeks to see if it has survived. Then you wait until 12-weeks before you know if there are any genetic defects. Then and only then do you get to finally think you might have a little bit of luck. You. Might. Actually. Have. A. Baby. One day.
This month we are on our seventh cycle of IVF. That’s thirteen long months of mood swings, dimpled thighs, disappointment and dropping more wads of of cash than Squizzy Taylor. Even the strongest Scorpions have their breaking point. I’m just hoping I can find a pocketful more brave to keep me going through this round – which this time is a bit like being in the ring with Mike Tyson. Blindfolded.
I know I’m not alone. There’s girls out there who’ve been on this journey a helluva lot longer than I have. There’s people who’ve had success and there are people who have not. There’s couples who, like us, have come so close they could almost smell the baby powder.
Cross your fingers that the two little embies we have left will make it. To my fellow infertility junkies…love, luck and wonder to y’all. Love n’hugs, Lady MamaG xoxo