Fun things IVF has taught me so far

One of the best things about IVF so far (scraping the barrel ‘cos so far it has been proper shit) is learning all the new terminology. My favourite to date (I’m sure I will find more, or maybe you can enlighten me?) is:

“Down regulated”. This makes me think of a fancy hotel. Par exemple:

“Oh, madam, this room is tres bien! There is an en-suite wet room and a fancy-pants bath with feet (oh yeah, I know posh, innit) and of course as standard all the duvets and pillows have been down regulated for your comfort.”

I heard this term for the first time when the nurse was actually checking that I had down regulated, and I let out a little laugh. It sounded very, very silly. Not sure why I didn’t know what that scan was for at the time. I think it was 50% me in complete denial and 50% the clinic I go to really drip-feed information. No need to tell anyone the full horror from the start, let them discover that for themselves! So yeah, anyway. Down regulated = your insides are “quiet”. Shh! I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with pillows. I am going to have to google this, because I can’t shake the feeling that “down” is something to do with womb lining, like a nice pillow. Or does it mean “down”, i.e. shut-down? Why didn’t I think this through before I started to type? Wait with baited breath and I will find out…

Ok, bums. It has nothing to do with the lining of the womb being like a soft duvet or comfy pillows. Also, as an aside, when I say “down regulated” in my head, I say it in Ali G’s voice. Worrying? (If you are not well acquainted with Ali G, here he is circa 2005 interviewing David and Victoria Beckham)

Another thing I didnt know before IVF were my boundaries. I thought I was a very private, conservative, quiet, sensitive-to-other-people’s-feelings, type of person. A wallflower; you know the type. Now I have no boundaries. Last week I found myself talking in some detail about my ovaries with my best friend’s husband. 5 years ago I would have died at that idea. Now I am waxing lyrical on my ovaries and egg production. My dignity has well and truly been left at the door. Fancy putting a condom on a stick with a camera on it? Wanna rummage around my lady parts? Be my guest! Yeah, bring the student doctors in, let’s all have a good poke around! I’ve lost count of the number of people who have seen my fanny and I’ve only ever had sex with one person. What was that I said about no boundaries? Thank you IVF!

IVF acronyms. This is a biggie. Ok, so I’m not a total moron (ha ha, yeah yeah get yourself up off the floor, jokers), but DH, AF, BFN and BFP confused me right from day 1. I joined a fertility forum site after my first operation in May 2012 when it became apparent just how crap-town my insides were. I kid you not, I only learnt the actual meaning of these acronyms about 10 days ago. Obviously, one can surmise from the context of the sentence what they actually mean, so I never bothered to find out what they actually mean. I couldn’t even have ventured a guess… AF, Aunt Flo (my grandma is called Flo. That is my only Flo experience; I have never heard this as a term for a period. Where have I been my whole life?). BFP/BFN, I presumed these were technical terms (a la down-regulation) I had yet to uncover, but no. Big Fat Negative/Positive. DH, Dear Husband?!! Who thought up this guff?? (I told my husband about this blog, but I am pretty certain he isn’t reading it. This is quite a good test). Anyways, no wonder I couldn’t work it out. I vote we start some new ones. My ideas so far are:

TM. The Man. This has the bonus of not presuming that said sperm-contributor and life-partner is actually one’s husband. Who knows in this day and age, people even have children with (whispers) “boyfriends”. We could go the whole hog and say TP, The Partner, because I’ve heard that some people have IVF when they are in a same-sex relationships! Who would have thought it.

Let’s tackle AF. There are only bad euphemisms for periods so I fear we are fighting a losing battle with this one. At least Aunt Flo isn’t offensive. I am more in favour of the more classic “moon time”, or “time of the month”. Menstruation is one if the worst words in the world (one of my favourite games is listing awful words, e.g. chafing, moist, most willy words… sorry, no idea where this is going). I think it’s a toss up between AF and TOM. TOM seems more factual, so I’m going with him.

I quite like BFN/BFP now I know what they mean. Just N and P alone don’t seem strong enough when you have been put through the mill. I might go with (eff)FN and FP, but as I’ve said before, my language has spiralled down badly in the last few months so probably best just leave them as they are.

Finally, I am particularly confused by POAS, even though I now know what it means (‘pee on a stick’ incase you don’t). I don’t “pee” on sticks, I “wee” on them, so I’ll have to go with WOAS, which sounds a lot more exciting than it is.

