After feeling pretty awful since last week Monday when we had our retrieval, I finally felt somewhat normal enough on Tuesday to take my beloved pup for a walk. I normally take him about 3 times a week but I just haven’t been up to it, so the poor guy has been pretty restless. Added to this, he normally comes with me to work everyday where he gets to play with lots of children, but we were at home all of last week so he really wasn’t a happy camper. Anyway, I digress. We had a little, um, incident at the end of our walk which made me think about some of the things in my life that have become casualties of IVF… Those things that have been sacrificed, or at the very least, put on hold, due to IVF. One of these, is my pup’s obedience, something which became abundantly clear to me yesterday.
When I walk him I take him to a wonderful big park near our home. I’m able to let him off the lead and give him the freedom to run and sniff and generally have a whale of a time. At the very end of our walk, literally moments before getting in the car, he spotted an enormous mud puddle that had formed due to a storm we had a couple of nights ago. And he was off. Before I could even register what he was about to do, he was in the mud puddle, wallowing and frolicking like a little pig. Although I was filled with despair at the knowledge that I would have to make a plan to clean him before putting him in the car, he was having so much fun that I just sat in my car and took some photos, giving him the time to do what he loves best – play in water. Needless to say, I finally called him out, found a hosepipe, and spent about ten gruelling minutes trying to get some of the mud off him. With his thick labrador coat, this was no mean feat, and by the end I was physically exhausted from bending over and had a sore back. And then. As I turned my back to switch off the tap, his lead slipped out of my hand… and he ran straight back into the puddle, despite me yelling and screaming like a banshee and generally making a complete arse out of myself.
Now, you must understand that this is one very intelligent dog who has been going to obedience classes since he was 14 weeks old. He is bilingual for goodness sake….knows his commands in both English and Italian! However, we stopped going to classes in about May, when I first started taking IVF meds for our doomed cancelled cycle, as I just felt it was an extra expense that we couldn’t afford at that point. I thought we were jogging along reasonably well at home, but clearly not!! I absolutely lost it and shouted at the poor guy – which I never, ever do. I am generally very calm and appreciative of the fact that he is just a pup and that it is my job to be strong, kind and assertive. But between the sore back, the general physical fatigue and the fact that the progesterone is making me extremely emotional, I didn’t have as much patience or control as I normally do. So now I know that his obedience training really has fallen behind and we need to work on it.
This is Amico wallowing around in the mud like a little pig/ hippo!
As I said, this little incident got me thinking about some of the other casualties of IVF… a few easy ones spring to mind instantly… our bank account, my weight, our sex life and my energy levels. But there are also some less obvious ones as well… my friendships have definitely changed as I have for the first time in my life, evaluatued my friendships and distanced myself from people who are draining, or who cannot tolerate my heartache. As a counter-balance to this, the friendships that I DO have, have deepened and I have been profoundly grateful for the awesome support I have had from a handful of friends and my family. My relationship with facebook has definitely changed as I’ve unfollowed so many people that I barely have any friends left TO follow. I’m sure there are a host of other things that I will probably reflect on over time, but these are the things that come to my mind right now. And lastly, the final casualty of IVF are these flowers:
This is what they looked like pre-IVF:
This is what they look like now:
How sad is that??!!! On a positive note, reflecting on these casualties of IVF has also got me thinking about post-IVF and the kinds of things that I can start reviving again once we are done. I hope that this is soon (like, next week, soon), but if not, then I will have to start anyway as I will definitely be taking a break from IVF if this cycle fails. Having been on meds since April, with only one completed IVF cycle under my belt, I really need to get a few things back on track before we start again…I think I’ll start with the flowers!