The Wait

Right from early days we were warned the really truly rooly hardest bit of this IVF lark will not be the injections or the surgery or the various strangers in lab coats looking at my bits – it will be The Wait.

From Day One of an IVF cycle there’s lots to do and even more to organise. Paperwork enough to drown in. Twice daily injections. Ultrasounds, blood tests, thinking up explanations for why you’re getting into work late for the second time that week. Trying to come up with a good reason to explain why the letterhead on your medical certificates is a surgery associated with IVF, because this might be 2011, but being honest with your employers about hoped-for future maternal responsibilities is still the fastest way for a girl to kill her career dead.

Yeap, the entire world can read this blog and learn I’m going through IVF in far more minute detail than anyone ever cared to know, but not even I am foolish enough to let a hint of it slip in my workplace.

Anyway, sashaying back towards the point once again, what I’m trying to say is in the first half of an IVF cycle you’re really bloody busy. And it’s all very pro-active. You feel like you’re doing something to advance your cause of getting knocked up. It might be uncomfortable or awkward or just plain painful at times, but at least you’re doing something.

Then there’s Transfer, with that elated moment of watching the embryo be placed inside your own body, followed immediately by…

… nothing.

(Well, okay, to be techincal, Transfer is followed immediately by a trip to the loo, because you need a full bladder for the procedure to be completed, so by the time you come out of there you’re really busting. But after the loo, then there’s nothing further to do.)

All that activity, all that pro-active contribution to the solution that will fulfil your dreams – it stops after Transfer. And you sit back with nothing more you can do but scour the internet for dodgy articles about what foodstuffs you should give up to ensure your body has the best chance of making this work and wondering if that weird new-age remedy your witchy friend suggested might not be worth a shot.

In other words, your brain goes into freakoid mode, desperate to find something helpful you can do to pass the time.

All of which makes me wonder if The Crinone is more about giving us IVF patients the feeling we’re still actively contributing to our chances of pregnancy success than anything else.

Crinone is a goo-like substance, a kind of gel I guess, which boosts the hormone progesterone and thus help ensure a lady’s insides are a perfect, healthy, homely environment any embryo would want to stick around and develop in. And after Transfer it’s the only regular thing left to do – implement it nightly, just before bed.

Here’s a picture of a Crinone tube in its packet:

Looks innocuous, doesn’t it? Nothing so scary there, not like those needles I showed you way back at the beginning of this process.

Well here’s another picture. This is the Crinone tube out of its packet:

Still can’t figure it out? Not sure what one is meant to do with one of those things?

Okay, let me give you some more detail (but don’t come crying to me afterwards that you really didn’t need to know.)

First you shake it. Kind of like a thermometre, so all the goo inside goes down into the one end. Then twist off the little angled handle thing up the far end so there’s an opening in the tube where the handle used to be. Now, see the big bulbous bit? Where all the progesterone goo has been shaken into? Once you get the tube into place – and no, I will not be providing details on ‘getting it into place’, you can use your imaginations there – you squeeze the bulb bit really hard. At which point, all the goo shoots quickly through the tube and goes where it needs to go.

The process is the closest in mechanics to actual sex that IVF ever gets. And if you still can’t figure out from all that how one uses the device pictured above, then you’re probably not old enough to be reading this blog. Indeed, you’re probably  not old enough to be reading.

I was warned – Crinone is what most women hate more than anything. The side-effects aren’t mere atmospheric mood-swings, like with the hormone injections that started all this off. Oooh, no. Side-effects of Crinone can include:  bloating, abdominal discomfort, “localised irritation” (make of that what you will), constipation, diarrhea, (presumably not at the same time), and just general all round feeling dodgy.

So far, I’ve experienced exactly none of the above, so I’ve been lucky. Very bloody lucky, I am thinking now, having just typed the above list.

Anyway, Wednesday morning is blood test morning. So Wednesday afternoon will be The Phone Call to tell me whether it’s Worked, Not-Worked or Other. Technically, I could be pregnant even as I write this. Only that just seems weird and I certainly don’t feel pregnant.

Then again, I haven’t felt half a side-effect to anything throughout this entire process, so who knows, if I swan through pregnancy like I’ve swanned through IVF, I’ll barely even notice it. Which is ironic, considering that by the time you get to IVF the very real spectre of never having children is constantly watching over your shoulder, so you’re prepared to cope with any difficulty and any discomfort of pregnancy necessary if it means you get to have a child. Being pregnant is the point.

But I have to get pregnant first, don’t I…  so fingers crossed ’till Wednesday, folks.

Kind Regards,

The Patient

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Published in: on March 12, 2011 at 2:16 pm  Comments (1)  

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