Just over a week ago we had our fertility appointment to review our four Clomiphene cycles. I was so stoked to be going as it was feeling like our progress had stalled and become stagnant, all the hope I’d felt in January had melted away. I walked in there excited, ready for the announcement that it was time to move onto IUI (intra uterine insemination, the turkey baster). We had some friends who had been very successful with IUI after endometriosis so I was sure this would work for us too. Our doctor sat us down and walked us through the clomiphene cycles and how my body had reacted, he explained IUI and the probability of conceiving with that, then he drops the bomb, “so I think the next step for you guys is to move on to IVF”. I’m sure my jaw hit the floor at that stage. This is not at all what I was expecting, I was sure we were a good 6-12 months from thinking about that, seems my doc and my body thought otherwise. I spent the next 15 minutes (felt like 15 years) trying my hardest not to cry while still focusing on what was being said. I’m glad my hubby recorded the appointment on his phone because my mind was a million miles away.
Since then I’ve been through a whole raft of emotions. At first I was really shocked (we’d gone from Clomiphene to IVF, surely we’ve missed a few steps), then I accepted the fact that this was next for us, I got excited (something might actually eventuate from this), then scared and worried (this is the last step before adoption – what if nothing happens), now I’ve reached the stage where I’m just bitter. Bitter that ‘normal’ people don’t have to go through this. Bitter at the insane amount of money this is costing us that ‘normal’ people don’t even have to think about. I look around at our house and can’t help but think of what else this money could be buying. I see our lounge suite and dining chairs that are falling to pieces, the cheap leather at the end of its 7 year life-span, bubbling and peeling away to the lining beneath. I see the wardrobes and cupboards that the money could have paid for, our lack of storage made so glaringly obvious by the crap piled everywhere, and my desperate attempts to clean up which involve moving stuff from one pile to another. I see our pantry door that needs fixing, our kitchen that needs plastering and painting, the fraying towels in the linen cupboard and the holes in the sheets; the struggle to find suitable work clothes that aren’t too faded, stained or holey; and the car that will need replacing soon.
Don’t get me wrong, I know we’re in a much better position than so many other people. We do have good jobs and a decent place to live, and I consider us so SO lucky that we are able to pay for this treatment privately (with a little help from my mum) rather than wait another two years for funding. But on the other hand this is completely wiping us out, not only financially but physically and emotionally as well. So far everyone I’ve told of our impending IVF has been really excited for us. It’s so nice to have such supportive people surrounding us but at the same time it feels so surreal to me as I don’t feel that way about it myself. I have moments of excitement but those moments are equalled if not eclipsed by the stress and worry of it not working and the strain of funding this ourselves. I guess when it’s not happening to you it’s easy to see the positive, you don’t have the years of infertility hanging over your head, the unexpected bills causing more strain than they normally would, or the feeling that you need to warn people in case the hormones turn you into a crazy person. Perhaps part of my problem is that it just doesn’t feel real yet. Maybe if I’d just receive our consent forms in the mail or if we could just have our ‘details’ meeting I might be more excited that this could actually work for us. The two and a half weeks between my last appointment and my IVF one seem like years.
I’ve been trying to keep busy to pass the time between appointments but it seems everywhere I turn there are reminders of my stupid infertility – at work, the supermarket, football. I went to a comedy show with my mum and what seemed like the entire pregnant population of this city. The show spent the majority of its time talking about changes in society…..how lucky women of today were because, thanks to birth control, they could choose when to have children. I just wanted to yell at her, “it’s not that fucking easy. Might have been easy for you but there are some of us out here who don’t get to choose anything!”….”Any new mums in the audience?” FUCK OFF!
I took myself to a counsellor appointment at my fertility clinic thinking that it may help me cope with all this shit but no, turned out to be a complete waste of time and money. She told me to keep busy, yep tried that, doesn’t help. To seek out supportive people, yep, already doing that – thanks family, friends, and twitter. To write things down, yep, I blog. The counsellor just couldn’t get her head around blogging or twitter:
“No, just write things down for yourself – there’s a difference between writing for yourself and writing for other people”,
“Yes there is, but I write the blog for me, not for anyone else. If other people read it that’s fine but I write it for me”
“But if you write things down in a journal you can write whatever you want – you can swear or anything”
Hmmmm, see above, does it LOOK like I have a problem swearing on my blog? I’ve written about my sex life on here, does it seem like I am restricted in what I write? Needless to say that $145 was not money well spent (cue more bitterness). In fact it added to the stress this month rather than reduce it. Surely there’s got to be a decent counsellor out there to talk to? Maybe not, I’ll just blog. With a week to go before our ‘details’ appointment, there may be a few more posts written. It does depend on my emotions though. Hopefully by the time our appointment rolls around I’ll have worked through this bitter stage and be excited again.