Grapes In My Belly

My final pre-retrieval ultrasound went well. My lining has been glorious. My ovaries have been working hard. My blood work is on target. I now know all of the nurses at the clinic … and there are many. I’ve also seen my acupuncturist four times this week. I now have his cell phone number. It’s funny how IVF will bring strangers into your family as they all hope, we all hope, that our efforts will result in a baby.

So here are the gritty details: the doctor is hoping for eight eggs. There’s a chance it could be ten, but eight would be fabulous. Last time around I had four follicles and one was empty, so that gave us three eggs. Not good. This time we have way more follicles. It’s just that only 8-10 will be ready. There are some stragglers who won’t make it. (Did you know a ready-to-go follicle is the size of a grape?) I know that we have done everything we can to make this successful. My body is rested, a little heavier (ugh), a little more hormonally balanced. I have been at ease with everything in the process and am ready for what comes next. But, right now I am currently waffling back and forth between feeling great about how much better this cycle has been and feeling awful as we move out of the honeymoon phase and into the waiting phase of this process. I even bagged out of a BBQ today so I could stay home and watch RomComs all afternoon. I know I’m also remembering the last IVF and what happened after retrieval. I don’t want to focus on that, but it’s hard to forget such an intense emotional experience. So my goal for the next few days is to use that experience to drive me forward. To help me keep things in perspective. To remind me that life is good, and will be good.

I have my dorky meditation CD ready to go. I’ve got great books on my Kindle. Tickets to a ballgame tomorrow. Some dinner with friends. Plenty of small things to keep me busy.

Trigger comes at 8 P.M. It’s go time.

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The fear factor

Ok, maybe this picture is a bit over-the-top, but there are moments during all of this infertility stuff when I feel exactly like this. The caption changes from “What the fuck?!” to “I can’t handle this anymore!” to “Does anyone else feel this way?”, but underneath most of my feelings about infertility and motherhood or the possibility of the former keeping me from the latter is fear.

I’m afraid that I’m not going to become a mother.

I’m afraid that June’s IVF will fail.

I’m afraid that we’ll get over-stretched financially.

I’m afraid that I don’t know if my real fear is not being a mother or not getting something I think I want.

I’m afraid of my own judgement and what I think of myself because I cannot get pregnant.

Today my doctor tried to allay some of my fears. Yes I have a low AMH (.91), but I never had childhood cancer. None of the women in my family struggled with infertility or early on-set menopause. All of my other test results are within the normal limits. So why then, my doctor wondered out loud, was I faced with infertility? “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “There’s nothing in your record that says you cannot be successful.” His comforting way is the reason a friend recommended him, and his comfort surely helped squash some of my fears. But, and please don’t judge me as overly cynical, I’m still scared. I feel like life in the grey of infertility — you’re not in the black of motherhood or the white of being childless by choice — is a place I am eager to get out of. More importantly, I’m eager to move out of this state of fear and into a place of even greater acceptance and gratitude for my life.

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