Before starting to try for having a baby I was a typical person with hopes and preferences on the future babies. Had you asked me then, I would have wished for a baby girl, born preferably in January or February (to be either Aquarius or Pisces). Silly and naive, I know.
I’m not one of those people for which things are easy: I stress a lot, work hard, take things seriously. But before infertility I have always managed to have what I wanted. I studied abroad, traveled, succeeded in my studies, went successfully though grad school, found a job while being at grad school, went to conferences, met people, found a job when I decided to move in with my hubby, etc. I worked hard for all of this, and gave up plenty of more fun things I could have done. But I got what I wanted.
Love is different, because you can’t just work hard to meet the right person; you also need to have some luck. I had that bit of luck so I am very thankful for that.
When we started trying, I was so happy but deep inside I knew it wasn’t going to work. I had heard contrasting opinion about my problem of never having my period. But enough negative opinions to fear that conceiving naturally wouldn’t be easy. So I quickly got over the naive view that we’ll have a dream baby girl respecting all my wishes.
When we started looking into getting some help from technology, I made some researches and met some people who told me they had to wait for a very long time before it worked. The first person I met who had issues is a colleague who told me she had done injections to stimulate ovulation. It took her 6 months of injections and a trip to Mexico for it to work. It was nothing more than simple injections followed by sex at home, but all I thought was: 6 months? I don’t want to wait that long! What a fool. Right now I would love to have had a 6 month wait with just injections.
When we moved to IVF I looked at statistics and met people who had done several and others for which it never worked. Again I was scared by the statistics but I thought: we are not those people, it’ll work for us. Why did I think that? Why would it work for us when it has not worked for a lot of people?
I guess it was fear or denial but it is not anymore. Now we are those people. We are those people who have tried IVF and for which it hasn’t worked. Not just that, we’re also a rather difficult case according to doctors since it’s not just one of us having a problem but both. Not just that, but we both have a rather big problem. My husband doesn’t just have a bad sperm quality; he has an awful sperm quality: 1% normal shape, of which only 4% are of top quality. Can you think how hard it is to go find that one swimmer who can actually properly fertilize an egg? And as for me, I can’t even go through IVF normally, as I have bad reactions to the meds, hormonal peaks leading to bad egg quality and a huge tendency to hyperstimulations (OHSS). Because of this I have less eggs retrieved, which lowers the chances. We are the people for which it may never work. We are lucky enough to still have some chances to try before giving up, but it is a possibility I have to accept.
When my husband first proposed adoption, I thought: I want a baby of ours, not someone else’s baby, and I want to be pregnant. Then I thought about it, learned more, saw adoptive families and now I would love to adopt. It moves me to see adoptive families and I believe strongly that adoptive parents love their children just as much as biological parents. They are parents. And that’s what I want to be. But I met people for which the adoption process did not work. And we may be them too.
I don’t what is going to happen but now I stopped thinking “that won’t be me”, since now it’s pretty much the other way around. I have never been pregnant and I am very far from being so, but I am already scared of miscarrying or all the other things that could go wrong.
I don’t know if, how and when I’ll ever get to be a mother but I surely have learned some humility through this process. I have learned to be more open minded, to appreciate the gifts life gives you, the luck that some people have, my luck in having met my husband. I have learned I shouldn’t give things for granted and that you cannot just expect that everything will work out for the best. At least this I have learnt.
What else is there to learn from this process?