Thoughts and feelings about IVF, Part I

March 2, 2008

But first, more updates: it turns out the class that we were scheduled to attend on March 4 was an IUI class–obviously not quite so useful for us now. The IVF classes are on Thursdays, not Tuesdays. So I cancelled for the 4th and scheduled us for the next available IVF class, which is Thursday, March 27th. Seems like an age from now, but again, I know time will fly by. G’s repeat SA is also scheduled, for Thursday, March 20th. On that day, we’re also going to sit down together with Dr. No-Nonsense to talk about our options.

That’s pretty much why the “thoughts and feelings about IVF” in this post are only part I. I’m quite sure that after we talk to Dr. N-N, I’ll have more to say. But, I figure, I might as well start musing now.

So. Thoughts and feelings (so far)? Well, I am a little freaked out by the idea of entering infertility treatment at the top level, so to speak. No easing into it with Clomid for us! Instead, it looks like we’re going straight for the big guns. Which does mean that we’re going straight for the method most likely to work for us, but also means that if IVF somehow doesn’t work, well, there’s nowhere else to go medically. And since we only get three covered-by-insurance attempts, I am feeling a lot of fear about how much seems to be riding on each cycle. I’m trying to feel the fear and let it go rather than obsess about it, but it is hard not to get stuck in negative thought loops of this sort: What if the first cycle doesn’t work? Or what if it works, but then (God forbid) I miscarry? Talk about “wasting a turn.” (I apologize if this sounds flippant, as I don’t mean it that way) Or, if it takes us all three covered tries to get pregnant, will my head explode during gestation from anxiety about everything we have riding on this last chance for a successful pregnancy? Or, if it takes us all three covered tries to get pregnant, what will we do when it comes to child number two, if it comes to that?

And, the one that I can hardly even bear to write out, but lurks behind all of these: What if all three cycles don’t work?

Logically, I know that the odds are probably reasonably in our favor. I’m young, and (thankfully) in overall good health. Surely that means we have as good a chance as anyone does for IVF success, right? In 2006, my clinic had a 67.2% pregnancy rate for women under 35 years old, though I don’t know the live birth rate. But the point is, the “under 35” group is the group with the best chances, that’s clear from the numbers. So I know there’s really no reason to be all doom and gloom about it ahead of time. I also know that focusing on failure before we even get to the beginning of the process is a good way to create that reality for myself, so I want to start shifting my thinking in a more positive direction. But it’s hard to do, I admit. Maybe because I’m afraid to get my hopes up? Or because after sixteen or so months of trying, unsuccessfully, to get pregnant, I’m finding it impossible to believe that pregnancy really is in the cards for us?

I don’t know. All I know is that the idea of IVF is scarier, on an emotional level, than I thought it would be.

…And yet I’m also impatient to get started! Part of me wants to throw caution to the wind and do our first cycle in April rather than May. I will see what G thinks, and what Dr. No-Nonsense says when we talk to her. I can cross the due date bridge when I come to it, deal with the maternity leave issues and the timing issues and all the logistics later. Right now I’m feeling like, well, let’s just go ahead and give this scary shit a try. Why not?

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3 Responses to “Thoughts and feelings about IVF, Part I”

  1. Ariel Says:

    This resonates with me: “Or because after sixteen or so months of trying, unsuccessfully, to get pregnant, I’m finding it impossible to believe that pregnancy really is in the cards for us?”

    Yeah, it’s hard to believe, after all that decidedly not-working stuff, to wrap your head around anything working. My RE would act insulted whenever I expressed doubt, all “Tis I, the Great Fertility God, I will accept no doubters in my flock!” (Bastard). When nothing has ever worked before, not even a little, where exactly are you supposed to scrounge up that belief that it could be you? Percentages never made me feel better (though 67% does sound mighty good) because I’d overcome good odds before. I don’t have any big revelations here–I just know that it’s scary and hard to focus on the positive, and for what it’s worth, I don’t think expecting the worst from a cycle will actually prevent you from getting pregnant. When you can get a positive feeling going, roll around in it, but when you can’t, don’t add that to the things you’re worrying about.

  2. jennphur Says:

    I cannot believe how much you sound like me before deciding to go forward with the IVF cycle. I felt that going to IVF was like going from 0-warp speed in 5 seconds. But listen to your heart, when you feel that its time to jump in- jump in. When I had that feeling, I went on ahead. Now I realize that perhaps it was God speaking to my heart. I am so glad that I did. Although the process was not easy (I have plenty of bruises from shots and a sore booty to show for it) But I got my BFP today and they think it may be twins. It will work. Surrond yourself with positive people and weed out those that are suspect. You and your husband will not need any hangers on.

    Again I tell you go for it, God will work it out for you.

  3. Harmony Says:

    Randomly found your post. Have to say, I totally hear what you are saying. I’m 32, been trying for 16+ months, did 2 failed IUI and are now moving to our first IVF cycle. Wish I had 3 covered my ins – mine are all out’o’pocket – talk about pressure to succeed! Geesh! So I really jump to the ‘what ifs’ of the process. I’m trying to keep all in perspective that I have a great life already and that is more then many around the world – but some days are harder then others. I hope you get your little miracle soon. Good luck!

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