I won’t hold you in suspense. Our first attempt at IVF was a ginormous thumbs down.
I got the call on Thursday morning. “Are you somewhere you can talk?” the nurse asked.
And with that, I already knew what she was going to say. I took a deep breath. “Yeah, go ahead,” I said, closing my office door.
She spoke softly and gently. “I’m not calling with good news.”
I exhaled, loudly. “Oh, crap.”
The tears started immediately. I didn’t know what to think. I really wasn’t expecting this.
I know, I know — I was supposed to be prepared for either positive or negative. But when the docs tell you that you have a 74% chance of success… It’s hard to keep that “safety buffer of pessimism” that prevents you from being heartbroken if it fails. I sucked at it.
They warned me that the progesterone shots caused pregnancy-like symptoms. But I thought for sure I had more than just a few symptoms. I wanted to believe it had worked. So I did. Hey, I never said I was smart.
Ready to snap
At this point, my stomach had been doing somersaults for days. I went from somersaults to crying, and when I had exhausted all my tears, I felt like a spring-loaded mousetrap, ready to snap on something, or someone.
I was really, really angry. And the shitty part about IVF is that you’ve got nowhere to direct your anger. There’s no smoking gun, or explanation why it didn’t work. It just didn’t. End of story.
My ovaries had done their part and checked out. I couldn’t blame myself — I’d followed all the instructions to the letter. The doctors had wielded their speculums and catheters and other objects of torture correctly. I had nothing to pin the blame on, and no one to be mad at.
(To be honest, I had a small meltdown on my therapist’s couch on Friday. I recounted a conversation from the day before, shortly after I got the news. The gal I talked to had given me some “You know, you should really try blahblahblah next time” advice, and while her intentions were pristine, it was exactly what I didn’t need or want to hear. And I was pissed. But getting mad was a perfect avenue to finally let out the anger I was holding in, and it felt damn good to release a little. Even if it was totally misdirected.)
Focusing on the silver lining
Since Thursday morning, I’ve been trying to focus on the upsides to this.
- Next time, they’ll probably want to put in two embryos. TWINKIES!! It’s pretty well-known that my husband, a self-proclaimed believer that the only good baby is a nonexistent baby, only wants one child. But if I had twins, I’d get the two babies I want all in one giant stretch-marked package! Neato!
- For the duration of my baby’s life, I can call her Popsicle.
- An additional 8 to 9 weeks of child-free living.
- And a huge list of things I can do again, at least for the next 8 to 9 weeks — for example: I can have wine again. In a week or so, when my black-and-blue behind heals, I can jog without holding my butt cheeks in place. I can take Allegra when my allergies act up. I can pick up my 26-pound dog. You get the gist.
- Additional time to spoil my dog as if he were a human child, irritating everyone around us. (Yes, I have already begun making his Halloween costume — he’s going as a Pepper shaker, and the neighbor dog, Jack, will be his Salt shaker. It’s going to be adorable.)
- I finally have something to say when people ask me what I suck at. “Embryo implantations!” I’ll proclaim. Okay, okay… I’m kidding. Mostly. 🙂
- More hilarious blog material. Let’s face it, how crappy would the Joys of Infertility blog be if the author was knocked up? Or how uninteresting if she’d gotten pregnant on her first try of IVF? The “success on the first attempt” thing doesn’t make for a good story.
- My “due date,” if the frozen cycle works next time, will be in July. And everybody knows a hot midwest summer is the best time to be 40 weeks pregnant. (Okay, that’s not exactly an upside. I ran out of ideas, sheesh!)
So here I (we) am (are), facing down another interminable waiting period, and trying to focus on the positives of this whole crazy emotional rollercoaster. Wheeeee!
Bring on the popsicle babies, baby.