Before we did IVF, I genuinely didn’t know what to expect. I mean, we all probably know someone who has been through it but despite chatting to those people, I wasn’t totally sure of what would happen, how I would feel and how easy/hard it might be. So here are 7 things that will happen when you go through IVF*…
1. At least one person (more likely several people) will say “HOW EXCITING!” when you mention you’re looking at IVF treatment. “Hmm, no,” I’d think. “Not exciting….” Usually, someone who’s about to embark on IVF has been through years of fertility problems and treatment and quite possibly a fair amount of heartache. Reaching what could be the final option (an option which will cost an arm and a leg, and involves lots of injections and invasive procedures) is probably not exciting. You know, on an excitement scale of dental check-up to Disney World.
2. You’ll realise that injecting yourself every night isn’t actually that bad. This was one of the things I was dreading most about IVF – how would I possibly be able to stick a needle in myself? But after the first one, which felt a bit like standing at the edge of a cliff with a bungee cord attached, telling myself to just step off, it was actually OK.
3. You’ll discover that fertility nurses are some of the kindest people on this planet. They do this stuff every day yet they still make you feel reassured and important. Hooray for fertility nurses.
4. Nothing will prepare you for the bizarre experience of the egg transfer. “Just like a smear test” they said. Yeah, a smear test where a catheter is slid up to your uterus and you’re told you must relax more. Hang on, let me turn up the whale music in my head and close my eyes because THIS feels just like a spa!
5. Having to relax and take it easy for a week or so, following the egg transfer will secretly be the best bit. So I’ve got to lie on the sofa, watching Gilmore Girls and eating salt and vinegar twirls all day? If you insist!
6. But you’ll find it impossible NOT to worry that the embryo might fall out of your vagina, when you first have the transfer done. What if it falls out when I’m having a wee? (This is when I reminded myself that the wee comes out of a totally different hole. Biology was never my best subject at school…)
7. If it doesn’t work, you’ll find yourself dreaming about ALL the things you could have done instead with that money (me: I wish I’d gone to Vegas and bet £6,000 on red).
*These things might not happen to you when you go through IVF. Clearly. But they happened to me, so I’m going with it!