Friday, December 16, 2011

In-Vitro Fertilization and The Emotions

IVF, Test-Tube Babies, Octomom and Kate + 8.

These words and personas are such a part of our culture. Because of this, you think you understand what these moms must be going through. How they feel. The truth is, you can't. It's not because you don't want to. It's not because you are a cold-hearted person incapable of empathy. It's because you just can't.

(OK, honestly no one knows what the hell was going through Octomom's head or even Kate with that reverse mullet)

To be fair, I know what I am going through. I don't know what the girl, sitting in the next chair at the doctor's office, is going through. Even if we are both on the exact same 'cycle day' doing the exact same treatment. I don't know her pain and she doesn't know mine. IVF brings with it so many emotions like anger, sadness, frustration.  It also brings forward some really tricky ones like vulnerability, fragility and feelings of being powerless.  It will make you question everything you know about faith and religion. It doesn't matter what those beliefs are. When you trust that your body is capable in doing something and find out sort of the opposite your beliefs can go through the wringer.

With that said, I am not about to get on a soapbox about religion. Religion, your salary, your mortgage balance and what you wish for when you blow out your birthday candles are things better left unsaid. I will go so far as to say, I do believe in religion. I believe very strongly that people are put in your life to help you through low points.

Case in point, my good friend Wheezey. Clearly, not her real name. But one I heard her husband call her. She and I were social workers together and generally had a great time in each other's company. While I was living in the la-la land of being a newlywed. She was embarking on her journey with IVF. We parted ways and moved to different areas of the country. We kept each other updated on our lives through the occasional email or phone call. After ectopic #1. She was one of the first I called. She didn't understand exactly where I was, but she knew enough to speak kindly. Let it be noted that she has never once said, " Thank God, you have Toddler T. Imagine how much worse it would be if you didn't."

My path crossed Wheezey's because I was going to need her. And I do. It has been a breath of fresh air to hear someone tell it like it is, to normalize my emotions and fears and to tell me when it's time for a glass of wine.


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