Lately I've really been into two reality shows: Giuliana & Bill and The Little Couple. I think I'm drawn to them because their stories seem similar to mine. We have all walked the road of in vitro fertilization.
I got hooked on both shows because their marriages are really great and actually inspire me to nurture my relationship with Levi. But after a few seasons, both have found themselves on the road to building a family and finding it to be quite difficult. Giuliana has been diagnosed with unexplained infertility (like me), and Jennifer from The Little Couple had reproductive assistance because she can't safely carry her own child. Both turned to IVF.
Although the shows convey only a small portion of what you endure with IVF, I am so thankful for the procedure to be getting attention, and hopefully more understanding and acceptance. I think back to my three IVF cycles and how we kept it very private. If I would have had a way to properly explain what I was enduring I might have been willing to share with more people. But the thought of educating others on my condition and what I was undergoing was too daunting. If only I could have said, "Listen, just watch Giuliana & Bill. That's what we're going through."
But we didn't. We kept it mostly to ourselves, which I don't necessarily regret, but looking back it feels so strange. I remember, after weeks of pokes and appointments, going through my first egg retrieval, where I was under general anesthesia and then on bedrest for 2 days. I spoke on the phone as if everything was fine, and even went back to work on day two in my home office, typing away in the recommended reclined position--in a lawn chair! I remember having to hitch a ride from an unknowing friend to my embryo transfer because it ended up falling on a Sunday morning and Levi had to preach!
I know the procedure is still met with some controversy. But I am overjoyed by the men and women who are smart enough to become specialists and figure this out and give women like me the chance to conceive.
I wish I could've driven you to that appointment on a Sunday! This is what I pray for those who are choosing to pursue IVF. That they would have the support from family and friends to be there for them.
One of the hardest parts of pursuing any medical help is understanding the procedures and clinical jargon. What makes it even harder is to have to explain it to someone else. And let's not forget all the opinions you may have to deal with, and many of the negative opinions are due to lack of education. Greg and I went through the IUI (insemination) procedure and so many times this was mixed up with IVF. Most of the time I didn't even care to explain the difference. It was just too tiring. The journey itself is exhausting enough let alone having to explain what you are going through in the midst.
We've said this before but doctors don't create babies. God does. He also gives doctors the information to help us. I thank the Lord for procedures that can aid us in conceiving.