Gut check time

C (or should I say Carlos, Jules? 🙂 haha) and I have been going back and forth in our brief time together this week (he’s been working a lot) on the big IVF decision, each voicing our trepidation with the enormity of the decision. The finances are scary (yes, we have coverage, but know there will be OOP expenses still, including the nearly $850 storage fee if we’re lucky enough to have any embryos make it to freeze, plus another $500 yearly for storage that is not covered by insurance, $30 co-pay for every visit, co-pays for medication, anesthesia   and bi-weekly acupuncture appointments that are about $70 a pop), the moral questions (leftover embryos is our paramount concern as we would want to commit to giving each a chance at implantation), and time and energy. Fear of failure.

IVF seemed so unnecessary three months ago and so quickly it feels like it may be our only chance. Truthfully, I am shocked that we are here. Nothing about our history makes much sense most of all the fact that L (or should I call him Leopold? haha) was conceived without assistance. It’s mind blowing, truly.

I’m so tired. I’m tired of hoping and getting nowhere, I’m tired of the mindf*ck that is infertility.  I’m tired of being emotionally overdrawn, I’m tired of being upset and frustrated with my body. I can’t remember who I was talking to on twitter, but we were discussing my Mom’s insensitive comment of “at least you don’t need birth control! Some people really have to worry about that.” This comment really pissed me off and brought tears to my eyes of how much my Mom just doesn’t get it (and how could she after easily popping out four kids and never once actually trying to get pregnant). She was trying to say that BCPs are so awful for women’s bodies, all of those synthetic hormones that aren’t good for us and cause side effects. Umm, yea mom, what do you think fertility drugs are made of, exactly?

Anyway, my twitter friend commented that someday maybe we really would feel our family is complete and actually actively prevent. This caused me pause… I wanted 4 children. I don’t know if that’s what I want now, if that’s even physically or financially possible, but I don’t see how we would get there from here, but when will I say enough is enough? When will I be satisfied and not hope for more? There has to be an end somewhere, I don’t have it in me to try endlessly for children. I don’t have it in me to fight this fight cycle after cycle, year after year. Eventually, we will have to stop, be satisfied and thankful and move on from banging our heads against the proverbial infertile wall hoping for more.

As I said a couple of posts ago, something that gives me peace is the thought that someday I’ll be a Mom for longer than I was fighting to be one. I want that time to come sooner rather than later. I want to be able to be totally happy and not hope for another, I want to feel that I’m satisfied with our family building efforts and done with this fight. I want to be able to talk about our journey as a complete tale and not feel fear of what else I’ll have to fight to get to where we want to be. I don’t want to forever be a fighter – I want to be a survivor of infertility. I know I will never forget and infertility will always be a part of who I am and will have shaped who I’ve become, but it’s different when the fight is complete, with an end to the fight comes healing and closure.

I’m not there yet. I know I will not be okay with L being an only child. I want him to have a sibling so desperately. I want him to have a partner in crime and a friend. But I know my reserves to fight this fight are dwindling by the day.

I see two paths forward:

IVF. A high tech, more efficient, more costly, more stress, but higher chances of success in a shorter period of time. We have 4 cycles of IVF covered. I can see us doing two cycles within the next year if necessary.

Stopping treatments now. Just enjoying life and hoping that we somehow have another incredibly lucky cycle to conceive. The thing is, I’m 29. I’m truly lucky to have started this fight young, but I cannot imagine hoping for a pregnancy until menopause. I don’t know when I’ll go through the big change, but let’s say I’m 37 (I’m assuming it will be early given my crap FSH). That’s EIGHT years away. could I handle that much up and down, that many years of cycle after cycle of disappointment? It’s almost been a year since I’ve had my period back post Leopold (Yes, L has become Leopold now, because I think it’s funny and cute, though it is not his real name), and I am frayed. I am sad, disappointed, and it has caused me to be not a very good Mama to my existing kid this past week. I’m not okay with that. I’m not okay living in sadness, bringing our family down if I can do anything in my power to help it.

Today, my gut says let’s do this thing. Let’s do IVF. Let’s go for it, get it over with and see where our cards land. I have fears about IVF and all that is involved. I do. But I have more trepidation about putting my family through the better part of a decade of crushed hopes and cyclical disappointment. Will it get us another child? I don’t know. But I feel in my gut it’s the right decision for our family right now, to give it our all right here, right now. I feel better facing a future that is somewhat predictable than an endless sea of cyclical disappointment and increasing depression.

