Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Do my complications mean I had no business getting pregnant...?

I’ve been questioning this for a long time, maybe even since that first realization that getting pregnant wasn’t going to be so easy for me.  I’ve been questioning it even harder every time something tough has come up in this pregnancy, which I’ll admit has been often.  I’ve never written a post on it because I didn’t know how I felt, not until I read this post by S.I.F. 

Now most of you know she is my friend in real life, and I will be honest here and say that her post has probably shaken our friendship a little, but I don’t feel like it’s broken it.  She wrote the post about her self and her future and we’ve touched on this subject in real life, but it was hard not to read between the lines and see that the outcome she fears is the reality I’m in.  It’s funny, in a way, that I didn’t know how I felt about the whole subject until I felt like I needed to defend how I felt. 

Truthfully, reading her post hurt and infuriated me.  I mulled over the post for days with a sick feeling in my stomach and then a light blub went off, I am totally confident in my choices, I would do it all over again.  So, like a wounded Mama bear, I feel like I need to stand up for the existence of Marek and my choices to bring him into this world, here is my attempt.

The ability for humans to get and stay pregnant is a miracle.  The more you know about the intricacies of the process the more you realize that it is incredible anyone gets or stays pregnant.  There is no such thing as getting pregnant because you deserve it, if that were the case we would have all been pregnant long ago.  People get pregnant when an amazing number of biological factors all align, people who have infertility just have a hard time making one or more of those factors get in line with the rest. 

Thankfully, the science exists to help those missing pieces fit, for me that was IVF and there were a lot of pieces: endometriosis, sluggish tubes, diminished ovarian reserve, thin uterine lining, autoimmune issues, and alloimmune issues.

Does having more than one issue affecting my fertility make me less deserving of a pregnancy?  I don’t think so.  It was more to go up against but it was worth it.  Just because I had problems didn’t mean I deserved a pregnancy any less than my super fertile sister or friends did. 

S.I.F. talks a lot about the use of progesterone in IF pregnancies, I think I struggled with this topic as much as any other in her post.  Does taking a supplemental dose of a hormone that our bodies are not producing yet mean that we are risking our children’s health?  I believe that if it did it wouldn’t be prescribed.  I would like to see the statistics of pregnancies resulting in birth defects and the proof that progesterone supplementation was the cause.  If we read and took to heart the warnings on every medicine we ever took we’d never take another medication.  Just because it’s listed as a potential worst case scenario doesn’t mean that it’s a credible threat, if that were the case IVF wouldn’t have been around for the last 30 years.

I’m a big supporter of doing your own research and being an advocate for yourself with your doctors, but at some point you also need to trust your doctors.  You know your body, but they know the science and they have the historical evidence.

Now on to pregnancy complications, of which I’ve had many: blood clotting disorder, placenta previa, and irritable uterus, just to name a few.

If a fertile woman has pregnancy complications does it make her question why her body is failing her?  Probably. 

Does it make her question if she is any less deserving of that child?  No. 

Why do we, as infertiles, expect more of our bodies and question if we are deserving just because something isn’t going perfectly?  Life isn’t perfect so why do we put so much more pressure on ourselves and our bodies to give us that unachievable perfection? 

A lot of women have pregnancy complications.  For example my sister, who got pregnant her first month trying found out, by chance, at 32 weeks that she was 3 cm dilated.  She spent 4 weeks on bed rest, then, in 1 week walking around, dilated to 7 cm and delivered at 37 weeks.  She never once questioned if that meant she wasn’t supposed to take her child home, she never once thought maybe she wasn’t supposed to get pregnant in the first place.  Another friend had a placental abruption at 26 weeks and now has a healthy 3 year old.  Do you think those thoughts went through her mind?  Nope, she was just concerned for the health of her child and did what the doctors told her she must to keep her and her baby alive.

Somehow going through IF makes us question everything our bodies do.  It makes us stop trusting ourselves and our doctors, it convinces us that anything bad that happens is our fault because we tempted fate by forcing pregnancies that never should have been.

Fuck-that.  Our pregnancies should have been.  If anyone has a pregnancy that should never have been it’s the crack addict or alcholic who’s choices before and during her pregnancy make it so.  None of the shit we go through is by choice.  We were all forced into the positions we’re in and deserve these pregnancies as much as any other mother out there and we’ll be better mothers for it.

So lets unite ladies, lets stop letting one bad hand we’ve been dealt define our sense of self worth. 


