My IVF life: I’m pregnant, and I feel like hell

The early weeks of pregnancy leave me anxiety-ridden and depressed, but Im lucky compared to many who undergo IVF

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Is it particular to IVF, or are the early weeks of every pregnancy as anxiety-ridden as this? Perhaps. I feel like you would have to be very relaxed not to fear that every twinge or flicker of something is a harbinger of miscarriage. The odds that the PGS-tested embryo that implanted in my uterus will result in a live birth are about two out of three much better than the odds we faced earlier in the IVF process. But theyre still far from perfect. I Google chances of miscarriage and the number of weeks pregnant I am on a fairly regular basis.

Pregnancy makes me anxious, and does not agree with me physically, either. After the positive test I feel normal for a week and then the nausea begins: every morning I awake feeling like I am trapped on the choppiest of seas, or suffering from the worst hangover of my life. The usual remedies do not abate it for long yes, I try crackers, ginger candy, peppermint, vitamin B6 and Unisom taken in combination. At best I get an hour of semi-relief before relapsing. But because I am only nauseous and not vomiting, my doctor offers me no further remedy, just a cheerful reassurance than its likely to pass by the time I reach 15 weeks. If I reach 15 weeks.

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I am fortunate that my employer has a flexible policy when it comes to working from home. I struggle into the office two or three days a week and spend evenings and weekends on the sofa or in bed. I dont go out except to work and doctors appointments. I cancel all plans. E invites our nextdoor neighbours round for dinner (E, understandably, is getting bored and lonely) and they sit on the floor and eat off plates on their laps while I continue to lie on the sofa. Its a floornic, they say. I appreciate that theyre making the best of it.

It is hard for me to do the same. I start feeling quite depressed. I have never felt so horrible, and I feel so horrible because of something that I have inflicted upon myself. Something that I have wanted very much, and something that I am so lucky to have achieved. I feel like hell and yet I have something that so many women long for and that many who go through IVF never attain.

Only 26% of IVF cycles in the US result in live births, with worse results for women over 40. Some women have success with multiple cycles, persevering over multiple years. Others keep trying but never succeed. Like so many other facets of womens lives, there is plenty of advice about how to overcome infertility, from experimental medical procedures to diets, exercises and crystals. There are plenty of people who will take the money of the desperate and grieving with promises that theirs will be the technique that works. By the time I am pregnant I have been working on getting pregnant for nearly nine months, a whole pregnancy-worth of time: it feels like forever but compared to so many people, its also not very long at all.

Following instruction, I continue to wear estrogen patches and take progesterone injections, but I start arguing with E while he gets the syringe ready, tapping the bubbles out of the oil. Hes practically a nurse now.

I dont want to, I say, like a petulant child not like someone who is on her way to becoming a mother.

At eight weeks we return to the doctor for an ultrasound. If successful, this is the last visit well have: after this, I will graduate to a regular obstetrician for the rest of the pregnancy and delivery. An IVF pregnancy brings with it some slightly increased risks but in general is treated the same as a pregnancy that is naturally conceived.

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How are you? the doctor asks, and I say, Terrible and E says, I guess morning sickness was named by a man who only saw his wife in the morning because actually it lasts all day! We laugh, and then the doctor does the ultrasound: the whoosh of the beat of a tiny heart. A white blob on a black background that looks a little bit human, or maybe like a fish. Its how its supposed to look, the doctor explains. She presses a button and prints the picture.

Were ready to know what it is, I tell the doctor: a spontaneous decision, but E nods in agreement. It seems right that she should be the one to let us know, before we move on to another doctor, since this doctor is responsible. We are ready to feel a little more attached.

The doctor looks it up in the computer. Its a boy.

Our ultrasounds continue to be normal. The nausea subsides around 19 weeks. I start to show, and start to wear maternity clothes. I dont feel safe, not quite, but certainly safer.

Out walking our dog in our neighborhood with E one day, people smile at my bump.

People must see us and think that we had sex to get me pregnant, I say.

Little do they know I was not even in the room when it happened, he replies.

All being well, our son will arrive in December.

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Jean Hannah Edelstein is the author of the forthcoming This Really Isnt About You

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

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