Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Aug 19 - Infertility

Husband and I went for an IVF seminar this evening. They mentioned the 'insurance package' which covers 6 cycles for a fixed high price and gives a big portion of the money back if we don't take a baby home at the end.

At the end of the seminar, husband asked what I thought of going in for that. I had told him before that I wasn't going through a second cycle if the first one didn't work. The whole thing was too invasive, stressful, expensive, physically and emotionally exhausting and it was taking over my life to the point that most other major things were on hold (like my career).

"Career stuff is not as important as this", he said.

"My life doesn't end if I cannot have kids, it's more important for me to bring up a child, regardless of whether they are mine". Of course, as I said that, I knew that the adoption process wasn't going to be any easier. That would come with its own set of problems - long waiting times, an endless application process, custody issues, exorbitant prices, etc.

We walked to an open air bar. It was a warm summer evening and the streets were full of people. Normally, both of us would have loved to soak in such an evening, but a gloom had settled over us. Husband was over-worked, tired, eyes blood shot. He was irritable and complained about minor annoyances. I stopped trying to make conversation. I felt guilty. Guilty and weak for not wanting to try indefinitely, guilty that I couldn't have the kids that my husband so desperately wanted.

The twilight was deepening outside; yellow lamps and neon signs started to come on. As I looked out over at the bustle on the street, I felt old and broken and above all, helpless.

There were multiple factors working against me - age, low egg count, endometriosis, fibroids. I had done everything I could upto this point, including a full abdominal surgery to get rid of fibroids in preparation for IVF. But even after all that, my chances with IVF were less than 45%. Less than half!

The source of all my problems, of course, was that I had waited too long. Sure, people my age were easily having kids, but then they didn't have decreased ovarian reserve or all the other problems I had. I looked back at the forks in my road, at all the decisions I'd made that led me to start trying only in my 30s.

I wondered, for the umpteenth time, what it was that could have caused the endometriosis and fibroids. My sister doesn't have these. All the women in my family have multiple healthy children. I have always been physically fit and active and eaten a healthy diet. Maybe I've always had endometriosis and it would have been a problem even in my 20s. Second guessing the past was a losing game.

We paid and walked silently out, past babbling kids and cheerful families. I was drowning in self-pity.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Aug 6 - Beginning of a surreal journey

My husband and I went to the doctor's office early this morning for our pre-IVF blood draws and semen analysis. I was extremely nauseous from the birth control pill that I had started taking the night before. I sat around the waiting room with watery eyes, feeling pukey.

I've taken birth control pills only twice in my life - once in preparation for my laparotomy 5 months ago and now, in preparation for IVF.

My nurse - a sweet stable looking woman, drew up a calendar for me and went over the IVF procedure. I hadn't realized just how much the entire process was about to take over my life. IVF seminars, Injection seminars, signing consent forms, medication to suppress the ovaries, medication to stimulate the ovaries.. Three weeks of injections in my stomach, 8 weeks of injections in my back that my husband had to give me, everyday, at the same time. The bumps and lumps that the progesterone injections were going to leave me with..

I'd have to take a day off for egg retrieval when they'd send a needle up transvaginally, to the ovaries to retrieve eggs. Make decisions about the number of embryos to transfer (assuming there will be any), the risks associated with multiples, etc.

The whole thing feels like a bad sci-fi movie. Surely, tampering with nature to this degree is going to have its consequences.