Pregnancy

Unbearable: Will Infertility Take Over My Life?

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Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.

A very wonderful friend of mine is pregnant with twins right now. She went through multiple sessions of artificial insemination and in vitro to get her beautiful little darlings that she’s carrying. She advises me on every step of the fertility process and talks me through even the smallest of difficulties. Honestly, I can’t tell you all how lucky I feel to have this type of support.

During one recent lunch, she said, “People who never experience this don’t understand how you can just sit in your house and sob for an entire day. Maybe it’s not the first failed insemination, because then you can tell yourself that it’s just the first try. Maybe it’s the second one that will do it. But at some point in time, it’s just too much. It’s ok to feel like you have no idea what you’re going to do next.”

What my friend was talking about, those days incapacitated by emotional heart-wrench and depression, is what I’m afraid of most. Right now, I’ve run my tests. I’ve gotten some answers and a whole lot more questions. Now, I have to decide just how far I’m willing to go in my quest to have another child. My husband and I have to decide if we’re stable enough to survive the emotional roller coaster and if we’re determined enough to spend thousands of dollars on a procedure that might not work. And this decision is terrifying.

Fertility treatments are a lot more than shots and tests. They are a hormonal whirlwind, which can effect women in many different ways. Any fertility treatment takes time, energy and dedication, whether its hormone therapy, artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization. All of it is taxing in ways that cannot be easily described. And once you’ve jumped on this ride, where do you get off? Do you keep pushing until you finally have a child? Is there a dollar limit at which you need to cut off? Is there a time limit involved?

I feel like I’m standing at this huge precipice deciding whether or not I’m going to jump. My inability to decide is already keeping me up at night, distracting me from menial tasks and making me more than a little crazy. So just how much of my life will be taken over once I finally make a decision?

I’ve asked a lot of questions so far. And I’m not sure anyone can give me any answers. So much of this process is personal. Every family will deal with fertility issues in their own way. I’m hoping that I’ll make the right decision for myself, my husband and our daughter. And if that decision is to begin fertility treatments, I’m hoping that my amazing friend will sit with me whenever I need to sob hysterically for hours. Actually, that is the one thing that I don’t have to be uncertain about. Having a wonderful support system is one of the few things of which I’m sure.

As for the rest, I’m still deciding. I don’t know if our fertility journey will take over my life for the next couple of years. But I think that might be better than letting infertility decide that the next couple decades will be filled with disappointment.

 

5 Comments

  1. Claudia

    July 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing, it’s refreshing to read this from a woman’s perspective and not only as an article full of stats or success stories that skip the challenging time that’s in between.

  2. Jaclyn

    July 8, 2011 at 11:53 am

    As an IVFer myself, I can tell you (as I’m sure your friend has) that it DOES absolutely take over your life. The weirdest thing for me now that I have my daughter is NOT thinking about it. It just becomes second nature. After I stopped breastfeeding and started getting periods again, it took me almost 6 months before I stopped noting the changes in my cervical mucus. But like anything else, when it becomes part of your routine it can feel less overwhelming after a while. And, of course, the pay off is so worth it.

  3. Crystal

    July 9, 2011 at 10:48 am

    You don’t have to get on the infertility treatment crazy train if you don’t want to. I speak as an infertile woman who decided to get off and move on (BTW, I don’t lurk on mommy blogs – I ended up on this blog through a link that was above the STFU Parents article).

    The problem with the neverending options to treat infertility is that there is always something else you can try. It sounds great in theory, but it means that you can never move on, never fully grieve your infertility unless you are lucky enough to get pregnant.The other option is making a choice to stop. I did, and I grieved and I moved on.

    From your post it sounds like you already have a daughter, right? I can understand wanting to give her a sibling, but it’s not the end of the world if she grows up an only child. Really. You can save yourself a lot of heartache and grief by deciding now where you will stop on your quest to have another baby. Decide now and stick to it. If you don’t get pregnant, grieve and move on. I really think it’s so much healthier emotionally.

  4. Pingback: Unbearable: Infertility Doesn’t Just Affect Women | Mommyish

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