Having paid my nonrefundable deposit to the clinic this past week, I am officially committed to at least one cycle of IVF. I am excited, but most often, when I think about it, I am terrified! The sheer number of injections (approx 2-4/day for over a month and then one a day for another month) has me wigging out. Did I mention Phil doesn't do needles? Fortunately, we have several nurse friends who have agreed to stick me. Without that, I'm not sure this would even be possible.
To be honest, after I read multiple first-hand accounts of the misery involved, and after I determined that our insurance didn't cover any of it, Phil and I had pretty much written IVF off. When we first started going in for testing, we agreed that we would try Clomid, but we weren't going to take any "extraordinary measures" to have children. If we were supposed to have children, it would happen. That's an easy enough decision to make when the doctors keep telling you that they don't have any idea what the problem is, everything seems fine, just keep trying. As it turned out, my squeal point was more variable than I thought. Once we found out IVF was our only option if we wanted to have biological children, it suddenly wasn't something I would "never" do. I was at least willing to consider it (and, obviously, decided to move forward with it).
But I was bothered by my decision. I felt as though I had gone back on my agreement not to use extraordinary measures. I know that we are allowed to change our minds and that, often, that can be a good thing. But I also know that sometimes we are given choices where the better choice is to stick with our original decision. Doubt plagued me. Was this one of those times? Was I making a mistake by moving forward with IVF?
I initially decided that I had not actually changed my mind. I was merely making sure that I completely explored all of my options before ruling any of them out. Yes, it was a rationalization (something I am extremely good at). But as I thought more about it, I decided it was like math--once the givens had changed, it was time to reevaluate the assumptions that had been based on those givens to make sure they were still valid. And as I researched IVF, I discovered that many people struggle with this decision. Whether the difficulty with the decision is monetary, religious, or something else, there are many couples who swore they would never do IVF who find themselves considering it. Reading their stories, I also discovered that there was no single right answer. Some couples decided to stick with their original decision. Others opted to try IVF. What became clear was not whether they changed their mind, or even why, but that they took the time to figure out what they thought was best for them. As with many things, there was no one right answer.
I finally decided that if IVF was the right track, it would work. If it wasn't the right thing to do, it wouldn't work. Suddenly, everything fell into place. The center was wonderful and we would only have to travel there three times; the rest could be done locally. My surgery was scheduled in the short time period necessary to allow me plenty of time to recover and still try a cycle in March. We were able to get a low-interest loan to fund the cycle. We would be able to extend or shorten the protocol as needed to make sure that the major events didn't fall during Holy Week. When we called to reserve our spot, March was still available. Whether simply good timing, or a divine answer to my question, everything has continued to work out precisely as we needed in order to follow through with IVF. It has made me hopeful again. And that, in and of itself, has been a gift. And so, at least for now, I am glad I changed my mind. But feel free to ask me again after the injections start.