IVF is Emotional and Financial Torture. Yet I Persevere.
I’ve honestly lost count of how many fertility meds, scans and appointments I’ve had on the road to conceiving my take home baby. At what point do we say it is like an addiction? Am I gambling away my time and money? There are no guarantees and yet I keep doubling down at the table. Just ONE more time, I tell myself. If I believe hard enough, if I stay positive enough, if I pray enough, if I try this new thing or that new thing or read one more clinical trial and urge my doctor to change my protocol based on that THEN I will get pregnant and stay pregnant.
I used to be a rational woman, honestly. Now, I’m just not sure. I understand that 1% of a chance of pregnancy means 99% chance that no pregnancy will occur. However, one percent is NOT zero percent, as my dear TTC sister Alishea gently emphasizes. All things through Christ are possible. She had a one percent chance of success with her own eggs. She got two embryos that made it to blastocycst. Her first to make it that far, after many IVF rounds. She transferred both of them. One of them implanted and split. She now has two beautiful identical twins. The girls are extremely happy and just radiate JOY. She sends me pictures of them and when I see them, it sets me right as rain. How can I not keep going? If I have a one percent chance of getting little babies, it absolutely beats zero percent chance.
So I am holding on to hope. I am keeping the faith. I am not done.
Two weeks ago, I learned that my second embryo died. I received the embryologist report four days ago and the word “DEAD” appeared on the 6th day of development. I hadn’t grieved really prior to seeing those four capital letters. Something about seeing it in writing, made it so definitive. I’ve wept every day since. My little baby didn’t make it. It didn’t ever get to rejoin me. It died alone in some petri dish in a lab, under the watchful eye of a skilled embryologist. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. It is a pain that one can’t possibly understand unless one has experienced it. I’m two weeks post egg retrieval, so I’m pretty sure all the hormones I injected myself with are gone. These are my real emotions, my real tears for my very real loss.
I am ashamed to admit, that I was dismissive of IVF treatments prior to going through them. We’ve been making babies since the beginning of time, why is all that medical intervention necessary and why is it so damn expensive? It’s a textbook cliché, of why you have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Sometimes I wonder if God is dragging out the process so that I fully understand it is not just the science that makes the babies, but that HE has the final say. Without divinity, no babies are taken home. The creation of life is the ultimate creation and it is not to be taken lightly.
I know women who have conceived and aborted. Alas, I am one of those women. It was the right thing to do at that time. I don’t regret it. I do wonder if those were the children that were “allotted” for me and there will be no others. I have one child. I now understand more than ever what a blessing she is to the world.
I see the child in everyone and it makes me a more compassionate human being. We, each of us, is someone’s child. Whether we were wanted and prayed for or just got here by dumb luck, we are here and we are alive. We have a purpose.
In the same way that I know the sun will rise tomorrow, I know that I am meant to be a mom again. I know that I am meant to shepherd another soul into this world and help it find its purpose. I must persevere. I don’t need to count pills, needles, meds, scans or even dollars. It doesn’t matter in the end. All that matters is that I answer this calling. I trust that God will see me through. That is faith.