  1. Amen! I've been fairly upset since reading SIFs post last week... You articulated what I've been thinking beautifully. Truth be told, I've been looking at SIF in a whole new light since reading that post... And I don't even know her. I'm sorry that it's shaken your friendship. I love my baby, and does the fact that I had to go through IVF to get pregnant mean that I shouldn't be a mommy? And that my amazing husband shouldn't be a daddy? Hell no! It means that we are blessed to live in a time where we have options like IVF open to us... And for that I am extremely grateful!!

  2. Love it!!! IF is a disease that is treated (or tried to be) just like any other disease. People with diabetes that done produced insulin-should the. Not get suppliemtal insulin to help them live? Or those with thyroid issues, high blood pressure or any other medical issue that can be treated by medicine???
    You are right that pregnancy has nothing to do with deserving. There are too many that are deserving that don't get this experience while too many that 'don't' deserve it that do get it.

  3. Happy Valentines Day.

    I read the entire post by SIF with an open mind. What she wrote was honest and beautifully written. It’s raw and heartbreaking in a way. I hate that she even has to write such a post. I wish she had a handful of babies to keep her hands and heart busy.

    BUT I think the fact that SIF is single it makes it much easier for her to come to the decision she has come to than if she was to look into her husband eyes and say the same thing. In her case, at this moment, in her life this decision is hers and hers alone. If I was single I may also think, enough, NO more drugs, no more pain, no more heartache. But when you have another person to consider the decision is no longer yours alone. I am not saying husbands are careless and want their wives to risk their health just to be fathers. I think men are a bit more optimistic than woman. They don’t analyze ever little detail and scare themselves with what ifs.

    I think a bit of thick skin and a touch of why not me has brought SIF to her decision (not in any way am I saying those are the only reasons) and that’s ok. Living in limbo is no way to live. Moving forward one way or another brings a lot of relief. I do think she was a bit careless in some of the things she said. Pointing out warning labels on the side of a box may cause side effects to an unborn child and half of the babies in a group of ladies she knows with endo have lost babies is a bit over the top. Not good! AT. ALL!! She knew you would read her post. Careless. Everything you do in life has a risk. Some risks are worth taking. Driving a car is a huge risk but offers freedom. Freedom is worth the risk.

    I am not judging at all. I understand that infertility is totally unfair. I get it. I have been pregnant eight times now and have ZERO babies to hold in my arms. I understand the heartache, the desperation, the anger, the fear. I GET IT!! I am not here to judge!! Infertility is awful and there is no one way to deal with the emotions. All we can do is support one another.

    As for you my beautiful Alaskan bloggie friend I am beyond happy for you and your honey. Oh what I wouldn’t give to be in your shoes :) You are a glowing beautiful pregnant woman. You have been so thoughtful and caring to me from day one. I LOVE following your journey. I hope to join you in motherhood one day. Wishing you all the very best. Much Love!

    1. Oh I've missed you! Thank you for your beautiful comment, I agree, we all just need to be better at supporting each other! I wish you would start writing again, I've been wondering whats happening in your life!

    2. Come On Baby - I'm not sure you realize how many times Lindsey has talked about you and how wonderful you are. I have to agree with her whole-heartedly. This comment was more insightful then I think you will ever realize, and I appreciate your kindness. I also agree with you 100% about where I went too far. And the fact that this really isn't a decision I can make completely until I have that Mr. Right in my life. For me, if it is my choice - I do not see myself ever going down that path again. But if someone I loved was standing in front of me asking to try... saying "no" to that and to them and taking away their chance and ability to try as well would be incredibly difficult for me. I hope whoever that man is will be open to all forms of bringing children into our lives, but if his heart was set on trying... I don't know what the outcome wuold be. It's one of the reasons I mentioned that I was open to the possibility my mind would be changed in the future. I believe in my choices, and stand by the reasons I outlined for truly believing I am done, but... I learned a long time ago to never say never because life has a way of making you eat your words. Again, thank you for your insight and for trying so hard to read my words with an open mind and heart.

  4. I wholeheartedly agree with you! I'm not an IVF gal, but have dealt with infertility and miscarriages. Her post rubbed me the wrong way, not because I took minimal meds to achieve a healthy pregnancy twice, it just doesn't make sense to me unless you are to turn your back on all modern medicine. Would she turn down antibiotics for an infection or insulin for diabetes? If so, then I think she has come to the proper conclusion for herself, I just don't agree with it at all. A disease is a disease, period. This is also why it infuriates me that many insurance companies do not treat IF.

