Infertility Update

For a year it felt like my Infertility was a never- ending cycle of doctors’ visits, blood work, tests, hope and heartache.
 From the end of 2017 to 2018 we visited Infertility doctors and specialist whom kept telling me that despite my diagnosis and PCOS I had a chance to conceive with treatment.
They laid out plans before us that could potentially get us to our dream of having our own child. We heavily discussed, agonized and weighed our decision that were given to us.

1.     IVF - with IVF I had a small percentage of a successful outcome of getting pregnant. Given that I had a very low rate of eggs and egg quality it was determined that although we could pursue this course of action it probably wasn’t our first recommended choice. Not only would this option need to be done soon (i.e. under 6 months for best chances) but without insurance that would cover IVF or infertility treatment it was going to cost us above $20,000 for a shot in the dark.
2.     Egg Donation. – egg donation was one of the first places where hope was instilled into us as a high chance of a successful pregnancy. The cost was somewhat lower than IVF and with frozen eggs the process was not as time consuming.
However, with this option we had to consider if I was ready to give up my chance at a biological child and give birth to my husband’s child with another women. We had to put aside the unsettling feelings of digging through profiles like a dating website of other women to choose to be our child’s mother.
While I did ultimately come to the conclusion in my soul that I was at peace with this decision when we were ready to move on with egg donation, we got another soul crushing reality check.

I was told that with my early adulthood diagnosis of Chiari Malformation it would make pregnancy difficult and potentially make childbirth dangerous.
Chiari Malformation is a condition in which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward. This ultimately creates pressure resulting in sometimes life changing symptoms from daily migraines, pain, dizziness and beyond.
So, my choices at this moment were:
·       I could have a natural birth with no pain medication, but the pushing could ultimately cause to much pressure in my brain either permanently damaging me with further complication from Chiari or kill me.
·       I could be put under anesthetic during childbirth, but this was also a dangerous course to undergo anytime you are put under.

3.     Adoption – It must be said that adoption does not take away the grief of infertility. Nor should it be considered a back-up plan. I have always told Christian from the beginning that I wanted to have a child of our own and then one day adopt another.
So, we sat down, read books, articles, attended a course and learned more about the options and process. However, what we came to find it that with the reality of adoption right now, the process and the costs we were simply overwhelmed and at the time didn’t feel like something we wanted to pursue.  I was adamant that if we were going to adopt, we were only going to go into it with a hundred percent mentally and emotionally commitment and with our own money saved without fundraising because we felt it wouldn’t have been fair to ourselves or the child.
Please note: This is no way means we don’t support others fundraising efforts, but we just didn’t feel it was right for us.

At this point the grief had taken on a new form and I started to not be able to recognize who I was. I felt like my choices had been stripped from me and I had no control or power.
I felt like the equivalent of a lab rat constantly being poked and prodded to come to the same conclusions. I was missing time at work, spending money on unanswered questions. I was tired of doctors trying to stop my heavy menstrual cycle with birth control or start a skipped period with synthetic hormones and my husband was tired of seeing me struggle. He was tired of having to see the side effect or potential scary hazards that would be required for me to go through for us to have a child.

My thoughts and actions were so focused on becoming a mother that I didn’t have time to work on and process through the grief.

I wanted to get back to who I was and in order to do that I had to ask for help and I had to finally realize and come to terms with one simple thing. “Infertility is not my fault.”

It was after this that I had to take a step back. We sat down and had at length conversations where we both came to the same conclusions that we married each other for our life together and everything else we had or will have was a bonus. Our path now needed to be focused on continuing to put each other first and that my life was more important that an invisible child.

For most having a child is as easy as sexual encounter, but for those of us on the Infertility journey, the lengths and costs we must go through to have a chance at a child can feel never ending and all encompassing. This can induce a feeling of resentment and anger for those pregnancy photos or announcements that we encounter on a daily basis and a society that celebrates motherhood, but with time I've learned to view these moments with a deeper understanding and happiness. To sit in the feeling, they may or not bring and find peace.

I just wanted to live life and not in this cycle of hope and grief. I was tired of getting lost in the dark and the fear or never becoming a mother outweighed the fear of living without children.

I heard someone once say that you've always been childless so embrace who you've always been and beginning to love and live that life. Others will have a hard time accepting your life and your decisions but remember that it is your path.  Every person has their own stopping point whether that be right after you find out, or after treatments, etc. Your journey and path are unique to you and when you get there you will know. There is no one answer to how to life a fulfilling life. A fulfilling life doesn't just look like a life with children.

We haven't yet called the time of death on our dream and it's usually an awkward conversation with others we first meet who don't yet know our story, but we have decided at this time to step back, take back my power, seek new adventures as we live a childfree life. Now we are taking the time for travel, self-growth, a deeper purpose, a new identity and love to spread around to family, friends and their children.