For my fellow hair band aficionados, please cue the Europe soundtrack or begin humming the synthesized keyboard riff. For the more adventurous, you may want to indulge in a little air guitar. Now that you’re humming along, I’ll explain the title. Saturday I begin taking the first round of injections to begin IVF. In less than a week, we start a process that will end in just over a month with either a positive or negative pregnancy test. My doctor and his staff are incredibly good at what they do, so my money’s on a positive result. Meaning that in about two months, we will either be miscarrying again or potentially seeing a heartbeat on ultrasound.
It is somehow less scary to not know every month whether you’ll be pregnant or not. To have dates for everything (begin injection A, discontinue pill B, add injection C, ultrasound, egg retrieval, pregnancy test…) is slightly terrifying. It’s one thing to be able to wonder, “Am I or am I not?” and guess about whether your timing was right. It’s radically different to know that you have gone through a very detailed process that may or may not break your heart. If we somehow don’t get pregnant, I’ll be devastated. If we do get pregnant, I’ll be facing the same two to three weeks of total chaos while we wait to see what happens with hormone levels and ultrasounds. We’ve scheduled the terror. Willingly.
Of course there is an element of excitement: we could be pregnant in a month; we could have twins; we could actually have a baby by Christmas. And there’s a giant fear of the unknown: what if the hormone part of the IVF process makes me crazy (perhaps crazier than normal is more accurate…)? What if it hurts? What if I’m too big a weenie to handle shooting myself every day or being shot every day for the next month? (I have been a bigger weenie for lesser things, after all.) What if it doesn’t work? What if it does work? Am I really strong enough to deal with this?
The short answer is no. No, I am not strong enough to handle the potential fallout if it doesn’t stick or if it doesn’t stick for the whole nine months. I am a total nutball right now. I am crying when the dog steps on my toe; I can’t watch anything on Animal Planet (that still involves actual animals, anyway) for fear of losing it; misplacing my stapler at work could actually result in the building burning down… I can physically feel my stress level rise and fall, and I can measure it by how badly I want to scream at any given moment.
The long answer is I’m fine, and I’ll deal with whatever happens because I have a big God to lean on and rest in. I have a great support system of family and friends, and I am not afraid to use them. I am exercising like a madwoman to keep the physical feelings of stress at bay. In the meantime, I am adding IVF to the list of things I never thought I’d blog about. I am drinking half-caf coffee and religiously taking prenatal vitamins. I am not wearing mascara for the next month, and I will not have fingernails to file until sometime in 2013. I am a walking oxymoron. I believe that God can do anything he wants to in this situation, but my stress implies that I am all too human and have a hard time trusting him without worrying about it.
For those of you praying along at home, here’s the basic rundown: this weekend marks the beginning of the hormone treatments, April 1 is our approximate date for egg retrieval, making somewhere around the 15th or 16th of April our pregnancy test date. As an added bonus/potential land mine, my birthday is actually on Mother’s Day this year, and, based on our previous pregnancies, we’ll either have a miscarriage or a heartbeat by that point.Of course, what I want is to have a baby, but I want more than that to know that whatever happens, we will honor God and glorify him regardless of the circumstance. So, I’m not sure what to tell you to pray, but pray anyway.