We decided it would be worthwhile to set an initial consultation appointment with fertility clinic 1, and it’s set for a Monday in December. One of the perks of this clinic is that it is literally down the street from where I work (a 2 minute drive with parking!), and kind of sort of in the middle on the drive to hubs’ office (might take him ~15/20 minutes) in addition to being recommended by the genetic people. I’ve delved into the physician’s CV, looked at his training, publications, hospital affiliations, and the success rates of the clinic as a whole according to SART (https://www.sartcorsonline.com/rptCSR_PublicMultYear.aspx?ClinicPKID=1933#donor-fresh-egg) and I feel good about meeting him and knowing he is a competent physician, but I just can’t get over my initial interactions with the office person answering the phones. The first time I called I understood the rushed feeling because I was asking a million questions to this poor woman, but this time I called and stated my intent to make an initial consultation immediately and requested an appointment time, and I STILL FELT RUSHED. The internet is filled with advice and suggestions about making sure you feel comfortable with the clinic as a whole, and that includes admin and front desk staff, and yet I don’t know if I should view this as an early warning sign, if I should view it as it means they are super busy, or if it’s simply this particular person or this particular week. I mean, we all have weeks where things tend to go a bit nuts, so I might have to wait and meet her before making a decision. We’ll find out come December.
The good part about having this scheduled for December is that I can call and speak with the other clinics in the mean time, get an idea of their practices, and maybe even set an initial consultation appointment with them to have something to compare my experiences to…… **rant alert commencing** why does this have to be so much work? I still have difficult wrapping my mind around IVF when we haven’t ever tried before. I guess that’s the price to pay for wanting to protect your non-existent children from cancer. I’ve thought about what it would be like if after going through all of this, my children STILL get diagnosed with cancer at some point. I might curse the world.**rant alert over** Either way, this process feels overwhelming which is why I’m only tackling a few steps here and there rather than trying to get all of my ducks in a row at once.
I would suggest to others going through a similar experience to do the following: become knowledgeable but don’t over do it. I recently looked up too much information about the egg retrieval procedure, the injections, how it feels, how to cope, taking time off work, etc. and all I can say is “wow science. wow.” I continue to vacillate between feeling inspired and excited about starting a family, being pregnant, being a mom, and being absolutely terrified, help/hopeless, and resentful. I remind myself, it’s one step at a time. I remind myself to look for the light- as far as we know we CAN have children, which is a heartbreak and a half for many people. I’ve become more aware of the statistics that say 1 in 8 couples struggle with fertility. I’ve become jealous of all of the pregnant people around me (I have two colleagues at work who are currently pregnant, one of the people I work with is pregnant, I have been to no less than 3 health fairs where I’ve been stationed next to different pregnant women…. It’s like the entire world is becoming pregnant…. don’t drink the water folks!) and I’ve at times turned into someone who I’m not because all I can think about is babies. And then it brings me back to the emotional, financial, and relationship loss of not even being able to even TRY to have kids naturally. Even the one in eight couples struggling are able to have that moment at first! Now I’m not going to pretend like they wouldn’t switch with me in a heartbeat, and at the same time I wanted that moment. I don’t want some doctor being the person who takes out my eggs and puts a baby back into my uterus. Knowing that we will know the exact date of conception freaks me out somewhat. I mean, hubs won’t even necessarily be in the room when I get pregnant- excuse the phrase, but to me that’s a mind f*ck right there. Right now as I write today’s blog, I feel jipped. I feel discouraged and my experience saddens me to no tangible earthly description; and yet I know (again to the best of my knowledge) that I can become pregnant and that’s what I hold onto.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my health and wellness throughout this journey and I’ve started making changes to help maintain my sanity and “clean house” so to speak. With the reading I’ve done, I have already started taking prenatal vitamins daily since the elusive “they” say you want to start at least 3 months before implantation- being that I have no idea when that will be I’d rather be overprepared (I’m sure whichever doc we end up with will give me a more legit medical plan to follow but until then I’m doing whatever I can to prep), I am beginning to limit my caffeine (one cup of coffee per day to start and then progressively limit the closer I get until no coffee at all), I have issues with dairy (and eat it anyway) and I have a plan for that as well. I’m making a plan to get back into the gym again, as well as to incorporate meditation and yoga into my week. I’ve heard good things about acupuncture specifically closer to the easter egg hunt day (my less threatening code name for egg retrieval), and I’m trying to get everything lingering around the house done to lessen daily stress and clutter in my environment. I’m going to be incorporating more organic foods into my nutrition (let’s be honest, who has the money or time to make it a constant!? not me- especially no me after we figure out loans and whatever else to pay for making a baby because I live in a state that doesn’t provide ANY fertility health insurance coverage and believe me I checked everywhere and even thought about what I could do to get coverage.. nope. no avail) and lastly I’m working on the emotional and mental health side of things (I AM a psychologist after all- if I don’t practice what I preach why in the world would my clients trust me to help them?)
All in all, my irritation and sense of unease hasn’t exactly gone away, but I do believe I am taking steps to do what I can to make it more of a visitor rather than a constant companion…..