Well, it has been 2 years since we started trying for our family together and I have a few reflections and thoughts about where we are right now. These are just some things I have learned through the process that maybe someone else could benefit from and just allows me to get vent my feelings on the subject.
1. My favorite person at the RE's office is the lady who checks you in every time you go. She always has a smile and never remembers your name, but is the lady who tells you what the status is for the day. Make her your friend, she can get you in when things happen quickly over the weekend and it's Monday morning. She's the maitre de at a fancy club who can get you a table when you don't have a reservation.
2. After a few days of giving yourself shots, you begin to think it's normal to have to use multiple needles within a few minutes, despite the fact that your abdomen is covered in bruises and is swollen to 2 times its pre-shot size. Sadly, you start to look forward to doing it so that you can quickly put it out of your mind for another day.
3. Stretchy yoga pants were the best thing for injection weeks. Comfy with space to have your belly expand with the swelling...not totally dressy enough for work, but they are the best thing when you feel like a swollen balloon and moving around is the last thing you want to do. The inventor should be kissed by all women going through IVF.
4. The idea of taking Clomid again ever in my life is one of the worst ideas EVER and makes me want to cry in a ball in the corner. Women who take it and don't kill anyone should receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for strength. Husbands who want to have sex with their wives when they are taking it, deserve major brownie points to be redeemed at further points down the road.
5. No husband should have that much information about his wife's vagina/uterus/menstrual cycle/ovaries and still be expected to have sex whenever the timing is right for baby-making. Who could do that without some serious effort????
6. The procedures are intense and expensive, I do not for the life of me understand how people can pay out of pocket for this process without insurance paying for some of the different co-pays. I am grateful constantly that I live in a state that has mandatory fertility coverage.
7. All women ages 20+ should take the prenatal vitamin. It's just a good vitamin that makes your nails strong, your hair pretty, and your immune system becomes the Chuck Norris of fighting off infections. I managed to avoid the swine flu when many students in my classes were down for the count and normally I get a cold when someone within 5 miles has one.
8. Having an HSG and they telling you it will be mildly uncomfortable is one of the largest lies ever told. Having your ass in the air, while a radiologist (no not an OBGYN so no sensitivity to a sensitive area) injects dye through each side of your fallopian tubes individually, then making you roll over to each side while your body tries desperately to push the dye back out. I took Vicodin and still cried on the table from the pain.
9. The worst part of the whole process in terms of procedures was the egg retrieval. Nothing prepares you for the waking up from anesthesia disoriented, not recognizing anyone around you, not being able to take the good pain medicines, and in pain from the needles poking through your uterus into your ovaries. AND the pain does not go away for several days, but then you have the added uncomfortable-ness of the egg transfer.
10. The progesterone shot right above your ass hurts like hell and never gets easier. Oh yeah, and you may have to have it once a day for up through the first trimester. I would get angry when Aaron would come close to me with that big thick damn needle. He was not my favorite person for those few minutes everyday.
11. IVF can fail nearly 50% of the time for no reason aside from it just fails. The odds are not as strong as people assume they are given everything a woman has to go through to get to the transfer.
12. The 18 days they make you wait between the transfer and the blood test to reveal the results of the many, many weeks of driving, ultrasounds, daily blood work, shots, painful procedures, and anxiety is the slowest time. The days drag on and on, you think more than ever before that you are feeling things that you may not be, and all you can think about is the result. Was it all worth the trip? The questions in your brain can drive you crazy and staying as busy as possible was the only way I survived that time.
13. NEVER FORGET to thank your significant other for all the help they have to do when you are on 2 days of bed rest after the transfer. I wasn't even able to lift my laptop, Aaron did everything for me during that time and I wouldn't have survived without him.
14. Directly tied to that, significant others need to tell the person going through it all that they appreciate and love all they are willing to put their body through to have a 50/50 shot at a baby. This can never be done enough throughout the entire process and makes things much easier to deal with from day to day.
15. Despite everything, I will do it as often as I can until we run out of insurance, money, or the doctors tell us it will not work for us.