IVF # 1: Game On

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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.

21 thoughts on “IVF # 1: Game On

  1. It is so true, the fact that there is so little about the scientific process (and even some of the art of ART) over which we can exercise any control is so unnerving. I am more scared heading toward our next FET than I have *ever* been. Even typing those words bring a flood of tears to the surface. I can only imagine how you’re feeling in your first go-around (and hopefully, prayerfully, your ONLY go around needed!). I’m cheering for you and hoping you find the path to surrender. I you do, please send a map. I would love to join you there!

    1. Thank you for the support! If I am ever able to find a true, lasting path to surrender, you will be the first to get the map haha. I am keeping my fingers crossed for your FET. You have so much more information than you did before, and you also have the new immune protocol. I think good things are on their way to you!

  2. I feel you. This is exactly how I feel about IVF and the lack of control over the outcome. You are right that even If you wanted to take things in your own hands like with the meds and other supplements , it is still a wait and see how the body responds. I am also on my first IVF cycle and going crazy comparing numbers. Like what you said despite all efforts, something or someone like God up there still has the final say. My thoughts are with you 😉

    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I look forward to following your journey. The numbers game is awful. I will keep my fingers crossed for both of us that our first IVF is our ONLY IVF!

  3. So glad you have started! I am looking forward to reading all the technical nitty gritty stuff in hope that I will be able to get going myself soon. It is certainly an interesting thought to think things are mapped out before birth. I am a bit of a believer in the butterfly effect, every tiny thing we do changing the future, which I guess goes against that lol. Good luck on your first step, 20 follicles sounds good!

  4. I love this post! I agree with your therapists viewpoint, but I have struggled with the why? Why do I have to endure IVF then and why is my baby not here yet? My best advice for IVF is to take it one day at a time. Don’t stress about the numbers or counts. Things can change drastically in a matter of days or even overnight. Best of luck to you!!!!!

    1. Thank you! Yes, the “why?” is so hard. But I hope your baby IS here right now, growing safely inside of you. I can’t wait to hear your latest beta results. I’m hoping hard for you!

  5. I am so excited for you! (And me) Surrendering is not easy; it takes commitment. But, really, there is no choice. Accept the things you cannot change.

  6. Just read this – we never like relinquishing the power we never had anyway. Jan Karon in the latest Mitford book.

  7. What a wonderfully positive post! We are going to be very similar timing on this journey so look forward to reading more about it. I had no idea you took birth control when starting on IVF. That kinda freaks me out as birth control makes me crazy. I’m quite worried about how I’m going to be with all this hormone manipulation. That’s my biggest fear. Hopefully the Chinese herbs I take will balance me out! Good luck with it! 🙂

    1. Thanks! Depending on your protocol, you might not need the birth control. There is one protocol where you don’t use it, but I forget which. I took birth control pills for like a million years when I was younger and don’t remember any side effects, but this time I’ve been feeling so nauseous. Bleh. I am worried about all the hormones, too, but I just keep telling myself that if I feel crappy, it’s only temporary. I bet the herbs will help you!

      1. I think all pills are different so maybe that’s why you are feeling sick this time. Fingers crossed the herbs do help me from being a nutbag! ha! And you are right, it is only temporary and for a great result. Great attitude!

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