Stranger than fiction

You remember that movie ‘Stranger than Fiction’ where Will Ferrell plays an IRS auditor who can hear narration in his head, and it turns out he is the subject of a novel Emma Thompson is writing that’s all being translated into real life? I feel like that’s happening to me right now.

Well, I’m not hearing narration in my head. I’m not that crazy yet. But I do feel like I’m part of someone’s novel and I can’t escape from the stupid plot. My life is too bizarre right now to be anything other than a work of fiction. Did I mention I’m a character in a novel about early pregnancy symptoms? You see, I seem to be afflicted with pretty much every early pregnancy symptom conceivable at the moment.

Sore breasts? Yes. Fatigue? Definitely. Nausea? Yeah, got that. Headaches? Every day. Dull cramping? All the time. Gassy? Uh huh. Bloated? You know it. Backache? Yep. Achy legs and hips, moodiness, runny nose, vivid dreams, food aversion, upset tummy? I’ve got them all!

Pretty much the only things I don’t have right now are creamy cervical mucus (I still have heaps of clear, watery mucus) and a positive pregnancy test. And the thing is, I am extremely doubtful I’m ever going to see either of those things. At least not in this cycle.

You remember how in the movie it turns out Emma Thompson intended for her protagonist to die in her novel, thus Will Ferrell was also fated to die? I’m pretty confident at the end of my novel it will turn out that all these symptoms I’m experiencing mean nothing because I’m not pregnant. My body is just playing one huge, cruel joke on me. I’m not that girl who has a multitude of serious medical problems and ends up magically falling pregnant. I’m not that lucky.

To make matters worse, we’ve realized I can’t start my next IVF cycle in a week’s time, as was originally planned. It’s something we should have known before now, but the truth has only just dawned on us.

About six months ago Doug and I agreed to a long weekend in the Barossa Valley with his boss and her husband. The Barossa Valley is about an hour northeast of Adelaide in South Australia. It’s a beautiful part of the world, and also where a large proportion of Australia’s wines are produced. We’ve been looking forward to the trip for months. I’ve never actually been to the Barossa, and I haven’t had any vacation time from work since 2009 because I’ve been using all my leave to attend medical appointments and recover from surgeries. I desperately need time away. I desperately need a few days off work that doesn’t involve pain, sickness or hospitals.

But here’s the problem. We will be leaving on Wednesday 28th August and returning on Sunday 1st September. Assuming I get my period this weekend, that will put us at cycle day 11 or 12 when we go away. Anyone going through IVF will understand how critical those few days are. A normal IVF cycle involves a trigger shot late on day 14, and egg pick up on day 16. Even though I’ll be back home in Melbourne for day 16 of my cycle, they can’t trigger me on day 14 without scanning my ovaries first to confirm my follicles are ready. Thus, I can’t do IVF in August. It’s just not possible.

The frustrating thing is, I’ve never had one of those text book normal IVF cycles. My first cycle I was triggered on day 17 and had egg pick up on day 19. My second cycle, I injected for 24 days and ended up not even getting to egg pick up. There’s nothing to indicate I’ll have a normal cycle this time either. But there’s no way the doctor will allow me to go without a scan between day 11 and day 15.

This was supposed to be a win/win month for us. We would either end up miraculously pregnant after I ovulated for the first time ever, or we would dive head first into our third fresh IVF cycle. Yet somehow, as usual, nothing goes to plan in our world and August is going to be a lose/lose month. There will be no one-in-a-million pregnancy and there will be no IVF. I can’t believe I’m so unlucky even my first vacation of any description in five years is contributing to my problems.

I know it’s only a month to wait. I know September isn’t so far away. I know in the grand scheme of things a month doesn’t really matter. But I’m still so supremely frustrated. I’m sick to death of treading water. I’m sick of waiting for it to be my turn for something good to happen. I’m sick of life passing me by. I’m sick of hearing about my sister-in-law and her amazing, awesome, fantastic, easy pregnancy. I don’t want to be injecting myself with hormones when her baby is born. I just won’t cope.

I know what you’re all going to say: Calm down Sadie, relax, take a deep breath. You’re only nine days past ovulation. You don’t know for sure you’re not pregnant yet.

Rationally, I know that’s all true. But I’m not rational right now. I think my hormones are getting the better of me tonight and I can’t help feeling this way. I just want to curl up in a ball and weep. I think the only thing that will cure this is a good night’s sleep.

For now I have Pitch Perfect in the dvd player, a cup of caffeine-free tea warming my belly, my little snuggle-bug puppy curled up in my lap and my husband keeping a watchful eye on me. There’s not much more that can help me tonight.

Tomorrow will be a better day.


6 thoughts on “Stranger than fiction

  1. Take the vacation. Sounds like you need a little break from everything including even thinking about pregnancy. It will be good for you and your husband.

  2. Hey, it’s okay to be frustrated!! Give yourself permission to feel what you’re feeling. It’s a totally normal reaction. Be mad, yell for an hour or two, and get it out of your system. Then, you can take this fabulous vacation. You’ll have a wonderful time, and you’ll come back healthy, relaxed, and ready to attack your next cycle!

  3. I’m sorry you are feeling frustrated. This post actually made me laugh though because i totally remember that movie and I know well the feeling of every pregnancy symptom in the book without the positive test.

    I agree with the comments above – take the vacation. Sometimes a little break from the madness can do wonders for your sanity. Hang in there.

  4. I’ve been there a few times – I call it ‘dark me’. Let it all out, have a good cry or break something. It will make you feel better! And then inevitably, because you’re a woman and nature made us amazing, you will pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep on truckin’
    Thinking of you x

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