no mas

I don’t want to do IVF.

I don’t want to do it in November, I don’t want to do it after my husband sees the urologist, I don’t want to do it in six months, I don’t want to do it in a year.

I don’t want to do it ever.

My husband says it’s way too soon to be thinking about it; he thinks I will be pregnant in a few months, and if not, we can talk about it when the time comes.  He does have a point–there is no use in worrying about something that may never be necessary–but so far our whole frustrating TTC history has been a story about waiting and seeing.  We have been cautious, not wanting to admit there was a problem, then accepting what the first RE told us, then waiting another 5 months before finding a new doctor (who diagnosed me in five minutes flat), and now waiting to see if the low sperm numbers were a fluke.

At every stage we have waited, and all it has gotten us is more waiting.  I know why he doesn’t want to think about IVF; he wants to believe that the surgery was the answer, the only answer, and that things will work out the way they’re supposed to now.  But I don’t want to go another six months without a plan, then start having the conversations that we could have been having all along.  What will we do if we run up against that six months, and another, and another, and all of a sudden I’m too old?  My mother entered perimenopause when she was younger than I am now (which is why I’m feeling time ticking away even though I’m only 32), and I just don’t know how much more time I have to wait and see.

I think we definitely need to let me continue healing, and I also have a tiny sliver of hope that we are fertile now, but I also think we have to have a plan for next spring, in the (likely) event that I don’t get pregnant.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this post:  I don’t want to do IVF.  Ever.

What I would like to know from you is, is this a selfish stance to take?  Knowing this is something my husband would be willing to pursue, and knowing that our RE feels strongly it is our best chance, do I owe it to my husband to do it?  It’s not like I have a moral objection to the technology; I just hate everything about the idea of it.*  I feel like if my body has to be so dramatically manipulated in order to get pregnant, maybe I’m not supposed to get pregnant.  That’s a hard thing to type, and a very, very sad thing to think about, but it feels true for me.  I don’t want to do it.

I want very badly to talk openly with my husband about this, but he is not ready for this conversation yet.  He says it’s not time to think about it; he says we should just wait and see like we’ve done before.

*FOR ME.  I have absolutely no ill feelings towards those of you who have done it or are getting ready to do it.  I have nothing but respect for you.  In fact, reading your stories is part of why I don’t want to do it:  I am not as strong as you, and I don’t think I could handle it.

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11 responses to “no mas

  1. I may end up being in the minority here, but I think it is perfectly OK for you to say “no” to IVF. I, myself, was determined to never do an IVF cycle, and while I may eventually compromise and do a DE IVF. . . . but to me, that is different in a few ways, not the least of which are the better odds of success and the less stress on my body. (More akin to a FET for me than a fresh IVF cycle.)

    I think you have to do what is right for you, regardless of what others think is best.

  2. It’s a very honest post. And you are not the only one who feels strongly against IVF. Many people choose not do it at all. For various reasons. I just want to say that you don’t have to decide now. You can try naturally, you can always do IUIs with medication and see where it takes you. You might get pregnant and never have to make a decision on IVF.

  3. I hated the idea of it too–in fact, I spent two years trying to avoid it by doing literally every holistic remedy under the sun. Yes, these things improved my health and cycle, but I did not get pregnant.

    I finally decided that as much as I disliked the idea, and as much as I disliked interacting with the medical system in general, that I was now 39 years old and would do it. I was actually amazed by how overall painless it is. You give yourself a shot every night that generally doesn’t hurt, then go in for a quick scan every few days. The egg retrieval was nothing–they put me completely out and there were no ill effects. Five days later I was back for the embryo transfer. You take a valium, they transfer the embryos (which takes about 30 seconds), and half an hour later you leave. About 12 days later you find out if it worked.

    You don’t say your age, but like I said I’m 39 and it worked right away, PLUS I have two frozen blastocysts I can transfer later. I had my 12 week OB appointment today and heard the baby’s heartbeat. It was all worth it to finally have this little being with us.

    It’s well within your rights not to do it, but let me tell you, it really is not that bad at all if you go to a good clinic. I had my change of heart when I eventually wanted the shot at a baby more than I wanted to avoid it. Whatever you decide, wishing you the best.

  4. I sure as fuck didn’t want to use donor eggs.

    But here I am.

    You do what you gotta do.

  5. I just saw you are 32. At a good clinic you’d probably have a 60+% chance of a live birth with one IVF, and you may have frozen embryos for a sibling later. It really isn’t bad at all (in fact it’s kind of neat to watch the follicles grow from visit to visit) but you have to do what works for you.

