Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Friend's Sadness

I heard from a friend of mine today that her second round of IVF was not successful. My heart just broke for her when I heard the news. She and her husband have been trying to have a baby for about six years now with no success. News like this is difficult for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I feel awful for my friend. I know how important this was for her, and I can't imagine the heartbreak she must be feeling to know that even after all these years and all this effort, she still isn't pregnant. My friend is almost 40 years old, so she feels that time is running out for her. Yet, at the same time, she has a good attitude. She hasn't let her infertility make her hopeless. She still has every hope that someday she will be a mother. Her faith is inspirational.

The second reason her news is difficult to hear is that I know I'm about to embark on my first round of IVF in a few months. It's a completely selfish to be thinking of myself when it's her disappointment, but I also need to be honest about how I'm feeling.

After my initial heartbreak for her, I realized that her difficulty also made me feel very scared about my upcoming IVF. I know this isn't our only shot at getting pregnant, but it's definitely a huge investment. Financially AND Emotionally. For so long, IVF has seemed to be a last resort tactic. I always thought it was the final chance before having to look at options like surrogacy and/or adoption. I want so badly to be able to carry my own baby, and the thought of being at the end of that road - so to speak - is terrifying.

So even though it might sound selfish, hearing that someone else's IVF cycle failed brings up those natural feelings of fear within myself. Some part of me screams, "What if my cycle fails too? What if I can never carry a child and be a mother?" It's definitely a scary thought. I know that we can try more than once, but the unknown of it is what scares me the most. I've read stories of people's cycles having to be canceled because of overstimulation or some other complication. Also, sometimes the embryos don't survive long enough to be transferred. There are so many things that can go wrong.

How do you live through this experience and still keep hope alive? How do you hear about other people's failure and still believe in your heart that there's something different in store for you? I don't know the answer to that. The only thing I can say is that I'm going to try to separate her experience from mine. Yes, it's heart-breaking, and yes, I will mourn with her and give her all of my support. On the other hand, I have to understand that her journey is not my journey. There is no way to know how my IVF cycle will turn out. My doctor gives me a 60% chance of success, and right now, that's all that matters for me. In my heart, I have to still believe that IVF will work for us. My journey. My outcome. An outcome I can't control. Allowing fear and doubt to creep in and control my attitude is only going to hurt me. I need to wake up every day and find a way to foster faith and love and most of all, HOPE.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Getting Into the Habit and Delays

I am used to blogging. In fact, I try to blog everyday. I have a blog for my writing career that has over 600 posts. But for some reason, when it comes to getting into the habit of keeping up with this blog about TTC, I just haven't been very good. I really think it would be good for me to get my fears off my chest. I think it would be good to talk about everything I'm going through with infertility. I know that no one else ever reads the blog, but it's more for me than anyone else. And maybe if I share what I'm thinking, eventually someone like me might stumble on this blog and find some comfort in what I've been through. I aim to try harder to post more often.

Since I'm writing today, I wanted to talk about the most recent news and struggles as far as IVF. Our plan was to begin IVF treatments on August 1st. I called to talk to my nurse the other day about the possibility of having an HSG done. I know the saline u/s I had done last October checked my uterus for fibroids and allowed the doctor to see my tubes. At the time, he said they "looked clear". Most of my friends on the baby center forums, however, had HSG's done instead of saline u/s and I began to wonder why. I asked the nurse, who then talked to the doctor. She said the doctor usually performs saline u/s instead, because HSG is limited to only checking the tubes and is more invasive than the saline, which checks both tubes and uterus.

We talked more about it and she said that if I really wanted to get a better look at my tubes before we proceed with IVF, the doctor said he would do another saline u/s (which they have to do anyway again before the IVF since the saline u/s is only good for six months). This time, though, he's going to put bubbles in the saline so he can see them passing through the tubes more clearly. Hehe. Bubbles! I wonder if it will feel any different? The trick is that a saline u/s has to be done on CD 5-9. When I talked to the nurse, I was already on CD 11 so it was too late for this month. In 22 days, my husband and I are going to Las Vegas on vacation. Based on previous cycles, it's totally possible I'll have my CD 5-9 while we are in Vegas! That would mean we couldn't do that required u/s until sometime in August.

The delayed u/s puts us several weeks into August before we can start birth control pills. I have to believe that the delay is for the best. That there is some divine reason why we should need to take a few extra weeks. If we were meant to start earlier, then I have to hope that my cycle will line up so that I can get the u/s done earlier than I think. TTC is such a roller-coaster already. Adding in all the precise timing and tests and medications that go along with IVF, it became even more of a crazy ride. I know keeping my stress levels down is going to be a big part of my success, so I'm determined to take these delays in stride and not let it bother me. I trust that everything is working out exactly as it should.