A close friend was supposed to start her I.V.F. injections at the same time, but she decided to postpone at the last minute because Covid cases were so high in our area. By that point, we were so driven in our pursuit of pregnancy that I was startled to hear her say that, as the thought had never even crossed my mind.
I have no way of knowing for sure if I was exposed to the virus sometime during this last fertility treatment. The surgical center is on a large medical campus that also hosts a Covid-19 testing drive-through in the garage where we parked. We also waited, masks on, for almost an hour outside the building, which we thought was a safer choice than the fertility clinic waiting room, but that actually put us in proximity to a lot of sick people waiting for rides home.
I also had to remove my mask just before the actual egg retrieval, because I was under anesthesia and the doctors needed quick access to my mouth in case I needed a breathing tube.
Five days after the egg retrieval, we found out we were Covid-positive. I called the clinic right away to warn them; the fertility doctor told me a few days later that none of her staffers had gotten sick. And also that none of the eggs they retrieved from me had developed properly. We had no embryos to use.
Of course, as anyone who has done fertility treatments knows, all the dangers and risks we undertook would have been “worth it” if it had worked. Because it didn’t work for us, I felt defeated and foolish.
In sum, we wanted to give Goldie a sibling, but doing so may have been what threatened her mother’s life. This thought haunts me and will stay with me forever, even though I’ll never know how exactly the virus entered our home.
Our nanny, who also experienced Covid symptoms and tested positive three days before us, could have picked it up at the supermarket. We could have gotten it from her, or while walking around our neighborhood or playing in the park. But the act of choosing, over and over again, to engage in fertility treatments as the pandemic raged on, fills me with doubt and remorse.