Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Today I'm having lunch with a colleague who knows about the IVF, having covered for me when I was due to teach the day after my first egg collection and the day of that embryo transfer. When I first told her I was doing IVF, her immediate reaction was, "How exciting!" At the time, I thought this was a little odd - what's exciting about being infertile and having to have intrusive treatment for it?

I was reminded of this last night. I'd spent the day at the clinic, having three bottles of IVIg and a bag of saline dripped into me over the course of five hours. I'd also had two blood tests and a scan and given myself two injections, and had two more injections that I had to do during the evening. A couple of my cousins who live in the US are in the country on holiday, and we met up for a meal last night. I explained away the huge bruises (honestly, despite the intensive monitoring, I haven't seen anyone else at the clinic who has bruising as bad as mine - I'm a delicate little peach really!) on my arms by telling them what was going on. The instant reaction from both of them was "Congratulations!!!"

I shuffled my feet and muttered that there was nothing to congratulate me on yet, and they said they were sure there would be soon. As we left them in the evening (way later than intended, given that Mr Miracle Worker keeps instructing me to take injections at 5 am and then be at the clinic for 7:30), both hugged me and wished me luck.

So is it exciting? It's a treatment for a horrible illness which affects my whole life. Would someone get excited and congratulate me on being in the middle of chemotherapy?

Clearly not, but still, it is exciting to know that I have a chance. It's exciting to be in the middle of treatment after all these months of waiting. And it's exciting to know that this technology exists, and that I'm being given an opportunity to go through this that is still only available to the privileged few.

Yes, in many ways I'm lucky. I just hope that over the next week or two, I'm going to get luckier still...


  1. I think for a non-IF person, and often also ART-rookies, IVF is exciting simply for the fact that there is a much higher chance of it succeeding. Maybe it's a healthy way to look at it, super optimistic! I've got everything crossed for you that this is à very exciting and positive cycle for you!!

  2. People who haven't gone through IF think that IVF is a sure thing and they just assume that the end result is a guaranteed baby. It's hard to try to explain the stats and the emotional/physical toil you endure. I am praying you get "extra lucky" and that all their optimism translates into success!

  3. Sonja took the words right out of my mouth!
    For me, when people say "how exciting!" it somehow diminishes the long and painful process that it is. Clearly they only say that because they arent familiar with whats involved (lucky them) and if you'd had the same conversation with someone who'd been through ivf it would have gone quite differently! (..they would have reached out and touched your arm and looked into your eyes and sincerely said "i'm hoping for the best" or something like that).
    But maybe circus princess is right, maybe that blissful ignorant positiveness is worth embracing.
    Thinking of you, your day at the clinic sounds very intense indeed.

  4. It may also be a bit that they don't know what to say, but are desperate to be positive, or also, that for many people, the idea of trying for a baby is exciting. On the odd occasions when friends have said to me that they're going to start trying (naturally), I've said "Ooh, that's exciting! I'll hold thumbs that you don't have to try for too long". And if we hadn't had to try for what felt like a very long time for Jamie, I would probably just say "Ooh, that's exciting! Looking forward to hearing your news" or something similar. It may sound insensitive, but I've never mean it that way and I'm sure the cousins didn't either. I have made a mental note though, while following your journey, to remember that things come across very differently. I'll also be praying that their optimism brings positive energy and results! Hoping your arms are feeling better today XXXXXXXXXXXXX