Infertility schmertility · Metaphysics and philosophy

Being addicted

Our track marks are located on our stomachs, not our arms. Our highs consist of the promise of large follicles, the potential of a new cycle, the excitement of been given the go ahead with an IUI or IVF. Our lows consist of a single line on a pregnancy test, unwelcome PMS symptoms and being surprised by other couples’ pregnancy announcements.

Infertility treatment is like a drug addiction. We take multiple drugs to find the perfect fix. We try the craziest combinations of drugs and cheaper alternatives like pineapple core, pomegranate juice, expensive vitamin regimes, intense fitness programs and homeopathic/Eastern medicine to increase our chances of getting the ultimate high – pregnancy. But the hangover leaves us bloated, depressed and with a dull ache in the region between the heart and the uterus.

Infertility treatment is like a gambling addiction. We keep on pulling the lever of the slot machine, knowing that our chances are near to impossible. The little wins we get along the way keep our hope just alive enough, to crawl on the floor, back to the black jack table where we bet our life’s savings in one final wave of optimism. We lose it all, we get up, dust ourselves off, cover our swollen eyes with makeup, rummage for coins and return to the bright lights of the fertility clinic, the beeps and music of the sonar and X-ray machines encouraging us to spin the wheel just once more.

Infertility treatment is like an adrenaline addiction. The rollercoaster is slowly creaking up the tracks, the fear is numbing and then… ovulation takes place and the adrenaline rush is absolutely exhilarating. It reminds you of how brave you are, what it feels like to be alive. Then two weeks pass during which you’re edgy, irritable, emotional and paranoid. You need to get out, DO something! Drive a race car, swing from a bridge, go for a scan… You develop severe FOMO and the only thing you can talk or think about is which procedure you’re trying next, which countries you’ll travel to, to adopt foreign babies and what the topic of your next video blog about infertility will be.

Infertility treatment can consume us and place our life in permanent limbo. We lose friends and family, our confidence, our will, our sanity, our husbands. I now understand that women go for 12 IVFs. I’m already planning how I will improve my next cycle. Friday is the day of our pregnancy test but I honestly don’t think our first IUI was successful. I have full blown PMS symptoms and have mistakenly confused these symptoms for pregnancy symptoms before. I recognise these symptoms of withdrawal and remind myself to draw a line, a deadline. Two more IUIs, 1 IVF. We have until the end of the year. Then life will have to go on. I have to stop before I become another jaded junkie, with a tick in my eye; an alcoholic with an unquenchable thirst or a Diva on painkillers.

But then again, maybe I’ll just give it one more go… I can stop whenever I want to. I promise.

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25 thoughts on “Being addicted

    1. Thanks! I guess we’ll always feel that we could have done more: maybe it would have worked if I was thinner, maybe this new drug was all I needed. We’re incredibly tough on ourselves! Maybe we get relapses just like those who are addicted! xxx 😘

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  1. Keep your head high my dear!!! Don’t give it, keep going. It does feel draining and gives you so much thought of what if your pregnant. I’m currently waiting for those 2 weeks now. It’s the worse and happy feeling at the same time. We gotta stay strong and positive no matter the situation is. 😘😘

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words! The progesterone is creating havoc in my brain! I knew beforehand you can’t really make any predictions since PMS, supplement & pregnancy will all increase your progesterone! But still! The crazy hormonal girl in my mind keeps on googling symptoms. I’ve shut her in a room with some chocolate and feel much calmer now! What will be, will be! Sounds like your IUI went really well – I hope your TWW flies by faster than mine! 😘

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      1. Hehe… Google really is our best friend & worst enemy! 🙈I had quite bad cramping on IUI day – like period cramps. The day after it felt a bit better and then it became light cramps & twinges. I did feel a bit dizzy & out-of-breath for a few days after IUI. Since 7dpiui I’ve been having PMS-like symptoms – so much easier being a guy!!! 😜

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  2. I’ve been crazy researching what’s the earliest to detect the HCG and what’s the earliest I can check to see if I’m pregnant. Girl it’s driving me nuts. If you don’t mind me asking does your partner have normal counts? Mine doesn’t 😞 but the first test came back abnormal and then it came back normal. Then they told us it’s his mobility. So that’s when he suggested IUI for us. And I’m glad your cramping went away cause I was feeling horrible yesterday. I’m still sending you 💙💗Baby Dust💙💗

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    1. I hear you! I’ve read that it takes ~10 days for the trigger (Ovitrelle also has HCG) to get out of your system but I’ve seen women make themselves go crazy with interpreting faint lines on pregnancy tests – that would make me even more anxious & confused! I’m aiming to wait till 14dpiui… eek!

      My husband has a high count but very low motility – that’s why iui is a good fit for us – and I have PCOS so the drugs help me to ovulate… How’re you feeling today? 😘

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      1. Oh ok. I did hear about the shot staying in you system for a while. But I’m suppose to get my period on July 25 cause that’s when I got it last month. It’s usually accurate to the day. But they said I could check for pregnancy on July 24th. So let’s see. Today is my 2nd day after IUI and all of my cramping and pain went away finally. But last night at like 3am I woke up with hot flashes and sweating like crazy. I normally get hot like that whenever my sugar is high but I checked it at 3am and it was actually normal. So I thought that was weird. But I can’t wait to hear ur result girl. What day are u now after IUI?