Ok, those are rubbish. maybe I should just stick to the real words? Please add your ideas as you see fit… Maybe together we can think of something sensible (if not, I’m totally down with very un-sensible).

What fun things has IVF taught you? Become an expert at stabbing yourself in the bum? Or do you just want to play the horrible words game? Go on, share the knowledge!!

BB xx


24 thoughts on “Fun things IVF has taught me so far

  1. ecutri

    LOL! Boundaries? What Boundaries? I have never had so many people stare in to my vag in the last 6 months…I go to get my blood pressure tested and assume they want to see my hoo haa but apparently they don’t. We aren’t the only ones that have lost the boundaries either, my husband had to spank it on several occasions to build up stock in the freezer and sometimes had to walk through a hallway, ejaculate (his favorite word!) in hand while passing others on the way, and hand his cup to a nurse. Where are the boundaries there? I was never a shy person but I had my dignity, at this point I feel like I really don’t care who sees my lady parts because dozens of people have seen it just in the last few weeks anyways, whats a few more?

    There will be plenty more to learn along the way, I guarantee it 🙂

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Ha ha, nooo!! Every time I think “this is definitely a new low. It definitely can’t get worse”, something else (usually gross) surprises me. It offends my husband no end that he has to carry his sperms around. I laughed out loud at your comment… just imagine the nurse’s face when you pop in for a blood test, only for her to turn round and see you have just whipped your pants off!!

      1. ecutri

        haha!! Sometimes to get over the embarrassment and total loss of dignity you have to just laugh, I’m glad I could give you a laugh for the day! I’m trying to gather a list of all embarrassing or blooper-like moments from the last few years because looking back at it, it is funny as hell! The stuff we go through is gross, it’s embarrassing, it’s not natural, but we put ourselves through it because it is something we want so I would definitely do it over and over again just to get what I want! The grossest parts haven’t started yet, just wait…it only gets better from here 🙂

  2. elaaisa

    Yup. No boundaries. To which I would include that I used to be very self conscious about farting, but that even that has become quite common in front of my husband. Honestly when I’m bloated because of the hormones, I don’t really care anymore.
    And speaking of bloating, I find it’s funny how I can go from fitting in my tightest jeans to not fitting into anything other than my PJs in a 3 day time when I’m taking hormones (and vice versa after the treatments). The human body is really fascinating.
    Speaking of acronyms, they used to drive me nuts. before I learnt them I was looking for info and couldn’t understand anything. Especially since I deal with them in English and French (they are very different) and I am Italian, so sometimes neither is very intuitive for me. In French, AF is “les reds” (they say it in English to sound cooler), sperm is “zozo”, the RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) is gygy (since it is simply Gynecologist), fofos is follicles, brybrys is embryos (embies). I have to recognize that the Frenchies find cute names for pretty much everything ..

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      I love those! Zozo, fofos and brybrys sound way better. And wow, I can’t get my head round all the English terminology and acronyms… I can’t imagine trying to navigate English, Italian and French! You must be a genius! Good idea re the farting. I am going to relax a bit more in front of my hubby and blame hormones (oops, not that you did… I just quite like having a good excuse when I feel like it!). Wonder if there are more things I could blame on hormones? I think it’s definitely hormones that have made me sit on my bum all morning and play on the Internet. Bad hormones!!! X

  3. lisaliteration

    Ah, yes. Nothing like IVF to loosen the inhibitions. Who needs alcohol when your lady parts get an audience every other day? I think the best thing I’ve learned from IVF is how clueless men are about the whole thing. My husband is getting pretty good by now, but trying to talk to my dad about my IVF cycle is the most entertaining/awkward thing ever. Even after I’ve given him news about how many embryos fertilized, etc., he’ll ask, “So when are you doing in vitro?” Well, Dad, what would you do if I told you I was doing it RIGHT NOW?

