It’s the two week wait. Every tiny little physical sensation is noticed and pondered upon and typed into google. You read about what should be happening each day after transfer. You try to imagine and visualize it all. Maybe you pee on sticks way too early. Anything to get just the smallest hint of what is going on inside your body and how the little embryo(s) are doing. You are counting the days till the blood test when you will finally KNOW.
It’s like a desperate need to see, to know, to get some evidence. All of us who go through fertility treatment experience it. It’s as if we have become addicted to a level of knowing about our internal reproductive happenings which goes far beyond a woman’s normal experience of her body. A level of knowing which is completely externalized and dependent on visualizing technologies operated by professionals.
All the ultra sounds and blood tests have changed my bodily perceptions for good. It has become normal to SEE things which are normally invisible. Or at least a representation of it. There on the screen I have seen my follicles and followed them at their different stages of development. I have seen each one get punctured with a needle as they were retrieved. I have seen a picture of our 8-cell embryo and I have seen the air bobbles inside me when it was transferred.
Fertility treatment makes the invisible visible and the unknowable knowable. It’s addictive. As you enter the two week wait this visualized experience of knowing is brutally taken away from you. Instead you are left completely in the dark.
Where in the first part of the cycle you got to see and know much more than you would have normally been able to, in this part of the cycle you are robbed of all sources of sensing what is happening inside your own body. Symptoms and signs mean nothing because they are probably just caused by all the progesterone you are taking. Trying to get a fix by typing ‘early pregnancy symptoms’ into google will give you no answers that can be trusted. If you are spotting it can be both a good sign and a bad sign.
But what about intuition? Does a woman’s intuition still work during IVF? After six failed IUIs and lots of reading about other people’s IVF experiences, I have learned not to trust anything I feel or sense during the two week wait. And I never test. I just don’t trust anything, including test sticks. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions based on anything. Instead I try to embrace ignorance.
But it seems that the learning has only reached the rational part of my brain… The withdrawal symptoms are not easy to control. Other parts of me are still busy sensing. The other day I told my husband I felt pregnant. He looked at me in shock – ‘do you have anything to base it on?’ No I don’t. Nothing. Nada. There is no evidence. I can’t explain it and I don’t trust it. But it’s there.
Is it an intuitive feeling? Or is it rather that the visual image of our little beautiful embryo is stuck in my head. I KNOW it’s inside me because I SAW it being placed there. Maybe it’s just not possible to believe anything else then that it is still there, growing away happily, until proven otherwise.