I’ll admit it: I used to say that I’d never do IVF if I couldn’t get pregnant. I used to tell myself I’d accept that pregnancy wasn’t in the cards for me and I’d stop pursuing it.
But then again, I never imagined that I would actually have any difficulty getting pregnant, and I never imagined that I would lose a pregnancy either. I used to assume that I would be able to get pregnant easily, naturally, and when I wanted, and further, that every baby of mine would come home with me alive and well.
However, life doesn’t always unfold the way we think it’s going to, and I’ve learned just how naive I used to be. Since I never truly expected to be infertile, I think it was easy for me to pretend like I knew exactly what I would do if I were. But I was wrong. Back then I knew nothing about infertility. I knew nothing about all of the reasons why someone might pursue IVF or other fertility treatments. And I knew nothing about the deep love that’s possible for a child who doesn’t even exist yet.
As it turns out, it’s a lot harder to make decisions when it’s your reality instead of a hypothetical situation. At every step of the way during our infertility journey I’ve had to let go of expectations, and at times re-examine old opinions. Infertility has reminded me how important it is to try to keep an open mind, and to be more accepting of my own decisions and others’ decisions too… because it’s quite hard to know what we would do in a certain situation until we’re actually in it ourselves, facing the facts and handling our emotions.
There are many things I didn’t know about infertility until we were infertile, and learning them has definitely given me a new perspective on fertility treatments. To start: infertility is random bad luck. No one I know deserves their infertility — it just happens. And it sucks. On top of that, infertility can strike in so many different ways. In our case, I have some problems, Matt has some problems, and our infertility is also a bit unexplained… which leads me to another thing that I’ve learned: there are many things about infertility that the medical community has yet to understand.
But just because we have some medical problems, maybe even some undiagnosed ones, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a biological child “isn’t in the cards” for us. Like we would do with most diseases, we are attempting to treat the disease of infertility. At this point in our journey, treating our infertility and doing what we can to attempt a pregnancy still feels like the right choice. Doctors and scientists have worked hard to come up with some ways to correct reproductive problems or work around them, and luckily for us, there is still a treatment that we’re good candidates for trying: IVF.
While this may not be the right choice for everyone, right now IVF is the right choice for us, so we’re moving forward with it. It definitely took a lot of thought and preparation to get there, but it feels right. We’re hopeful that IVF will help to bypass some of the problems that are preventing us from conceiving, and bring us the good news we’ve been waiting so long to hear.
I’ve also come to realize through infertility that my old self didn’t fully appreciate all of the ways in which people can enter into parenthood. For most people, their route is through natural conception. For others it is adoption. For some it is through assisted reproductive technologies like IUI or IVF, and may also include third party sperm donors, egg donors, and/or gestational carriers. There are so many ways to build a family, and all of them are valid and beautiful… And as long as Matt and I attempt to build our family out of love, I think we’re headed in the right direction. Sure, this particular direction may not have been in our original plan, but directional changes in life are expected… after all, isn’t that what happens when we live and learn, and love?
From where I’m standing now, I can see that IVF provides us an opportunity for a chance at conception that we might not otherwise have. We’ve explored other options. We’ve tried other methods of conceiving. Now we’re to the point where our best chance for bringing home a baby lies in pursuing IVF. So we’re all in. We’re going to embrace the science, hope for the best, and continuing loving each other and the child we’re trying so hard to bring to our lives.
For more thoughts on IVF, please visit: