Fertility world is ruled by acronyms. TTC = Trying to Conceive. AF = Aunt Flo. BFP = Big Fat Positive (as in pregnancy test).
And of course, IVF = It’s Very Frustrating.
There are hormone pills and headaches, injections and bruising, mood swings and tears, constant early morning doctor’s appointments and trips to the pharmacy, nerve-wracking procedures and bed rest.
But none of that compares to the agony of the TWW: the Two Week Wait.
This is the period of time between the embryo transfer and the pregnancy test, when time ticks by as slowly as it did in junior high school Social Studies, waiting for the bell to ring, all those many years ago (when I would have gotten pregnant so easily, P.S.).
Anticipation hangs heavily over the Two Week Wait.
If the IVF succeeds, I could have a BABY. A sweet smelling, fuzzy headed, sleeps-on-my-chest-holding-my-finger magical little baby. A brother or sister for Viv. Our family of three becomes a foursome. My wildest dreams come true and I pretty much don’t have to accomplish anything more for the rest of my life – phew!
If the IVF fails, we start running low on chances, and not only do I have to gear up for (one last?) grueling round, but I get closer to accepting that it may just never happen for us.
So that makes it real easy to sleep.
In the middle of the night, I sneak into the bathroom, where I’ve stashed my iPad, and I shake it like a Magic 8 Ball. If you could see my search history:
- Cramping after embryo transfer? (Answer: could be good! Or bad!)
- Foods to eat to encourage implantation? (Answer: pineapple. But not too much!)
- Early pregnancy symptoms? (Answer: every possible pregnancy symptom is also a symptom of getting your period – what a tease!)
During my previous Two Week Wait, I was constantly assessing myself for signs of pregnancy. I even made Dave give me a breast exam in a mall parking lot: Did they seem bigger? Firmer? Warmer? The results were inconclusive but at least we got to second base.
When you do IVF, the doctors tell you – beg you, really — not to take a home pregnancy test. This is because there are aspects of the in vitro process that can lead to a false negative or positive.
Last time, I made it all the way to the Sunday before my Monday morning blood test, when I woke up at 6:30a in a total panic. “Dave, I have to go get a pregnancy test. I’m going out.” He didn’t give me hard time, merely adding, “Get me some chocolate ice cream, okay?” I may not have been pregnant, but he clearly was.
We live walking distance from a 24-hour drug store and I was all amped up, so I just sort of jogged there. When I got to the drug store, it was a ghost town. Fluorescent lights on, but nobody home – very Night of the Comet/zombie apocalypse.
I located a pink box of First Response pregnancy tests and a pint of Hagaan Dazs, then headed to the register. Nobody there either. I paced the aisles looking for a human. Or a zombie. No such luck.
I stood at the front of the store and yelled, “Can anyone help me? I’m trying to buy something.” No answer. I had this idea that if I stood near the sliding glass doors, my items would set off the store alarm, bringing someone to the front. But the alarm didn’t go off.
I stood there for a few minutes, trying in vain to set off the alarm, when I realized the obvious. No people. No alarm. I backed out slowly, then ran home, clutching my stolen pregnancy tests and Dave’s ice cream.
I’m not proud of my behavior, but I blame the Two Week Wait.