“When do you start your shots again?”
“I don’t know, sometime this week. Probably Friday.”
“Enter the antichrist. Running for cover!”
We both laugh.
We’re on the cusp of IVF #5 and in a familiar but uncomfortable place. I’m supposed to feel more in control because I understand better what happens at each stage (we all deserve some kind of veteran’s badge), but the truth is every cycle has been different. The first was like jumping out of a plane without a parachute (especially the landing), the second brought on bleeding, and the ectopic, the third gave me the worst ever Cetrotide reaction and OHSS, and I don’t even want to think about the fourth and our “perfect AA blastocyst” that refused to stick around.
Which means that however much I might want to believe I have gained mastery over most of the anxiety and side effects that each cycle (and all its hormones) brings, that’s a bunch of bollocks. And he knows.
However many times you do it, IVF is stupidly stressful and always scary. Every day/step represents potential failure. And even if some things get easier (like knowing where the shots go), each failed cycle does make IVF harder. It is hard to stay optimistic when you pass other people’s milestones: the first/second/third time lucky, the FET/fresh cycle success etc.
And I can only imagine what that kind of nervous, hormonal mess really looks like from where he stands.
Anyway – and probably more to prove him wrong than anything else – I am even more determined to seek out new ways to try to be zen (all ideas welcomed). I will run/walk/swim/meditate away all this nervous energy. I will put the past behind me.
I will positively exude sunshine from my pores.
And I will tell him this. If I can find him.