I got the chance to check out the newly released movie Making Babies, thanks to a free download in exchange for a review. It’s a comedy/drama about a couple with infertility issues that make the leap to IVF. We followed a similar path as the movie couple – timed intercourse, then several failed IUI’s, then acupuncture, then IVF. I think it’s a good movie to watch is you are trying or thinking about trying to get pregnant. They don’t get everything right, but some things they do… So I’m going to pick it apart a little based on my own personal infertility experience.
Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead!
John and Kelly want to have a baby. They went into just like me and and many other people do – excited every time they get to pee on a stick. Then comes the repeated disappointment. The kick in the pants every month. The drowning your sorrows in wine and margaritas just because you can, when you’d love nothing more than to be forbidden to drink alcohol.
And then comes the advice from well-meaning friends and strangers. People telling you to “Just Relax.” That actually happens so much that my first blog, where I anonymously wrote about my IVF experience, was called “Stop Telling Me to Relax.” And after months of failure after failure, finally comes the day you visit the fertility specialist and start your crazy journey through assisted reproduction.
If you are possibly going into this journey and watch this movie, let me clear a few things up:
I’m not sure how every office handles the part where the husband gives his “sample.” At our office, they handed my husband a cup and told him to use the bathroom. In every movie I’ve seen (including this one), they give the husband a nice room, some magazines and some lube. And in this movie, they even invited the wife to be part of it. Has anyone run into that?? Is that realistic anywhere? I’m sure my husband would have appreciated a better sample-creating experience. Maybe we got the short end of the stick on that one.
The egg retrieval and IVF procedure was weird in the movie…that’s not how it happens. You don’t get the retrieval and then stay in the hospital waiting for implantation. That happens anywhere from 3-5 days later. They retrieve the egg or eggs, fertilize, and then it takes 3-5 days for the egg to successfully fertilize and start to divide and create a blasticist. THEN then they implant that.
So after the retrieval, you don’t even schedule the implantation until the egg is successfully fertilized. And then it takes about 10 days before you know if you are pregnant or not. And you will usually find that out first with a home pregnancy test and later confirm it at the doctor.
They also didn’t mention anything about how many eggs they retrieved and if they had frozen eggs to work with. Most people get several eggs (like 10-20!) and can try again. I only got one, but my case is not the norm. They really went into “movie land reality” with the whole IVF bit. But it was unfortunately closer to reality when the IVF didn’t work, even after all their best efforts.
The most realist part of the movie is Kelly’s reaction to when she finds out a woman at work got pregnant without even trying. It is pretty spot-on! I got a big laugh out of that scene.
Watching this movie reminded me how glad I am to be past that point. It’s such a SUCKY place to be in life. An exciting but often emotionally draining roller coaster. I may complain about my son and the rough time I have sometimes doing this mom thing, but I made this choice, and I’m glad we succeeded in creating this little man. As much as he drives me crazy, as hard as it is doing this alone during a deployment, I know it was the right thing to do.
Total Spoiler Alert!
I have to say, I hate the ending. Because of course, she magically gets pregnant by accident. Because that’s what always happens in the movies. And also to a friend of a friend of a friend. Someone always has a story about a friend who tried really hard and did IVF only to get pregnant by accident later when they just…relaxed and stopped trying.
Insert major eye roll.
If you are trying to get pregnant and struggling, the end may piss you off. Or maybe it will give you hope. Maybe a little bit of both. In the end, everyone’s story is different, but I hope anyone reading this and going through any of this gets their happy ending too.
You can check out the movie trailer here: