In many ways, starting infertility treatments is like starting a new life—one I wasn’t exactly ready for. I tip toed into this process, rather than diving headfirst into it. When I first began, I didn’t think a lot about what was happening—all I knew is I wanted a baby and I felt safe that I was in the hands of a reputable fertility clinic. I didn’t analyze much or have a well thought-out strategy.
I suppose, looking back, my tip toe approach worked for me, but it was not one I had the luxury of staying with for very long.
I was not prepared for how demanding treatments can be…blood tests at 6 a.m., ultrasounds, more blood tests, shots every night. I was often late for my appointments. I had a hard time juggling my work schedule and the demands of the clinic. I had not yet altered my life enough to include fertility. It felt like an interruption I wasn’t yet ready to surrender to.
I felt like the clinic was constantly calling me wanting something…another blood test, one more ultra-sound—didn’t they realize that if went to the 6:30 a.m. ultrasound, I would be exhausted by the time I got out of work at 9 o’clock?
Surrender…that is the word that describes the process in many ways. Battling infertility takes battling, but it also takes surrender. For someone like me, I had to progress to the point where the requirements of the clinic had to take priority over my own exhaustion, work schedule, social life, or personal desires.
At a certain point, the only personal desire I had to pay attention to was my desire for a baby.
For the first six months, I was consistently late for most of my appointments. I sometimes didn’t show up due to my work schedule or car problems. I did this so many times, I finally got called on the carpet by Dr. P.
“Are you ready for this?” he asked. He told me that if I continued to miss appointments or show up late, the clinic could not continue treating me.
Talk about a wake-up call.
Suddenly, I realized that I had to take this whole process very seriously and live up to whatever it was the clinic asked of me, even when it was hard. I could blow my opportunity to have what I most wanted due to my own irresponsible behavior.
I explained to Dr. P some of the problems caused by my work schedule, and a few car problems that caused me to miss appointments.
He understood, but made it clear that this type of behavior couldn’t continue and was not acceptable.
If I wanted their help, I had to be responsible. If I wanted these treatments to work, I had to commit to doing whatever they asked. Whenever they wanted me there, I had to be there.
Looking back, I consider this the first step in my training for motherhood: being responsible isn’t an option.
I walked out of that appointment somber and scared.
I wanted a baby, and I would have to put aside whatever was preventing me from getting to my appointments on time.
This was one of the many turning points in my treatment.
Dr. P was forcing me to make a choice: continue life as you know it, without 6 a.m. blood tests, or go through this painful, inconvenient, life-interrupting process in order to get what you want most.
I left knowing I had to change, and this was one of the many times my infertility treatments would push me in ways that I needed to be pushed in order to become the mother I wanted to be.