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      2. July 24th sounds perfect! Hot flashes sounds really weird – who knows! It sounds like everybody’s body reacts so differently! I’m keeping a log of symtoms to guide me next time!

        I’m 11dpiui but my 14dpiui falls on Sat so I’ll have to wait till Monday for blood test! Dammit! I’m considering home testing on Sunday or Monday before going to clinic – I just don’t want to be surprised (either way) by phone call!

        Are you also on progesterone?

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      3. I think I might keep a log as well. That’s a great idea!!! And yes of course everyone’s body is different. I know I’ve seen people do a HCG testing like on the 11th day after IUI. And no I’m not on progesterone. They only gave me Letrozole (Femara) when I started my period so instead of ovulating with 1 egg, I would have multiple eggs. Which I did have multiple follicles. When I got blood work done all of my hormones and everything else was great. The Doctor said I was healthy, which I knew since I wasn’t the issue. Beside me having diabetes. I just keep on having thoughts that it worked but at the same time I don’t think so. Hubby said he was reading that it’s a slim chance that I’ll get pregnant 😞😩😞😩. But I’m keeping positive!!

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      4. It’s great that you’re positive! I have good days and very anxious days – I try & not obsess but it’s not so easy! This morning I almost had a panic attack but meditated for 10 min in the bathroom at work, ordered a healthy sandwich & listened to my audiobook while doing labwork helped… Hope you’re doing OK! You’re almost at the 1 week mark yay!

        I’m on progesterone so it masks & mimics pregnancy symptoms – very confusing!

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      5. Girl I think I’m more anxious to know if it worked or not. And it’s def not easy to keep your mind of it when it can possibly be growing. Yes almost my 1 week mark!!! I’m on my 5dpo and 4piui. I think I did it right lol. I’m pretty sure I ovulated Sunday evening cuz I saw the clear mucus that indicates that I did. And Monday I had the IUI. I read about what progesterone does and I actually don’t have to do any of it. In those ends I’m healthy. My hubby is the only one with the issues. My hubby did mentioned that he’s been reading about how successful this IUI is with low counts. But she’s trying to stay positive as well. 😊😊😊 when do you get to test?

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  3. I agree with the way you liken IUI/IVF to addiction. It definitely consists of very high highs and very low lows. When we try the procedures, we try to remain as positive as possible and in the right frame of mind, but when it fails it’s heartbreaking. I am not sure we have a stopping point – we haven’t thought about that yet and hopefully we won’t have to get there. We have been where you are now – don’t let your brain tell you what it is or isn’t. It’s hard to predict with everything happening to your body. My prayers go out to you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words! I’m ignoring my body now and that was the best decision I could have made! Amazing how your physical & emotional state influences each other. It’s also the control freak in me who wants to have A Plan but I’m learning that it’s also healthy & such a release to just go with the flow… I’m sending you positive thoughts & electronic hugs too, thanks! xxx

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  4. Two things for you: 1) you’re not crazy. 2) or at least you’re only as crazy as the rest of us going through IUI/IVF.
    We waited 10 days after our FET for bloodwork at our clinic, and because of the time of day of our appointment we had to wait another day to find out our results, but they came back positive! And then our ultrasound at 6 weeks was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, it’s a teeny tiny flickering dot of a heartbeat and not much else but it is the most beautiful moment in the world. You’re going to get there momma! Sending you tons of contagious baby dust, and same to everyone who posted here. 🐇✨🌈🎉💖

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    1. Thank you! It’s so lovely to hear from you! And congrats on your 16 week old miracle! xxx It’s good to hear that it is indeed possible! I hope all goes smoothly for you 😚 I’ll gladly accept thay contagious baby dust! I appreciate you reminding me that I’m not crazy – the hormonal girl in me is sure trying to drive me insane! But I’m keeping her at bay with chocolate & meditation… 😅

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      1. Any time! And you know, I have other inspiration for you. I had been complaining/sharing with another girlfriend of mine about this whole thing when we were first doing our injections for our egg retrieval and found out she was doing stuff for getting ready for IVF after a number of surgeries and IUI attempts… having a sister in arms really makes a difference! Anyway, literally the day she was going to pay for her first round of IVF meds she took a pregnancy test (following yet another surgery for her pcos) and she was pregnant too! (Actually before we did out FET) so anything is really possible.

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  5. Sending you good thoughts. My blood test is tomorrow too. Hoping you are wrong and that you got good news. Good for you for waiting for the beta (I couldn’t and did a HPT, it was + but we have tried 2 IUIs and 2IVF frozen embryo transfers to get to this point)

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    1. Thank you so much! I did a HPT on Sat – 14dpiui and it could not have been more negative, but we’re OK. It’s still early days for us. At least I now know the process.

      Congratulations on your +ve! I’m hoping it gets beautifully confirmed tomorrow and that the levels grow steadily. It sounds like you have the perfect attitude – sending you inner calmness and happy thoughts!

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