It’s strange how quickly we adapt to our norms. I mean this generally and the norms of living with infertility.
Before we tried to have children, it was normal for me to see my OB/GYN once a year, maybe twice if I wasn’t feeling well or needed a birth control prescription updated. I like her a lot and went to her office for several years, so I feel like I got to know her, even though I never saw her all too often.
When we started infertility treatment through my OB/GYN, I was in her office a couple times a month for appointments and monitoring. Those every-few-weeks appointments felt like a lot of doctor’s office visits, but eventually that became normal. In reality, that was a laughable appointment schedule compared to full-on infertility treatment.
In the first cycle with our reproductive endocrinologist, I felt like I was in that office enough to be working there. First it was just for a consultation, but then it was ultrasound after ultrasound and blood draw after blood draw to monitor follicular growth. We’re talking every two-three days for almost three straight weeks while my eggos were getting themselves ready, and then while we were helping them along. They should have been cutting me checks, not the other way around. I’ve been told by others that our doctor is among the more conservative in the area with her treatment approach, which gave me a lot of confidence in the amount of time the follicular phase of my first cycle with them was taking. I got to know the nurses in the office quite well in that first three weeks of being a patient there, and quickly adjusted to even that frequent of office visits.
So it was a little bit of a shock to my mental system when we triggered ovulation early last month.The nurse handed me the Ovidrel prescription and told me to take a test in two weeks or call them on the first day of my next cycle. There was no more monitoring, no follicle checks, no appointments to schedule or blood draws to test. For two weeks, we were on our own, just waiting to see what happened. It felt strange, but again, it only took a few days until it wasn’t.
I’ve got to imagine that feeling is a little bit what it’s like going through the stages of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood. The nausea, fatigue and other first trimester symptoms seem strange, until they feel normal. Same with the second trimester and the third. Then, I would guess it’s a completely different new norm you get used to when the baby arrives and progresses into different stages of life. Many new parents talk about the feelings of shock them have that nurses and doctors “let them just leave the hospital with the baby.” One friend who recently had a baby told me she felt like begging a nurse to come home with them.
That’s a little bit how I felt after the nurse handed me the Ovidrel prescription and told me to call them in two weeks. It’s all you and your partner and your support system at that point, because you’re the only one who can do what needs to be done. If I’m looking for silver linings, I suppose the stages of “new norms” during infertility are just gearing us up for the ever-changing scene that is parenthood.