So summer has (unofficially) ended…Labor Day has passed, I’ve packed up most of my summer clothes (in preparation for our big move in a few weeks) and I’m officially back in “fertility mode”. After taking the summer off to rest our bodies and minds (and broken hearts) Dan and I are ready to tackle the tasks of the next few months (moving and settling into the new house, going through all the pre-tests again and getting my medication/hormone regimen squared away and ordered). We want to be in a happy, healthy, calm place come January when we start our second IVF cycle.
And as exciting as all of those things are, and truthfully I am actually very excited about starting Cycle 2, this cycle already feels very different then our 1st. See the first time I only had one fear going into it… I wouldn’t get pregnant. When we were told we only had one embryo, my only concern was making that embryo stick. I never EVER thought about miscarriage… I just assumed that getting pregnant with a healthy baby was the issue (because that’s what had always been the issue), but then I was pregnant with a genetically perfect embryo (thanks PGD)…and then I wasn’t anymore. And I was not prepared for that.
And now I find myself trying to prepare for that. I find myself thinking about this cycle and knowing that there are no promises to this thing… I may respond fabulously to this ‘aggressive’ hormone plan and produce 30 mature eggs, we may get 25 fertilized embryos, we may have 15 make it to day 5 for DNA analysis, we may end up with 6 healthy, SMA-free embryos, I may get pregnant with 1 of those 6 genetically perfect embryos…and I still may miscarriage. And that is just the way it is.
Which is why I’ve been asking myself one question over these past few months… “Do I want a baby badly enough to survive not having a baby?”
See, after the miscarriage I said to Dan “I’m not sure I can do this again.” I wanted our little Warrior so badly…I was devastated when we lost the pregnancy. The idea of putting myself through the stress and heartbreak of another IVF cycle only to end up childless and miserable again was just too much. But now… well the idea of ending up childless and miserable again does sound terrible, but it doesn’t sound as bad as not doing another cycle and 10 years from now saying to Dan “I wish we had tried again.”
And that’s how I know we’re making the right decision. Because I’m not entering into this cycle naïve, I don’t think just because we’re doing IVF with PGD we get a baby (and truthfully, when we started, I did.) I know that this may end in heartbreak. I know a year from now I could be wearing another gold plated necklace around my neck with the nickname of another lost embryo engraved (I currently wear a ‘Warrior’ necklace every day). But this time…I know all of this…and I still choose to continue. I still want our baby enough to be disappointed and heartbroken…because I still have hope (damn you hope!) that this cycle will end with happiness.
So this is me…saying goodbye to the wine, oysters and late nights of the ‘summer of us’ and embracing the pineapple cores, red raspberry tea and acupuncture (maybe, I’m still scared about that last one) of the ‘fall of fertility’.