We’ve all heard the dreaded three letters before, but do we really know what it involves. I-V-F, probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through, and it wasn’t even my body enduring the process.
Beginning our IVF journey in February, emotions were high, stress levels were through the roof, but we had to sit our asses down, take a breath, and be grateful that we were even able to take this next step. We were grateful! Now, this was completely uncharted waters, we really had no idea what we were doing, especially ME. I had no clue where my own head was at. All that could go through my head at the time was, we had to go through this because of me! It was not fun.
Now began the hard part, medications! Boy were there a LOT. I think at one point Filipa had to endure 4 injections in one night. Ouch! Now don’t get me wrong, taking the injections took a toll on Filipa, but I felt bad. I mean I had to administer them every night. When the clock struck 9pm, both our hearts started to beat ten to the dozen. I went through to the kitchen, washed my hands, drew the correct dosage, and flicked on our Spotify playlist. We needed something to distract our emotions, and what better then some Bohemian Rhapsody. Walking back through to the living room where Filipa was, we locked eyes, and both had the “not again” moment. A quick disinfecting, pinch of skin, hold, and withdraw. It was over! But wait let’s not forget the other three.
Aside from medications, were appointments. Through February into March, we had to go in 2-3 times a week for bloodwork and ultrasounds. Timing was everything, we needed the optimal time to make this all happen. This took a big toll on our lives, luckily both being self-employed it didn’t effect our work, but boy getting up at 5:30am to make sure we didn’t have to spend all day at the hospital was tough.
From my perspective things were getting all sorts of weird, being so invested in this journey with Filipa, it may me realize that men aren’t really involved. Now I’m not making any generalizations, but getting up, waiting in those waiting rooms full of women, sat alone twiddling my thumbs, I felt like the only one. Boys, gents, men, hombres, if you can be, then be there every step of the way. Trust me! Everything felt way more real to me because I heard it straight from the Doc or Nurse and not through your wife when she gets home. You are both in this together and it makes that much more of a difference being invested.
The day had come, we got the golden box from our nurses. The golden box housed our trigger shot. This shot would change our lives forever. A quick injection routine later, we were pumped. The following morning was retrieval day and my fun time ;). After making our way to the clinic, we were split up. I had my alone time, made my sample and then joined Filipa to await her egg retrieval process. We were so excited and worried, basically all sorts of emotions were running through us.
After retrieval, they had collected 5 embryos, but only 2 fertilized. Fast forward to transfer day via a whole load of shit, we woke up fresh and ready to head down to the clinic. Once we arrived we were informed that only 1 made it through the whole cycle. ONE? Just one! Filipa and I began to feel the pressure, so much rested on this one fertilized embryo. We made our way through to the doctors room, the embryo was loaded, and wait what! Bohemian Rhapsody starts to play as the embryo is released. WHAT! Coincidence! I think not!
Transfer day finally over, now the waiting game. Filipa and I couldn’t be happier but this waiting took forever. I tried to keep her mood lifted and always tried to make her laugh. Our support system was strong, we never let each other get too down. Goes to show if you go through this process with a invested partner, the process is so much easier.
I love you Filipa and couldn’t imagine a better partner through all this. I look up to you and your perseverance, courage, and just plain old kick ass spirit. And now we get to start the next part of our journey together.
Let’s do this!
To sum up my recent posts, I want to make sure that I’ve tried to create an open dialogue about men in the fertility world. There is no place for us to Google how to act or feel. We shouldn’t like our feelings aren’t worth anything. Fertility forums are so overloaded with womens (obviously), that when a man asks a question, he is most likely ignored. I don’t want any other man to feel the way I did. Let’s join the conversation. It is so easy to dismiss a mans feelings. Together we are far more powerful
So if you or someone you know is going through this reach out, open the dialogue, talk through things and most importantly be there for one another. For gods sake, we are only human!
Keep your heads up!