  5. I agree. I felt like SIF was hypocritical. If the medicine and science of IVF is going too far, then how is an aggressive and extensive surgery, using medicine and science, to remove the endometriosis from her body not going too far? It's one thing to say that IVF is no longer for her. It's another thing to claim that it is going too far.


    1. This is exactly my train of thought on the issue. I've been wanting to write a post on my thoughts, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

      I think it's one thing to say that IVF is going too far for you personally, but to say that it's going too far in general definitely felt like a slap.

      And do we really want to delve into which medical procedures are "going too far"? Are we supposed to forgo all medical attention because that's not what was in the stars for us? Who decides what is too far?

  6. Although I am not a follower of your blog, I wanted to say thanks for standing up for your decision.

    As a single woman who has no other choice to become a mother except by IVF, what was shared was hurtful even though I know it wasn't meant to be taken personally. I should have heeded the warning and not read it at all. I am on the eve of my ninth embryo transfer and have no regrets (although that hasn't always been the case).

    I did look at the insert in the progesterone suppositories that I am using to hopefully create a womb in which a baby will finally nestle in for the long haul. I was grateful to find that I am not overly concerned by what I read.

    I know that we all have a right to use our blogs to vent our feelings, but we do have to be cautious when we consider who will be reading those words.

    Best wishes for the rest of your pregnancy and there after!

  7. Thanks for this post. My repeated failed cycles have made me question recently whether I should. E having a baby, especially with all my problems. You are right though, we all deserve a baby, just some of us need a helping hand. X

  8. "Fuck-that. Our pregnancies should have been. If anyone has a pregnancy that should never have been it’s the crack addict or alcholic who’s choices before and during her pregnancy make it so. None of the shit we go through is by choice. We were all forced into the positions we’re in and deserve these pregnancies as much as any other mother out there and we’ll be better mothers for it."
    - AMEN SISTER!!!!

  9. <3

    I think views on IVF are personal, and often times formed from personal experience. And ones formed by personal experience are entirely justified (versus people basing an opinion on something they have read, etc).

    I think that if a person thinks IVF is going too far for them, that's their right. And they may be entirely correct: perhaps IVF *is* taking it further than they feel comfortable with.

    But to say that, in general, IVF is going too far... well I think that's quite the leap. All of us have a different experience with IVF. For some, it's wonderful. For others, not so much.

    To say that IVF is taking it too far only leads us infertiles to think that SIF is inferring that we should not be mothers (at least biologically). And that's a hard pill to swallow.

    I think I just wrote about half of my post on the topic here....

    Thinking of you, Linds

  10. Thank you for this post! I couldn't have said it better myself.

  11. We all have our limits to what we are willing to do to get pregnant, find a mate, live longer, etc. SIF gave her opinion of her own journey and I didn't feel like she begrudged anyone their own medical measures to have a child. Even I had a limit that was a multifaceted decision. After having two pregnancies, I had two miscarriages only to learn my thyroid disease was causing my body to attack anything it deemed as foreign. I went on to have two successful births after twice daily heparin injections in my belly and baby aspirin. Many days I worried that I was tempting some kind of fate forcing my body to carry another baby. In my situation, I decided that what I had to go through was my limit. I can't tell you how many people claimed they wouldn't be able to do what I did, and honestly my experience was small beans compared to many others. In the end, our experiences and thresholds are different but shouldn't be discounted because they are different.
    If someone had told me a year ago that I would be reading this post at 5:30am holding a 4 1/2 month old baby that was born from a pregnancy that "should never have been", I would have written them off as crazy. Though her circumstance was someone else's choosing, her future is in my hands. I'm not sure how she escaped the myriad of health issues most babies have from drug exposure, but she has. This morning I cried as I held her because someone I have been silently cheering for, suggested that she shouldn't exist. Sometimes people's words hit uncomfortably close to home.

  12. Two things...

    First, as I said to SIF after reading her post, What a wonderful world we live in, that she can change her mind & her views. Infertility has led me down a different path, but I don't begrudge her, her views. I believe that we each have to determine our own threshold for risk vs. reward.

    Second, I'm not sure what it is, but we moms, we internalize things that are not directly directed at us when we can totally put ourselves in the shoes of the speaker. Especially when it is different from our own choices, it *feels* like they are judging us.

    Every time I read a proud BFing mother tout how she is giving her child the best nature has to offer, I cringe. My son just turned 4. He's healthy & wonderful. I still cringe. I beat myself up all over again, for having PCOS, a c/s & high blood pressure as they all contributed to my not producing. As a result, for my son's health, I had to give him formula.

