I honestly thought that I was going to get pregnant without fertility drugs. For my first insemination, I refused them. After that failure, the seed of doubt was planted and I agreed to take the drugs. Every time an insemination fails, my doctor decided to double my amount of drugs.
Like most people, I have a touch of crazy. I have my things that get under my skin and seem more important to me that anyone else. For instance, I like my house tidy. Things should be in their place. I can’t go to bed with dishes in the sink or clothes still in the dryer. When I leave for work, my bed must be made and clothes should never be on the floor. If an event is coming up, I like to plan to the hilt. I have packing lists, to-do lists and lists of lists to make in the near future.
I find that when to consume things that can affect your emotional state, that it turns that crazy dial of yours up a notch. Say your crazy dial is sitting on two on a good day. After a round of hormone-affecting fertility drugs, that dial can easily skip to five or six. As the inseminations increase, your dial reaches new territory. You need things now in your life to gauge this level of crazy and help you put it into check so that you don’t offend love ones or lose your job.
So my crazy seemed to travel down my veins that resided in my need for organization. I could tell you with every insemination about my body temperature, my blood tests, where I was in my ovulation and my predictions for the next insemination procedure. I was charting my data like a statistician.
One of the most frustrating parts of this process was predicting ovulation. The female body releases one or more eggs from one of her ovaries after her luteinizing hormone surge. (Just Google it.) After that surge, ovulation happens within 36 hours afterwards. If you are couple trying to get pregnant, you wait for the 36 hours to pass and then have lots of sex for the next 24 hours to get pregnant.
When you are single female, taking ovulation tests and having blood drawn every day, you think a bit differently. You monitor the data and compare it to past months. You look at your work calendar and try to determine which meetings will suddenly need to be rescheduled. Put the acupuncturist and sperm bank on standby. Once your doctor schedules your insemination, you immediately call the sperm bank and have your frozen choice overnighted to the doctor’s office. You schedule an acupuncture appointment for after the insemination to help in the process. You tell your closest friends who think positive thoughts during your procedure. You tell work that you need this afternoon off for another doctor’s appointment.
For a planner, it’s a tense, uncontrollable time. During the first wave of inseminations, it was stressful as I found myself forgetting things that I wanted to do during this time. By the end of my attempts, I was a seasoned pro at logistics. I could schedule everything on the drive to work in the morning and still drink my coffee.
It’s easy to look back at yourself and laugh at the funny thing that you did during insemination number two or whatever. I said some crazy things and had some crazy thoughts. At times, I was trying to plan my pregnancy around my busy time at work. “Sorry doctor, I can’t do this month because that means that I would be due in August and that’s my good for my employer”. “Let’s skip December, it’s the holidays and I want to enjoy myself a bit.”
One of my favorite ovulation stories was during my first attempts. I was still with doctor number one who relied on ovulation tests to help determine my insemination appointment. Later, specialists don’t use these tests instead they rely on daily blood tests for more accurate information.
I told my doctor that I was having trouble deciphering the information from the tests. She advised me to bring the tests to her office so that she could assist me. Now, keep in mind that my crazy dial is at least up to five or six at this point. Typically, you take one ovulation test a day, first thing in the morning while putting a stick in your first pee of the day. Each day, you see the results of the tests build as the hormone is building up in your body. Often, I would see it build and build with little to no change. So, I decided to go to the dollar store and buy LOTS of ovulation tests.
I drank lots and lots of fluids one day and decided to take an ovulation test every HOUR to see if I can see a difference in the results. Maybe the tests were bad. Maybe I was doing it wrong. Maybe I just needed to take one more test. I remember my flash of brilliance sitting in my bathroom where I developed a shorthand code to label the stick with the time and date using a red magic marker. I collected these tests in quart-sized bags to be studied and laid out in order. When my doctor asked me to bring my test to the next appointment, my mind said, put the entire bag of tests in your purse.
I remember my doctor’s face while standing in the hallway of her practice with a quart-sized bag full of twenty plus used ovulation tests. She didn’t say anything at first but then suggested that I go immediately to her office. Here is where I learned about the setting on my crazy gauge and how ovulation tests say once a day for a reason.
When you walk into the doors of fertility, prepare yourself for crazy. Even the most sane and rational people find themselves diving off the deep end during this process. Give space to your crazy. Honor your crazy. Laugh at your crazy. Just remember to come back from your crazy when you are done.