I write today, Friends, from my Sick Couch.
I am groggy from the drugs and sore from the holes punched in my pelvis, but OK nonetheless.
I have just finished my second stim cycle of IVF, and it was hard going. I was on a higher dose of the follicle stimulating hormone, and it made me feel tired and seedy. I have been good in bed (as in, I have spent a lot of time there).
Last time I got seven eggs. This time, the specialist thought I might get ten eggs, but I woke up from the anaesthetic with the news that I got 12.
I cannot tell you how happy that made me. When things aren't going one's way, and one holds on to the little tiny things as a way of staying sane, it is wonderful to have something exceed your expectations.
There is a great deal of attrition involved in this process, and more eggs collected means a greater likelihood of having a genetically normal embryo, which will proceed to a full-term pregnancy and a healthy baby.
Each woman is different in IVF.
Mostly, IVF is an invisible process. Most women don't share. I have shared a bit, because I think it is important to.
Most of those women who are open about their IVF seem to be of the #IVFwarrior variety. They are the never say die, never give up hope variety.
I am not in that camp.
IVF is hard, physically, mentally and financially. The results are by no means guaranteed. I do not know how these women have the strength to keep going with many IVF cycles. I have heard it said that infertility and IVF is a series of continuous psychological adjustments to changing circumstances.
My approach is very much a "one day at a time" process. I have glimmers of hope, but most of my energy is spent on getting through as best I can. I dare not say "give up", but in the back of my mind is the "ok, what if it doesn't work, what then?" track, a track that I cannot fully engage with while I am doing the IVF.
For now, though, I can be happy that the stims are over, and I can look forward to Bali. It is the place that I wish to run to when things are overwhelming at home. Within the next couple of weeks I will find out what these eggies have done with themselves.