My husband hasn’t been around much this week, he’s been working crazy hours and my nights have been spent with my new husband, Dawson’s Creek on Roku. We have plans to go out to dinner tonight and I hope we can connect and agree on a path forward for sure. Which I think is IVF starting in late January 2013.

I also have an appointment with an acupuncturist who specializes in treatment for infertility on Monday to treat me in conjunction with IVF that I’m looking forward to (he often works with my clinic, which makes me feel comfortable going). If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do everything in my power to do it right. I don’t think it will necessarily mean it will work, but at least I’ll leave with peace of mind. No regrets.

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14 thoughts on “Gut check time

  1. It is so hard to say when we *know* we are either done, or that our family feels complete. Or when they are both one and the same. But when you know, you’ll know. (Your gut, she is very smart). That time is not now, and you have so much fight left in you. I can tell. And you know it too… it’s the long run you are dreading, and you don’t think you can run that far, but you can. I know you can. It’s when to start and how to pace yourself that’s the tough part, eh? (Yes, sometimes Canadians even TYPE “eh”!)

    Eight years is a long ass time to wait and wonder. Too long. I can absolutely appreciate your desire to get going and see what happens. I am glad that you guys are taking a little break to not only enjoy the holidays and each other (and Leopold! LOVE IT), but to work toward getting on the same page. That’s huge. I wonder if maybe Carlos is a little more reserved for your sake, because he wants to protect you and can see how hard the past few months have been? That’s what BJB told me when I we were gearing up for our IVF consult after our ectopic, and I’d never thought about it that way… I dunno. He just obviously loves you two to pieces. His EYES. Ugh. 🙂

    And woman – it’s okay to be sad. And I think it’s okay if Leo knows that you are a little down, but still there, still being Mama. That’s a good lesson for him – sometimes life is tough, but your family will always love you, and always be right here, no matter what. xoxoxo

  2. I have to agree with SRB that the gut is smart. You’ll settle on a feeling and it will be right. And then sometime down the line, your gut might change, and that’s okay too. I just feel so confident that L will have a sibling – you are strong enough to do what it takes to get there. And then I think you assess how you feel after that. I used to want 2 kids and IF made me want more, so who knows? 🙂

    I’m loving Leopold, but Carlos is my dead baby #3 and clearly there cannot be two people named Carlos. (Just kidding, I can get used to Carlos.)

  3. “Let’s do this thing!” <—- yahoo! (I know it doesn't always feel "yahoo", but I'm going to cheerlead you on!) 🙂

    It's been a hard road for you lately, and I hope that by getting things rolling it will all feel a little easier (even just a little?) for you. I am also a big proponent of Listen To Your Gut, so I can't help but be optimistic for you.

    Blah, I'm not doing this post justice with this comment! I'm excited for you to be moving forward and I have all the faith in the world you will have the family you've dreamed of, but I really understand that it's so much more complicated than that, and that even enthusiasm and optimism can sound trite in these kinds of circumstances. Hugs!

  4. I have the same worry, that even though we said we only wanted two kids, will I really ever stop feeling the twinge when other people announce pregnancies, or yearn for the opportunity again later on down the road? I really hope I can move on after having two babies, but I’m just not sure.

    My guess is waiting until menopause hits to see if you have another miracle is not what you want. Just from reading this post. I can feel how badly you want a sibling for L, and want it sooner than later. Which also gives you more of an opportunity to give him another sibling, and maybe even another. I agree with going along with what your gut tells you. If that’s IVF right now, go for it. I really do think it will happen for you. Just not being able to control when and how sucks. I get that. I hope you have a good dinner tonight and feel comfortable coming to a decision together on how to move forward.

  5. (So I started commenting and then it just went on and on and on… so I will write a post about all of THAT on my own blog because your blog is not the place for my crazy musings!)

    It sounds to me like you are totally ready to move forward with IVF. I think the time and energy you’ve put into this thought process and decision is wonderful. Your thoughts are so clear and articulate – and I really appreciate you sharing them.

    You know how I feel about IVF – it was our only option and I truly believe in it. You do have other options right now, but if your gut is telling you to go with IVF at this time, then I would listen to it. You’re so smart and rational – and I know that you are going to make the right decision for you.

