The Dark Beginnings of IVF that You Need to Know

For the umpteenth time today I have just acted like a complete fishwife towards my husband. I’m not proud that he is refusing to answer his phone right now. I’m an adult. I have to take responsibility for my actions – I get that. My latest flip-out was no different to many of my recent encounters with him: I could hear myself saying the words aloud, I just couldn’t control them. I couldn’t stop. Tumbling out of my mouth hurled one negative remark after another and then another and probably another one after that too.


I hate the way I feel right now; I hate knowing I’ve upset everyone in the house. I hate the hormones that are doing this to me. You see, I don’t think it’s entirely my fault.


It’s ironic: You desire a baby, so you start taking the one thing that almost guarantees you not to have a baby – the pill. (I say ‘almost’ – apparently my brother is proof of its ability to fail – there are few secrets in my family.) I’ve always been suspicious of its trickery and evil ways. It turned me into an emotional mess in my early twenties and it isn’t making me any less irritable now. By the end of this round, our second IVF journey, I’ll be lucky to have a marriage left, let alone a baby.

Last year, I was blind going into the treatment. We already had one child and I was young – ish (33 is still the favourable side of 35 by medical standards), we had carefully scrutinised which medical team to go to and which supplements to swallow, there was no way it wasn’t going to work. I’m optimistic at heart and thought it was a surefire bet. Talk about naive! All the injections and supplements were nothing compared to the bitter pill we had to swallow when it failed – catastrophically – I didn’t even make it as far as a transfer.

Breaking Point

So, this year, the pressure is on. We know what it feels like to lose and this time we’re really hoping for a win, or maybe even t-wins, (though we’d prefer not to risk betting on the outcome for fear of more disappointment.) To say that my husband and I are both a little stressed right now is an understatement. It’s not just the IVF, needles are one thing, paying for it is another. Then there’s everything else that life lobs at you – work, relationships, raising a two year old that still doesn’t sleep through the night – throw the pill into the mix and I go into cortisol overload.

So, whilst I am sorry that I ‘flew off the handle’ tonight, I fully expect that I will do so again tomorrow. I recognise it doesn’t excuse my fishwife status forever, (though truthfully, my ‘nagging’ wouldn’t be needed if coats could be hung up on coat-hooks and dirty clothes could be picked up off the floor) but if some sympathy could be shown towards my frenzied hormone levels for the next 21 days, then we might just escape becoming a single parent family.

Taking Control

In return, I will do my utmost to stay calm, put a lid on it and try not to overreact at the tiniest of things. If the bins are left out, I’ll just wheel them back in; if the toilet seat is left up, I’ll just put it down and if the toddler is left to cry it out in a heap on the floor, because a mean-mummy-come-fishwife dared to ask if he’d like some water, I shall probably just join him and start sobbing too! (I mean, that’s not overreacting, right?)

Maybe meltdowns are genetic, I’m not sure. All I know is that my ‘moments’ are intense, irrational and uncontrollable when I’m on the pill. The birth ‘control’ pill, indeed – what a silly name. I think it should be called, ‘The Hormone Hell-raiser’ instead. After all the stress and heartache, if we don’t need to invest in a people carrier by the end of our IVF journey, then I’m taking back control from the pill and putting it in the bin for good. (Let’s face it, it’s not like anyone else around here is going to wheel it back in, is it!)

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