Full Circle

The past three weeks have been a blur to say the least; but they certainly complete the circle of this long journey for us.  On March 21, 2014, I gave birth to our son, Hudson.  What I remember the most was when they placed him skin-to-skin on my belly.  He cried a little and then contently lay awake and alert.  I watched him crawl up my body and feed for the first time.  We spent over an hour skin-to-skin and we had our own little bubble of calm in the chaos that was going on in the rest of the room.  Those moments and those emotions I felt made me feel like it was just myself and him.

When I look back at our IVF procedure and then I look at this perfect little person, all of the injections, appointments, blood work and ultrasounds were worth it.  We know how incredibly lucky we were to have a positive result with the first cycle.  Out of 16 eggs, then 9 embryos, and then 2 transfered blastocysts and the knowledge that we had nothing to freeze for future cycles – we were blessed with a healthy pregnancy and a perfect baby boy.  Sadly, our results are not typical and there are countless couples who have suffered emotional and financial heartbreak too many times.

So, would we do IVF again?  Together as a couple, Nick and I have decided that we will not do IVF again.  It’s emotionally draining for both couples.  It’s also expensive.  We would not have been able to do IVF if we did not ask for help (which was a tough thing to do).  If we magically conceive naturally then that’s incredible and amazing, however if we don’t then we are perfectly happy with our sweet baby boy 🙂

Just yesterday we found out that the province of Ontario announced that they will publicly fund the cost of one cycle of IVF for all forms of infertility.  They will be doing single embryo transfers to reduce multiple birth rates and high-risk pregnancies.  This is amazing and a step in the right direction.

A few days ago I received a FB message and friend request from a friend of a friend.  She said that her and her husband just found out that they need to do IVF and she asked if she could ask me some questions of she needed to since she didn’t know anyone else who had gone through the procedure before.  I told her that I would be thrilled to be part of her support circle and that it was so important to at least be able to talk to someone who has gone through it.  Even though our overall experiences and reasons behind the infertility might be different, I hope to help her feel as normal as possible through her journey to parenthood.

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Fear

While in the back and forth with the clinic about how much everything is to cost in the end, they confirmed with us that we will have to do ICSI. I’ve provided a link to what ICSI is so I don’t have to paraphrase it.

Anyways… basically we will be bypassing natural selection.  While the entire procedure is a risk in itself for not only me but for any children, the process of ICSI leads to potentially higher risks of everything as they will be really interfering with cells.  I’m a bit bothered by this because there is the risk of birth defects potentially caused by ICSI.  I know that thousands of babies have been produced and born healthy with the help of ICSI but it’s one more thing to worry about.

Also, it costs $1500 more for ICSI.  Yay us.

I’m also scared of the drugs.  The side-effects and the long-term effects on me and possible children.  I’m also not looking forward to a catheter fitting.  Ouch.

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The whole idea of IVF in the beginning when we didn’t know anything about what was going on was very scary for me.  The thought of not having a spontaneous pregnancy devastated me.  It still saddens me, but not to the weeping uncontrollably state.  It’s hard to push those ideas of how “it is supposed to happen” out of my mind.  I remember holding back the most persistent tears as myself and N would talk about the worst case scenario.  I hoped that it would never be true, but I think in the back of my mind I knew it was our fate.  I’m not a religious person, but I remember asking rhetorically, “Why? Why us?  Are we horrible people?”.  Of course, we aren’t horrible people, and we also knew that N’s condition wasn’t caused by anything that we did or didn’t do.  It was just the way our cards were dealt.  Very shitty, but that’s life.

N would push me to talk about the options.  He knew it would take awhile for me to be able to discuss it without falling apart.  His reasoning is this:  If you get to the worst case scenario and you have already discussed it, then it’s not really a worst case scenario.  It’s just a scenario that you have already talked about and you know what you are going to do about it.

He’s a very logical kind of guy 🙂