I love being reminded when I’m making assumptions. A patient undergoing a frozen embryo cycle was telling me how stressful it was this time, even more stressful than her last cycle. I remembered that she had a lot of stress with her original fresh IVF cycle, which, by the way, resulted in her getting pregnant with a beautiful baby girl. I was thinking to myself that back then, she was completely infertile and was under huge stress trying to get that first baby. And now, she already has the peace of mind of having a healthy child, so the pressure is nowhere near as great. Back then, the injections associated with a fresh cycle, the egg retrieval procedure under anesthesia and then having a transfer a few days later should have been way more stressful than just having the transfer itself this time. Back then, the unfamiliarity of being in our “new” office should have been more stressful than now, when she is coming back to a familiar place that she has already visited so many times before.
So I couldn’t resist asking her to elaborate. I addressed her by her first name and asked, “I don’t doubt that this is stressful, but can you tell me why this time is even more stressful than your fresh IVF cycle that you had last time?”
She smiled. “Because…now I’m trying to do all this while at the same time taking care of an energetic toddler.”