If you’re looking for advice about options surrounding fertility, pregnancy or counselling, always consult your doctor.
When you’re a few cycles into fertility treatment, the anticipation passes and you come to know the ins and outs of what you need to do.
For me, that has been a relief. I feel more in control of what is going on because I know the process. What I didn’t expect was that the side effects would be worse the longer you’re on the medications.
Oh, the side effects. I know each of you who are in the position I am must dread facing the day sometimes, because of how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally. Knowing that someone else feels the same way, or knowing someone else understands what you are going through, can help.
Before I met my new fellow infertility friends I felt really alone — but I now know I am not.
In the hope that someone new to this journey is reading this, I want to tell you what this process has done to my body, my mind and my heart, so you know you are not alone.
Do you ever look at yourself in the mirror and think, ‘Geez, I’ve changed’? Today was the day. Thanks to the baby-making medications I take, my body has become alien to me.
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Let me set the scene for you. We will go head to toe.
My hair has become lifeless and the greys that have been there for a while have come out in full force at the front of my head, so I look like a skunk. They also stick upwards at a 90-degree angle, which is super pretty.
My skin has become dry to the point of scaly, while my lips are 10 times their usual size because as soon as I am run-down they crack and sting like hell. The skin around my eyes is dry and my usually dark circles are now deep purple, regardless of how much I sleep. Add to this some delightful hormonal pimple outbreaks.
My boobs are sore. The hormones injections make them tender and I now find it difficult to sleep on my stomach. Oh, my stomach — it is now covered in small bruises and more needle marks than I can count and is sore to touch. Injecting into it each night has become a process I need to work myself up to.
I also look like I am pregnant. A great joy for any woman who’s desperate to be pregnant is when people look at you like you are, and you silently will them not to ask you because, actually, you’re not. And if they ask you, you will either scratch their eyes out or cry (thanks, hormones).