IVF Part Tres Update [Philosophical Monday]

So as of this writing, I’m waiting for my period, which usually comes on Sunday or Monday. Then the day after I get my period, I go into the doctor’s office for an exam. At this exam, the doctor does an ultrasound to make sure that both my uterus and ovaries are good to go for the coming cycle, and then if that’s the case, we’ll talk about our protocol for the next cycle.

Our original protocol was that we’d try with one embryo, then if that didn’t take we’d try with two. That’s a great protocol when you have no children to start with, but maybe not as great when you already have one child, and no real desire to have more than two children. But then again, we’d rather have twins than say, no second child at all. And timing being what it is, we’d rather have our second child this year, within the budgeted three tries that we’ve set to have it. So maybe inserting two as opposed to one frozen embryo is the way to go for this cycle, if only to increase our chances. I’m sure our doctor will have thoughts on this, as will I, as will my husband. So basically I’m waiting to have a big family-planning conversation with my husband … and our fertility doctor.

I think that perhaps I should be upset that I’m in this unusual position, gnashing my teeth and cursing the fates and all that. But instead I find myself incredibly grateful. Not b/c I’m one of those people who always sees the bright side of life — I’m totally not. I can be an awful, miserable cynic about lesser things like my daughter getting an ear infection when I’m on deadline or it raining so hard that I’m kept from walking to my office (Starbucks) or really, anything else that disrupts my writing schedule. I’m a shaking my fist at the Fates kind of woman — seriously doesn’t take much. And nothing else throws me off my writing schedule, like the time-consuming process of IVF.

However, whenever I even think of shaking a fist, or when someone laments on my behalf, my first thought is that, “No, I’m lucky.” Fertility issues like ours used to be completely unsolvable. Just forty years ago, CH and I would not have had access to IVF. Some people still don’t b/c of money issues. Just having the chance to try makes us lucky.

It’s funny, b/c I often ask, “Why is this happening to me?” But with this, there seems to be some innate understanding that there is no why, no cause for bitterness, it just is. And for whatever reason having to go through the process of IVF has made me a better person, the kind of person who grouses about the rain but not about the thunderstorms. I sweat the small stuff, but the big stuff? — that’s totally acceptable.

And that’s how I’ve come to find myself living the cliche: what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. So now I’m wondering if there are other people reading this post who have lived this cliche, and if so, what’s made you stronger?