Mom 1: “Congratulations! I saw your gender reveal! It’s a boy!”
Mom 2: “Yes, now we have one of each. We are done!”
Mom 3: “Well, it took us three times to finally get our girl. If she had been a boy, I think we would have tried a fourth.”
Mom 4: “I am happy with boys. I know boys. I don’t think I would know what to do with girls.”
Mom 5: “Girls are not so bad. I actually think they are easier than my boy. Boys spray!”
Mom 6: Well, if we have another, I would want a girl, I think. But someday I think not, a boy would be easier.”
Me: (Insert silence).
I have a binder that I made when I was going through IVF to help me remember everything my husband and I did. I also plan on using it to talk with Ferris about how he came to be when he asks me someday. It’s a very special binder and the notes and back-and-fourth conversation between the staff at the IVF facility and myself take me back to every single moment so clearly.
Right now, I am looking at a 4/18/17, 3:27pm conversation between a nurse and myself. The subject was “medications.”
It was the very first set of instructions in which I was told how much and what I would need for the immediate future. This may be foreign language to the moms who have not gone through IVF, but for those who have or know people who are, it involved the following:
• Low dose hCG
• Low dose aspirin 81 mg
• Follistim AQ 300
And of course, don’t forget the tools:
• Syringe 0.5cc insulin
• Sharps disposal container
• Needle 27g 0.5in
• 1 ml syringe
• Needle22g 1.5in
• Follistim Pen Device
This was the first of many, many, many instructions.
Which leads me to something I need to get off my back:
To the 6 moms who spoke so freely, as if it were “no big deal” to decide to have another baby, I need to speak for myself and those who are in the same boat.
Moms: Have sex and make a baby.
Me: Schedule appointments to see where my body and my husbands fall into starting another round of IVF from the very beginning.
Moms: Take an at-home pregnancy test to see if they are pregnant.
Me: Oh, I am still on number 1. Injections, pills (both orally and vaginally – yes, and they process and ooze out throughout the day so I wore pads for weeks at a time) and blood tests precisely at specific times on specific days.
Moms: Start planning for baby # (insert number)
Me: Hold on. You’re going too fast, as I am still on 1. Husband has to give sperm in a room by himself in a cup. I need to have eggs retrieved after not eating or drinking. I need to be put under to do this. I need to have those eggs fertilized and see which ones make it or not. I need to get the embryos sent for genetic testing. I need to wait to see which ones, if any, make it or not. I need to continue to prep my body with daily pills, injections, blood tests, tracking, and possible complications from that. I need to remember to be there for my husband as we get told we lost an embryo. I need to make life-changing decisions when an embryo comes back with no result from genetic testing. I need to financially pay for medications, surgeries, and embryos to be kept frozen when they come back positive to be transferred.
I want to stop now.
Let me take a moment to say that I am beyond happy for people that can conceive without medical assistance. I won’t want you to feel the pain and immense patience that is needed with an unknown such as whether or not you can create and successfully carry a baby.
But let me take a moment to be an advocate for infertility and IVF and remind those moms and dads that can “get pregnant easily” that you might be talking one day around someone who cannot conceive easily, if at all. Someone who’s fate was determined for them in this field of how many babies, if any, they can have and afford to try for.
You might want to think twice about questioning me for having “one baby” and “don’t you want to give him a sibling?”
I want what I have, and that is Ferris. As of 2018, it was reported over 8 million babies have been born worldwide through IVF since 1978. Ferris is one of those babies, and I am so honored to say that.
I am not alone.
I am 1 in 8.
This is all a part of my story, and I wouldn’t change a thing.