Even now, on the verge of the best possible chance we’ve ever had, the idea of being pregnant seems like an impossible dream.* The rocky start to this cycle isn’t helping matters. I can’t seem to envision a happy ending, at least, not without stumbling over several hurdles first. Some of these are fears I would have going into an IVF cycle regardless; others are the result of knowing what I now know as a member of this community.
I have to purge my thoughts of these fears, both the realistic ones and the completely irrational. Hopefully, doing so will help me look at our upcoming cycle with optimism, something that doesn’t come naturally to me.
Here goes. I am afraid:
♦ That I won’t respond well to stims and produce too few follicles to even bother with retrieval.
♦ That if we do retrieve a few eggs, they’ll be poor quality and won’t fertilize properly.
♦ That Hubby’s sperm is too fragmented to produce healthy embryos.
♦ That we’ll be forced into a three-day transfer because our embryos aren’t doing well.
♦ That we won’t do a transfer at all because all our embryos die.
♦ That we go through all of it, I don’t get pregnant, and we have nothing left to freeze. And no money to start over.
♦ That failure now will lead to years of more failure, questions of “Why isn’t this working?” and a possible diagnosis (even “unexplained”) for me that, in addition to Hubby’s poor swimmers, will prevent me from getting pregnant. Like, ever.
♦ That I do get pregnant after a three-day transfer and spend the next several weeks worrying about the embryo(s) being chromosomally normal because we couldn’t do genetic screening.
♦ That we’ll have at least a few embryos make it far enough for a 5-day biopsy, but they all turn out to be genetic duds.
♦ That everything goes perfectly, the embryos test genetically normal, I get pregnant, and our baby still ends up with a rare genetic disorder, a heart defect, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, microcephaly, or any of the hundreds of other horrific possibilities my job exposes me to on a daily basis.
♦ That I’ll miscarry. Or go into labor too soon.
♦ That my baby will be born premature or die shortly after birth.
♦ That Hubby’s wish comes true and I become pregnant with twins–only to suffer the risks associated with such a pregnancy, including weeks of bed rest, which leads to burning up all my PTO before I even think about maternity leave.
♦ That I’ll get pregnant on our first attempt at IVF, but Hubby still won’t have a job, and may not get a job before I give birth, leaving us in dire straits when I have to take weeks (if not months) of unpaid maternity leave.
♦ That Hubby will get a job, but it’ll be far, far away, and I’ll have to give birth in a foreign country.
♦ That there will be some mix-up in the process of IVF, which leads to me giving birth to and raising a child that is not mine, only to be discovered years later, and I’ll have to give up that child to her biological parents, who will not have given birth to my genetic child, leaving me with nothing.
♦ That, given recent tragic events, if we do somehow manage to have a child, she’ll be too beautiful for the world she is to be born into, and I’ll be crushed under the weight of a whole new set of fears.
♦ That, after all these years of dreaming of the mother I’d like to be, I don’t live up to my own high expectations.
♦ That something I haven’t even thought of yet will completely blindside me.
I know it’s not possible for all these things to happen, certainly not all at once. But it seems like there is something for me to fear around every corner. Most of it is completely out of my control. I guess the only question is whether or not I let the fear eat me alive.
*I have the musical part of a broken music box that plays this song. If we do manage to bring home a baby, I may have to have something specially made to repair the music box and depict our struggle to get there.
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest
And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star