i didn’t say it was rational

Maybe I should clarify.  I know that infertility is not a judgment.  It is a condition (or a collection of conditions conveniently grouped together), and the point I see in the comments to my last post, that we would not refuse treatment for any other medical condition or illness, is one I’ve actually made myself elsewhere.

There is nothing wrong with IVF, or with other medical technology as long as it is safe and effective, and I absolutely apologize if I offended anyone.  When I say I don’t want to do it, I don’t mean I have a strong reasoned position for why not.  I just mean I don’t think it’s the right thing for me. I have a really strong emotional aversion to the whole idea, and some of you are probably right that fear is mixed up in there somewhere.  But fear isn’t the whole story.

Even when I thought I would be able to get pregnant easily I always wanted to adopt as well.  It’s hard to articulate why without sounding like I’ve got some kind of savior complex, but I know that there are a lot of children who need families, and if there is anything I have and to spare it is love.  I have always thought that if it were to come down to it, I would want to pursue adoption instead of IVF.

Also I know that to a lot of people (my husband included) it seems awfully early for me to be thinking along these lines.  But as I tried to articulate in my last post, I don’t think I can handle going through another 6-month stretch without a plan.  This past winter and spring were so bad, and as I’ve mentioned I can feel the depression on the edges of my consciousness ready to come roaring back.  I really think that part of what kept me so low for so long was the uncertainty, and I have got to do whatever I can to keep from getting back to that place.  So I have got to think about what we will do if my husband really does have sperm problems, and if I don’t get pregnant naturally in the next 6 months or so.

6 months is kind of arbitrary; it’s the amount of time the RE originally recommended we try naturally after my surgery, before the bad SA results came back.  But it seems like a manageable amount of time, so I am sticking with it as a unit.  I’m not saying we definitely have a MFI problem since we haven’t even seen the urologist yet; I just want to know what we will be doing in 6 months if all is not well.

I am kind of in a forced wait right now anyway, since we won’t even have any more information until my husband sees the urologist and has the test repeated.  He’s not going to do that until November at the earliest, because he (very understandably) doesn’t want to insert this additional stress into October, when he’ll be doing his comprehensives and also continuing to work on his dissertation, which has to be finished by January (it’s a hard deadline because he’s already got an ensemble waiting to premiere it in the spring).

So what I’m trying to do at this point is figure out what the next 6 months to a year will look like if in fact we don’t conceive naturally.  Our RE is pretty confident that with the sperm he saw in August, IUI would not be effective (whether medicated or not).  The morphology was so low that he strongly suggested we do IVF/ICSI because he didn’t think the sperm would penetrate the egg on its own.

He sent us over to the clinic’s financial counselor and she went over the costs with us.  It wasn’t as bad as I had feared (our first Chucklehead RE told us $20,000 for one cycle; this is looking more like $14,000), but it’s still out of reach for us financially.  I think that my mother would probably help us if we asked, though, so if we were to decide this was something we wanted to do we might be able to make it work with a bank loan (we have great credit, just no money) and some help from Mom.

But I still don’t want to do it.

And what I want to figure out before it becomes urgent is, first of all, why I don’t want to do it.  Am I “just” scared?  Is it because I want to adopt anyway and so the process doesn’t seem worth it?  Am I taking my anger about being infertile out on the technology?  And which of these reasons are good reasons?

Second of all, I need to know more about where my husband is mentally with this.  He is Not Thinking About It right now, so I’m going to have to be patient on that part, which is why I’m trying to work out my own shit first.

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3 responses to “i didn’t say it was rational

  1. Oh I so agree about needing to start the wheels in motion for a plan just in case you don’t get pregnant naturally. Whether its IVF or adoption or just being childless I do think its worthwhile having the discussion with your husband sooner rather than later. It doesn’t mean you have to commit to any one particular path, but more that you are treading the water of what may become an evenuality.
    And yes, IVF is not for everyone, its your path and you get to make the decisions about which way is right for you. It’s crappy that any of us have to be here in a position where the alternatives are IVF or adoption, it’s just pure sadness to be here. It’s an emotionally charged and difficult situation that I wish none of us had to be in.
    Thinking of you. x

  2. I completely understand how you feel. I feel the same way about donor eggs. Before I found success with IVF (with my own eggs) I wondered if that’s what I would have to resort to. And it just felt . . . . wrong. This is not to judge anyone who has done it, but it felt wrong for me. And I worried that I was depriving my husband of having a child by refusing to do it, and felt tremendous guilt.

    The thing is that you do not have any obligation to do anything you do not want to do. I know it sounds so trite but I deeply believe it. If IVF is not for you, then so be it and no one should tell you you are selfish and argue with you.

  3. We’ve been TTC for almost 3 years and I still can’t wrap my head around IVF. As much as I try to convince myself otherwise, I just don’t wanna – it’s a gut feeling, but I’m all for people who go that route. Wish I could be comfortable with it.

    I’m scared about the long term effects of the meds – it’s really an unknown since IVF is a relatively new procedure. Having done a couple of IUI’s, which were fairly intense and mentally exhausting, I imagine IVF would be that x 10. Yech.

    Be true to your gut feelings – keeping your sanity is hard to do. Having a plan/alternative has always helped me; knowing that I’m doing SOMETHING…

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