IVF is officially underway. I took my first birth control pill today (I will never get over the irony that in order to get pregnant with IVF, you need to take birth control pills), and I’ll be on those for 2.5 weeks. I also had a baseline ultrasound this morning. Apparently, I have 20 follicles total. For anyone reading that’s not a fertility nerd: follicles are the sacs that house the developing eggs. For anyone reading who’s been through IVF: Do you know if 20 follicles at baseline is an indicator that I’ll get around 20 eggs at retrieval?
On that note, I just wanted to warn my real-life friends and family reading ye olde blog that I might be getting super technical on here over the next few weeks. Here’s why: one, because I am a fertility nerd and I love the the nitty-gritty details of the process, and two, because it has been helping me to read others’ in-depth IVF experiences. So if I can help anyone who comes after me, score! Anyway, just throwing that out there. I hope you beautiful people keep reading, but if you need a break from the ovary talk, I totally get it.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the word surrender lately. Last week, as the reality of actually beginning IVF drew near, I started freaking out. I thought I was totally ready up until that point. But then, I don’t know. I started thinking, holy hell, what if I go through all of this and it doesn’t work? What then? I mean, I always knew it might not work, but as the start date got closer, it really began to sink in. I actually questioned, for the first time, if we should be doing this at all. I wondered if we should just give up instead of facing that potential disappointment.
I think at the root of all that freaking out is the fact that I have no control over this process. All I can do is take the right meds at the right time and show up for my appointments. The rest is up to God or the Universe or whatever else you believe in. If it was all up to science, IVF would work every single time the numbers were favorable and the conditions were good. But it doesn’t. Sometimes, there are perfect embryos, but no pregnancy. Sometimes a couple seems to have no chance, yet somehow, it works.
Everything in me wants to fight this lack of control. I want to take IVF and bend it to my will. I want to make it work. But I can’t. The only thing fighting will do is make me crazy.
My therapist, who is this super-spiritual hippie type, often tells me that she believes each soul chooses their path before being born because of the lessons they need to learn in that lifetime. I’m not sure what I believe about all of that, but I do find her words comforting. It makes me stop and think: What do I need to learn from this process? Even if IVF doesn’t work, how can it enrich my life, make me a better person?
And, most importantly, what can I gain by just letting go and seeing what happens? I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that I have nothing to lose either.
So here I go.
This is me, surrendering.