IVF? WTF.

21 Feb

I’ve been away a long time, I know. I still don’t know exactly what to do with this space or my other blog. I’m just not in a super share-y place these days (years?), at least not where baby J is concerned.

(That said, I made some real connections with some of you out there and seeing as I’m so infrequently here, I’d like to ask those of you who still read this, who feel connected with me still and feel so inclined, to please email me so we can keep in touch, or find me on FB if we’ve emailed in the past and you have my full name. Not on a blog is where I (not terribly often, I’ll admit, but sometimes) share updates on how she’s doing. But I will say this, she’s flippin’ gorgeous. And the greatest joy. But I worry all. the. time.)

Okay. Formalities out of the way, I’m back today because this is a space dedicated to trying to make a baby and all the ups and downs that go along with that pursuit. Lately, the thought of a number two has crossed my mind a few times. Specifically, a boy number two. Given the whole gender craziness we went through with J, DH and I both have this sense of loss. The moment we found out J was a girl, we were both given this mind-blowingly AMAZING gift, but we also lost this boy we had been dreaming of, bonding with, picturing. Loving.

In a strange way I feel like we’re owed our boy. That’s crazy I know but it’s a feeling I can’t shake.

Some ladies out there who were roughly “cycling” around the same time as me are already thinking of or in some cases are pursuing or already pregnant with their next little one(s). I regard this with this whole mix of emotions. On the one hand, I’m jealous. Jealous that they’re there, and they’re confident, and they’re doing it. Also? I’m scared. Because as much as I want it, I don’t know if it’s the right time. I don’t know if I’m ready to share my body. I don’t know if I could handle another traumatic pregnancy, and birth, and infancy. And I think you always risk that, every time a baby is made. And then there’s the big thing.

Which is, a not-so-insignificant part of me is terrified that IVF is to blame for everything that went wrong with my pregnancy and J’s health. Maybe that’s unfair to say, maybe that same part of me is just looking for something to blame or just to make some sense of it all. But I didn’t have any of the main risk factors for pre-eclampsia or gastroschisis. Except IVF. Which sucks because, there’d be no J without IVF, I’m painfully aware of that. But I’m terrified that if we did it again, we’d face the same or some other struggle as a result.

In my darkest thoughts, I’ve always worried that we forced the issue with J. We MADE Mother Nature give us a baby where maybe she wasn’t ready to, or ever going to. And so, we paid a price. WRONG, I know. Effed up. But these are thoughts in my head sometimes.

And then I think of all the healthy babies born as a result of IVF. I wonder if any of our embryos are destined for a breathing existence on this earth, outside of their cold frozen little petri dish or glass vial or whatever they’re in. Do we owe them something? Now that we’ve created them? Or would it be better to try on our own, just try, because who knows? Maybe? Before we tumble down that path again.

Can we even get pregnant on our own? The curse of the unexplained. We did once, unsuccessfully, a long time ago. Will our new insurance even cover infertility? Another dark curtain I’ve yet to pull back.

More importantly, are we ready. Sometimes we think all the struggles with J would go by much faster if we had something else to focus on, something positive. Or would that intensify the whole thing. Make it that much harder? Is it unfair to her to make another baby right now? Is it unfair to not?

J is nine months old today. Things are not where I thought they’d be by now, with her health I mean, but I’m making my peace with that, or at least desperately trying. When she turns one is when we might get serious about all this but clearly, many things need to be figured out, sorted through, dredged into the light and dealt with before that can happen. But the first step is figuring out what those demons are. And that’s what I’ve always adored about IF blogging.

So if you’re still there, thanks for listening.

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13 Responses to “IVF? WTF.”

  1. Tracy February 21, 2014 at 8:55 pm #

    I know you’re not here often, but I wanted you to know that I am still here – reading, listening, praying, sending healing vibes for all of you in whatever way you need them most. I also know I’m not the only one…

    Big hugs to you, my friend. And please know that you’re not alone now, though you may be in a different place from so many of us. ❤

  2. nickeecoco February 21, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

    I followed your journey on here and find your story has helped me on more than one occasion. I’d love to email you sometime but can’t find a way to do so through this page. Glad to hear that all is well with J, but so sorry you’re still worrying.

  3. Courtney February 21, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    Honestly, I would wonder the same things if I were you. Hell, I wonder if we pushed the issue for our boys given that their dad is our issue (docs said he’d likely be sterile by this time LAST year). Have we forced mother nature’s hand, giving us boys who may also end up nit being able to make babies naturally? I think about it a lot.

    BUT… and there’s always a but… Ask yourself what all it’s worth. Is it worth the risk again? You had a rough, rough situation and I’d be gun-shy too. I really would. There’s plenty of time to figure it out.. You don’t need to know TODAY what you’re willing to try.

    If you try naturally, good luck. I thought for sure we’d be successful on our own (stupid, I know!) and was devastated when others around me were, but we weren’t. Baby making makes me crazy, and jealous, and hard to be around .

    I am glad to hear J is doing well, even though there have been hurdles.

    So good to hear from you!!!!!