    Never once, do I truly think these BFing mom's are intentially telling me I was wrong, or that I failed - only touting their achievements. It still *feels* like I failed.

    And honestly, I truly believe that is all SIF was doing. She was telling her changed perspective. Those who have babies in your arms or belly as a result of IVF have something she doesn't. You got the golden ring. You got what she so desperately wanted.

    I'm not saying what she said isn't hurtful, because I understand how it could be. I get your stance.

    But who is to say, if you were not awarded with the blessing of carrying a child - you might be in her shoes feeling the way she is right now.

    We all have to remember... There is no book on how to fail at being able to be a mother naturally. My husband was not willing to go to the measures of Clomid, which was leaving our marriage & being truly honest, my own mental state in shambles.

    God blessed me with a BFP the day my husband & I were realizing our previously rock solid marriage was hanging on by threads, rings & a piece of paper. Through a lot of work & prayer, we are back to a good solid state. I won't lie, landing on bed rest the last 8 weeks of pregnancy coupled with IF issues, is exactly why my DH wasn't willing to put our marriage on the line again & go for a 2nd child.

    I can only say how thankful I am, that I was in the right place to accept that decision without falling into the well of IF despair.

    I hope this makes sense & doesn't further hurt any of your feelings. Because that is truly the last thing I want to do...

    Lindsey - I'll be praying for a safe & healthy remainder to the rest of your pregnancy!

    1. I agree completely that we all internalized what she wrote and let it feel like an attack when it wasn't. She was talking about herself and her choices and even though I know that it still inspired me to defend my choices.

      I'm so glad you saved your marriage and were able to have your miracle baby! I love to hear happy endings!

  13. AMEN!
    Thank you so much for this post. I read SIF's post while holding my IVF baby in my arms and cried that she would even verbalize some of those thoughts. My worst fear is that everyone else would judge my child for being a result of IVF. He is meant to be here just as much as I was meant to get pregnant- doesn't matter the means of how it happened.
    I have always said if we weren't supposed to have these babies, these means would not be here for us to use. It's also not in our hands whether or not the IVF works. Same being said for cancer treatments, treating disease, pre-mature babies you name it. Is that going too far and fighting fate? I don't think so.
    Thank you for writing this post.

  14. I think it is unfair to put treating cancer and IVF on the same platform. One is to save your life and the other is, let's face it, a luxury. No matter what the mental toll of infertility, a painful death is not the end result.

    1. Although I can't respect the anonymity of your comment, I do agree that cancer and IVF are not easily comparable.

      One is fatal, the other is not (although I'm sure there have been some cases of death caused by OHSS, anesthesia, etc).

      But, let's compare IVF to braces. Braces are not a necessity. They are not crucial to survival. Yet, people get them. And pay for them for their children. And there are many more examples of medical treatments people receive that are not crucial to survival.

      How far should this go? Will we stop at medical procedures? What about consumerism? A cell phone is not crucial to survival, but yet 90% of the population use them (I made that number up, but it seems reasonable).

    2. The logic that you use here just does not work. Braces are not harmful to anyone. As SIF stated some of the drugs required for IVF can be very damaging to Mom and baby. Not making value statements about IVF, but also asserting that the comparison above just does not work. I think you could compare IVF to something like breast implants pretty effectively. Although breast implants can be kind of vain and IVF does not fall in that category. Those are both things that can be dangerous and are completely elective. The difference would be that with breast implants one is making the decision just for oneself versus IVF also making it for the child.

    3. SLB - I have to disagree. Breast implants are NOTHING like IVF or any other fertility treatment. The reason people are mentioning cancer and diabetes is because infertility is a disease that causes your body to not work properly. A properly functioning body is able to get pregnant. Small boobs are not a disease, though I don't judge those that get implants I don't think these are even slightly comparable choices. Our existance as women is often defined by our ability to bear children, the fact that infertile women can't do this is a much different motivator to risk our health than increasing your physical attractiveness.

    4. As I said before I am not comparing them from an importance standpoint. I think it is offensive to say that our existence as women is defined by our ability to have children. I am offended for all of my single friends who have never had children and are some of the strongest women that I know. I do not see how conforming to some expectation of society that you should be able to have kids is any different than conforming to society's definition of physical attractiveness. I do not have any problem with IVF, but I find it extremely offensive to compare treatments that people get to fight for their lives, their very existence to elective treatments to have a child. To everyone who has ever gone through chemotherapy there is a huge difference between that treatment and IVF. Its fine to defend your decision, but not to defend it by comparing it to something like cancer.

