When we first visited what was soon to become our second home, The Center for Fertility and Endochrinology at Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh, we had no idea what to expect. Literally, no idea. We walked in there legitimately thinking we'd walk out pregnant.
Like we would walk in, they'd look at us, hand us hormones and I'd be knocked up. Apparently that's not how it works...at all.
In fact, apparently we knew nothing about how anything worked. Everything we thought we knew about the birds and the bees was a farce. To put it into perspective, the doctor had to use a picture book to explain how conception actually happens.
Michael (my husband) thought the diagram of the ovaries were testicles. I thought conception happened in the uterus, not the fallopian tubes. We were an embarrassment. No wonder we hadn't conceived. We didn't even know which reproductive parts were our own, let alone how they worked.
By the end of the appointment we were so overwhelmed with foreign medical terms. We basically nodded our heads in agreement, blindly trusting everything the doctor said. He could have told he's going to harvest our organs for scientific research and we would have agreed. "If you take out our kidneys to sell on the black market, will THAT get us pregnant? Sign us up!"
In the slur of fertility lingo we pretended to understand, one acronym stuck out; IUI. IUI stands for Intrauterine Insemination, a fertility treatment where they take all of the best sperm and through a catheter place them into the uterus, increasing the chances of the best swimmers to make it to the fallopian tubes.
I knew quite a few people who had success with IUI. THIS WAS IT. THIS WAS THE ANSWER. NOW WE'RE GETTING SOMEWHERE.
Like I said, we had zero sense of how any of these processes worked. I was ready to go. Put my feet in some stirrups right now and get that sperm up in there before we leave. Why waste any time? LET'S GO.
As I was about to start unbuttoning my pants, my fantasy of being pregnant in the near future was abruptly interrupted with a laundry list of tests and procedures that had to be completed before anyone even considered coming near me with an actual fertility treatment.
All of this information, all of the hype, and they send you home with one task - call us on day one of your next menstrual cycle. For me, that meant "Give us a call in three weeks and we'll just scratch the surface of the testing you're about to endure."
Three weeks? What do I do until then? I'm an "instant gratification" type of girl, a control freak if you will. If I want something to be a certain way, I'll do everything I can to make it happen - not in a year or two, not in a few months, now. I was immediately hurled from my comfort zone into a weird purgatory of waiting that would soon become my norm.
The harsh reality is that the infertility journey is a fat fucking waiting game and you've got no control. Strap in, 'cuz you're no longer the driver - you're just along for the ride.