  6. There’s nothing selfish at all about not wanting to do IVF. We all have our limits. Your reasons are your reasons – and it doesn’t matter how “selfish” it sounds to anyone else, they’re perfectly valid. IVF is like any other medical procedure, you reserve the right to refuse it. You also reserve the right to change your mind in the future, should you decide that you’re in a better emotional place to handle it. I was called selfish for not wanting to do IVF by someone on a message board, and it hurt terribly. No one is in your head or heart, no one knows what you can handle, no one knows your limits better than you do. Admitting to yourself that this is just something you don’t want… that’s not selfish. That’s knowing what you want and what you are willing/not willing to sacrifice to get it. And I personally think that’s admirable.
    As for your husband’s willingness to do it – well, he’s not the one who will have to go through the actual procedure. You don’t “owe” him anything. Of course it’s good to take his feelings into account, but he loves you no matter what path you do/don’t take to parenthood. He may be hurt, but there are other alternatives that he may be equally okay with once he is able to accept the loss of this particular option.
    Sorry for the ridiculously long comment 🙂

  7. You sound like me :). I never wanted to do IVF – still don’t. I’m really terrified of the health risks – it increases the odds of my endo getting worse, my odds of ovarian/breast cancer will increase dramatically (which are already higher with the endo), and I’m not sure those risks are something I’m willing to sign up for.
    Now, if my husband said he really wanted to do it and he wouldn’t be happy if we didn’t…I’d probably do it. But I don’t think he’d make that ultimatum, based on his acceptance so far of adoption. I do know that he doesn’t like to make decisions until we have all the information in front of us – so he’s not in a hurry to decide either way, whereas I’m constantly wanting to know what’s in store for us NOW. Must be a guy thing :).
    I wish none of us had to make these decisions…

  8. I think it’s good for you to be so conscious of yourself, of what you cannot or don’t want to handle. It sounds tough, all those hormones and drugs and what-not, and it’s not like there was a guarantee — it may just turn into a very expensive BFN. I think that last part makes considering IVF so tough for me. I’m devastated every month, how bad will it be when I’ve spent thousands of $$ on it?
    You don’t owe this to anyone. It is your body that would go through IVF, not your husband’s. (Is adoption a possibility for you guys?)
    But if you change your mind in a year or two, that’s ok too.

  9. I don’t think any of us wants to do IVF. It certainly wasn’t something that I wanted to do. But I want a baby and for me my desire to be pregnant was a thousand times stronger than my fear of IVF.
    I guess you just have to figure out what you’re scared of and if IVF isn’t something you’re comfortable doing then thats perfectly fine, and I really feel like you probably won’t need to go as far as IVF anyway since I’m hoping your surgery has taken the major obstacle out of your path.
    I just don’t buy the line that if you need IVF then maybe you aren’t supposed to have children. I think this is such an honest thing for you to say and I have to admit a small part of me was a little offended because maybe thats what I seretly think too. But if thats true then the same could be said for any illness that people suffer….. we shouldn’t take medicine or get surgery because our body is telling us that we deserve to be sick? I don’t know, I just don’t like the guilt that comes along with feeling that us infertiles don’t deserve to use the science available today to help us get pregnant. I hope you and your hubby have some time to talk these things over. Thinking of you, and like I said earlier I’m sure you won’t even need IVF so all of this is a moot point I hope. Look at Bunny…. you are destined to follow in her footsteps really soon. xxx

  10. One of the things Johnny and I determined before we even had the first confirmed miscarriage, just based on the fact my ex and I never conceived, and the health issues I have, was that we would never do IVF… that it wasn’t right for us. Now granted, he has two kids with his ex, but even without that (they weren’t in our lives at that point for a number of reasons) we were sure it was something that we would not do. Sometimes, you just know that it’s not something you can do, for any number of reasons.
    ((hugs))

  11. This is a tough juncture. I totally respect your decision not to pursue IVF. However, the shitty reality is that often, one person or the other in a baby-making unit are often ahead of the other or on a completely different page. I do think your decision should have more weight with respect to IVF since it is your mind and body that will be put through the wringer.

    I’m sorry he’s not more willing to talk about the possibilities. That same friend who pursued IVF that I was writing to you about before … she told me that their therapist recommended that she and her husband always have a plan B if plan A failed. They needed to talk through all the potential endings and decide what the next step would be. Not that they couldn’t renegotiate/change their mind, but according to the therapist, it was important that they considered and talked about all the possibilities.

    Maybe he’d be willing to talk if he understood that it is part of your process and not necessarily just you being a worry-wart. Anyway, you have legitimate reasons to worry, so it’s not like you are being totally unreasonable.

    Thinking of you.xx

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