    5. You can compare IVF to chemotherapy on a basic level: they are medical procedures. They are medical procedures used to alter your fate, if you will. I'm sorry if that offends you, but it's the truth. I'm not debating importance of either, but to say that we shouldn't be allowed to compare them is silly, eh?

    6. SLB - In response to your thoughts on the medications for IVF being dangerous, here is a quote from a comment left by Chickenpig on my blog:

      "Reading a box of progesterone and seeing that it causes birth defects, and deciding that it is therefore not for you is all well and good. BUT when there are women who are going through IVF RIGHT NOW who are injecting it into their bodies...that can be detrimental. The truth is, and this is from my Gyn and RE, not opinions of mine, is that IVF causes birth defects and miscarriages. That's right, you heard it from me. BUT that is because PREGNANCY causes birth defects and miscarriages. When you put an egg and a sperm together that would probably never meet outside a lab, you increase those risks. When you inject yourself with progesterone, you increase the likelihood of a pregnancy continuing that wouldn't have on it's own. That doesn't mean that progesterone increases the risk of fetal harm. It means that somewhere out there a woman sued the drug company because she had a miscarriage, and from now on it has to be put on the box. Plain and simple. Every...single...outcome has to be put on the box in the US, even if it only happened ONCE. So please, keep that in mind."

    7. SLB - I did not say that I believe the existance of woman is defined by ability to bear children, I said it OFTEN is by others. Regardless of how society looks at the ability to bear children, from a purely medical standpoint a healthy functioning female body with a healthy sperm supplier should be able to get pregnant with in a year of trying, a healthy female body should not have a certain cup size, that is a function of societal pressures.

    8. Really SLB, at this point you are just being argumentative for arguments sake. I made my choices for all the reasons I outlined, and I stand by those. They are MY choices. But I wholeheartedly agree that comparing infertility treatments to breast implants is just as bad a comparison as comparing it to chemo. Honestly, I'm not sure there is ANYTHING that is really adequately comparable. Fertility treatments stand in their own category entirely. But they are a far cry from elective procedures based on vanity.

      And honestly, I completely agree with Linds that as women, MANY of us have an innate desire to carry a child. Not all by any means, but for many women that is a very real yearning that drives them even beyond a point they themselves can effectively explain or define. I have that desire. I have ALWAYS had that desire. It is absolutely innate for me, and a hard thing to walk away from. I also have a desire to get rid of the cellulite on my thighs and the stretch marks on my tits. You ask me which desire is stronger though - and there is no question. Not even kind of. The lengths I would be willing to go to in order to carry a child and the lengths I would be willing to go in order to feel better about my body aren't even on the same level. I honestly think both comparisons (to chemo and to breast implants) fail based solely on the fact that there is nothing really comparable. But attempting to twist Lindsey's words in making a very honest and real statement as it applies to many women is unfair. Because we all know damn well that she wasn't saying for one second that she believes women SHOULD BE defined by their ability to be mothers. Just that for many of us, that desire to be mothers is absolutely ingrained in us. As deeply and realistically as the desire to be healthy.

    9. I can see that anyone who disagrees with the point of view you all have is not welcome here so I will exit this conversation. Based on my limited reading, I think most individuals who struggle with infertility will make excellent mothers because unlike many others they will never take for granted the ability to hold that little one in their arms. That alone is enough to make me have a lot of respect for you all and I wish each of you the best in one day holding that little one in your arms. SIF...you have no idea why I am saying what I am saying and I stated numerous times that I would never compare the vanity involved in breast implants with IVF so you did not need to make that point for me.

    10. Anonymous/SLB--both of my parents have fought cancer, and I have been intimately involved in those fights (taking my mother to chemo, cleaning up vomit, etc.), and I have also been through IVF, and honestly, the fear and desperation involved didn't feel that different FOR ME. Obviously, everyone is different, and of course I wasn't having the cancer treatment myself, but I think that you're underestimating the damage that infertility can do to a person if you see treatment as a "luxury". A nice vacation is a "luxury". Fertility treatment is an expensive stressful unpleasant way of dealing with the fact that nature dealt you an unfortunate set of cards.

