I spent many a cycle agonizing over temperatures and dosages. From the beginning of my time trying to conceive with my first husband, we knew we were in for a struggle. I had a number of gynecological issues. We soon discovered he was infertile, which only compounded our situation and drove us into assisted reproductive technologies ahead of the usual one year of trying mark.
I prepped for my first cycle of IVF in 2004. I was very unprepared for what that entailed, both physically and emotionally. At 23, I responded so well I ended up with OHSS and a cancelled cycle.
After several failed cycles, I was found to have hyperplasia and we were forced to discontinue treatment in order for that to be treated.
We quickly regrouped and started pursuing adoption. That led to more heartache, and grief and after a number of long, tear filled conversations I told my ex that I wasn’t sure we should continue trying to have a family when our marriage was in such a tenuous place. I was done failing to be a mother and letting this failure make me think I was a terrible wife also. It was a very dark time. We struggled a bit more and after another few months of feeling unsupported, I left.
In the next phase, I shut down. I declared myself childless, not by choice, and made sure to only date people who didn’t want children, as I didn’t want to let them down or go back through that again.
Fast forward several years and my current husband and I have decided to get back on the ride.
Deciding to pursue fertility treatments again is a tricky thing. I am much older than I was the first time. I am doing it with a second spouse. These make this venture different and interesting.
I have always been a big proponent of walking away when you’re ready. I did before and I staunchly defend it as “letting go” versus “giving up”.
It was one thing to investigate, to do the testing and see how viable my eggs were, to evaluate my ability to carry, to check for genetic abnormalities or disorders. It’s another to agree to live in the place where the cycle rules your life. Shots, ultrasounds, blood draws.
I was hesitant, and yet, can I live with the “what if’s”?
I met Krystene DiPaola, a RE from Instagram for coffee on a recent trip to Buffalo, and she gave me some perspective. Regardless of my issues, I have a different partner, which could result in a completely different outcome.
We could continue to live childless and be good with that. Going into this, my husband knew my past, my feelings; we discussed options that we knew were available to us and decided we’d be OK with it just being ourselves.
Still, knowing we had a medical option we previously didn’t think was possible, I couldn’t ignore it. We didn’t want to regret not trying.
So here we are. IVF isn’t covered by insurance, and while we have a chance, it’s not necessarily a good one. We have been urged to go through the motions of IUI, simply for the cost versus potential gain benefit.
I don’t know when we’ll run out of road, I’m taking it cycle by cycle. We may decide to stop at the next negative test, we may just wait and see what happens.
I do know it’s dicey to let myself hope. I am guarded and careful, and I let him be the positive one. I am doing everything as recommended, but I’m scared.