If I’m honest with myself, this is a post I’ve actually been looking forward to writing for some time. Have you ever felt a certain way but tried to convince yourself you felt something different because you thought you were supposed to? I guess it’s lying to yourself, isn’t it? I’ve been doing that.
At this point, we’ve been “trying” for three years, including two and a half years on some form of medication and treatment. With 13 rounds of clomid and two cycles of injectible drugs to prepare for artificial insemination, it’s been a long road of trying to find the right combination of things to achieve pregnancy. Obviously, we haven’t found it. Now, I’m waiting on these stupid cysts to resolve so we can begin our third IUI cycle, a gracious gift from my parents.
Friday I went to the doctor to find out if my cysts were gone (they’re not) and to see if we were good candidates for a third cycle (we are). Something strange happened there. As he gave me bad but improving news about my cysts and good news about our chances for success, I realized that I was….disappointed. Not that my cysts weren’t resolved, because I could have told you that already. No, I was disappointed because he didn’t give me an out, and excuse, a reason not to go on with Round 3. I realized that I had been pinning my hopes on the possibility that these cysts were a sign that I’m not cut out for gonadotropins. I realized that I had been hoping that our success rate would be so low that it would be silly to go on. I wanted to be able to say “We can’t do a third IUI.” Because I didn’t want to do it. I don’t want to do it.
That’s hard for me to admit. It’s not hard for me to accept that I don’t want to — it’s hard for me to admit that to other people. I’m supposed to push on, to persevere. I’m supposed to stop at nothing to have my baby with Baileys eyes, good Hill teeth, and a brilliant little brain. I’m supposed to strive toward a baby with my mama’s nose and Brian’s sisters’ figure. A child who can sing but understands the writings of Hawking like his daddy. I’m supposed to do it all for my possible child. But at what cost?
Infertility has nearly destroyed us emotionally. It’s tested our marriage, and it’s obliterated our finances. When you add the other things that are going on in our lives, it’s nearly tipped the already precarious balance to a very scary place. Some days I’m not even sure who I am anymore except in relation to infertility. I’m learning to live with a load of guilt that I don’t anticipate will ever go away. I’m learning to accept failure at something so basic it’s literally instinct. As it stands right now, we can’t afford the scary stuff — a spate of bed rest would mean lost income that we can’t cover anymore because we spent all our savings. A baby in the NICU could mean bills we would have no way to pay. Physically, I’ve allowed PCOS — a disease, mind you — to have free reign in my body for three years. I’ve gained an inordinate amount of weight from that, and on top of it I’ve added many cycles of what are basically steroids. My health is great, but my body is a wreck. At this point, I have to ask myself if being pregnant would be the best idea. That’s a big question.
This isn’t a new thing. Every few months we’ve made it a point to touch base and see if we felt that we were following God’s will and if we should continue. Obviously, if it was God’s will for this to work, I’d be pregnant, right? Every time we’ve tried a new treatment or a new method, God has thrown up a road block. Some we’ve told you about, some we have not. Some have been minor — here’s six cysts for you! — but some have been major things. Each time we’ve been able to see a road block pop up, either derailing us or sending us in a new direction. Unfortunately we’ve usually seen it in hindsight. This time we just had the foresight to stop and consult God before we jumped into IUI #3. I talk a lot to Brian about the still, small voice. This time, the answer was loud, and it was clear. The relief we felt upon truly hearing Him can only be described as the peace that passes understanding.
10% of all couples who are of child-bearing age experience infertility. Two thirds will go on to have biological children. We are not in that group. At this point, we have made a very important decision and want to let our friends and families who have been involved in this process know where we are headed from here. At this time, we will not be pursuing any further fertility treatments in hopes of pregnancy. While we will probably return to treatment in the future, it is not the path we are going to continue down in hopes of our first child. We definitely want more than one child, and know that they will not all come to us in the same manner. We are feeling very definitely led in this direction, and are making this decision after much prayer and discussion.
Instead, we will be taking a few months off to process and heal, and to generally give ourselves a break. At this point our plan is to then pursue adoption through foster care. We would ask that you continue to lift our family up through this process as you have through our infertility. While it’s exciting, we know that it will also bring with it hard work and possible heartache, and a whole other set of circumstances. I personally can’t wait. I feel like I am walking the path the Lord has laid out for the first time in months.
After we decided this, I sat down to write a little note to our families and friends who had supported us. As I told them, we want to take the time to thank you for supporting and praying for us for the past three years as we have tried to start our family. This whole process would have been so much harder if we hadn’t had the support of so many of our friends and family, without the constant encouragement and interest. This definitely includes my bloggity friends who have been just as instrumental in my survival. I know that at times people haven’t known what to say, or haven’t understood what we were going through, but the fact that you were there has been more important than you will ever know.
As we move forward, first taking care of ourselves and then trying to find a small person to take care of, we’ll need you. I’ll still need to vent, to think “out loud”, we’ll still need prayer. This decision will never take away my passion for infertility and breaking the silence that surrounds it. Infertility, baby loss, barrenness, childlessness — all these things still weigh heavy on my heart and I will never stop listening, posting, advocating, and praying. Share your stories with me or ask for prayer. Let’s just add a new facet….let’s learn about foster care adoption, y’all.
And from the very bottom of my heart — thank you and God bless every single one of you.