Saturday, March 20, 2021

IVF Cycle 1 - CD 15 / Stims Day 3

It's common knowledge that becoming pregnant changes a person's body, but what is less widely known is how simply trying to become pregnant can change someone's body.

My belly is beginning to bruise.

We have been stimming for three days, so this is not surprising. They're just little bruises, and they don't hurt. Still, they're visible reminders of our process and what we're putting my body through (as if we could forget with twice-daily injections). My stomach is also peppered with little red marks where we've done injections that didn't lead to bruises. Inside my belly button and just below the waist of my shorts are more permanent scars from the laparoscopic surgery I had in December where my OBGYN discovered (and removed) endometriosis and noticed that my ovaries looked unusual. Those little incisions are what led to the discovery of my diminished ovarian reserve (DOR). In addition to what we hope is going on inside, my body has changed on the outside.

While I have been fortunate that I am feeling pretty good overall, I am having to take a step back in other areas of my life besides running. I had planned to go to Shreveport for the afternoon to attend a wedding shower for my friends Megan and Aaron and visit my work wife, Tricia, and then I was going to drive back to Baton Rouge. However, I woke up feeling so tired, and the thought of driving eight hours round trip and having to transport my evening shots in a cooler and do them alone somewhere on the way home started to feel like a lot. Instead, my day consisted of going to Slow Mode and walking the 4-mile loop before coming home to crash for hours. 

At times, I feel as if we are asking my body for a lot by putting it through this process. Other times, I am frustrated that we are undergoing so much for what I was told for years that my body is "supposed to" do. I worry that it could fail and that we'll have to make a decision of whether or not to do another cycle of IVF. Yet somehow I feel less anxious about IVF than I did in the many months of never getting pregnant and wondering what was wrong. I am comforted by a process, even one as intense and uncertain as this one is.

In some ways, these little spots and bruises are a reminder of the bigger point of all of this. Short of a miracle, IVF is the way for Richard and me to become biological parents. We have known for a long time that we wanted to have our own children, and this is what seems to be the most promising way to reach that goal, even if it's not a guarantee either. It is easy for me to get wrapped up in what IVF is doing to my body, but coping with infertility as a couple is extremely challenging, too. I have been so fortunate to have Richard as a partner, as he is an excellent injection giver and all-around supporter. He also never blames me or tells me our fertility problems are my fault, even though the tests suggest they are. As I take a step back from things and say no to more opportunities or activities, I have to remember the long game and what this means for Richard, me, and our family. My job, for now, is to take the best care of myself that I can, and sometimes that means taking a day to rest.

On a lighter note, I have some pretty hilarious and unflattering photos from attempting to capture this shot of my belly. The pictures I took using flash showed the bruises a little better than this one does, but the flash makes my belly look super pale (which it is). Also, I'm really enjoying my pajamas that include steak shorts that Lyndsay bought me and a "Powerline Stand Out Tour 95" sweatshirt that I ordered a few weeks ago after confessing my fictional character crush on Powerline to Tricia over FaceTime. The side where we've been doing my night injections has more bruises, so I think we'll be switching up the routine tomorrow. Hopefully, I won't become too overwhelmed with all of the excitement.

Something that made today great: I enjoyed being able to catch up on rest today!

Time I woke up: 7:20 am

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