In comparison to how long I’ve been thinking about our next appointment with the fertility doctor, it’s now just moments away. It’s been over three years since I was last at his office. I was almost through my first trimester. I was emotional, grateful, and a nervous wreck. After years of longing to be pregnant, I finally was. I was lucky enough that our first attempt at IVF was successful and the pregnancy was progressing well. I had my final ultrasound with the fertility doctor before he would release me to the care of my OB. Basically, I was graduating to being a normal pregnant person.
It was a big deal. I said a tearful goodbye, and (kind of) jokingly asked the nurse if she could just be my nurse for the remainder of the pregnancy. I remember the doctor saying that he looked forward to seeing us back when we were ready to expand our family. I knew when I walked out of those office doors that the people that worked there would be special to me forever, for they were the people that helped me become a mom.
Three years later, I am preparing to walk back through those doors once again. This time, in hopes of a second child, in hopes of making our little girl a big sister. A part of me thought that this time would be easier. I’ve been through IVF once before, and I know what to expect.
And, to an extent, that’s true, it is easier. I have a general idea of the process, how long it takes, the tough questions and scenarios we will have to address, the toll it will take on my body, the uncertainty and nerves we will be dealing with. I know about the needles, appointments, procedures, ultrasounds and the anxiety of waiting for test results. This time, I also know the unmatchable joy that would be waiting if the result is a positive pregnancy test. I know that Bob and I are ready to grow our family and I know that my sweet girl would be an awesome big sister.
But, there are so many things I don’t know. It’s been over three years, and, because I have been pregnant, my body has changed. Will we have to do all the diagnostic testing again to re-establish our baseline and determine our protocol? Will our protocol be the same? Three years ago, we were great candidates for IVF, what if our results are different and our chances decrease? If it doesn’t work, will we be able to try again? How long will we need to wait before trying again? Will my body take everything the same, or will it be harder this time around?
Will I be able to keep my perspective? I am so lucky to be Hope’s mom. She challenges me, teaches me and fills my days with laughter and memories. I don’t take for granted the fact that I am a mom already. Every day, I find my thoughts shifting to others on the road of infertility, hoping that they too can realize their dreams of growing their family. Will I be able to remember all that I have on the hard days, or, worse, if it doesn’t work?
With so many questions, my husband and I have prepared by talking about what we hope to get answered at the appointment and have started discussing the various scenarios we could be facing. We haven’t made any definitive decisions because we know we need more information and that we really don’t know what the next step will be. What helped you prepare for you appointment with your fertility specialist? What advice would you give someone going to meet with their fertility specialist, whether it’s the very first meeting, after a failed procedure or an attempt to expand the family?
Melissa Kimball is an account executive at Hart, an ad agency in Maumee. She received her marketing and communications degree from Defiance College. She and her husband, Bob, recently moved to Whitehouse, Ohio, with their toddler, Hope, and boxer, Blue. In junior high, Melissa learned that her thoughts were always best expressed in writing. So as an adult, she turned to writing to cope with the couple’s infertility journey. Now Melissa’s wish is that her words offer comfort and company to others touched by infertility. You can read her monthly columns by clicking here.