When I first started this journey, the idea of seeing a fertility specialist scared me. I didn't want to admit that I was in the minority of couples that would need a doctor to help us conceive a child. But I got over that. Next I was very anxious about doing an IUI. I had to give up the idea of conception as the magical moment between husband and wife, and instead accept it as something that happens in a doctors office, laying on a table with a nurse all up in my nether regions. But I accepted that too.
And now that we've decided to do IVF, I have surprised myself yet again. A year ago, I thought that IVF was the ultimate resignation from my dream of conceiving a child with my husband. Instead, it will happen in a lab, in a petri dish. That idea still bothers me to some extent. No girl dreams of conceiving their first born in a lab. Most of us dream about it happening on our honeymoon, or on a dream vacation, or even in the comfort of our home while wrapped in the arms of our husbands.
The moral and ethical dilemma of "playing God" still plays out in my head. But I can't help but feel that this is the path we are meant to take. I know in my heart that Daniel and I are meant to be parents, and that may not happen on it's own. We are lucky to live in a society where fertility treatments are available, and to live in a city where we have an abundance of clinics that we can research to find the best fit for our needs.
I'm happy with our decision, and even excited. I think that IVF will probably be one of the hardest things I will ever go through, both emotionally and physically. But it will be SO worth it. To finally have a baby with Daniel, I would give up just about anything.
And it's that strength that has surprised me in the last month. The ability to make that hard decision to move forward with something that will force us to make some sacrifices. We are sacrificing the idea of having a natural conception, as well as our finances. But at this point on my journey, those are sacrifices I am willing to make, just for a chance to have a child.
But at the same moment, I find myself completely vulnerable. What if IVF doesn't work? There are no guarantees and I know several women who have walked away from this journey empty handed and grieving for the loss of a dream. I remember how heartbroken I was after our first IUI failed. I little piece of me died that day. It was terrible. And I think to experience that same heartbreak after a round of IVF will multiply that feeling of devastation ten fold.
It's that vulnerability that defines this struggle, because nothing we do is ever guaranteed to work. We are taking a risk with every treatment. We are gambling our finances, hope, and even our sanity that a healthy baby will be the outcome. And with odds around 50%, we have an equal chance to fail as we do to succeed.
But I'm still going to do it. Because moving forward is the only option for me. I will do whatever it takes. And this is what the journey of infertility is all about. Discovering how badly you want something, and what you are willing to give up to get it.