Two Years and Counting

May 13, 2008, 3:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve had a hard time coming up with what to write here. Or more accurately, deciding what I want to say and what I want to be quiet about for the time being. In a nutshell, our RE threw IVF onto our radar yesterday at our meeting…albeit in a gentle way. For me, this is the big, scary thing I never thought we’d have to face. Honestly, I never thought we’d be in this boat at all (isn’t that what everyone struggling to get pregnant says at some point?), much less having four iuis, all of which were unsuccessful. But even still, I believed we wouldn’t have to broach the IVF subject. After 17 months of trying, with all tests pointing to normal ovulation and normal sperm functions (Dr. H. assured us that M’s counts and stats are all normal, even good), and the aforementioned iuis, we’re smack in the middle of unexplained infertility, and Dr. H. thinks IVF would be a good choice for us. She went over the statistics, talked about the protocol (birth control, Lupron, stimulating meds, shots, ovaries the size of grapefruits), and went over single embryo transfer. She assured me she is conservative in her approach, and will be as conservative as the patient wishes to be. She’s very in favor of the single embryo transfer when the situation warrants it, because she is against unnecessarily impregnating women with multiples if she can help it.

I took all the information in as well as I could, having to distract myself a couple of times with jotting down notes to keep the tears from falling. I just was so hoping she would have said something like, “I know it’s been 17 months, but you’re both healthy and fairly young, so you should have no problem continuing to try on your own.”

And she didn’t close the door on that. She said our post c.oital test showed reasonable but not great results, which means there’s still a chance we can get pregnant on our own. It was good to hear her say that. It wasn’t a situation where there’s only a teeny tiny chance, and for that I’m thankful. I’m also thankful that right off the bat, she said I still don’t need Clomid. (However, given the option of Clomid or all the daily shots of IVF, I’m not sure which is worse!) She also said she thinks our plan to take a break from treatment is a good idea. She said she could tell I wasn’t yet ok with IVF (I’m not), and that we needed to continue our break and get our life back, and that if I become ok with it, I’ll know, and I can come back and she’ll go over it all again with me.

After the appointment, I was pretty quiet, not even wanting to talk to M about it in the car on the way back to work. As soon as I tried to say something, my chin started quivering and my eyes overflowed. I had to frantically wipe because my work is only about a mile from the hospital the doctor’s office. No walking into work with teary eyes for me.

I spent the whole day pondering everything, reading a few things online, and going back through my book The Infertility Companion, rereading the section on IVF. That night, M was unusually chipper, and to tell you the truth, it kind of bothered me. I didn’t know why he was in such a good mood when I was sitting there thinking about grapefruit-sized ovaries, a needle-pocked abdomen, and multiple dollar signs. Turns out (and I had a feeling this was the case) he was just trying to cheer me up, knowing I was disappointed and burdened. I just told him I needed time to be quiet and didn’t really feel like being cheered up, but that I was ok. We did end up talking about it some, just enough for me to fully explain to him how many factors go into this decision to go ahead or not go ahead with IVF, decisions which can’t be taken lightly and that may take me a while to make. (He’s for it, by the way. He said he’ll support me in my decision making process, whatever I decide, but he wants to do it.)

For the rest of the night, this morning before work, and during the day today, I’ve been just praying off and on about it. I’m feeling a peace about not knowing, honestly. I’m ok with where I am. I sort of feel like I’ll get to the point where I’m ok with IVF (assuming we don’t get pregnant on our own between now and then, whenever ‘then’ is), but I’m not there yet, and that’s ok. I’m praying that God will lead me/us to make a decision that’s in accordance with his will for us, and that we won’t overstep our boundaries just because we ‘can.’ I’m also praying that he’ll give me peace about IVF if that’s what he intends for us to do. I have peace about not knowing, but not about IVF itself. Honestly, I’m scared of it. I’m scared of the meds, the shots, the discomfort and pain associated with it, the retrieval, the transfer, the sterile aspects of it all, the emotional investment in something that isn’t guaranteed, the otherworldliness of it (as in, we’re creating life in a dish and putting it back in to me—isn’t that crazy?!)

