I wrote this in February 2017. Mr Unprepared and I had just started seeing a doctor at a specialised fertility clinic. We had been given an information overload at our first appointment, after being told by the doctor (a real straight shooter with a quirky sense of humour) that he could send us for more medicated cycles but if pregnancy hadn’t happened by now, it probably wasn’t going to. He suggested IVF and said we could decide to wait another couple of cycles before seeing him or just sign ourselves up and get it moving after waiting so long for some kind of definitive progress. We were so ready to move forwards and so grateful that we were in a position where we could consider it. At this point it had been about 2 and a half intense years of trying to conceive.
As I write this, I am waiting to find out when exactly we can commence our first ever round of IVF. It has finally come down to this and I have mixed feelings. I am excited and hopeful and glad to be doing something proactive. I am worried that it might not work and that we’ll have put all our hopes in that one basket. I am stressed when I think too much about what it actually physically involves (and how much of our lives will revolve around appointments and tests etc – I thought it was bad before haha). I am eager for it to be successful on our first try but I know that’s not the reality for many couples. I want to be realistic and just hope it happens in the first few rounds. Not to mention that everything is hypothetical at this stage. I need to take things one step at a time. What if they have to stop the process for various reasons? What if I don’t have enough good eggs to harvest? What if fertilisation doesn’t work at first? What if something is found inside me and they say I can’t go ahead yet at all?
Then you tell yourself to stop thinking about it all, but then that’s like trying not to notice the whopping big elephant that’s perched on your couch every day and night.
That’s a lot to take in, right?
I am sure that if you’ve been through this, you might relate to that overload of thoughts. And if you haven’t, perhaps it gives an insight into the sheer magnitude and weight of it. IVF is not just some magical cure for infertility. It’s not the easy way. I mean, it might be, if you existed in a vacuum where you didn’t have work, commitments coming in for dates you’re not sure of your availability for, a marriage that has to work even when you’re under a lot of stress (and the influence of crazy hormones), a child who you are so lucky to have already that you need to look after and love and send to school every day. A household to run. Yikes.
Not to mention that some couples can try and try and try but it still won’t work for them.
But we’re all in. We are so ready. We’ll be warriors and push through it. It’s not forever. It’s temporary and could be one of the most rewarding things we ever struggle through (fingers crossed).
It’s hard. You don’t know how much you should tell people about this *cough* journey.
If I tell person A that I’m starting treatments on date B, will they come to conclusion C about whether I’m pregnant or not on date D. Y’know?
We don’t plan on telling anyone we’re pregnant (if we get that far – please let us get that far) until it’s past the first trimester and even then, we want the Little Mister to be first to know. That’s really important to us.
Which is difficult when there may be people hanging on our every word and behaviour, waiting with bated breath for an outcome because they know when we underwent the procedures. I know everyone means well and are just excited and wanting the best for us.
BUT…if I don’t tell anyone what we’re doing, then I risk social isolation. I risk the worst feeling of being alone and having nobody other than my husband to speak to. And while that can be OK for a while, we need that friendship or family support too. This shit is, by all accounts, very fucking hard.
I also feel like it’s also for everybody’s own good (sorry not sorry) to learn more about the process so they can be more sensitive and understanding. Education can be key, sometimes. I don’t want it to be some crazy taboo in my life or in society either. A lot more people go through this than we’re led to believe!
I’m trying to find that balance about what to share and what to keep to ourselves.
I think that if an IVF round doesn’t work for us, we’ll tell people straight away. So they stop staring at my belly and thinking I might be pregnant when I’m not (there’s nothing worse when you’re already heartbroken). If it does work, maybe we’ll go to ground and keep our happy news to ourselves. Never confirm nor deny. Politely tell people that if there was news our son would be the first to know and stealing that from us as a little family would be rude.
So I literally am going into this awesomely unprepared. I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve shared with some close friends and we’ve shared with family. I just have to hope that everybody understands that our rights to privacy in the first trimester (should we be blessed) are the same as everyone else’s who conceives ‘naturally’. I hope we can tell them just enough but not too much.
I also hope that the pain of anything not working out isn’t worsened by people wanting to play a guessing game: is she or isn’t she?
I guess time will tell if I’ve played this right and if I haven’t, or if I just come across some insensitive folk, I will also have to let it roll off my back. I’ll have to be strong and keep my chin up.
To be continued.