Whilst on our epic South West USA road trip, Chris and I had lots of time to talk to each other. You could almost say we lived in each others pockets for two weeks…some couples might break…but for Chris and I we kind of thrive on it, and it brings us closer together. I think we only had one small ‘argument’ on this trip, but you could probably describe it as more of a strongly heated debate rather than an argument as such. Anyway, the point is, we had lots of time to talk about some of the bigger things in life. Surprisingly, we didn’t talk about our future as prospective parents for several days. It wasn’t until I received a phone call from our fertility clinic that we got around to talking about it again.
The topic of conversation was how much more can we deal with all the infertility treatment? Can we deal with another miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy? The likelihood for another ectopic pregnancy almost doubles after you have had one. What about dealing with a negative result? We discussed whether to transfer our one frozen blastocyst or to go for another round of IVF/ICSI. Yes, a frozen transfer would require injections, but I would avoid the egg stimulation and egg retrieval process which, for me, was very painful the last time around. Chris wants to avoid me being in pain as much as possible. He hates seeing me in that way.
I understand his point of view, it is hard for a partner to see their loved ones in pain over which they have no control. But I feel differently, I feel like I know what to expect, how to better deal with the symptoms and feel overall less anxious (although I think I was pretty cool in my attitude about the first IVF cycle). I feel ready to get some embryos frozen into reserve.
I am 32 about to turn 33. If we go for the frozen transfer and we succeed in a pregnancy (!!!!! That would be awesome!!!) then I will be 35 by the time we are ready to have a second go at it for child #2 – my egg quality is likely to reduce and we could be facing an additional factor to our unexplained infertility. So I figure it is best to do one more IVF/ICSI cycle now and we have one in reserve. Perhaps I sound a little greedy in this respect – we are lucky to have one frozen right now! I don’t mean to be – but I am an operational analyst after all, so I can’t but help try to figure out the optimal solution to a problem.
I explained to Chris my reasoning for going ahead with another round, and he gets it. He admitted he hadn’t thought about age related factors for the future. So we have both agreed that tomorrow we will ask our doctor about going ahead with a new round of IVF/ICSI.
But this isn’t really where the story ends. I think Chris and I have different ‘lines’ to draw under how far we are generally willing to go to get our own baby in our arms. How many times is enough to say we gave it our best shot? How many times can we deal with sadness? Will we ever become numb to it? Depending on the nature of the outcome for round 2 will create different visionary paths in our heads for each of us, we discovered that they are not aligned at the moment.
This isn’t an easy topic to talk about without accidentally hurting each other with words that first come to mind…. so we are going to try writing down our feelings on paper and swapping our ideas so that we can understand each other’s perspectives. I don’t know whether it will work, I hope it will help us at least gain a respect for each other’s feelings. Love and marriage is unconditional, but feelings can easily get hurt when we are talking about something so passionate as becoming parents and how to do it. Infertility knocks you for six when you discover that you can’t become a parent the ‘normal’ way. So I think it is healthy to have this exploration of feelings and keep things open between each other.
Perhaps we will share these letters to each other on the blog at a later date, but for now we just need to focus on getting to the same place together.