Monday, October 28, 2013

When do you stop trying?

This image is doing its round on social media and it speaks LOUDLY to me because I was one of those women who wished and pinned for a child.
I never knew ...
  • desperation until I couldn't fall pregnant with a child 'easily'.
  • loss until I experienced a miscarriage.
  • mental anguish and disappointment is far worse than physical pain and discomfort.
  • I could be THAT DISAPPOINTED AND ANGRY with my reproductive organs for not doing what they are meant to do.
For the record, we tried for 4 years. Click here to read more about IVF and the workplace.

It is so hard to determine when to stop trying because this is deeply personal to the individual and / or couple and really, the sense of something was missing, the sheer desperation and defiance in not giving in kept spurring me on to keep trying.

What we were determine as a couple was to not let infertility define us because we are more than that. We love life, our careers and definitely our holidays. That was the approach we took.

I would give my fertility specialist my schedule for work travels and deadlines as well as our holiday plans so our treatments were planned around them. We had so much to look forward to and were determine to have a great marriage. That certainly helped with our sanities, to a large extend. Yes, we took many holidays and never fell pregnant.

Anyone who is and has undergone IVF will tell you that the physical discomforts associated are miniscue when compared to the mental torture associated with the waiting game. It's as if our lives stood still from the momment egg pick up occured until the end of the dreaded 14 day wait.

During our IVF treatments, we made a pact to always put our marriage first because there is no point in bringing up a child if we parted ways. That's not the point of undergoing fertility treatments, for us. The pact we made meant that we will always be OPEN with each other. That is, if one of us wanted to stop the treatments, the other person will respectfully stop. Sure, it seems simple in theory and trust me, it is simple in practice too. You just have to work out what your pact is.

After our 4th round of IVF was unsuccessful, I told my husband that I am nearing the end of 'trying' and that I only have 1 or 2 more cycles left in me in the event that they failed. I was simply close to being drained of all my mental resilience. He agreed and told me (many months later when we were successful) that he had wanted me to stop then but thought better and knew me well enough to know that I needed to be absolutely resolved before I could move on and he knew I was serious because I told him "1 or 2 more cycles and that's it!"

Whether it is the surrenderedness in me having declared my plan that the end is near OR the new protocol improved my egg quality, who knows...we did fall pregnant on our 5th fresh cycle and the rest is history.

Therefore, if you are attempting or is on the IVF journey, have you had the conversation with yourself and / or your partner on when it might be the "light at the end of the tunnel" for you?

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