Today was my IUI class.
I got up at 5:00 a.m., got dressed, woke up Baby Boy, gave him a bottle, packed his bags, and got in the car for the long drive into the City. I dropped Baby Boy off with my dear friend Susan around 7:30, and headed to the hospital for my mandatory class. The class started at 8:00 a.m.. I was early. The first one there, actually. As the rest of the people filed in, I couldn't help surreptitiously looking at each of them, and wondering about each woman or couple; how long have they been trying? What is their diagnosis? and, Will they or won't they get pregnant?
Most of the stuff in the class was pretty basic: The different kinds of cycles, (natural, Clomid, or Injectibles) procedures, risks, etc., etc.. As the nurse went through the information, I kept sneaking looks at everyone else in the class, as we were all seated around a big conference table. Maybe it was because it was early in the morning, but everyone looked sooo (what's the word?) sullen. Or were they just sleepy? One very well put together, gorgeous, blonde, young, fashionable woman (who was there with her suit-and-tie-business-man husband) had a look of down-right indignance on her face. As if to say, "why am I here? This should not be happening to ME." Granted, she looked young (too young to be 'infertile' perhaps, in her mind), and I got the sense everything else in her life had gone according to plan up until this point. I imagined her having gone to the 'right' school, belonging to the 'perfect' sorority, meeting Mr. Young Investor, and having the perfect, lavish, beautiful, stylish wedding. I imagined their perfect home and their perfect friends. Everything perfect, except for the next step. The perfect baby, at the perfect time. I felt badly for her, but I also felt, somehow, vindicated. I thought, "See? Infertility doesn't discriminate. Even the Perfects over there are susceptible." Of course, I don't wish this on anyone. It's awful. And, I also got the sense that young Mrs. Perfect was in a lot of pain over there, and holding it all together. Or, maybe I am projecting. That's totally possible. Either way, when she looked my way, I shot her a smile. A smile that hopefully read, "Hey, this sucks, huh? Good luck to you guys." Or something like that.
Everyone seemed so sad. It was like we were all there to begin a death-march. Maybe that is why I waited a year to do this. Maybe that is why we adopted first. Today, I was not sad. I was excited. I was feeling like, "This is good! We're infertile, but we're trying! We're doing something about it." I wanted to run around and hug everybody in the room and say, "Hey! It's going to be ok!!" But, maybe if I had started this a year ago, right after my diagnosis, I'd be in death-march mode. I was so depressed back then. I was in shock. I was angry and confused. I looked like a lot of those people sitting around that conference table today. Of course, I don't know how I'll feel about it as we get further into it. I am aware that there may be disappointments ahead. I am not sure how I will take those disappointments. But for now, I feel pretty good. And, I don't feel so desperate. I'm already a mom. I just want to get pregnant. I reeeally want to get pregnant. But, either way, I am a mom.
Speaking of moms. One lady came to the class with her toddler. If looks could kill, this poor lady would have probably been dead before she got to her seat. Of course she, for some reason, decided to sit next to me. Maybe it was random, or maybe she sensed on some level that I was the one person in the room who didn't want to kill her. I, having just dropped off my child with a friend, could totally understand how hard it is to be juggling motherhood, with pursuing treatment. If it weren't for my friend Susan offering to babysit (and it just so happens she lives not far from the hospital--convenient!) I might have been in the same boat. But, having spent so long being one of those people who looks at women with babies with jealousy and even anger, I would more than cringe at bringing a baby or young child into a room full of Infertiles. Yeesh. Ah well, whaddya gonna do?
The second half of the class consisted of being taught all about self-injecting. After we learned how to use all the different kinds of needles, pens, etc., the nurse asked if any of us would like to try injecting ourselves. Everyone was silent. The nurse urged, "Come on--you don't want to be sitting there at 10:00 o'clock at night the first night you have to inject yourself, and just not be able to do it because you are too scared, or because you're afraid of doing it wrong! This is your chance to do it with a nurse in the room!" Everyone was acting all sheepish and cringe-y. Finally, even though I am not doing injectibles (this time--and hopefully I won't have to, cause the Clomid cycle is going to work, right?) I raised my hand and said, "I'll do it!" (Gosh people, have some guts!) The needle was tiny, by the way. So, with the nurse watching, I stuck the darn thing in my belly (it was only filled with saline solution) and boom. It was done. I looked up, and Mrs. Perfect was staring at me like I was crazy. The mom next to me audibly cringed and turned away as I was doing it. I looked around the table, and, trying not to laugh, said, "It doesn't hurt. Really, it doesn't hurt." (Maybe I should have turned around, pulled up my shirt, shown them the big tattoo on my back, and said, "Now, THAT hurt!") Eventually, several more people decided to give it a try. And then, class was over. Everyone kept lingering a bit. I'm not sure why. But, being the first to arrive, I was also the first to leave.
I really, really hope that that will be the only time I'll have to jab myself. Not because I'm afraid of the needle, but because I'm ready for a break. Ready for something to work. It would be so incredibly wonderful if this first IUI just....worked.
And, hey, no offense to anyone out there who is afraid of needles. I understand. If the nurse had, for instance, pulled out a bag of spiders and said we had to stick our hands in there, I'd probably run out of the room as fast as my feet would carry me.