    11. Anonymous/SLB--both of my parents have fought cancer, and I have been intimately involved in those fights (taking my mother to chemo, cleaning up vomit, etc.), and I have also been through IVF, and honestly, the fear and desperation involved didn't feel that different FOR ME. Obviously, everyone is different, and of course I wasn't having the cancer treatment myself, but I think that you're underestimating the damage that infertility can do to a person if you see treatment as a "luxury". A nice vacation is a "luxury". Fertility treatment is an expensive stressful unpleasant way of dealing with the fact that nature dealt you an unfortunate set of cards.

    12. It's odd how treating cancer and treating infertility get compared in casual discourse, as if a person might face one, or the other. "Which would YOU choose -- cancer, or infertility?" The reality, of course is that among the challenges facing cancer survivors, particularly young cancer survivors, infertility is high on the list. Research in this area is pretty new (but also pretty massive; google "Oncofertility"), but certainly there are women who have described (to researchers) how concerns about preserving their fertility shaped their choices about treatment, and my recollection (though I cannot find a relevant study at the moment) is that infertility ranks just below -- but not by much -- premature death (caused by recurrence of the cancer) -- in the list of fears of many young cancer survivors -- people who we might reasonably imagine are viscerally aware of what it feels like to think you are going to die before your time (whatever that means).

      Just in general, throughout most of history and even today in much of the world, getting pregnant significantly increases a woman's risk of dying (from things caused by pregnancy and/or childbirth) -- and of course, tragically many girls and women don't get to choose whether to avoid it. But even among those who do (have that choice), many embrace the risks. Indeed I'd guess (though of course it's impossible to know) that even faced with an explicit choice of premature death or childlessness, plenty of us would choose the former.

  15. Very well said post. Thank you!

    I too read SIF's post and it did irritate me. Now that she has chosen to not do IVF, its suddenly such an bad thing? I think it was very irresponsible for her to mention progesterone causing birth defects when she did not back up her claim with ANY actual statstical studies or data to prove her point. As someone said above, every medication and supplement on earth has side effect, everytime we do a medical procedure or surgery there are risks, does that mean we do not take medications, treat diseases or do surgeries?

  16. Well said, sister! I continue to pray for you, and I'm so pleased you did what you needed to, because there's an amazing miracle in your belly :)
    My blog is private now. I deleted my FB page. If you would like to view my blog, can you send me your email address? Mine is baby4lisa@gmail.com

  17. I have just started questioning whether or not I am "supposed" to have kids and although that wasn't your main point here, it definitely struck a chord in me that if I wasn't infertile, I wouldn't question what should be. Well said, thank you.

  18. So true and so well written... your determination and love for your child is the most important thing and if science helps get you there, that's great xoxo

  19. Thank you so much for responding to her post. I follow SIF and respect her, but I didn't agree with some of the things she said.
    I couldn't have said anything better myself and I appreciate your view on IVF. I am one to have won that battle with a BFP and then lost it when my pregnancy turned into a preterm delivery. I do not regret my babies, nor do I think I was never supposed to get pregnant. In my darkest moments, I do think that, but I know it's not true.
    I have been on the 'was it worth the pain' side and i can honestly say that IVF can still work for me. The loss of my twins was horrid and shouldn't have happened, but I still think that I deserve another chance. When I run out of hope, I will stop. But that will be my choice based soley on my own experience and what I can endure.

    If you are okay with it, I may repost your blog on my own. Just to make people think. Thanks again, Alissa

    1. A, I just wanted to say that you know me and have met me in real life. You were a huge source of support to me when I was going through my second cycle, and I really hope you know in your heart that my thoughts and feelings were being expressed in how I feel for ME now... not how I believe anyone else should feel. You say when you run out of hope, you will stop. I have honestly run out of hope. I no longer believe that IVF is the answer to motherhood for me. Maybe it was too soon, maybe it was without enough heartbreak to really give me a right to step away, and maybe it is based on all I've seen within this world that now honestly scares the hell out of me. I don't really know. But I do know that I hit my limit, and when I stood back and re-evaluated: I couldn't ever see myself doing it again. I tried to describe that in a way that would make people understand, because even in the last 6 months as I have repeatedly told the people I care about that I didn't think I would do it again - they have continued to make comments about how they couldn't wait for me to try again. As if they didn't believe me or didn't think I had really thought it all out - when I had and I have. And that is hard. For all it's own reasons, that is hard. So I wanted to make it clear that I know this is the right decision for me, without leaving people with questions about why it was this was the path I was now choosing. But... I NEVER meant to make it seem like everyone else should be coming to the same conclusions I am. And I am so sorry if I failed in doing what I set out to do correctly. I cried for you when you lost your babies, and have continued to pray for you and the babies that are still to come. I hope you know that.

