I sat there staring at the phone. All I had to do was pick it up and call in the start of my period. It really would be that easy. Call the clinic and tell them I’m on Cycle Day 1 and need to be added to the waitlist for my IVF cycle. Start the ball rolling.
I wanted to be sick. The pit of my stomach was all acid. I walked away from my desk, leaving the phone on the table, face down. Shaking the anxiety out of my hands I paced trying to keep my emotions in check. It’s futile anyway, how can you stem a flood like this? I thought back with bitterness on the last 28 months of trying as the tears come. Hot and heavy on my cheek. Full of the weight of this decision. I am angry, broken and terrified. Not just the regular brand of terrified, that everyone feels at the start of a new cycle, but honest to goodness petrified of the decision I had made.
You see, when we were first diagnosed as infertile I was very sure that we would never resort to IVF. I was against it, not for moral or religious reasons, I just felt like it was a bridge too far. Who wanted babies THAT badly? I couldn’t imagine a scenario where I would pump that many hormones into my body, batter and bruise it, pay through the nose and hope that it worked out. It felt crazy.
Until it didn’t. Until we had literally tried everything else. Until my biological clock was ticking so loud I could scarcely hear myself think. Who wanted babies that badly?
Terrifying as that truth may be, I was willing to do this for a shot at finally having children. Because it was now impossible not to do IVF. It was all I had left. My eggs were numbered, and their number was few. My time was running out and so, after an emotional meeting with my Dr., we had agreed to try IVF. I had jumped through the financial hoops to prove we could afford this. I had attended the information session and signed waivers saying that I understood not only the rewards but also the risks that came along with an IVF cycle. I had waited and waited for the start of my period which is the only thing that would let me enter the wait list. So that they would know when I was cycling and it would all be timed out in their system. It was the last piece in the puzzle. The puzzle that might wind up looking like a family.
But then I was late. Oh cruel twist of fate, of COURSE on the month I want to sign up for IVF do you make my period late. I remember daring to hope. That I wouldn’t have to admit just how intensely I wanted children! We’d get pregnant naturally and I could go back to my life like this had all been a bad dream that I was allowed to wake up from.
The sticky, bulkiness of the pad between my legs reminded me that that wasn’t my journey. 1 day late. 2.3. My hope, soaring, came crashing down on day 4 when the spotting commenced. I had tearfully called into the nurse’s line to ask when to consider my scanty flow enough to warrant day one. I had called in to make sure I would know when to signal the start of my IVF cycle, so that we couldn’t mess things up. So I’d be sure I’d done everything right. That was yesterday.
I return to my office and stare at the phone. It had been so easy to call them then. Today felt different. Are we really here? At this place? Am I so infertile that I will resort to having my body, battered and bruised, filled with hormones to rip my eggs out surgically? Is this really the puzzle piece I’m holding?
I swiped at my tears angrily, sniffing away my disappointment and terror, and picked up the phone. Yes, we’re here. Yes, this is our puzzle piece. Yes, we need to do IVF. I dialed the number and sat on my hands so I couldn’t hang up. The phone clicks, deep breath.
An answering machine: “You have reached the IVF wait list. Please leave your name and chart number along with the date of the start of your period in order to be added. A nurse will contact you with the date of the start of your cycle and confirm the month you will begin your protocol. Please leave only one message, it may take a few days to return your call.” *Beep*
I swallowed hard, “This is Kaeleigh MacDonald, chart number *****. Today is February 11th and I have started my period. Please mark this down as Cycle Day 1 and add me to the IVF wait list.”
Kaeleigh MacDonald AKA: ‘Unpregnant’ Chicken