The Humour in IVF

I was two days post egg retrieval, and I was constipated. My sister-in-law and I headed to the grocery store where I picked up some smooth moves tea to help get things going since the large amount of coffee I had been consuming had not made anything budge. Upon her realization that I was constipated, she suggested I try taking Epsom salts since that is what my brother and her do. I’m a little skeptical. Why haven’t I heard of this before?

When we get home, she has my brother weigh in on my constipation. They both agree I should do it. I figure I got nothing to lose, and it is a tried and true method. These are my few free days before the embryo transfer, and I needed to shit before that day. My sister-in-law looks up dosing online and tells me I need to take 3-4 Tablespoons as my brother rummaged in the cupboard for the Epsom salt. I take a glass, add 3 Tablespoons of Epsom salt and a sploosh of water. I wanted to stay on the low end, just in case. They warn that it tastes horrible, so I need to chug it, similar to a cheap beer. They watch as I attempt to pound this concoction down. I cannot get it all done and try to finish it with several small gulps before calling it. I drank about half. I’m out of practice. I’m in my 30s and haven’t chugged anything since my early 20s. They inform me that it will take about 30 minutes, and I should start shitting. Oh, and if I think I’m going to fart, get to a toilet because it most likely is a shart. And to stay hydrated so drink lots of water.

Sure enough, about 40 minutes later things are moving! It feels great even though my tummy is a little rumbly. I shit throughout the afternoon and evening. I shit the most of the next day. I start to think I have no more shit in me and then I have to fart. And sure enough, there is more. However now I’m go getting a smidge worried because we are getting close to my embryo transfer day. I google how long it takes before you stop shitting after you take Epsom salt. It turns out, 3-4 Tablespoons was 3-4 teaspoons, and there is no information on the duration of you pooping.

We are on day three post-Epsom salt, and it is time to transfer some embryos. My intestines are doing better that morning. I pee and poo 2 hours before my appointment and then I’m cut off. You need to have a full bladder at the time of the embryo transfer to help guide the doctor to the money spot in your uterus.

I make the 40-minute drive to the clinic okay and of course, I have to pee when I get there yet I’m not allowed. My stomach and intestines are not rumbling, thank goodness! I head in for my pre-transfer acupuncture. I remove my pants, so I’m ready for the transfer, cover up as best as I can, and the acupuncturist proceeds to put pins in to get the blood flowing to my uterus. As soon as she steps out of the room, my stomach and gut start to rumble. I guess acupuncture also gets that activated too. I lay there for 20 minutes trying to talk my tummy down and attempt not to think about a toilet.

Finally, the pins are removed, I wrap the sheet around myself, and shuffle to the transfer room. I sit down in the chair with my feet in the stirrups. The doctor comes in and starts the recliner – the chair rises and flattens out so everyone can get a good view of my vagina. They double check and triple check that I’m who I say I am, and those embryos are mine. He admires my very full bladder, then guides in the embryos and releases them in my uterus. They bring up the leg rest, and I stretch out, covering myself with my little sheet. The doctor asks first if I’d like to pray. I awkwardly decline (I’m an atheist) and then he asks if I have any questions. I have none and am hoping the timer is started on my 20 minutes rest time. I doubt my bladder would make it a minute over those 20 minutes.

He leaves, and the acupuncturist comes in. She puts in the needles, turns off the lights and leaves. There is a glow only from the ultrasound monitor frozen on my very full bladder and the sweet spot of my uterus. My stomach and intestines start to rumble. I have to fart. I have to pee. There is no clock, so I have no idea how I have been laying there, “resting.” I start counting spots on the ceiling to distract me.

Finally, there is nothing I could do but I had to fart. I’m 100% sure it was a shart. Now I think about how I’m going to clean up my shart quickly before heading to the bathroom. I fart a few more times. I’m wondering if they would find it strange if I removed the paper covering on the chair/table and disposed of it for them. Soon, though, I can no longer be distracted by my plot to hide my shart. I have to pee, and I think I’m going to pee on the table. That would be much harder to disguise. With my legs full of needles, I cannot cross my legs to help squish my urethra close.  I bring my thighs as close together as possible, trying not to disturb the pins. This is not going to cut it. I then take my hand full of pins and grab ahold of my crotch like a small child doing the peepee dance. I am doing deep breaths and trying to remain calm.

An eon passes, the acupuncturist comes in to remove my needles followed by the nurse. The nurse needs to get the table into chair shape; I cannot just jump up from it. They are having some technical difficulties with it, and it is not going down. While I have to pee and in a normal situation, I would simply hop my bare bum off that table, toss on pants, and head to the bathroom, I cannot. I’m laying in my shart. I want a chance to dispose of my shame in secret. Finally, the platform is moving, and I’m ready for her to vacate so I can clean up my mess and head to the bathroom. She informs me that she’ll do my progesterone in oil shot in my ass now.  I inform her that first I’m using the bathroom. I think she saw the panic in my eyes and quickly leaves. The door is not even closed when I’m up and starting to inspect the chair and paper liner. Not a drop of shit. I breathed a sigh of relief before throwing pants on – no underwear and unbuttoned before high-tailing it to the bathroom where I both pee and shit.

All the way home, I chuckled.  Even in the most adult and serious situations, life and your body does not stop making you laugh. I couldn’t wait to tell my sister-in-law about almost sharting the table.

And I’m still chuckling.






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