This seems to be our answer for everything unknown these days. Who was in the movie we just saw? What happened in Congress yesterday? How far is NYC from San Diego if we drove?(question from my eight-year-old) In other words, we have the "luxury" of getting all of our questions answered on command. In fact, I don't know how many conversations my husband and I have had without one of us trying to prove the other one wrong by finding the answer on Google. "See I WAS right! It says so right here on Wikipedia."
It's pretty addicting and also seemingly reliable (enough). However, is it that reliable when it comes to IVF?
I'll admit that it's the first thing I want to do every time I'm on a new medication. "Siri, what are the side effects of XYZ?" (even though, as usual, the nurses have already told me potential side effects). But nope! Not enough information for this one… I want to make sure to google it and find out super crazy stories and freak myself out! Who's with me??
Obviously my real intention to educate myself, not freak myself out. However, after every search there is at least one moment of thinking that the worst is happening to me.
Right before each transfer cycle and IUI cycle I've gone through (now on my 6th transfer and did 1 IUI in the past two years), I've told myself that I wasn't going to google anything. Whatever I felt I would just trust the process and let it ride; no use in overthinking things.
The second the Valium wears off, however, all that goes out the window and I start looking for signs. My boobs kind of hurt, I feel a twinge, my nose is runny, my stomach hurts… I immediately hit up Google. Anyone else out there with me??
Surely I’m not the only one trying to self- diagnose (or in this case try to see if I’m actually pregnant). And yet every single time the answer is always the same "These could be signs of pregnancy...” Google tells me, “but they could also be side effects of the progesterone and estrogen being pumped in your body in ungodly dosages." And sure enough, all but one time, it was the latter.
So what do I keep searching for? Why can’t I just ask the nurse every question I have? I think the answer is hope. I want to find someone that has had the same symptoms and that got a BFP test in the end because then I can tell myself that I do have a good chance. I want to feel optimistic for at least the two weeks of waiting. And you know what? Amongst the chaos that is the Internet and misdiagnoses I have read, some forums have given me hope! People have had little to no symptoms and some have had them all! In BOTH cases there have been some BFP test results out there that have allowed me to bring that hope into my body when I seem to need it the most. So then I can close the computer or phone whenever I find that satisfaction for the day. Oh ok, I feel that way too… good sign that I’m pregnant.This cycle repeats itself daily if not twice a day.
I've realized that I’m never going to stop searching and researching. I’m always going to want to find a connection, a moment where I feel like I can relate. A small period of time when I can find what I’m looking for, even if it’s just for the time being. A fraction of time for my mind to rest and not race a mile a minute obsessing over every little thing. From my experience, I can't sit here and tell you that Google has the right answers for me, because it really doesn’t. My wonderful nurses and doctor always tell me what to expect, why I’m going through something, why I may be bleeding or feeling like crap. They really DO have all the answers, at least all the answers to questions that CAN be answered.
My advice is to always ask your doctor before you have a freak-out moment, or at least right after. However, I’m also not going to sit here and tell you NOT to google things! If I hadn't gone online and read (very few) stories that at times mirrored mine, I would probably feel even more alone today. I've learned that there are SO many of us going through this and not enough of us out there on Google sharing the variety of information regarding symptoms.
So go ahead: google your fears, symptoms, medications, mood swings… google it all! But remember what it is you're looking for, what are you trying to heal or find peace with, and then maybe filter your search a little more. Maybe even share a little something today and know that someone will be googling and finding some peace with what you decide to share. At least I hope that my beautiful blunder story is doing just that.