Tag Archives: ivf

The Yearning for Hope

Published / by Kim / 2 Comments on The Yearning for Hope

This is the second re-post for National Infertility Awareness Week. The first one was yesterday.


Negative

I wrote this a few days after this cycle’s transfer. It was sort of stream of consciousness, but if I got a positive, I was going to clean it up a little and use it as my first post in a new category entitled “Fertile & Hopeful.” The counter to the current category of “Barren & Bitter.”

I got the call from the clinic about half an hour ago, and the result was negative. I don’t have much to say right now, but I thought I’d post this to get it out of my drafts. It shows how high my hopes were for this cycle, which should give you an idea of how far down at the bottom I am right now.


You were transferred back into my body on the coldest day of winter. As I dressed to leave the house, to go receive you back into my care, I wrapped myself up as carefully as I could. I chose the most comfortable clothing I had that was still fit for public viewing. (Left to my own devices at home, I’m most likely to choose something like a t-shirt and yoga pants. If you stick around, you’ll learn this.) I wanted to drape myself in softness and comfort, to pamper my outer body as I hoped my inner body would pamper and nurture you.

When I reached the doctor’s office, I waited and waited in the waiting room for it to be my turn. Papa arrived and we waited together. When we were finally called back to the procedure room, he stood by my head and tightly held my hand while the doctor did his work. When the doctor was done, we were left alone for a while, so you could adjust to your new environment. Papa and I talked and talked while we waited, holding hands and laughing softly as we discussed our dreams and hopes for you.

As I write this, I don’t know if you’re still in there. I hope you are. I hope you’re tucked safely into position, getting ready to start growing, getting ready to eventually accept the life of a new soul entering you and quickening you. I still won’t know for a week whether or not you’re still there.

I hope you are.

The Pain of Hope

Published / by Kim / 1 Comment on The Pain of Hope

When I moved my old archives to a separate part of the site, it was partly because I wanted to leave the wounded, infertile part of this blog in the past. It’s still a part of who I am, though, even if it’s not the part that defines me anymore. April 21-27, 2013 is National Infertility Awareness Week. Chances are very good you know someone dealing with infertility, whether you know they are or not. Maybe it’s you. For the last two days of NIAW, I’m re-posting two old posts of mine that are sharp and painful for me to read even now. I hope that reading some of my inner turmoil will help others dealing with this know they’re not alone, and also help non-infertiles understand how raw and hurt their infertile friends may be. That is, after all, why I started blogging 11 years ago.


The Thing Is…

Infertility takes all your hopes and wishes and dreams and dashes them to little bits upon the rocks of harsh reality. After enough of this abuse, hope doesn’t just wither; it’s crushed, smothered, and, finally, thoroughly extinguished.

It’s at that point that you either break under the pressure or become a jaded cynic who manages to avoid being hurt anymore by employing a vicious black humor tempered with a breezy pessimism. I chose the latter. I don’t break.

The thing about IVF is that it requires you to rekindle that hope, over and over and over and over again. And each time it doesn’t work, you’re tossed out into the storm once again and tumbled around till you’re battered and cut and bleeding and raw. Every time you start an IVF cycle, you have to be willing to let that happen to you again.

Sometimes, I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier, less painful, to just make a choice to live child-free than it is to have that tiny flame snuffed so many times. I know I’m not ready for that, and Scott seems horrified by the idea whenever I bring it up, but I wonder if it wouldn’t hurt less.

Serve me up with some butter and good maple syrup…

Published / by Kim / 3 Comments on Serve me up with some butter and good maple syrup…

…because I’m waffling.

When we first started IVF, we decided on a cut off date of my 40th birthday. That was when we were going to call it quits and be done with it all. Then came the new tumor and the surgery and the related complications and I’ve spent the past 10 months or so feeling sort of crappy. Now my 40th birthday is looming in just over a month and I’m finally starting to feel normal again, physically speaking.

A few months ago, we started looking into adopting from foster care. We still haven’t even filled out the application, though, and I know that at least part of the reason for that is that I don’t think I’ve given up the idea of being pregnant. Our IVF experiment was derailed suddenly and violently by the surgery, and I resent that. When we first started talking adoption, years ago, I asked myself “do I want to be pregnant or do I want to be a mother?” and I told myself that the answer was that I wanted to be a mother and that pregnancy didn’t matter. Now I think I was lying to myself. Being pregnant is important to me, and I don’t think I’m ready to lay it to rest.

On top of it all, so far we’ve only used a third of our ART coverage. We still have two-thirds left! All that wasted potential!

So we’ve been talking about it lately and it looks like we’re going to give IVF a few last hurrahs. I’m still waiting to hear back from Scott’s HR rep about a particular coverage issue, so I haven’t made an appointment yet. When we do hear back, I’m going to try Columbia. They have a reputation for taking women who have very little prospects for success and, let’s face it, that’s me in spades. If IVF works for me it will only happen through some arcane dark art. (Or is that arcane dark ART? Ha. I slay myself.) A wing, a prayer, and some duct tape may also be necessary. I mean, my one and only ovary is likely no more than a piece of chewed up, spat out, gristly meat by now, with all the manhandling it’s had over the past 6 years. That is one abused little ovary.

I still want to adopt. I still want to do it through the foster care system. I’m just not ready to do it right now. We need to go through more IVF, wring every penny out of our coverage, before I’m willing to call it quits. And if it doesn’t work, which it probably won’t, I plan to go to a grief counselor to work through it all, and THEN I can move on to adoption. With a lighter heart and knowing that I gave modern science the old college try.

I Know Myself, Honestly

Published / by Kim

One of the things that drives me crazy is having family members whose interactions with me haven’t evolved from the time I was 13 years old. That was 25 years ago. I think I’ve grown just a little in that time.

And one way in which I’ve grown is that I’m fairly self-aware. I know my own mind and I know what I can handle emotionally and for my stress level. So if I say, for example, that I know I couldn’t handle the stress of being a foster parent while dealing with IVF cycling, you can really trust that I’m saying it because I know myself. If you press it and act as if you know better and keep insisting that I should just take a few days to think about it, you’re not only not helping me, but you’re harming our relationship. I’ll be less likely to discuss my feelings with you in the future and much more likely to shut down when you try to start talking about anything meaningful to me.

I know there are people out there who aren’t self-aware and don’t know their own strengths and/or limitations, but I’m not one of them. I spend plenty of time inside my own head and inside my own heart, examining my feelings and understanding myself. Do I have a perfect understanding? Of course not. Few people do, I imagine. But when it comes to this infertility stuff and things related to children and knowing what I can and can’t handle? Yeah, I’d say I have a pretty good handle on that. That’s not to say that what I can or can’t handle won’t change over time – 5 years ago, I said I’d never try IVF, for example – but those changes take place over years, not after a few days thought.

One thing that should make it apparent to people that Kim-at-38 and Kim-at-13 have little in common is that Kim-at-13 would have thrown a fit when confronted with someone telling her, in kinder words, that she didn’t know her own mind. Kim-at-38 resisted for a few minutes and then gave up. Instead of turning it into an argument, I just said, “Fine. I’ll think about it for a few days.”

I’ve written about this before, about how my family interacts with me expecting me to behave as I did when I was a kid. I just don’t get how they don’t see that my behavior has changed while their expectations have remained the same.

That link, by the way, may be a little intense reading. It’s not really the same as this one, but it’s kind of about the same topic, in a not about the same topic kind of way.

This rambling, all over the place, completely incoherent post brought to you by the letter F.