In this post, I will offer some tips* on how to survive your first step into the IVF world:
The Informational Seminar
1. Prior to the seminar, make a trip to your local mall or shopping center and buy something cute. Cute new shirts will make you forget about being barren and childless. I purchased this and this. Just don't spend too much money. IVF is expensive. You don't really need that glow in the dark nail polish.
2. Arrive to the destination early so you can sit in the lobby, play with your phone and jot down questions to ask at the seminar. This will show that you are serious about IVF and the doctors may work harder to ensure you get pregnant. Win and win!
3. When looking for a seat in the seminar room, always chose the front of the room. Don't you know the smartest, most serious students sit in the front? Again, this will help the staff pinpoint you as more serious than those sitting in the back. They will put a gold star next to your name on the sign in sheet and take an extra close look at your embryos when the time comes.
4. If your spouse can't attend the seminar with you (:raises hand:), do your best to wave around your left hand so people know you are married. Get your rings cleaned the night before if that will help. IVF is hard enough without having to worry about people thinking you are a single white female desperate to get pregnant.
5. Since you are sitting in the front like a good student does, you can't really check out the other people in the room. Pretend that you are going to stretch your back and twist and turn in your chair while scanning the room.**
6. In the interest of being proclaimed the most serious person there, make sure to ask a couple of questions. Practice them in your head before speaking so you don't stumble. Remember, you are sitting in the front of the room. There is an expectation that you are smarter than everyone in the room-including the doctors.
7. Don't giggle when a doctor says the word "sperm." That is, apparently, frowned upon in this establishment.
8. Don't drink the free soda that has been set out for you. It is a trap. Everyone knows soda causes infertility and hinders your ability to get pregnant. You can only drink gluten-free, vegan water out of glass bottles. DUH.
9. When the seminar is over (and you have asked 1-2 questions), stay in your seat for a few minutes reviewing the materials. Again, this shows that you are serious about this and not just some person looking to throw away $16,000.
10. When you get to your car and feel like you might want to cry, don't. Just drive back to the mall and shop some more. Or go get some ice cream. Eating your feelings is really the best way to cope with the emotional stress of IVF. Don't let anyone tell you differently. But remember-only gluten-free, vegan ice cream with free trade organic 80% dark chocolate.
*In case you couldn't tell, I'm joking.
**But seriously, take a moment to think about how you aren't alone in this. There are people just like you going through infertility and considering this huge, huge step to get pregnant. You might not talk to any of the people in the room but it is a silent sorority. Take comfort in that.