Someday this infertility crap will be over. One way or another, I will move on, and knowing this keeps me going at the hardest times. Someday I can look back and say “Whew, that sucked, glad that’s over.”
I’m afraid that once I’ve moved on I will forget the pain. Naturally, the gut-punch, sick-to-your-stomach pain of pregnancy announcements will fade, but hopefully I won’t forget it entirely. What I think I might truly gloss over, though, is the pain in the ass logistics of IVF.
So today, I will document for posterity the process I undertake every morning that I need bloodwork done.
- Wake up an hour earlier than usual. Grumpy, right off the bat.
- Drive 25 minutes to the hospital in town. Not as bad as driving three hours to my RE, sure, but still.
- Use the valet parking. Feel guilty because I am able-bodied and healthy and could feasibly park in the parking garage which is a 10-minute walk away from the lab.
Stop feeling guilty because, seriously, your parking sucks so when I’m in a hurry you force me to use the free valet.
- Check in at the front desk. This is staffed by a grouchy, hard-of-hearing volunteer, who can’t hear or spell my name even though my first and last names combined have nine letters and are spelled phonetically.
He fills out a form that explains what I’m wearing (“gray shirt, pants” or “purple dress”). I cringe every time because they use a full sheet of paper for this.
- Wait in the waiting room until a registration desk opens. Even though I arrived 5 minutes before the lab actually opened, I am the fifth person to sit down in the waiting room.
- Check in at registration. The registration clerk walks over to the front desk to pick up the full sheet of paper that says my name and “gray shirt, pants” on it.
She calls me back to her desk where I tell her my social security number, address, phone number, birth date, what doctor called in the order, and provide her with my insurance card so she can scan it. I am not allowed to skip any of these parts, even if I was there three days ago. It is not enough to say “address and insurance are the same”.
She puts a wristband on me with a bar code and all my vital information.
- Wait in the waiting room until a lab technician opens up. You know how good I am at waiting.
- Check in with the lab technician. Verify my birthdate, name, and what I’m here for. Usually have to argue with them as they cannot seem to receive orders from my doctor correctly. She scans the barcode on my bracelet.
- Get blood drawn. Usually takes one prick through the skin and 3-4 to get into my vein. Try not to pass out.
- Receive my cotton ball and band-aid. The lab technician snips the bracelet with all my information on it and throws it in the trash.
I’m glad we go to such lengths to be secure just so someone can take my bracelet out of the garbage and steal my identity.
- Drive 20 minutes to work, usually late at this point, and spend the rest of the morning massaging my inner elbow.
Then of course, there’s the ultrasound at my OBGYN which is a separate trip and goes MUCH more smoothly (thank god).
OH THE DRAMA OF THE BLOOD DRAW.