    I am so happy for you that you have such great coverage! Four covered IVF cycles is the most I’ve ever heard of. Wow!

  6. What an incredibly honest and thoughtful post. Thank you for writing it. I helped me to feel more at peace about moving forward with our treatments. I wonder a lot if we should just keep trying, if we’re rushing into it to start treatments but my reasoning is the same. I don’t have a lot more years of this left in me. I already waited to start trying a year, wanting to get going but being financially benched. And then a year of timed sex. It has absolutely colored the mother I has been and I, like you, am not okay with that. I need to move on and be done with this so I can live my life and see what kind of mother I will really be.

    I’m so glad you have coverage and can do this. That marks me heart sing with happiness. I hope with every fiber of my being that you get your happy ending this coming year.

  7. So I’m a late comer to this party,but here’s how I see it. You’ve been through a lot. You got seriously lucky with Leo(ya I’m shortening it cos that’s how I roll). But you are young. You have options. Even with all of that your heart tells you a sibling for Leo is of the utmost importance. IVF is a huge deal. It’s not an easy decision. You’ve looked at it rationally and emotionally. You’ve made the best decision for you and your family.

    When we made the decision to move forward, I was 35. I dragged my feet cos IVF is so huge. But in the end it was obviously our best option, since you know we got Rae. But like you, when we did IVF, I made sure I did everything I could to make it happen: acupuncture, yoga for fertility, diet, hysteroscopy. I did it all. I knew if it didn’t work I would wonder if I missed something.

    I’m here if you need to talk…heck maybe we’ll run into each other at the clinic lol

  8. Go for it!! I know it’s not so simple, but I do think that it’s the right choice for you guys right now. Maybe you can ‘let nature take it’s course’ for a while after #2– it will take the pressure off of worrying about sibling spacing to have two that are close in age. Then you can worry about spacing again for #4! 🙂

  9. I’m so incredibly sorry it hasn’t been easier for you. It sounds though like you’re ready and your heart is telling you what to do. I’ll be rooting for you.

  10. When we first did IVF w/K we struggled so much with the decision. Then we did it, ended up with 5 frosties, and have paid $2K in storage fees since then because we don’t know what we are going to do. We want more kids, but neither one of us wants to go through an FET because emotionally, we both feel like its a hellish process.
    So there they sit, in a frozen eternity, those babies that are Kaitlin’s brothers and sisters.
    It kills me.
    Haunts me in my sleep.

    I get it. I get where you are coming from,
    We’ve given up on TTC. I’m on BCPs not because I want to prevent a pregnancy, but because I want to prevent the emotion of “what if” that being infertile has brought my way when I want another baby so bad it makes me wish I could curl up and cry.
    I can’t live in hope forever, so I take the hope away.
    Wishing you the very best with whatever you decide.

  11. The embryos have always been my number one concern with IVF. That’s why I always thought if I *did* go for it, we’d do natural cycle, since there is only one created and one transferred. Well, okay, I worried about the embryos and the drugs. I couldn’t handle the thought of pumping all those drugs into my body after everything I went through to heal my endo and finally getting to the point where I can function on a daily basis now without pain. I guess that’s why adoption was such a clear path for us – it just didn’t have any downsides (again, for us). It made us parents, end of story.
    I know it’s not an easy decision. I’ll be here rooting for you, no matter what you decide!

  12. I love this post – it definitely sounds like going with your gut and trying IVF in Jan is a great option. I definitely couldn’t handle 8 yrs of ups and downs of TTC. UGH. IVF is a big step, but if it means you can get a siblings for L and be that much closer to feeling “complete,” I think it’s a no brainer. Good luck!

  13. Yes, IVF is demanding, but for me, it wasn’t that much more of an investment emotionally or physically (except for when I was borderline OHSS) than an IUI cycle. Seriously. Yes, it cost us a shit ton of money, which was extremely hard to swallow. BUT, we got H out of it. And I think when you look back on this time when you were questioning whether or not to move forward, you’ll be so happy you did. Because if you didn’t do IVF, you will always ALWAYS wonder “what if.”

    Go with your gut. I’ve found that mine always leads me down the right path. God knew what he was doing when he wired us with intuition :). xoxo

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