So what were we talking about? Oh right. This week in "Infertility News": A publication that flourishes once every couple of months on my blog and then evaporates into oblivion itching to be resurrected.
One article this week I found particularly interesting: Instead of taking a look ahead into infertility and IVF, it took a look back.
Have you ever read anything on Empowher.com? Neither have I. Nothing against the site itself, I just tend to steer clear of expressions like "empower" and "deal-breaker".
Any word or phrase that makes people sound like their channeling Oprah and Dr. Phil makes me hyperventilate. Love 'em both but their mini me's make me nervous.
Anyway (apparently I've led us all astray again) there is an article this week on this site written by Jody Smith: "In-Vitro Fertilization: From First "Test-Tube Baby" to Accepted ART".
Ms. Smith wrote a very informative article for those who don't know much about IVF.
Then there are those of us who know TOO much about IVF. Let's focus, shall we on OUR point of view:
The article goes something like this:
"In vitro" is a Latin term meaning 'in the glass'".
That's correct. The glass it refers to, of course, is the jar in which we all used to keep our spare change before we began treatments and had to pluck out every last nickel.
Then the article gets into the nitty-gritty of the procedure itself:
"Step one is hormonal stimulation via injection over about 10 days".
Oh no no no. That is not step one. Step one is:
Freak out. "Why can't I have a baby?! I'm a woman. I'm supposed to be able to have a baby?! Why are all of my low-life friends and relatives having babies?!"
Then there are the steps that follow: Figuring out what, if anything, to tell your family. Deciding what doctor to go to. How is this going to be paid for? The whole hormone treatment thing: That's like step 212.
Further down in the article:
"... embryos then are implanted in a uterus of either the woman who owns the egg, or a previously agreed-to recipient."
I especially like that last part: "Previously agreed-to recipient." Is that like when your neighbor agrees to sign for your sweater in case UPS delivers it while you're at work?
"Unlike artificial insemination, in IVF the union of a woman's egg and a man's sperm occurs in a laboratory dish, rather than in the woman's body."
Wow. This is upsetting. So, you mean my husband lied to me when he said we had to get naked on the clinic floor?
"Over a period of about three weeks, a few outpatient procedures are performed."
I'm sensing a little understatement here. Getting up at 5 every other morning so I could get my blood taken before work is one thing... Sticking myself in my subcutaneous gut every night and my husband getting me in the tush with a long needle... yeah those are a few outpatient procedures I could've done without.
Then the article explains follicles and the egg retrieval and then this:
"The sperm is put in an environmentally controlled chamber with the best eggs."
It figures doesn't it? We're sweating it out for weeks doing shots (and not the good kind), giving blood and doping ourselves up on hormones and his sperm are sitting in a luxury lab suite with their feet up just waiting to have his pick of the ladies.
Then I became especially interested in some post embryo transfer info:
"After this procedure, the woman should stay in bed several hours, being discharged from the hospital a few hours later".
"Several hours? I was there for like 20 minutes. The nurse shook me awake from the anesthesia and said "When you can sit up without vomiting you can leave."
And hospital? What hospital? I think my room in the clinic was the staff cafeteria. That's why they did my retrieval in the morning. I had to be off the table in time for the noon crowd, and,hopefully, before someone starting microwaving.
Listen I gotta go. I've got to poll some of my IVF survivor friends. I'm dying to know: Is IVF supposed to be the way it was for me? Or did my lousy insurance do me in?
Take a look at this week's article by Health Expert Counselor Tracy Birkinbine. She deals with how men and women deal differently with infertility (like everything else) http://laughingisconceivable.com/?page_id=642