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a blog by The Infertile Editors: Chris and Candace, September 17, 2013

We thought we were ready. We knew the address for the fertility clinic, our fertility doctor’s name, and what time to show up. That’s all you need right? You go in, show the doctor where it hurts, he writes a prescription and you are done, right? So, with this foolproof approach, we walked into our fertility clinic. Expecting the same experience we had at any doctor’s office before, we quickly realized we were way off. We were inundated with words we never heard before and medical procedures on parts of our bodies that we never knew we had. The doctor told us what their plan involving all sorts of probing and way too many sharp objects. Then there was the medication protocols discussion. We had a 0.5 second introduction on how to administer shots and, even though we practiced on a foam block, we weren’t ready to start stabbing each other. Then the financial aspects where you kiss your life savings and vacation budget goodbye. And this was just day 1!

Candace: I literally stood there like a deer in headlights with the international WTF sign hanging over my head. Remember the teacher from the Peanuts cartoon? It was kinda like that. I think at some point during the cacophony of Drs. and staff we spoke to, their voices became inaudible and my mind was racing in a billion different directions. All I heard was “whah want whah.” I hoped Chris was paying enough attention to re-explain everything to me later. I was not prepared, really how could I be? I, at that point, just dealt with the diagnosis of infertility and was told IVF would be the only way I would conceive. Anyone have a time machine so I can zap back to me 4.5 years ago at that first visit and slap myself on the back of my very naive head? Unfortunately, there was no flux capacitor and there certainly was a learning curve. If I could have traveled back in time, the most important advice I would have given myself was to educate yourself before this first visit. Obviously, it took a handful of IVF’s to realize that.

Chris: Ummm, you want me to stick that where? That was my first thought when we went to the nurse’s office to talk about all of Candace’s medications and oh, by the way, most of them need to be delivered to her via syringe. While Candace was looking like a fish out of water, I was trying to do the math in my head to figure out how many times I was going to have to put on my poker face to convince Candace that I knew what I was doing. Add 6 syringes, carry the PIO remainder, guess what number you get … about 75 shots too many. Although we both left with being barely able to remember our middle names, one thing was for sure; we had just left the starting gates on a nerve wracking and wallet emptying trip that hopefully ends with us having a family.

The lesson we learned that day was be prepared to be a little, scratch that, very overwhelmed. Even though you may have an extensive 10 page list of questions you will go home with more. Write them down and stalker call your clinic until all your questions are answered. After all, you and your partner are your number one advocates.

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