It’s funny how quickly some things become routine. Every step of the IVF seemed terrifying. The drugs! The appointments! The technology! It was all I could do not to FREAK OUT every.single.day.
FETs are much easier, of course, for one thing. But I also think I’m past the point where things can suprise me. You want me to take how many pills a day? Sure, no problem. I should stick how many needles in my butt? Whatever.
My lining check is on Monday. And now I know from past experience that this means I have precisely five more needle-free evenings. Another round of bruising from the last set popped up on my right side the other day, so I guess I’ll be multi-coloured until well past Christmas, irrespective of what happens. Transfer is still set for Friday week. Our last two snowbabies.
I have been quiet, but I have been doing a LOT of thinking. Hours and hours upon hours of it. And the end result of my thinking is that, as it currently stands, if this FET fails (especially if we get another chemical pregnancy), I think I’m done.
I can’t say for certain, because I haven’t asked Q. yet what he thinks. And if his desire to parent is stronger than mine, and if he really wants to continue, I think I could manage one more IVF cycle. But if he’s ambivalent, or even as worn out as I am, then I think I would like to close the door on these last two years, and embrace our childfree future.
I posted on a forum I frequent about how I was feeling a couple of days ago. I’ve copied and pasted most of it here so I don’t repeat myself. It makes me so sad to read my own words- I wonder what happened to the girl I used to know. I’ve never sounded so defeated before, so utterly worn out.
Part of what’s inspired all this introspection is the anxiety. I am already feeling a lot of anxiety about all the medications that come with this cycle, and all the needles. I hate what these cycles do to me. I hate how invasive they are, and how they make me feel, and how we rearrange our entire lives to try and make this work.
Everyone always says that it will be worth it in the end, but I really don’t know about that anymore. I never wanted kids growing up- I only wanted them once I met Q. and saw how awesome he would be as a father, and wanted to mingle my genes with his (I seriously think that’s what my brain did- it saw some good genes and decided it wanted babies). But I never defined myself growing up with the expectation that I would be a mother. And a giant part of me just desperately wants to get on with our lives as a family of two in January. Part of it is selfish- we have all these plans for things we want to do in the future, and some of them would be much harder to manage with kids.
But a big part of it is I feel like we don’t actually get to live our lives right now, because even when we’re not cycling, we’re thinking about when we’re next going to cycle, or whether we can afford to do a cycle, or whether our plans can fit in around when we can next do a cycle. Our entire schedule for almost the last two years has revolved around our trips to the clinic.
I’m tired of scrimping and saving and always keeping in the back of my mind the cost of another IVF cycle. It sounds awful to put a price tag on the whole thing. It sounds selfish and uncaring. But the truth is, we’re not paying to get a baby, we’re paying for the privilege of even TRYING to get pregnant. And most days now I feel like I’m flushing our money down the toilet. My body doesn’t work on so many levels when it comes to babies. There’s a part of me that wonders whether I should just recognize that maybe this is not what I’m supposed to be doing in life. Q. and I were signing consent forms before I went in on day 2, and he was asking me about assisted hatching, which they do with FETs at my clinic because sometimes the embies have trouble breaking out to implant. I said to him that I don’t like the idea, but I don’t really feel we can say something since we’ve gone so far down this path of assisted conception. Q. agreed. He said there was nothing natural about this process anymore. It’s true. It makes me sad.
I really wish we had four embies left, rather than two. I feel like if we had two more FETs left, and they didn’t work, I would be able to walk away with absolutely no regrets. I don’t know if I can bear to go through another IVF cycle. And while I know we can’t plan when we get pregnant, etc. etc., we won’t be able to do an IVF until August. That makes me 31. I wanted to be done having my kids by 31. And I know that being an older mum is increasingly becoming more common, but this is not how I have envisioned my life. We intentionally planned to ttc while I was doing the PhD so we could be done by the time I finished. There comes a point where I’m not willing to live by the schedule the universe keeps handing me- I do not want that for my life.
But at the same time, everyone keeps telling me, “Oh you’re still young, this will work out, blah blah blah”. Infertility treatments are addictive. They suck you in, and you lose perspective and before you know it you’ve added in every possible medical intervention. I don’t really know how to put a stop to the madness. That scares me about the prospect of another IVF cycle too…because if we have embies we’ll feel obligated to use them…so if we do another IVF cycle and it doesn’t take, that could be another whole year of FET attempts.
In the last two years infertility has trashed my self-confidence and my body image. It has put enormous burdens on my marriage. Most of all, it has made me into a sad person who spends all of her time thinking about the life she wants to have, instead of someone who can enjoy the life she currently lives. Some days I don’t recognize myself anymore, especially when I’m in the throes of treatment. It makes me so angry and frustrated.
I am so tired of all of this. I am so tired of having my life on hold and turned upside down. I’m tired of the emotional weight. I’m scared of what all these drugs could be doing to my body. I’m sick of it, all of it.
So that’s where I’m at. I’d like to say that all my thoughts are just the fourteen pills a day talking, but the truth is, this has been a long time coming. I don’t think I ever thought that I could hit the end of this first IVF cycle and not be pregnant. And if that turns out to be the case, I just don’t think I’ve got the desire to start it all over again.
I want my life back.