It’s a really hard time for us right now.
We were so grateful and excited to start our 2nd round of IVF last month. I was on a slightly lower dose of medications – the discomfort was lower, the process was easier, and we were blessed to get a good number of eggs again. As usual, we had our typical drop-off, but still had embryos to work with.
Then everything started to crack a little. Despite feeling confident we would be lucky this time, the pregnancies started to happen en masse again. In my infertility group, in my RL friend groups. 2nd children were planned and conceived.
Just like that.
Oh how I envy those with the luxury of being able to plan. Of choosing a time of year that will be convenient for them.
* * *
Almost everyone we know going through treatment is finding success. That magic fix of IVF that they needed? Bam, worked like a charm. First or second embryo transfers, there were the two lines. The positive blood tests. The excited announcements. IVF worked! Like it’s supposed to.
It felt like everyone else was finding it so much easier. And despite our usual: good embryos, awesome lining, responding to everything like a champ? No luck. Embryos just won’t stick. Four in so far, and none want to stay. My transfers are difficult, but the odds surely should eventually be in our favour. Everyone in our team is confused, and my brain is just:
This is all we want. We’re ready. We’re trying so hard.
It’s so emotionally exhausting and physically draining. I don’t want to be a negative statistic. Every day I wonder how many cycles we can do it without it just irreversibly changing me.
But then again, I can’t ever stop. I can’t bear the thought of giving up – something has to work sometime, right? We have these frozen transfers, then we try another stim cycle/egg collection, and whatever transfers come from that?
Do we pay privately again? Bankrupt ourselves? Borrow money?
Go on the adoption waiting list for the next however many years? (NZ has a tiny number every year).
Try and adopt internationally, for thousands more?
Get an embryo donor? A surrogate?
None of these options feel good right now. None of them feel right, right now.
But the one thing I can’t see myself ever coping with is being childless. I don’t think I could just “get used to” being a couple without kids. Learning to enjoy life without our own family. It’s just not on the cards for me. I don’t want that to be my normal, because it probably will never feel normal.
It’s hard not to feel utterly defeated and that treatment won’t work for us. If we can’t figure out why, then what do we do? Try more transfers and hope it’s a numbers game? Feel like we’re running in circles without a result? It feels futile and heartbreaking and wrong. And so. damn. unfair.
I’m so tired of it.
I’m so scared that it’ll never be us.
We keep being told we’re so young, but we’re 3+ years in and I’ll soon be 34. Yes, we have time, but how much time? How many more years do I mess with my body to try and get just one baby?
* * *
And then the advertising began. I don’t know if it’s my age group or who I follow or what, but instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube… all they serve me are Clearblue test ads, baby lotion ads, nappy ads, and the worst? An ad for my own fertility clinic.
I want to throw my phone in a lake and go live in the woods.
My current plan is a social media hiatus, which I started yesterday. It’s actually kind of refreshing not to be checking and reading obsessively all day. I find myself opening my phone to look and then realising I’ve moved all the apps, and putting it down. Maybe I’ll start actually reading books again.
So for now, I don’t know.
What do I write about?
We are still failing.
I don’t know what else to do.
But hopefully soon I’ll not feel so broken, and be ready to try again. Right now, no thank you. I am off the hormones, I am off the restrictions, I am off thinking about it constantly.
I’m trying to enjoy life as it comes. I’m trying to focus on work, and losing some treatment weight, and thinking about everything except my empty uterus.
I’m trying to breathe.