Well, I went off of the radar for a few, licked my wounds and starting on Wednesday, I get back on the roller coaster ride that is IVF for one more time with my own eggs. I’ve spent the last few weeks truly questioning and reflecting on how moving forward with IF treatments will happen for my husband and I. As I go forward with this post, I feel it necessary to acknowledge that our choices are being made in alignment with our values, finances and plans for life moving forward. I say this because there are many choices in this journey and I really want to respect those whose choices differ from ours as just as important – that there is no right or wrong overall, but just right for you, your body and your family.
That brings me to my current state of being, which a friend and I have dubbed “Get ‘er Done and Move On.” This is a cycle for many things: experimentation, a miracle perhaps, closure most likely and to get one more in this year before we have to pay a new deductible.
(Side Note: I am so grateful that our insurance does cover treatments. My heart goes out to those who are self-pay – it is a whole other ball game and one that I respect tremendously.)
This is what I know: I have a very low resting follicle count. I do produce a few eggs per cycle, but they seem to be eggs of low quality. I am pre-menopausal, meaning I have very very low hormone levels. I want to become a mother. Thankfully, I am still willing to do what it takes to make the last statement happen and I know that that statement is true. Y’know what else? I know that I am already a mother in many ways – it’s just the child that is missing.
Back to this cycle being for closure. We’ve had to make a tough, yet liberating decision for our next steps beyond this cycle: Do we continue down a doubtful road of more treatments, experiments, potential miracles and just as potential disappointments? Or… Do we move forward from this cycle to a plan of action that could yield a much better outcome and bring my husband and I closer to having a child of our own? Weighing in on many factors, we’ve decided that this will be our last cycle with our own eggs and after that we’ll move on to using a donor.
I read about people who do cycles upon cycles of IVF. I admire their courage and think that if I did have a number of embryos to freeze that I may consider continuing this process. Alas with no more than 2 embryos produced in the last cycle, FET (frozen embryo transfer) is not my reality. I think that in order to get myself back – and I do believe one has to work on that after IF treatments – I’m going to need to find a resolution and working with third party reproduction feels like a more positive option than continuing with my own eggs.
Until recently, I wasn’t able to accept the thought of using a donor egg. It honestly felt a little creepy to look on the sites – like I was shopping people. I do have younger sister, but the time isn’t right for her to take on something of this magnitude. After my BFN (big fat negative) last cycle, I went through and am still working through some depression/grief over not being able to have biological children. I mustered up some courage and started exploring donor agencies and options once again. I spoke to a few agencies who were not only empathetic, but had answers for all of my fears surrounding the process. I showed my husband some pictures and talked about the process and, confirming that he wants a child just as much as I do, said “Let’s Do It!” As I’ve looked and “shopped” donors, I’ve become comfortable with the prospect that my life might not include a child with my genes but could include my husbands and be just as wonderful. A friend asked me why we wouldn’t adopt. My answer was “Look, I’ve wanted to have his (my husband’s) baby since the moment I laid eyes on him – I think that says it all.” I’m not opposed to adoption, but I do want to explore the donor option first as I’m told that carrying a child is completely possible for me. I’ve spent many a moment daydreaming of caring for two rambunctious kids with his fiercely good looks and penchant for danger :). I can honestly say that I’m ok if they don’t look like me and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to parent with the love of my life, no matter what the kid or kids will look like. I think that says I’m ready no?
All of that said, this cycle will be closure for me – that we gave it one last shot. Kind of my swan song of IVF with my eggs. Miracles do happen and believe me I’m open to that as well, but the difference this time is that there is hope that moving forward after a negative will feel less like being on a hamster wheel of doubt and disappointment and more like progress. Or maybe it could be a positive?
Life is a mystery. xo