30 Ways You Know You've Been A Fertility Patient For Too Long
When you realize you are a senior member of a club that you didn't want to join in the first place.
In the beginning, perhaps it was a little exciting to finally be doing something to make that take-home baby a reality, but now you are just tired of trying to think up excuses as to why you need more time off work.
If this isn’t your first outing at the fertility rodeo, or your second—or perhaps even your third (or beyond), you might know how this feels.
Really, any time spent as a fertility patient is too long, but if you feel like you have earned a senior position amongst your peers in the infertility sisterhood, know that you aren't alone.
In fact, join me in celebrating your longtime membership in a club that you didn't want to join in the first place by appreciating the lighthearted moments that can make you think that perhaps you've been a fertility patient for too long.
1. When your RE tells you he is going on holiday, you wonder exactly how many first-class overseas trips you have personally funded.
2. When you phone your fertility clinic, and the receptionist knows who you are before you even get to introduce yourself.
3. You don’t think of bills and major purchases in monetary value anymore, but how many IVF cycles you could have paid for.
4. You don’t commit to holidays, dinner out, work meetings, coffee dates, or ANY other appointment until you know when your egg retrieval will be.
5. You think that if anyone ever went rummaging through your bathroom, they would find so many needle bins they would think you have a drug problem. Correction, an illicit drug problem.
6. Even when you are not in the middle of a cycle, you still get a bit jittery around 2 pm (you know, results time).
7. You feel just a little bit excited and a little less alone when a friend confides in you she’s going to start IVF. And then you feel guilty.
8. You worry about how you will cope if your friend gets pregnant on her first cycle, given you are now on your third. And then you feel even guiltier.
9. You secretly identify other women in your building who you think are doing IVF and wonder how to bring it up, you know, without bringing it up.
10. You have so many medication cooler bags you think about starting a side business selling them on eBay to fund your next cycle.
11. Because it would take too long to get another appointment with your RE, you’ve asked your GP to test you for celiac disease (or any other autoimmune condition) because you read on the internet that this is linked to infertility. They just look at you blankly.
12. You’re more sure of how many cells an embryo has on day 1, 2, or 3 than you are on your best friend’s birthday.
13. You have banned yourself from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on at least one occasion. Does EVERYONE have to make pregnancy announcements on social media these days?!
14. You get annoyed when the fertility blog you have been following hasn’t been updated for a week. How are you meant to know if she made it to transfer?
15. Not all people know what TTC, AF, BFP, and BFN stand for? Seriously?
16. You mean some women actually get pregnant by having… sex?
17. You feel like your clinic should give you some sort of loyalty card for being one of their most valued customers.
18. You try and predict what sort of day you will have by how many people are before you in the waiting room for morning blood work—three or fewer people, good day; ten or more, bad day.
19. Similarly, you know it will be a good day if your favorite nurse calls your name.
20. On pregnancy test day, as you drive to the clinic, you think the traffic lights being green is a good sign. You later learn it’s not related after all. There are omens everywhere.
21. Don’t even get me started on home pregnancy tests.
22. You try to bite your tongue and not scaremonger your 40-year-old friend by telling her to run to the nearest fertility clinic when she tells you she’s going to start trying for a baby.
23. Even your infertility friends are onto their second baby.
24. You see a woman in her mid-30’s with twins and wonder how many rounds of IVF she did.
25. When you phone your clinic, and the number is busy, you look down and suddenly notice you dialed the number 42 times. How did that happen?
26. When predictive text on your phone changes ‘I’m’ to ‘IVF.’
27. You wonder if there will ever be a day when you have a ‘normal’ ultrasound. You know, one that’s not internal.
28. Your RE has given you their direct line. And you are not afraid to use it.
29. Despite everything you think you ‘know,’ you realize you really know nothing.
30. You’ve done everything that an obsessive amount of internet searching has suggested, and you are absolutely certain that this next cycle is THE one. And who knows—hopefully, you are right.
Written by Rebecca Atkinson
Rebecca founded Fertility Fact Checker during her fertility treatment journey that led to two perfect girls. Being frustrated at the lack of reliable information available on what lifestyle modifications women can make to try and contribute to their own IVF success she began completing evidence-based research to find effective ways for other women to improve their chances of IVF success. In her other life, Rebecca is an occupational therapist and case manager for patients with chronic disease.