The Waiting Game
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth story in Katie’s series “My Battle with IVF”
Spoiler alert, I’m still not pregnant. We finished cycle two with no success. There’s no rhyme or reason why it didn’t work this time. IVF is not a perfect science, so there’s never any guarantee despite all of the money, time, science and expertise invested into the process. Knowing this doesn’t change the fact that another negative pregnancy test is completely devastating.
Now we wait until we can try again, which made me think about the worst part of IVF treatment and type 1. It’s the never ending, relentless waiting game.
As people with type 1 diabetes, we wait for our blood glucose meter to read our droplet of blood. Wait for the insulin to kick in. Wait for the juice box to kick in. Wait for our blood sugar to get higher, lower. Wait for test results. Wait for our continuous glucose monitor (CGM) sensors to restart. Wait in line at the pharmacy. Wait on hold with our insurance company. Wait for a cure that seems to be so close we can almost taste it.
Throughout IVF treatment, the worst part isn’t the physical part. I can handle that. I literally have tough skin thanks to five years of finger pricks. No, the worst part is the tortuous waiting.
There’s waiting in the lobby with all of the other anxious, bleary-eyed women, waiting to go in for their daily blood work and ultrasounds. Waiting for the results. Waiting for next steps and which medications to take. Waiting to go into “surgery” for the egg retrieval. Waiting to hear how many embryos we have. Waiting to hear how the embryos are doing and whether there will be a transfer. And, then there’s the two-week wait, the worst of the waiting, to find out if it worked.
It’s during this last two-week wait that I finally allowed myself to be hopeful. I started thinking of names and how we’ll do the nursery. I thought about whether they’ll look more like me or their dad. If they’ll be healthy and happy in the home we’ve made for them.
At the end of two weeks, you go in for a blood test and leave with the promise that your nurse will call as soon as possible with the results. So I wait, and the phone rings and I know before she even says it. It didn’t work.
Everyone continues to tell me that “everything happens for a reason” and my type 1 diagnosis and now infertility journey is “all part of a greater plan.” (As a heads up to all well-meaning people who say this, please stop. It’s not helpful). So, I continue to wait for a cure, for a positive pregnancy test and for a future that doesn’t involve so much waiting.