Oh, I was so naive then. I thought the adoption process was as easy as merely saying the magic words "just adopt!" and with a touch of the wand from your fairy godmother, the stork brings a baby to your doorstep! (In a relatively quick and inexpensive fashion too). As none of my friends were trying to start a family at that age, I didn't know anyone who was infertile or had gone through IVF, I was biased by the stories of high order IVF multiples sensationalised on the news. As I was working in an inner city clinic, most of my patients presented with issues related to undesired fertility. If we did encounter clients seeking an infertility work-up, there was little we could offer, as no services are covered under Medicaid.
Fortunately, the one bonus of growing older, is that you do become a bit wiser. Other work assignments and other life experiences would shed some light on issues relating to infertility, assisted reproduction and adoption for me. Yet, when we first discovered that we were infertile, there was still a hesitation to do IVF. I don't think it was much about indulging my 25 or 26 year old bratty former self. There were concerns that we are essentially gambling with a large sum of money. We are defying the natural order of science, and in doing so, may discover that there was an underlying reason why our DNA was not meant to splice. No matter how many times I tell myself that we could have a developmentally delayed or autistic child from a natural conception, one conceived from assisted reproduction just brings an extra layer of guilt.
After our first consultation with Dr Somebody I used to Know, Husband proclaimed that he knew we would eventually need to do IVF. I wasn't ready to confront that notion just yet. We often expressed that we sometimes wished for a more clear cut indication, like a tubal factor and IVF would be our only option. If we hadn't had that glimmer of hope with our natural conception, I think we would have move on to IVF a lot sooner. A few studies have demonstrated that couples who start with IVF get pregnant sooner and spend less money. As we were starting our final IUI cycle, I started to wonder if any of those couples kiss their baby good night and ask, "should we have tried to conceive naturally or used less invasive methods longer before going to IVF?"
It's become another incidence of hearing the echoes of my own counseling. Often when I discuss various options with patients, I'll hear 'well, I always said that I would never ________'. I remind them that it's always so easy to pronounce your intentions when it is a hypothetical. It's a different reality when you find yourself in a situation you did not anticipate. I never thought I'd be here.
Nor that I would go through everything I did to get here. I needed my maternal instincts to finally kick in to gear. I needed to discover what elation I would feel at the sight of a positive pregnancy test. I needed to experience the devastation brought by a spot of blood. I needed to get my uterine septum resected. I needed to live through the false promise of progesterone symptoms and the profound disappointment from IUI#4's BFN. I needed to hear my RE say that we shouldn't wait any longer. I needed to experience it all to be ready to proceed with IVF.
|Obligatory Photo of Meds|
I need to look at these boxes of med and sharps container as becoming boxes of diapers and cans of formula. I need to look at these syringes and see baby bottles. I need to look at my schedule of meds and see a calendar of soccer practices and dance recitals. I need to look at this process and see our baby at the end.