Adventures in medical waste
So, a life update:
We've started another round of IVF. This time, we're doing "stimulated" IVF, which is what you're usually thinking of when you consider IVF -- multiple eggs, multiple embryos, needles galore. After being put under anesthesia to retrieve a single egg from my body during my natural cycle IVF round followed by being put under anesthesia for a D&C during my subsequent miscarriage, I decided stimulated was the way to go so my doctor could get a whole bunch of eggs from my body in one batch, making me only have to endure anesthesia one more time this year.
That one time was Sunday, June 23, wherein 22 eggs were shucked from my ovaries. I found out yesterday that 17 of them were successfully fertilized. The next steps are to wait a week to see how many make it to become blastocysts, then those will be biopsied/frozen, and about two weeks after that we'll see how many embryos we have that are normal and can be transferred. If we're lucky, we'll end up with a few good ones, and I won't miscarry again.
In the meantime, I've really tried to build a bigger/better support network for myself. I'm on a waiting list to see a therapist, I've reached out to some acquaintances who've gone through IVF, and I've joined some IVF support groups on Facebook -- the last of which may be more trouble than it's worth.
For one thing, you see the worst of the worst on there -- people who've done round after round of stimulation and retrievals, people who've emptied their 401Ks, miscarriages well into the "safe" zone, and on and on and on. The group is making me worry about things I hadn't known I needed to be worried about up until this point.
And for the other thing, you see art projects made out of medical waste.
Yes, you DID read that correctly.
Take, for example, this pregnancy announcement:
"Well, that's not that bad," you're thinking to yourself. "Sure, she peed on those things, but urine is sterile, right?"
I mean, to my knowledge, yes, you're correct. But these little art projects get worse. So, so much worse.
Do not adjust your screen -- that IS a heart made out of IVF syringes and needles. I recognize the white pens with red triggers as Gonal F and the little vials as doses of Menopur, both of which were drugs I've personally injected into my stomach just below my belly button. But you know where I put the needles when I was done with them?
Into a fucking sharps container, where they're supposed to go!
THIS IS MEDICAL WASTE, PEOPLE. Admittedly, I do not know what could happen if you accidentally stab yourself with a used fertility drug needle, but the "biohazard" sign makes me want to not find out.
Making a heart out of your IVF needles and containers is apparently the new "Live - Laugh - Love" wooden living room sign of the infertility world:
This just really, really grosses me out. I just... it's medical waste. It's medical waste!!! How do these people not get that it's medical waste?! How are you someone who simultaneously believes you're ready for parenthood and yet you trawl hospital leftovers for art projects?
I DON'T GET IT.
This one just seems vaguely threatening to the future baby.
And I certainly hope these folks weren't as haphazard with their nightly injections as they were with their needle placement... and spelling.
But perhaps the piece de resistance is this gem I stumbled upon the other day:
GET. YOUR. GODDAMN. BABY. OUT. OF. THE.
Look, I get it. This process is time consuming and heart-aching. It's expensive, and there are absolutely no guarantees that it will even work. I get how that can make you a little crazy.
But a line needs to be drawn somewhere, people. And I'm drawing it right between myself and my **firmly sealed** sharps container.