It’s February 1st, as evidenced by the new red candlesticks out on the dining table (hip hip huzzah for Crate & Barrel Christmas clearance and gift card from my dad). I’ve never been one for cheesy, illegitimate holidays, but this year I’ve been waiting eagerly to put these bad boys out and I’m guessing it has something to do with the abounding eagerness to get going with IVF that’s up in here. In my mind and conversations with others, the phrase “We start IVF next month” has been on repeat. But today, next month is here.
We finally got off of the questioning roller coaster — IVF, adoption, IVF, adoption… — in mid-January and I was ever so ready. The toiling and uncertainty were taking any potential restfulness of our “break” right out and I again found myself crying in inappropriate places like acupuncture. We landed on IVF and were talking just tonight about how comfortable and at peace we feel with our decision. Not because we feel especially hopeful that it will work — although as he pointed out, the odds at 45-55%/cycle are the highest they’ve been since trying to conceive — but because we’ve become increasingly certain that we want to give IVF a shot. (I needn’t note pun intended.) If we didn’t give it a try, I think I would always look back and wonder and ask “what if?” And because the best predictor of IVF success is age, the best shot we can give it is now. It feels really good to have sat with this decision and continue to feel at peace with it.
I’d like to say that, since then, I’ve been zen- and mother earth-like, but in all honesty it’s been more like an exhibition of failed nervous energy management. Mainly in the form of trying to find something I can actually do during the wait like scheduling appointments and looking into a potential lower-cost option for meds, but also of course unnecessary baking/cooking and celebrating that Downton Abbey is now airing in the States. (Nevermind how horrific the last episode was re: the poor infertility advice offered. Although, I will say, if DA is taking up male factor infertility as one of its themes, I give it kudos. Also, I forgive you, writers, for betraying me with Cybil’s pregnancy after all she went through last week. May she rest in peace.)
So here’s our IVF timeline. Of course this is all tentative and I’ve learned that with IVF you must expect the unexpected. As someone told me the other day, it has a way of taking on a life of its own so the best thing to do is to expect it do so and roll with it.
Feb. 7: Predicted Day 1 of cycle
Feb. 9: Day 3 of cycle, start birth control for ~14 days, during these two weeks do testing (I have to repeat the saline ultrasounds, nooooooo!!!), nurse training, order meds, etc.
Feb. 24: Day 1 of Stim Phase (injections & every other day monitoring/ultrasounds)
Feb. 27: I turn 31! Guess who’s getting a $12-15,000 birthday present this year?
March 5-9 (somewhere in there): Retrieval
3 or 5 days after retrieval (depending on embryo growth): Embryo Transfer
2 weeks after retrieval (approximately March 19-23): Blood test to learn the results
So, February is here and we’re a few weeks out from the real start of it all. My acupuncturist gave me great advice today to enjoy the last week of a medication-free body and not paying attention to all the details that come with IVF. Also, our trip was never able to happen so we’re doing a stay-cation next weekend and checking out a great local spa, so lots of good, relaxing distractions in place.
And now, in the vein of distractions, I share a YouTube submission by my dear friend and IVF supporter, Jess. Some people have been asking how they can bring a meal or otherwise support us during IVF, which is so kind and thoughtful. Jess will be sending out emails and coordinating that for us and we’re very thankful to her for that. (I’d be curious to hear from others who have gone through this what kind of support they found helpful or wished they’d had, if you want to leave a comment.)
From Jess this evening: “Hoping you are having a Buttermilk the Goat type of weekend – well, except for the knocking your friends over part…”
And the same goes for you, my friends.