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Infertile Women Never Forget

By Tracey Minella

June 4th, 2014 at 3:55 pm

 

credit: idea go/freedigitalphotos.net


When it comes to remembering, elephants have nothing on infertile women.

Date of last menstrual period? Pshhh! Without even a glance at a calendar or app, we can tell you the date… plus the time it started, where we were, what we were wearing, who we were with, and how many pee sticks we went through thinking we were pregnant in the 5 days before it began.

And that’s just getting warmed up.

We know how many vacation days we’ve used and how many precious few remain because they’ve been mentally earmarked for upcoming cycles. We can recite the months, years, series numbers, and assigned nurses’ names of all our IVF cycles. We know how many embryos we transferred back and what grades they were. And we can tell you the number and grade of any frozen embryos faster than we can give you the current time.

We know the number of follicles we had on each ovary from our last sonogram and the sizes of the dominant ones. We may not know how much gas is in the car, but we know how thick our uterine lining measured. We know our last Day 3 FSH level and how many vials of medication are still in the fridge. And we definitely know what vein still works.

We know the dates of our retrievals, our transfers, and our pregnancy test dates. Some of us carry the painful details of unspeakable losses as well. And we know what we wore to each and what music was playing on the radio. We can detail how we fell apart, how we pulled it back together, and how we recalculated when we’d be trying again…and what the new due date might be. We’re always aware of the date we need to conceive by in order for a baby to be born before the year ends, or before our next birthday.

These incredible memory skills build up gradually along the course of the infertility journey, starting with the innocent basal body temperature charts used for tracking ovulation patterns. As the journey progresses, more tests and procedures follow. Results come in and a treatment plan is made. The brain absorbs all this additional information… because there is simply nothing else on our minds as important as our goal of getting pregnant.

And in the end, all these dates…these often-frustrating dates…become your history. They make up the story of your journey to parenthood. And you will never forget them.

I know this because today I celebrate the 17th anniversary of the day of my first positive pregnancy test from my 6th fresh IVF cycle which resulted in the birth of my first IVF baby. It was also coincidentally the first day I started working at LIIVF as a medical assistant and I was wearing scrubs when Dr. Kreiner called me into his office to tell me the good news at the end of that nerve-wracking first day. After so many result calls that began with “I’m so sorry…” it was a moment that will live forever.

Your moment will, too.

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What has been your most memorable moment of the journey? What details do you remember that others would be impressed or amazed by?

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