Because I am naturally an optimistic person (so I am sure that this IVF will work, ahem), it is hard (almost impossible?) to consider that we won't ever be pregnant. But after a year of fairly intensive treatments, we are almost out of emotional steam and actual dollars. So we are pretty sure that if this IVF doesn't work, we'll be taking an indefinite break from specialist-involved TTC'ing while we save up some more baby-making dollars. (Is that when we will get
But, per my title, what if this is the end of trying?
I have wanted to write about this a couple of times before, but I always feel like it is so contrary to my natural state of being that it would be out of place here and taking up my time focusing on something that I don't really want to focus on.
But it's a possible reality that I have to be prepared for.
On the one hand, if this is the end of trying, there are some forseeable benefits. With having to drive 40 minutes one way to the RE at least once a week for the last 3/4 of a year, all the monitoring and appointments have wreaked havoc on my work momentum, and it would be nice to have that back. It'd be nice to not have a permanent bruise on my left arm where they draw blood. It'd be nice to not feel guilty about having a glass of wine or missing a day of prenatal's. We can schedule horseback riding lessons as our something-we've-never-done-before summer activity. I can put away the sharps box and clear off the dining room table of all the syringes and medicine boxes and alcohol swabs.
But on the other hand, I can barely imagine what my day-to-day life would look like. What will I blog about? How long will it take to save up for more treatments or adoption? Will I use my fertility monitor anyway? (Compared to the monitoring I've grown accustomed to, the fertility monitor is so elementary!) What will my mom say when I tell her we've stopped treatments? Will I have to learn to live childfree with a smile….forever? (My first "what if" question here!) How will I react to friends who get pregnant without trying while we're not trying? What will help me accept that we're not trying anymore? How will I hope for a miracle baby when my hormone levels aren't very good without medication?
I am big on hope, so the last one really hits me hard. I fully believe that God can create life whenever He wants to, but it is going to be difficult for me to hope for this because I have come to know that my hormones aren't really peaking as high as they're supposed to. How long will it take me to reach a balance of a bearable level of hoping while not trying? Is that even possible?
The first one is a biggie, too. I love this community and all the bloggers I have met!! Will they want to read my blog still, if it's not about meds and cycle days and hormone levels? Can I still call it an infertility blog if we're not actively trying? What will I write about? It has been so great to be able to use this as an emotional outlet. I imagine I will still enjoy having the emotional outlet, but about what?
As I just re-read this draft, I notice in a very big way that although I can pick out several "good" things about not trying, there are a seemingly endless number of questions that flood over when it comes to what if this is the end? And maybe that's what makes it so hard. Just as starting fertility treatments is stepping into an unknown world, I think stopping fertility treatments is similarly daunting. I don't know how I will cope. I don't know what is coming next. I don't know how we will shift our lives back to the way it was before we had an inch-thick chart at the RE's office.
I'd venture to say that I'm not the only one who's been at this crossroads. National Infertility Awareness Week (link here) shines such a needed light on those of us struggling in darkness. Infertility (link here) affects so many couples, and it's sad that in so many circles it is still treated as a lack-of-relaxing situation.
And so, to leave you with my positive (and more characteristic) "What IF" statement..
What if this cycle "ends" with our baby?