  4. steph50 February 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    Missed you around here 🙂
    I’m glad your little girl is doing well! Xox

  5. Amy February 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

    Still here, and glad to hear from you. I think it’s amazing that you’re even considering this now – I am 20 months post a relatively easy pregnancy and birth and still feel sort of ambivalent about trying again. You’re brave for even thinking about it, so please give yourself credit for that. Part of me wants to try again soon(ish?) because if I don’t conceive in the next three months or so (it’s truly unlikely), any pregnancy after that will have the dreaded AMA label attached. I can’t quite decide if that should really even be a factor in decision making…it’s so much harder to say whether or not we are ‘ready’ when we know all too well how far out of our control all things TTC and pregnancy-success really are!

  6. Trisha February 21, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    I think about you often doll, I understand not wanting to share everything that is going on with J. But I would love to catch up with you if you feel so inclined! E-mail me if you’d like, I’d love to hear from you. trishg21@gmail.com

  7. kate February 22, 2014 at 4:37 am #

    I am so very much where you are right now. We want so very much for A to have a sibling and to love another child especially after losing E. But, we wonder all the time if it would be irresponsible. Did E develop HLHS because of IVF? No one can answer that. Are we willing to take the risk of having another sick baby? It scares the hell out of us but usually our love for A rises above all our fears. At least that’s how I feel today.

  8. Steph P February 23, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    You are just so amazingly frank and honest, it’s unusual, and a good trait to have. I remember back pre-ultrasound days when some people had their heart set on one sex or the other and were devastated when results came out different than they planned. I heard fathers say stuff like, “Well, at least she/he is healthy.” Sometimes mothers launched into a fullblown PPD and bonding didn’t occur. Nobody really talked about it, either. It wasn’t always known that sperm determined the sex of an infant and many a woman got blamed for getting it wrong. I know you will think it through and do the best thing for your family but you also know that things happen. Getting pregnant is the ultimate act of faith, knowing that your life will be forever changed, but not exactly how or how much. It’s a journey of the heart, not the brain. I wish you all the best.

  9. Amy February 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

    *hugs* It’s tough stuff, with a lot of soul searching. A couple things that rang out to me:

    You don’t really know if you are going to struggle with infertility again, or struggle so mightily with it. Pregnancy and birth do hugely crazy things to your hormones. My mom miscarried 7 times including an ectopic in the 6 years that elapsed between me and my brother. She was on a bunch of IF drugs to conceive and keep him. After he was born, she and my dad figured they couldn’t get and stay pregnant, so they didn’t do anything about birth control. My baby brother was born 17 months later.

    I know it’s anecdotal, and you’ve been through a hell of a lot to think about hope like that. But it does happen.

    On the decision to have another – I think it’s one of those “You are never really ready” things. There are challenges whether you have Irish twins, a “standard” 2.5 year spacing, or 6 years. Every age and stage brings different issues up.

    And I think no matter when it happens, you feel like it’s unfair to the older sibling. I was terribly angry that Clara was stealing away from Andrew, and I know that my mom felt the same way about Tyler taking her from Devin. But I’ve heard others express the same emotions about their 5 year old. Your whole family dynamic will change when you bring in another person, no matter when it happens.

    I think it’s most important to remember that love always expands. Love is not zero-sum. Even if J gets slightly less of you, she’ll have a whole other person to love and be loved by. No matter when that person comes into her life.

    Love and light to you while you sort this out. I’m always here for you.

  10. Lisa February 26, 2014 at 1:50 am #

    Good to hear from you, sweetie. I think about you and wonder how you are. I wish I had words of wisdom for you, but I don’t. We struggle with what to do about our frozen embie. It’s such a tough spot to be in.

  11. Michelle Nicholls February 27, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Also so glad to hear from you! I’ve thought alot about how you and your sweet girl were. I often think that way also…my sweet girl (from ivf) just turned one this weekend and we have been though alot with her health wise. And so I often wonder also as my son through iui was totally fine. We also have 2 embryos on ice. Thinking of you, I know the difficulty of your decision.

  12. Anjali March 19, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    I have followed you from our days on TCOYF. You had linked to your other blog which I enjoyed and then found this blog. I can’t even fathom the strength and courage you and your husband have had to have to get through all of this. I admire you so much. You are clearly boundless with love for your beautiful baby girl and know you will make a wonderful mother to another child in due time. Give yourself the time to heal from what you have been through and cherish this time you have with J. In time she will amaze you with how she heals and recovers and then you will hopefully know in your heart that the time is right. I have moved from the city to the North Shore (not sure if you still live here). Am always open to meet in person just to be there to be a listening ear or a distraction. Not sure how to reach you offline…but I think I remember your full name….will try!

  13. Northern Star March 22, 2014 at 4:45 am #

    Still here (Alicia from queen.oftheslipstream) – I’m glad you popped in to let us know that J is doing well and where your little family is at with everything!

    Baby #2 – I’ve got all sorts of emotions about this and have had all sorts of discussions with my husband about this. It’s not easy. Also, it’s like with #2 you’re so much more aware of how difficult it all can be, which makes it scarier. It’s different with #1 – still scary, but the focus is different.

    Good luck with your decisions. And J is 9 (well I guess 10!) months already???? Where does the time go???? My little moonbeam just turned one. So much change hey?

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