  20. I truly adore SIF. I think she is a wonderful person, and understand the intent of her post.

    However... I disagree with it, and it hurt me pretty badly. With my first IVF pregnancy, my miracle baby was stillborn at 21.5 weeks due to an incompetent cervix. I received a cerclage, and my second IVF miracle is asleep in bed next to me now at 18.5 months old.

    My ovaries didn't work, my cervix didn't work... But does that mean my daughter shouldn't be here? God helped us create IVF and surgeries like cerclages to fix these problems. I truly believe God performed great miracles to bring my daughter here safely, and it hurt to feel like I was being called irresponsible for my choices.

    I know that wasn't her intent, but I just wanted to let you know that I understand your post and feelings.

    1. Honestly AKD, this breaks my heart to read and I just want to apologize to you personally. There is no part of me that believes for even a second that Alice shouldn't be or that your were irresponsible in trying for her. I know and remember exactly how much hurt and heartbreak you went through when you lost Maddie. I would be lying if I said that honestly, what you went through is one of my very biggest fears. I admire your strength and ability to move forward after that while continuing to carry so much love in your heart for BOTH of your daughters. I don't think I could have done the same with nearly the same grace. I honestly do not believe I have the strength to go through what you went through, and that is the very real truth. I have made my decisions solely because I don't have it in me to continue fighting for something that I truly do not believe will work out well for me in the end. But I understand completely why you went on to fight for Alice after Maddies loss, and I believe absolutely 100% in my heart that you were meant to be the mother to both of your daughters. I hope you know that and realize that I have never once ever judged your choices.

    2. Wait, so God makes a person infertile, no baby. But then God makes technology possible so we can subvert His design and have a baby anyway? I don't know. Seems rather convenient, like its a construct to satisfy our ego, more than anything. Maybe thats why I'm not religious.
      The demand for IVF comes from base human instinct to keep the race alive. Supply for IVF comes from base human instinct to make money and be an alpha human. All to attract an alpha mate to procreate and keep the race alive.
      There is no "should" or "shouldn't", there is no "deserve" or "don't deserve".
      The human ability to conceptualize these judgments and emotions is the real miracle.

  21. I've been reading her blog off and on for awhile. I can only have limited knowledge and understanding of infertility as I have not had any issues with this. However, I get that it must be just an awful thing to have to deal with. I read her post as being what she said it was, her thoughts alone. I didn't feel that she was saying that others are wrong to go down that path, after all she's been down that path herself twice. IVF is a very very personal decision and not one to be taken lightly. Not once did I get the impression that she was judging anyone else for their decisions, just stating how she is now on a different path then she was a year or so ago.

  22. I appreciated your post very much. In the thick of IF, I read a book about the industry of infertility, and the author questioned whether infertility treatments were subverting nature's will since infertile couples likely couldn't reproduce for a reason. That book haunted me until I finally said, "screw it." I have a disease (endo) and a uterine anomaly that I don't think makes me less deserving to pass on my genes. Thank God for science!!!

  23. When my husband and I were going through the IVF process, I found myself questioning the idea of technology helping us in achieving pregnancy. I wondered whether we were messing with 'survival of the fittest' in terms of nature etc, and felt almost selfish in our dream of having a biological child. But we did it, and we were one of those statistics... conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy resulting in a healthy child on the first cycle. Does it mean that I still have pangs of guilt occasionally over our conscious decision to explore science and technology when it came to what my body was letting me down on? Of course.

    My naturopath (herbalist) shared with me a wonderful anecdote, she said that the universe created wonderful minds that developed the technologies that allow us to achieve our goals. And that made me feel better. Interestingly, I wouldn't class myself as someone belonging to a faith, but as a lover of biology/evolution.

    So what is the point I'm trying to make? I'm not sure now... I got sidetracked. I randomed in upon your blog through another and felt compelled to share my thoughts. Undergoing IVF is an emotional rollercoaster and such a personal decision for all involved, it's a shame that some people see differently.

