As I’ve wrapped up my first round of IVF (woo-hoo) I’ve taken some time travelling back home to think about how this whirlwind happened so fast and so slowly at the same time. The moment they finished the retrieval, it was like a thousand bricks (or 17 fluid-filled sacs) were taken off my shoulders. I felt lighter than ever, and I also felt like I could say a lot of horrible things I had been thinking, and realized that I told so many lies over the past two years.
I want to do IVF
Looking back I don’t think I actually ever said those words. I’ve said variations of “We’re doing IVF, IVF is the next step, IVF is the only hope for a baby” but I never turned to a doctor or loved one and said “I want to do IVF.” And in turn, no one asked me if I wanted to do it. The doctors would get the results, tell me the next step and I would agree. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any woman or couple WANTS to do IVF, and I’m forever grateful that we had the option, but the pressure we put on ourselves to do whatever we can to have a baby, very much so pushed me to IVF. It felt at times that if I didn’t do everything within my power to have a baby, then we were not worthy of one. Ironically, up until a certain age, you do whatever you can to NOT have a baby, and then you have to flip the switch and empty your bank account in order to have one.
Other than my partner, I don’t think I told anyone how scared I was of all of this. We planned on only doing one round of IVF then figuring it out from there depending on results. I was scared of it all, almost every second of it. From the week of anxiety before my first shot, to then doing three injections a day, the first appointment, getting blood drawn and bruises over and over, and finally the all-encompassing fear of the egg retrieval. And those are only the physical ones. Add to those the fear that it wouldn’t work, or that I would doing something wrong to not make it happen, or the fact that every day I would wonder if the place where they store our blastocysts has proper emergency procedures if there were a fire or power outage. If I were to do it again, I would tell myself to be scared and embrace it, because my telling myself for two months not to be scared, did not work.
Maybe I’m not fit to be a mother
Looking back I should have said this out loud to realize how ridiculous it really does sound. But I didn’t. And I kept it inside. Some days I felt as though it was a sign to cut my losses and move on to my next chapter. I would recount the times I spent with children. We didn’t have a large family and all our cousins are the same age, so there was never that opportunity to spend time with babies (though I’m sure I could raise any animal wonderfully). I just changed my nephew’s diaper for the first time last year! These run through my head and all of the other reasons it’s not happening, because it’s not meant to be.
And that’s a lie.
We’re all worthy. We are. We are fighting a big fight, and you may not feel like you’re worthy, and that’s fine. Because today this woman on the other side of these words will feel worthy for you until you can.
By Jamie Rogers, fixmeinpost.weebly.com