Post Retrieval Depression

My Mom keeps telling me my hormones are still all crazy from the IVF/egg retrieval cycle I did, and it’s so goddamn true. That doesn’t help much though when I’m making grocery lists in my head of all the things wrong in my life and how I’m a disappointment to everyone. Like I just keep crying in the evenings, and in the days too when I’m not busy with things, and getting fixated on really small things and feeling enormously overwhelmed by big things. I’ve had some interpersonal catastrophes in the last few weeks and I don’t know how to fix any of those, maybe I shouldn’t, I don’t know. I know realistically my life is going well and there are more good things that outweigh the bad. But the bad seems so huge. And sometimes glimmers of light sort of burst through the clouds and I can laugh about some stupid thing. But it’s these hormones oh my god. I know my levels will get back to normal, this stuff is gonna go out of my body and I’ll be back to regular hormonal cycles that I can deal with. BUT FUCK it’s hard right now.

And my process is pretty much wrapped up now in a medical sense, like I could go for one more retrieval if I am lucky enough to scrape up the cash, and really I should do that in the next few months if I can before I get even older. BUT like the visits to the fertility clinic are finished for now. I’m not really getting more medical supervision at the moment. I’ve paid my thousands of dollars and my genetic reproductive materials are sitting in a storage lab somewhere. BUT I’m still stuck with this horrible come down off some heavy duty hormones.

I remember when I used to do ecstasy, REAL ecstasy not that fake speedy shit they sold in Saskatoon, there was always that day after when the inverse feeling of being on E happened. Like all your happiness had been sucked into the void and you were just listless and depressed. This doesn’t have that listless feeling, but the crash is similar. And sometimes I’m not thinking about it, sometimes things are okay and I’m just going through life. AND THEN OMG I just start thinking about things and they snowball into everything being horrible and tragic and omg my dog’s gonna die and I’ll probably have to quit that thing I love and omg. And that’s not even me thinking about the statistics being against my eggs becoming a human. Like it’s intense.

I will be fine, I think. I hope. I think too there are like, people not really checking in with me that I wish were, and like just feeling out of sorts and like I want someone to hug me and I don’t know who. And I can’t really handle this the way I thought I would. I guess I didn’t expect the depression to be this intense.

And it’s funny too cause it’s like what? I am on a journey to make a new life that I can love and nurture and help become the person it wants to be, I should be happy right? Like the hard part is over for me, right now I’m not getting shots in the ass, I’m not having to go every other morning for invasive transvaginal ultrasounds. BUT STILL oh fuck.

The trigger shot gives false pregnancy results for the two weeks after you get it. Which means I have until Thursday for these hormones to be mostly out of my system. And I’ve never been pregnant. But if this is my early pregnancy mood then FUCKING HELL I AM SO GLAD I’M NOT GONNA BE PREGNANT!

While I was going through old diaries I found the origin of me not wanting to be pregnant. I mean it always scared me when I was younger, the amount of pain involved, and what it would do to my body, and all that stuff. BUT I noticed in my early diaries that back then I always did talk about kids. Like I would be talking about wanting to have kids with my girlfriends or when I have a kid or having dreams about my kid. And then sometime after my second hospitalization reality set in and I knew I wouldn’t be able to be pregnant because of my bipolar. I’m on medications you can’t take if you are pregnant, and my version of bipolar is too intense to be without those medications. If I had been pregnant and gone off my meds I likely would have ended up in the psych ward for a few months. And by the time I had my baby I would probably be on the radar of child and family services as someone who was an unfit mother. I’d seen pregnant women in the psych ward before and I thought that would be the absolute pits. To have this baby come into your life when you are trying to recover from some kind of episode. Oh my god. And then also knowing I would be a super good candidate for post partum depression or worse, post partum psychosis. The idea of being able to be pregnant just kind of disappeared from my life.

But it wasn’t like I was fine just being like “oh shit guess I can’t be pregnant” but I think I kind of tried to nurture that “I don’t want kids blah who would want kids what a pain!” when really it was like “I know intellectually I can’t have children because of the above reasons.” People seem to be more comfortable with people who don’t want children than people who can’t have children. ANYWAY UGH. And then I like gave away any chances of being pregnant by getting my ablation. And I don’t really regret my ablation. I am super happy to not get periods anymore. But it definitely ended that option.

So this is honestly a good thing. Freezing eggs to hopefully soon fertilize and implant into a very generous person with a uterus who likes being pregnant anyway and has had good experiences with that. It’s the best way for me to have a baby that is genetically related to me. And I have a lot of specific reasons for wanting to carry on my family line, like we are a powerful Indigenous family with a history of medicine people and some really good talents and there are qualities in my family that I really love (even when they drive me crazy) and I would love to see someone looking at me who looks like us and is telling me some joke that is the same kind of weird sense of humour our family has. I don’t know it’s complicated. Anyway, like it is a good thing. And I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to do this and that this technology exists.

It’s still really hard to have these hormones coursing through my body and know I have a few more days to go. It’s a week exactly since my retrieval and life has gone on and I’m so busy I almost forgot about it but also omg I went through something major there. My ovaries felt like entirely new organs in my body for a while because they were so swollen. I’m getting back to normal. But also work demands go on and social demands and I’m really overwhelmed sometimes and I wish I was the kind of person who could take time off work but I’m an artist and I can’t. And I already deliberately slotted this cycle between two work trips and I made it and I’m okay, but I feel like I wish I had given myself more downtime after. Next time I’m gonna try making sure I have at least six weeks to find myself in the right part of my cycle and start IVF. Or just accept that these ten eggs are my only ten chances.

2 thoughts on “Post Retrieval Depression

  1. I was just thinking of our weird sense of humour and fun. I’m happy to come from such a quirky family. We can play the fool and make funny noises when we are 96. And you will by then be a grandmother and will look back on this time and say, “It was worth it.” In the meantime your auntie loves you and wishes the very best for you.

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