Hubby made an excellent suggestion the other night, while I was working on a different writing project. He said, "You should write a survival guide for infertility. Like in Zombieland! Rule #1: Cardio!"
I think he is a genius, so here it goes:
Rule #1: Find your inner Jerry Lewis
You might be in this situation for a long time, so buckle in and find a way to laugh. There will be moments that are scary, ironic, ridiculous, and painful. But, if you can laugh at at least some of it, you will survive. Otherwise, they might have to get the rubber room ready.
Rule #2: Google is both friend and foe
This is a rule that applies to a variety of reasons (not just infertility), but I am telling you right now: I am a hypocrite. I never followed the advice of those who told me to stop researching infertility on the internet. It is like crack for me. I just can’t tear myself away. But, you should prepare yourself for the onslaught of information on the interwebs and know that only a small portion of it is going to be helpful. Go to the most reputable sites you can, take message boards and public forums with a grain of salt, and rely most on information from those who have been in the game for a long time or have spent $100,000 on their M.D. Well...see #3 for an exception to this rule.
Rule #3: Be a critic, interrogator, and investigator with your medical team
While you do have to have some amount of trust, you also have a brain and gut instinct. Disagreeing with a medical professional can feel as scary as sending food back at a restaurant, but every time I ignore my instincts, I regret it. Speak your mind and ask LOTS of questions.
Rule #4: Say goodbye to any modesty and “Hello, stirrups!”
You will soon know your vagina, ovaries, and uterus better than any ultrasound technician, nurse, or doctor. Get used to having people see your naughty bits, both inside and out. I used to be shy about this, but after a while, you are ready to drop your pants for anyone in a lab coat. I should start demanding dinner and a movie first.
Think of it this way, just like those people who give you a bikini wax, I am sure that they not only have seen worse, but barely look at your face anymore.
Rule #5: Think of your plans as a yoga pose - flexible.
When you are in treatment, all of your appointments are based on cycle days and results of the medication. So, although you might have a big meeting at work, a weekend trip to the Cape, or (in my case) a lesson on clock reading scheduled, you might have to throw those plans to the wind if your follicles are growing. I mean really, wouldn't you rather be getting a blood draw than taking a conference call?
I'll be adding to this list over time. If any of my fertility challenged friends want to add to it, don't be shy!
By the way - I'm about a week of injections into this IUI cycle and things are coming along nicely. Please, for God's sake, cross your fingers for me.