April is a CNY Fertility Center patient and has been on her journey to fertility for approximately two years. April will share candid stories and a unique perspective on the fertility challenges many women and couples face.
Week three: Deliberate choices
I felt the pressure of an infertility diagnosis creeping upon us long before the one year mark. Our first unsuccessful attempt at conception was such a disappointment; I truly (and perhaps naively) believed I was pregnant after only one attempt at conception. The second month of trying to conceive, I found out my best friend was pregnant with her first child. I was happy for her, but tearfully sad we were not both pregnant. By the third month of trying to conceive, I was in the midst of a major medical work up because I was exhibiting what would quickly be diagnosed as Multiple Sclerosis. As a result of our rather disheartening initial three attempts at conception, I felt that I had to become pregnant sooner rather than later.
I used my recent diagnosis as a means to justify moving more quickly than the average couple through fertility testing. Fear quickly became the driving force behind my decisions. (What if I had a disease flare up that left me disabled? What if one of us was sterile? What if I had already waited too long to conceive? What if we never had a baby?) We put little forethought into what we were doing; instead I simply followed doctors’ orders and allowed myself to mechanically move through the fertility treatment process. I have to admit I never really thought any of the IUIs would work. I wanted them to, but somehow I just knew that we were going to have a long road ahead of us.
Following my sixth and last IUI cycle (it might even have been my seventh – I lost count!), I had a car accident after leaving the doctor’s office. The accident was minor, but the reality check was major. I remember thinking that I just could not run around like that anymore – from doctor to work to home to doctor, etc. And the fact is, by this point, we were only one and a half years into trying to conceive, and I say only because hindsight has allowed me to understand the intense pressure I placed on myself. At that point, the only certainty I had was that I was not at all ready for the next step: IVF. I strongly believed that if there was no actual reason for our unexplained infertility after a number of heartbreaking and disappointing IUI cycles, attempting IVF could not possibly be the answer. There were still too many unknown variables. As a result, we began our infertility treatment break.
Eight months later, we have not yet conceived but life is so much different than it was a year ago. Believe it or not – it is better! I feel more blessed and more hopeful. Why? I feel as if I finally have a team of professionals who are working with us to achieve our goal. Unfortunately, I listened to that inside voice telling me to more seriously consider my options after enduring so much disappointment and frustration. I eventually got it right though, and I intend to elaborate on what a break has been for us and how we explored our options a bit more in early 2009 in next week’s blog.
My intention for you this week is simple; remember that you have choices. You may chose to complete another cycle using medication or you may decide to take a complete break from the demands of infertility treatments. Whatever you do, remember to be deliberate and to examine your options. Follow the professionals’ orders if you feel that is right, but don’t forget to follow your heart as well.
Miracles & blessings,
April all Year