On Saturday I loaded my kid and credit card into the car and drove to Encino to get drugs. Why? Because we are trying to make a baby! I didn't have time to plan this out. I thought they would be shipped to me, but given the Memorial Day holiday, I had no choice but to go in a get them.
It's been almost 3 years since we last did this so I've forgotten a lot of the details. My last round, I knew my schedule by heart, Googled every drug, knew the lingo, the dosage. This time, I'm just showing up and doing what I'm told. I went expecting to get one vial of Leuprolide and some needles. Instead what I got was:
4 packs of Follistm
1 Follistim Injection Pen
18 vials of Menopur
1 vial of Leuprolide
1 vial of HCG Pregnyl
9 vials of Methylprednisolone 16mg TAB
40 tablets of Estradiol
20 vials of Crinone 8% Gel
20 tablets of Acetaminophen/codeine (Basically Tylenol with codeine)
30 tablets of L-Methylfolate (Folic acid)
18 baggies with syringes and needles
Total = $4,737.38
Along with the bill, I was also given instructions on how to mix, use and inject each drug. None of which I heard thanks to my darling son who was busy removing all the informational pamphlets from their holders and, in only the way a toddler can, making the three women in line behind me question whether or not they actually wanted a child. I almost turned around to them and said "It's not too late to turn back. Save yourselves."
But instead of judgmental looks, all Lloyd got were coos and smiles. Just when I thought we were finished, my card was declined. Chase was sure a drug addict from Encino had stolen my info and was on a binge. After 15 minutes of me on the line with fraud protection, and my son on the counter shamelessly flirting with the pharmacist whilst simultaneously destroying everything in sight, the card finally processed and we were free to leave.
As we exited, I nodded to the woman who patiently waited behind me who, in the beginning, was all smiles with Lloyd, asked his age and laughed every time he laughed. As he waved and shouted "BYE," I looked up and saw she had tears in her eyes. She gave me a quick smile and whispered "He's beautiful.”
It was at that moment I remembered the pain I felt the first time every time I saw someone with a child. That thing I so desperately wanted but seemed impossible to have. I remembered all the tears I'd shed watching other people's children play, hearing the word "mama" called out in a store. Sometimes I'd look up just to see who was lucky enough to go by that name. And don't even get me started on pregnant ladies. Waterworks, every single time. I remembered all the pain, and longing, and fear, and hope, and sadness. Suddenly I felt so grateful. I have the most beautiful son. He is better than I could have ever imagined and I am beyond blessed. We are so overwhelmed with joy by this tiny human and all the love he has shown us that we want to do it again. I am so thankful we did this IVF process last time that I can't imagine regretting it this time. No matter what. So, that's today's lesson. I'm lucky. Lucky that this worked for us last time. Lucky to have such a beautiful family who will love me no matter what the outcome this time. Lucky my son, while smashing things like the Hulk, kept his Bruce Banner charm. And lucky none of those woman clocked me in the face for bringing my adorable child in to that baby-making drug den filled with women hopped up on hormones who want nothing more than to have what I have, a healthy child. I understand that was a total dick move on my part and promise not to do it again.
To all of us out there going through this, I am sending you big hugs. I'm about to go in the bathroom and give myself my first injection of baby drugs. Hugs and drugs. Something I'll need a lot of this coming month. May the odds be ever in our favor.