However, this is where my hesitation in posting comes in. I’ve decided I’m going to spend the next few weeks purposefully NOT reading about IVF. Not googling, not reading blogs specifically for IVF info (I’ll still keep up with the blogs I regularly read though!), not asking questions about it, not reading any more books about it. This morning I was struck by the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” The footnote for the verse said that we can’t hear God’s voice if we listen to all the noise of the world. I’m going to really try for the next few weeks (or longer, I don’t know) to keep out all the “noise” and just pray and ponder and try to listen to what God might be telling me. (And I don’t mean that well-intentioned advice is just noise, I don’t mean that at all. There will come a time when I’m very interested in all that advice, but for now, I need to restrain myself from filling my head with everyone else’s opinion and thoughts, if that makes sense.)

Going forward, I’ve decided I’m going to stop acupuncture after the end of this cycle. I’d like a few months of no doctor visits at all, including my weekly visits to Dr. I. I may even stop temping, except for the 4 or 5 days in the middle of my cycle, so I’ll know when ovulation is. It may sound drastic, but I want to minimize stress and requirements as much as possible so we can truly get our life back, like Dr. H. said. I won’t lie, these five months of treatment have been rough on me…and I haven’t even been on meds! The emotional ups and downs have been hard, and they’ve been hard on M too because he’s had to watch me swing between all points on the emotional map. All the temperature taking, the wondering when ovulation will come, worrying that we didn’t time things right, the blow when you find out it didn’t work…it’s a lot, and I’m ready for a break. I’m thankful for a break. I don’t know how long this break will last. I don’t know how or when God will direct me. And I’m ok with that. I know myself, and I know I typically don’t like to not know what’s going on for too long, so if I had to guess, I’d say I’ll probably make my mind up sooner rather than later. However, like I said, this is a decision I don’t want to rush. I want to be able to take as much time as I need, and feel confident that it’s a decision God has led me to…so I can feel at rest about it.

(I feel like I need a disclaimer. I know many of you, probably most of you, have done IVF, and I don’t mean any disrespect by talking about my qualms with it. My opinions about it don’t in any way color the way I think about any of you who have tried it. If you did it, I know it was because you decided together that it was the best decision for you.)


8 Comments so far
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No worries… I first knew that we might need IVF last summer, and I really needed 4-5 more natural cycles, and then 4 IUI’s to really feel “ready” to proceed. And by the time I was ready, it really seemed like no big deal, almost normal. Just some extra appointments and steps to get toward our dream of having a child. If IVF is the right choice for you, I think you will feel ready when the time comes.

Comment by sarah23

Take your time. It is a significant decision with a lot of factors. I know the Lord will lead you. Enjoy the coming time of stillness. When you do feel ready to think more directly about it, please e-mail me if you have questions. My attitude toward IVF was very similar to yours (and still is, in many ways, as we contemplate whether or not to attempt it again), so I’d love to dialogue with you.

Comment by andrea_jennine

There is no need to rush into anything. You are being smart in taking your time with this.

Comment by Jennifer

That’s the best thing you can do for yourself. IVF is a very invasive procedure physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. It took me 3 months to go from IV-WHAT to a state of zen where I felt at peace/excited about the procedure. Be still & know that He IS God and He will perfect all that concerns you.

Comment by Grace

I’m sad for you. 😦 Sending a prayer your way.

Comment by Sandra Glahn

Thanks Sandra! Funny you should comment. Your book was the first thing I looked at when I came home after that appointment. I put it back down, due to my not wanting to read much about it at the time, but I definitely intend to pick it back up soon to help me sort through some of the info. Thanks!

Comment by Lauren

I am happy to have found you’re blog today. We too waited two years after marriage to TTC, and its almost 12 years later today.

IVF is a hard decision, took us 10 years to our first one. Every month we just get waiting and thought this month will be it. Did acupunture too for 2 months…tried lots of things before deciding on ivf.

Know that whatever choice you make, it may not seem easy or right at times, but I believe even if not at that moment, sometime, later we realize that our choices were right and that a plan is in place for us already…sending you warm regards and positive thoughts my friend.

Comment by wishing4one

Found your blog today. Pray for peace. Pray for His Hand to work in you and sort out your emotions. Pray for His signs to create a stillness in you. Same as I am praying for at the moment!

Comment by hope2morrow

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