In our society we revere the win. Not the trying. We only respect “the journey” of an athlete once they have become champions. Or the singer wins the talent contest. Recently there has been a move, largely influenced by America, to try to respect failing - or at least acknowledge it happens.
In a way I was lucky. After my miscarriage I was so unwell I had to have a major op. I was told my body would not cope with IVF. It slammed the door shut. It was hard but in retrospect it avoided all the heartache of repeated IVF. We adopted. But that is an entirely different ball game, and coping with a damaged child (especially since my husband died) is hard. Nothing is perfect about our family but every day we try, often we fail, and always we hope.
We are waiting for the phone call to do a 3rd round of treatment. When we do it it will be our second round of icsi. The thought of trying again gives me anxiety. The second time we did treatment , it was horrendous yes me physically etc but both sides of family it was bad and the hubby with my mother, both of them together it was bad. Then when I got that negative and the fact the embryo did do what it was supposed to do, the effect it had on my hubby and family telling me how to cope etc was bad. I've dealt with my emotions from everyone and it all. But I know I will try again and again till we have our baby. Just hope people just let me be while I do the treatment and hubby deals with his emotions better next time we do it.
I am only on my third round (in 2 months time) but I’ve learned that after a failure you have to let yourself lie in the gutter sometimes. It’s raw, painful and terribly emotional but after a week or 2 you pick yourself back up and put one foot in front of the other again. You build your resilience and then you decide perhaps you can go again. How many times someone wishes to put themselves through that cycle I think is unknown and different for every person. We think it might be black and white but I think it’s a terribly grey area where really you aren’t quite sure how you feel about the next attempt or next round until you’ve got your head back above water again. Of course the financial part is also a huge consideration, I have this next round funded but after that there is no money left so we would need to discuss borrowing money from credit cards. I guess we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it and I try and remind myself to remain present for the next round.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently - we’re on a break from ivf after 5 unsuccessful rounds. With 2 embryos in the freezer it doesn’t feel like a choice not to try again…I know it is, so perhaps I just don’t like what the alternatives are. I listened to an interview with Mo Gowdat today and he says suffering is a choice - our only experience of ivf so far is painful, so I couldn’t help but wonder by choosing to try again are we choosing suffering?! I don’t think anything can be compared to the longing to be a mother, and without anything definitive to say it won’t happen, it’s very hard to draw a line under it and consider alternative routes to motherhood
The quote about what hope means really resonated with me. I always thought I was setting myself up for failure to be hopeful going into another embryo transfer but now I can see there is a difference between hope and optimism. I’ve had 2 rounds of IVF, 2 embryo transfers and 3 miscarriages (1 natural mc). I’ve been referred for recurrent mc testing and whilst I wait for tests my husband and I have been using this time to take a break and try get ourselves ready for FET later in the year as we have 3 embryos left. Thank you for writing this blog as it has really helped me make sense of some of my thoughts. The only part I personally disagree with is where you say you can’t be a little bit pregnant, it is a binary thing you either are or you’re not. My most recent embryo transfer resulted in a positive blood test but 3 days later at the repeat bloods my HCG hadn’t doubled and then at the 3rd blood draw I was told it was not a viable pregnancy. Then followed around 5/6 weeks of repeat blood tests where my HCG was rising “sub optimally” while they waited for it to level off and then decline when I would miscarry naturally. That is what happened but it meant I had around 6 weeks of walking around thinking “I’m pregnant but it’s not going to result in a baby” which was torture, stuck in a horrible limbo land - we couldn’t start grieving properly and couldn’t move forward. Prior to that the previous transfer I had a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks and so again I had another 1-2 weeks to wait for medical management to induce the miscarriage where I knew there was an embryo inside me that was not longer growing. I found these times the worst part of my TTC “journey” so far and I did feel like I was stuck somewhere between being pregnant and not. I also want to thank you for speaking out so publicly whilst you are still in the battle for a baby as I feel so strongly that women should speak out, if they want to and feel comfortable, whilst they are going through TTC and not wait until they’re a happy story as happy stories really don’t help (well I don’t find anyway) women when they are in the midst of a long TTC journey. Thank you