The other question I get asked a lot is whether or not we're going to start trying to get pregnant again to give Ticky a sibling. The answer is no. Both the husband and myself want nothing to do with trying to get pregnant. Or even getting pregnant spontaneously. I really and truly feel that I was not ever meant to carry a child and deliver it. I just dont. I've felt that for some time. I had started to have twinges of that feeling leading up to the IVF, but pushed it away in the name of hope and trudged on. Once the IVF failed, that niggling feeling that it just wasn't meant to be kept coming back. After the next miscarriage, it came to the foreground and I started to listen. Everyone told me it was just grief and that I'd be okay and we'd have a baby, but I knew deep down that they were wrong. I dont know why I feel that way, but I do. It just is what it is.
And I'm okay with that. We spent 5 years trying to get pregnant. 5 years. That is a HUGE chunk of time. Hell, we've been married for only 6 1/2, so we've spent more of our marriage trying to start a family than not. I want nothing to do with infertility. With the doctors and nurses. The testing, the blood work, the internal ultrasounds (I lost count after 30 of them), the waiting and wishing and hoping and praying only to be disappointed. I want nothing to do with the hurt and anger and grief. We've been there and done that. And like I said, it was worth it for Ticky-boo, but I dont want to go through it again.
We have 2 embryo's chilling out at the Bourn Clinic in Cambridge and their rent is due this April. We're not going to pay it. We're going to donate our two remaining embryo's to medical research in the hopes that they can help find answers for something.
There's a blog I read, its actually the only infertility blog I still keep up with, its called Single Infertile Female. I dont remember how I found her blog, I just remember stumbling across it and becoming completely intrigued and genuinely interested in her story. She is a fabulous writer! Well, she wrote a post a couple of days ago about how her view of IVF has changed. Her opinion is not one that is very welcome one in the infertility community, but it is an opinion that needs to be shared and heard out.
When you're in the middle of the storm... when you're knee deep in all the treatments and the emotions of it all, you cant see that there might be another side to it. That there might be a negative to it all. All you see is what you want... the end result you hope that you'll get. And in trying to achieve that end result you will defend every decision, every shot or medicine you take to the very end, no matter what. But once you're through the storm and on the other side, you can see a bigger picture. You can see what the drugs did to you.
You can see the physical changes made to your body... its 2 years later and I am still carrying around extra weight from the hormones I injected into my body... of course, I'm also carrying around cheeseburger weight, but whatever. I carry 2 scars from an exploratory laparoscopy and I even had to cut my hair off to get rid of the "hormone hair" that grew during our treatment... it was completely different than my normal hair (and yes I realize all those things are not life altering changes, but they ARE changes all the same). And lets face it, we have no idea what physical changes can still take place because of all those drugs.
Along with the physical changes come a hefty load of emotional changes. Just because we're not going through more treatment does not mean we're not still infertile. Just because we're on the other side and we have our take home baby doesn't mean we dont still hurt from everything we went through. I still deal with infertility and recurrent miscarriages on a regular basis. It may not be day to day or even with the flow of my cycle, but I fight with the repercussions of that hell.
Last year, I spent a few weeks in California visiting a couple of my best friends. One of them was pregnant at the time and had just hit, I think, 18 weeks, and wanted to go for a 3D ultrasound to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl. I went with her and the moment we stepped foot into the office, I felt my blood pressure sky rocket and my nerves were shot. I was absolutely terrified that we would walk into the ultrasound room and they would start the scan and find out the baby was dead. How fucked up is that? That is NOT a normal reaction to a 3D ultrasound to find out the sex of a perfectly healthy baby whose mother had had a perfectly healthy pregnancy. I knew in that moment just how messed up I was and realized that we needed to stop what we were doing and heal. And we did. We thew in the proverbial towel and took a step back. We spent a few weeks really talking everything over, I got on birth control and the ultimate plan was to take at the very least, a year, off and then reassess and decide what to do. In my own mind, I had reconciled myself to living a childless life. I had decided that I couldn't do the infertility "thing" any more. I just couldn't. And a couple of months later we got the call about Ticky-Boo (we plan and God laughs...lol).
And even though its been an entire year since I last took a Clomid pill or went in for an ultrasound to check for follicle growth and its been almost 2 years since IVF, I'm still messed up. One of my best friends is pregnant with their first child and even though she is almost out of her first trimester, I am still counting down til she hits viability week. I am still so scared for them that something awful will happen. They went in for their first ultrasound and I bit off every nail in anticipation and worry until I heard from them that everything looked perfect. Seriously. I love them both so much, but dont want to be around them because I'm afraid I'll "rub off" on them and they'll lose their baby. NOT NORMAL. And yes, I know that that sounds completely stupid and crazy and rationally, I know that that is not a possibility, but infertility and miscarriages have stripped away a piece of my sanity. They've stolen a part of me and replaced it with this insane worry wart freak who thinks everyone is going to have infertility or have a miscarriage. Again, I reiterate... Not Normal.
Here we are, almost a year after our conversation to cease all treatment and give up on the baby thing and while, yes, we do have a child, I still stand by our conversation and my ultimate decision. I do not, in any way, shape, or form, want to pursue having another child. To me, its just not worth it anymore. I dont see the point. I feel fulfilled by Ticky-Boo and I can say that I dont need a biological child to feel like a mother. I reached the point where enough was enough and I dont ever want to go back there. Even if we didn't have her, I wouldn't do it anymore. I've said before that everything... the whole process changed me. Some for the better, but some for the worse... the worse, the losing a part of myself, that isn't worth it to me. And I know it sounds crazy and I'm sure a lot of people would disagree and say that once the baby is older, I'll change my mind, and while I have learned to never say never, I feel secure enough in my decision to say never again to IVF or any infertility treatment. I cant. I wont. We gave five years to it all. There's no need to give any more time or any more of myself.
The crazy thing in all that is that I feel like I will always have to defend our decision to not pursue more children. I feel like people will think we didn't try hard enough and go through enough to really say we gave it a go. And I shouldn't feel like that. I've asked before when is enough, enough? Is it one miscarriage or ten? Is it one round of IVF or six? When is enough, enough? How far would we have had to go before I felt like I didn't need to defend my wanting to stop? How much more would we have had to endure?