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Ha ha, that’s brilliant!! My Dad can’t bring himself to talk about it, so he just refers to it as “the situation”. Gotta love the awkward Dad talks x

  4. redbluebird

    I’ve always hated DH. Let’s make everyone start using TM. Or TSD (the sperm donor– for actual sperm donors, not our husbands). Or, of course, TW (The Woman).
    Although I do pee and not wee, I never pee ON a stick. Obviously losing FMU (first morning urine!) into the toilet like that is a ballsy move. I pee in a cup, then dip. You know, just in case there’s something wrong with the first test, or you want to dip both ovulation tests and pregnancy tests in the same urine (no, that’s probably not something you should have to do, but yes I’ve done it more than once).
    My boundaries are slowly fading too, and I haven’t even gotten to IVF yet!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Oh yeah, I am liking the TSD/TW idea. FMU sounds like it should be a collage or university to me, not something you pee/wee into a cup. I accidentally used a pregnancy test one day when I meant to use an ovulation test and it made me so annoyed… Those things aren’t cheap! And I’ve already seen enough negative tests to last me a lifetime!! At least if you ever do get onto IVF your inhibitions will have been worn down… Err, silver lining?! X

  5. wholovesmeforme

    Totally agree on the boundaries thing. It’s insane how many people will look at your nether-parts in the same day, on the day of my ectopic surgery I had probably between 8-9 people looking down there within a few hours, and then when I had the HSG (dye test) they must have been teaching people how to do it cause there was four of them all watching the one doctor do it!
    Oh man I hate acronyms. Just in general. Unless its LOL, I just prefer people spell it out. My view is that I came here to write, not to lazy half-assed write! 😛 A lot of the acronyms you put I had no idea until I read this. Oh, I had heard of DH before, but that just seems kinda… corny/cheesy. I’m probably never going to use it.
    And as for the AF thing, I believe it is Aunt Flow (as in the Flow of blood) if that makes more sense. 🙂 I also think it might be an American expression, and you are from the UK right? So maybe that is why you hadn’t heard it… possibly? Anyways, very amusing post. 🙂

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Oh wow, 8-9 people?!! That is bad! You poor thing. I had 3 people in the room for my HSG… These tests are lovely aren’t they? Any dignity I had went out the window when at my last op a nurse had to help me to the toilet and watch me do a wee into what my husband called “the cardboard sick bowl hat”. At least life isn’t boring!! Glad I’ve found a fellow acronym-avoider… And I have never heard of Aunt Flo in my life! I think you’re right… It’s definitely because I’m English and nothing to do with being stupid xx

  6. dogsarentkids

    Lol cute. I have never in my life “peed on a stick.” How does one do that? I’m definitely a dipper.

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      “I’m definitely a dipper” really cracked me up. We could probably divide into 2 tribes, Dippers and WOASers. I like the challenge, so I always WOAS.

  7. newtoivf

    I don’t like ‘DH’ either but I end up using it because my DH (who I’m not actually married to!) is so cray cray about checking with me that “this is definitely anonymous” and think he would lose his shit if I used his initial! Do like TM though!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      I just fainted when I realised you are using DH illegally. You are totally the outlaw of fertility blogging! Does your DH read your blog? I’m 50% offended that mine doesn’t, and 50% relieved (I think that means he can’t win?) x

      1. newtoivf

        haha, they can never win!
        NO WAY would I let my ‘DH’ read my blog….esp comments about certain members of his family! ha!

  8. Nushi

    Lol! Loved your post! Talk about boundaries. I keep telling my husband that more people have checked me out down there than him in the last three months! 😉

    About IVF terminology, I don’t get it either but instead of being someone to question it like you I just went with the flow and started using the forum jargon….including DH!

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  10. catschristmas

    Haha! Laughed my butt off at this, and posted a track back to you on my blog so others can see it too! Thanks for making me giggle! In an earlier post I made up IPE – Irrational pregancy envy! This came about after both Kim Kardashian and Princess Kate got preggers too close to each other! You know, that totally irrational, a little bit mean, green streak of envy that over takes us once in a while? IPE!

    1. barrenbetty Post author

      Oh yeah, I definitely have IPE every now and again!! Glad you liked the post… I’ve really enjoyed all the comments. Sounds like I’m not alone – if I didn’t have a laugh at all of this every now and again, I think I’d just be a permanent crying puddle on the floor!! X

  11. lydiaseeks

    This was so great. When I started reading the TTC forums I spent a lot of time googling acronyms and they never made much sense to me. DH is the worst, I think. And Catschristmas, I totally have IPE! I’ve noticed I’ve been giving evil looks to pregnant women I see around town. I’m worried one of these days I’ll get called out on it…eek!

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