  24. I went both to SIF's post and to this one, thanks to LFCA.

    Honestly, what SIF's post reminded me of was a conversation I had with a nurse shortly after my dad, who has dementia, was moved into a nursing home after having broken his hip. He vacillated between "aware and coherent" and, well, not, and in either state was at times very unpleasant to the staff who were trying to get him to do stuff he needed to do but didn't want to (take drugs, shower, change his clothes -- nothing that would have been controversial to a person in their right mind). At the times when he was in an "aware and coherent" state he would (sometimes) apologize to the staff, telling them that he was used to "telling people what to do, not being told what to do." I took this one nurse aside and told her (truthfully) that my dad's impression of someone who "tells people what to do" was actually pretty overly optimistic (read: inaccurate), that even in his prime "he imagined he had a lot more control over how things were run than he really did." She put her arm around me (picture a matronly nurse in the Southern US) and said, "Oh honey, we all do." Oh yes, we do.

    And I guess that's where I come down on this ... that we might imagine we can do "the best" for our (prospective) child and that in so doing, we can guarantee everything will turn out right. Facing infertility causes many (most?) of us to realize that isn't so, and it's a rude awakening. But not having realized it earlier doesn't mean it wasn't so.

    (Full disclosure, since I'm new here: I'm an IVF mom, one who thought systematically about (among other things) the concerns SIF pointed to involving progesterone. I have to admit, I scoffed at that particular subset -- I mean, of everything that might go wrong, an increased risk of hypospadias? As compared to, you know, not existing at all? I worried (and made decisions based on) a lot more about the risks associated with multiples. I will say that, like SIF, I was entirely clear that I believed that for me there existed outcomes worse than never getting pregnant (I'll note, too, in line with Heather's point above, like SIF I wasn't worried about my DH not getting to be a dad -- he already was, twice over, in an earlier marriage.) Still, if infertility taught me nothing else it taught me that you just don't know what you'll do 'til you get there -- and that this of course varies by person. And that nothing is ever guaranteed.).

  25. I have not read all of the Replies so sorry if I repeat something. When I started down the IVF path I thought there was just one line drawn down the population... fertiles and infertiles. I guess there really are a few more lines, I would call them thin lines though because infertiles are bonded by the same problem.

    SIF said a lot of things that I have felt but afraid to write because I dont want to upset anyone who is on this path that already has you on edge, emotionally. SIF - I am glad you wrote what you felt, it started a really good conversation to get us all to think hard about these decisions. I was on the same cycle as Lindsey, I didnt make it. I was on the highest protocol they allow. One day I had 7 shots! My body is just now recovering from the drugs. For me, taking the drugs was a no brainer, take them.

    Honestly, I am pissed off at the medical profession in general. I love my doctors but I have spent a ridiculous amount of money and they still cant tell my why my embies dont stick... really! How about I pay your mortgage for another year then can I have some answers?

    I am so happy for my friends that get pregnant and have healthy babies. And I am especially glad they have not gone as far down this path as I have, because I am getting bitter. Im trying not to, I am trying to figure out what the grand plan is for my life but damn it, right now, I'd give anything to be like my friends who have no interest in having a child. My decisions would be so much easier.

    My point is that we really should talk about these uncomfortable topics, even if they make us mad or defensive. Discussing this stuff will help each one of us figure out what our path is weither it is one cycle, 20 cycles, adoption or even child free. The trick is talking about it in such a way that we are supportive of each other. Our emotions are so high that its so easy to get nuts quickly!

    Love to all of you on or off the rollercoaster, at the beginning or end of the ride. Your strong for even standing in line for this ride!

  26. What a bunch of drama queens. SIF makes a heartfelt post and makes it clear she's speaking about her own case and no one else's, yet you all sit back & take it so very personally, as if her opinion and her choices have ruined your life. You take on the wounded woman syndrome like something I've never seen before. And now she's going over the top with apologies and it's almost embarrassing with the lengths she's going to. What kind of mothers are you going to be? When your kid expresses a contrary opinion, are you going to freeze them out & cry about how much is "hurts" you? Or are you going to calmly listen, accept their words/opinion, and realize that not everything in the world will go exactly as you want it. And not be so defensive! That's the mentality of a 12 year old junior high girl! You are grown women in a community of people who have many differing opinions. Learn to respect that. Learn to deal with it.

  27. Wonderful post! I refuse to believe that the fact that I needed a few meds, an IUI, and progesterone support means that my little girl was not meant to be or that I was not meant to be her Mommy! We all deserve to have our own feelings about things though...that's life! I like the SIF was very careful to qualify that what she was writing was about how she felt about her own specific sitaution. Of course we all internalized it and took it to heart, but you could tell her words weren't written with intent to judge or hurt others. What a touchy subject...