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My first appointment back made me feel like a fat, hypertensive loser.

It’s strange being back at the fertility clinic.  It’s like coming home to my parent’s house when I was a snooty teenager: dreading it, but at the same time, knowing you need to be there, and that the people inside will take care of you.  I suppose I shouldn’t feel surprise that the nostalgia brings.  I mean after all, it’s the second most common place I’ve been without pants.  It’d be crazy for me not to feel something coming back.

It’s been over 6 months since the last IVF.  I feel like it’s been longer than that.  One of the receptionists is now heavily pregnant, making me do a double-take, and then immediately flushing with shame.  Jesus, it’s not like, some rule that you can’t be pregnant to work at a fertility clinic.

My baseline ultrasound appointment was at 7:30am on Friday, and I was brought back by one of my favorite nurses right away.  After the check up, she showed me how to use the Follistim pen that I was going to inject myself with that night. Then she said my doctor wanted my blood pressure checked at every appointment.

“I’ll let you get changed and I will come back with the blood pressure cuff.”

After she shut the door, I made the mad dash off the exam table, grabbed a bunch of paper towels to wipe off the lubricant, jumped around the room to get my pants back on, and was bent over tying my shoes when she knocked to come back in.

“Ok, all ready?”

She strapped the cuff on.

“Just to let you know, I probably should sit for 5 minutes because I’m nervous and was moving around a lot, so it might be high.”

She shook her head, “It’s ok.”

So of course it was 132/96.  1) Clearly I am still having some issues with hypertension.  2) She should have let me sit for 5 minutes.  They like to see the top number below 130.

“Now we’re going to go weigh you real quick before your blood work,” she said cheerfully, like all infertile women who have been though multiple IVFs, injecting themselves with questionable hormones, would want to do this.  I glumly followed her, wondering if all that fast food I had on vacation would now come back to haunt me.

I stepped on the scale and almost stroked out.  Actually, my blood pressure is apparently still elevated so that could have been an accurate possibility.  “Hot damn, do I really weigh that much?” I screeched.

She made a note in my chart. Probably something like, Fatty is in denial.  “I know, this is really common in women going through this.  It’s not fair.”

We go back to retrieve my purse, I get my blood drawn, my three other ultrasound appointments for next week scheduled, and then I am alone, walking to the bathroom to quick give my Menopur shot before I leave for work.  I pulled down the baby changing table (I know, ironic right?) to set all my stuff out.  It took me a moment, staring blankly at all the vials, to remember how to draw it up.  I sang to myself as I injected because the Menopur burned.  Then I threw everything away and walked out to the elevator, feeling oddly like I could cry.

The elevator doors opened and I walked in, clutching my IVF instruction booklet, with another girl.  The doors closed and I could feel her looking at me.  I looked up.  She smiled, “Your first?”  I suddenly thought of the fact that this could have been in a hospital elevator, leaving the OB/GYN, both of us at pre-natal appointments.  I shook my head.

“Third.”  And then I burst into tears.

“Don’t cry,” she said kindly, “I went through three IVFs, too, and I have a son who is sixteen months.  I have two frozen embryos.  I wish you nothing but the best.”

I almost asked her out for coffee but

  1. I had to get to work
  2. That’s weird

So I wished her luck as well, and left reluctantly when the doors to my floor opened to the parking garage.  This will be ok.  I will be ok.  I just need to remain positive.  I just need to keep chanting to myself every day:

  • Not everyone is lucky enough to get to learn how to give their own shots.
  • Not all women get to swell up and waddle because their ovaries are the size of golf balls.
  • After all, it’s not like I have to have sex with my husband to get pregnant like some other women have to do.
  • Isn’t this ball of anxiety in my stomach FUN?

And, you know, stuff like that.  

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Kristy TaxsonNot Pregnant And Pissed!Melissa LongDarlaMegan Recent comment authors
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Cristy
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One word: ugh. I'm so sorry that this first visit back was so rough. Not fair on so many levels. Sending hugs through cyberspace and hoping the next appointments are kinder.

Jennifer T
Guest

I'm so sorry you have to do this again. I hope that this will be the cycle that works and everything goes as smooth as possible. Thinking of you and sending you a big hug!

lo @ crazy ever after
Guest

Considering I now that I know we go to the same fertility clinic, I want you to tell me which receptionist is pregnant. They should put that one on filing duty as soon as she started showing. 😉 One time I saw one of the front office girls at Caribou, and we both looked at each other like we knew each other, but it took me all day to figure out she's seen me melt down and cry at three times. And that's why she smiled sympathetically at me. Ugh. I hate how being at that place makes us so… Read more »

lo @ crazy ever after
Guest

I cleary have writing issues…that first sentence is suppose to say, "Considering that I now know…" Doh!

JustHeather
Guest

Big hugs, Risa! It took us 3 IVF rounds before we got our boy. I know how painful it is and I truly hope this cycle works for you!!

Kay Shepard
Guest

Good luck to you!

Ashley Sanderson
Guest

Praying that many more women cross your path that can encourage you through this cycle! Praying for you!

jAllen
Guest

If it helps at all, I had a patient who works as a receptionist for an REI and she conceived on her first try and felt incredibly guilty as she knows how hard it is for so many. She also reported that she tried to hide her bump for as long as she could, but you're right, there is not rule that they can't get pregnant…
I loved the story that the other woman in the elevator was a third times the charm case too!

Aramis
Guest

After our last IVF, I remember being happy about one thing..not having to go back to the clinic anymore. There's just so much anxiety associated for me with that place, and absolutely no good news ever. The negative associations can be overwhelming.

Holly
Guest

I know that "here we go again" feeling oh to well. After losing J and B it felt so strange to be back, knowing what was coming. You are amazing and getting so close!!!! Come on #3

Em
Guest

So sorry that the appt was so tough. Sounds a bit brutal, although I'm glad you got your favorite nurse and that she was kind. I'm also glad that you met a gentle soul on the way out of the appointment. I hope that you continue to encounter kindness throughout this journey AND I hope that this is the last IVF you'll ever have to do.

Amanda
Guest

Ughhhh. I dread going back. When and if we try IVF again, whether it's one of our previous REs or a new one, I know it will feel overwhelming to step in those doors again. I'm so sorry that the first appt was such a mess. Hoping that this is the beginning of the end for you… may that be the last "first appointment back"!

Aubrey
Guest

Oh Risa… Wishing you so so so so SO much luck with this cycle, sweet friend! XO

Rebecca
Guest

Wishing you the best of luck with this cycle.

shay
Guest

Sending lots of prayers that this is the cycle that works for you! Hugs!

Megan
Guest

Thinking of you!

Darla
Guest

One day at a time…That's all we can do. I've got my fingers crossed for you, Risa! And just know that you are NOT alone in feeling the pain of weight gain and anxiety through all of this, I think that every one of us can relate. I also had to use a baby changing table to get shots set up on my last IVF round, good times. 😉

Melissa Long
Guest

Aw *hugshugshugs*

Not Pregnant And Pissed!
Guest

Thinking about you today, my fingers and toes are crossed extra hard!!!

Kristy Taxson
Guest

I just LOVE your blog and I am constantly praying for you and keeping my fingers crossed that this time is THE ONE! Wishing you tons of luck and good wishes along with sticky baby dust!!!!