Walking Away from IVF

Patience has never really been “my thing”. When I want something, I want it now. I obsess over it.  I live and breathe for it – I talk about it night and day, pace in the night plotting how I will get it.  That “thing” I have been obsessing about is bringing a child into this world and this, is the story of my life, as I’ve fought to become a Mom for the past four years.

After two years of marriage, I decided it was time for us to go from a family of two to a family of three.  Just like that, as if I could magically make it happen.  Like everything else in my life, I planned it down to a tee – we would begin January first, we would track everything on an app and boom, the pregnancy test would show positive a few short weeks later.  “We’ll be pregnant at the same time!”, I naively exclaimed to my best friend who was pregnant at the time.  When my period came shortly after, I cried on the couch questioning, “What did we do wrong?”.  When my husband told me this process could take years, I thought angrily, “Years?!  Not us”. 

 In September of 2018, I knew in my heart that something was not right.  While others may have felt defeated or worried about having to go see a specialist, I was oddly excited.  He was the “best of the best” and he would fix me.  This was our answer.  And from that day on and still to this day, I continue to follow his words with blind faith, trust and most importantly, hope that somehow, someway he was brought into our life to lead us on a path to our baby.

When I started IVF, I was relieved – relieved to finally find an answer to my sleepless nights.  It became my religion – everyday that I wasn’t going through it, was another day without our baby.  I had developed a sense of comfort in that if I was doing IVF, then I was doing everything I could to have our baby. In two years, I had undergone eight rounds of IVF, a major surgery, two egg retrievals, two implants, an ERA biopsy, many a cancelled cycles, a miscarriage followed by a D&C and three hysteroscopies.  I would find myself teetering between wondering when is enough enough followed by a lingering sense of guilt that I could not “quit” on our baby.  Each round came with higher doses, longer needles, more medications and each time I showed up, more eager than the last ready to fight another round.

I lived with blinders on during those two years – each cycle a blur.  Just trying to make it to the next step.  But the one thing I do remember with complete clarity is the shifting response from my closest loved ones.  Round after round the words of encouragement slowly turned to words of concern, words of worry – “I hate seeing you like this” and “We miss your smile”.  I had no idea that my unwavering faith and focus in this process was causing such heartbreak to my closest loved ones.

I say this not to discourage anyone from stepping away from the process.  God knows I had to come to this on my own terms and there are still times I wish I could be injecting myself daily just to have that sense of comfort back in my heart.  I say this because after many a rounds of therapy and tears, I can now reflect that this unhealthily took over my world and at times, to the detriment of my physical and mental health.

Today, I am gradually finding peace in stepping away from IVF– understanding now that the words of concern from my loved ones were what I needed to hear and that maybe IVF is not the way I am meant to bring a baby into this world.  Walking away from IVF does not mean that I have walked away from my fight.  If anything, it has made that fight in me blaze even stronger, revealing a resilience within me that I never knew existed.  So, here I am – unsure of what the future holds, unsure of how or when we are going to bring a baby into our home.  But after the two years of everything we’ve been through, I walk away knowing that I’m a fighter who won’t leave this world without knowing what it is like to become a Mama.



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