fertility

Crossroads – When to Move On from Fertility

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You’re at a crossroads; you’ve already sunk a lot of money into fertility treatments and can’t imagine moving on and sinking more money into other avenues such as adoption.  You’re probably thinking what’s a little bit more money if the next treatment works?  I’ve come all this way, do I really want to start over with something like adoption? I think most people who’ve gone through fertility have all stood at this crossroad at some point or another so in this post I’d like to share my crossroads experience.

Let me start off by saying that moving on from fertility is an extremely tough decision and one that comes with high emotions.  No one’s going to say going through the fertility or adoption process is fun. I still get angry thinking of the thousands of dollars we spent on fertility treatments and yet there’s no real reason we couldn’t get pregnant but then I look at my beautiful, happy, healthy, amazing son and know that everything happened for a reason.

Looking back I’d have to say I was never 100% on board with doing fertility treatments.  I disliked that we had unexplained fertility and there wasn’t a specific fertility issue the doctors could focus on; I disliked being late for work after having been at the clinic for 2-3 hours a few days a month and I disliked the costs of the treatments.  We had just upgraded our home and I had switched jobs – not the ideal time for increased expenses and missing work but then again, there’s never going to be an ideal time or extra money floating around.

From a young age, I’d always said I would adopt if I couldn’t have biological children.  Perhaps this is something a lot of people say but for me adoption was always a prominent option.  On my first date with my husband I asked him if he wanted kids.  He, thinking that was a pretty intense first date question, said yes.  I then asked him if he would adopt if he couldn’t have kids and he said that was a decision he’d have to make when the time came.  Well that time came.  After 3 failed rounds of IUI and 1 failed round of IVF, I had emotionally moved on to adoption.  I had Chris and I attend an information session and I was starting my research.  Chris on the other hand was still stuck on fertility.  Let’s do one more round of IVF with the frozen embryos – it costs less than a fresh cycle thereby balancing the costs of the two cycles, he thought.  It made sense and so we did it.  I wasn’t going to push him down another avenue, I wanted him to get there on his own.  When we got the negative test result that November, I was relieved.  I could say goodbye to fertility and pursue what I knew would guarantee us a family, adoption.  I knew the process wasn’t an easy one and still cost a lot of money but I felt more positive knowing we would become parents sooner or later.  Chris was also ready to move on.  Chris and I had a ‘goodbye fertility’ ceremony where we chucked all of our fertility stuff (including a fertility doll we got in New Orleans – hey, we were willing to try everything!) into the garbage and went to our favourite restaurant for a great meal and lots of wine.

Not everyone can move on so easily from fertility and that’s ok.  You have to move on when you’re ready to move on and pursue only the avenues you want to pursue.  Everything happens for a reason and unfortunately a lot of the time we don’t know the reason until we’re well down the path and at that point can then understand it.

The beginning – trying to conceive

‘I can’t play sports anymore; I must eat healthier; I should reduce my coffee and alcohol intake; I need to stress less; I can’t go in hot tubs or take hot baths; I shouldn’t buy any new clothes’……  Sound familiar?  These are just some of the thoughts that went through my head in the 3 years my husband and I spent trying to get pregnant.  On top of that I can’t even count the number of times I heard ‘once you stop trying, you’ll get pregnant’ or ‘you just need to relax and it will happen’ or ‘unexplained infertility means there’s nothing wrong with you so you’ll get pregnant.’  I know everyone means well but ARGGGHHHHHHH, some people are just not meant to be babymakers.

So let me back up – I’m Shannon and since I was little I have always wanted 4 kids.  Piece of cake right?  Wrong!  I remember how paranoid I was of getting pregnant before I was ready and how cautious I was thinking ‘I’m going to be so mad if it turns out I can’t get pregnant’ – ha!  Who knew trying to have one child would be so difficult, draining and costly so the likelihood of having 4 is now looking pretty slim.

Enough of being a Debbie downer though – I’m actually in a great place now which is why I wanted to share my story to help others going through the same thing.  If there’s one thing that has gotten me through this journey, it’s the people in my life and the people I’ve met along the way. Without them this would have been a horrible few years.  My husband’s and my marriage is also stronger than ever having gone through the numerous ups and downs of this rollercoaster ride called ‘making a family’.

Last fall after our 2nd failed IVF, my husband and I attended an adoption info session and I knew in that moment I wanted to adopt – luckily my husband agreed and we’ve never looked back!  Although diagnosed with unexplained fertility we figured we’d rather spend our money and emotions on a process where we know we will get the child meant for us, however long it takes.

I hope you enjoy this blog whether you have adopted or are considering adoption or even just curious.