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My Journey to IVF Cycle Number Two
A blog by Megan Swanek, July 24, 2014
The journey to become pregnant is fraught with emotion and, as you know, can be quite the roller-coaster ride. Today, more so than ever before, many women put their education and career at the forefront of their lives during their prime fertile years, trusting that the rest will fall into place. When we finally meet the elusive “one” and get married, we expect the next step to come easily to us. After all, we have attained everything else we have set out to accomplish in life. But with trying to conceive, unlike grades in graduate school, there are no guarantees that your hard work and careful charting or planning will yield results. Instead, with fertility treatment, you enter a world where even “trying” can be seen as a negative. You’re given advice such as “just relax and it will happen” or told that it will happen “when you least expect it.”
Daily, I’m reminded that while we can’t control what happens to us, we can control how we react to it.
My trying to conceive timeline has almost coincided with my Mom’s diagnosis of stage IV brain and lung cancer last July. The added pressure of wanting to help her realize her dream of becoming a grandmother has pretty much ruled out my ability to ever follow the “just relax” advice. While it surely makes the disappointment following our several failed Clomid attempts in the fall of 2013 and two failed IUI cycles earlier this year more bitter, I know that it will also make our future positive pregnancy test that much sweeter.
Seeking treatment for my undiagnosed infertility (with diminished ovarian reserves) has brought me satisfaction by knowing that I am doing something proactive to become a Mom. Sitting and “waiting for it to happen” would have been fine five years ago; but is not an option now. When the first two IUI cycles did not work, we decided to go the IVF route not because we had infinite resources, but rather because our funding was limited. My husband and I both work in education and while IVF is much more expensive, IUIs aren’t cheap, and they were beginning to add up. Ever an optimist, I had every expectation that the IVF would work. If it did happen to fail, I thought we would surly have some embryos left over to freeze, and attempt a frozen embryo transfer.
But I was to be dealt another lesson in not being able to control what life decides to throw my way. In June of 2014, we transferred all of the embryos we had: three on day three. I entered the dreaded two-week wait knowing that we did not have any left to freeze and were all in. Filled with anticipation and hope, I went in for my blood pregnancy test before work, only to receive a call from my doctor three hours later that started with an “I’m sorry…”
In my single days, I’ve felt guilty for spending too much on, say, a Coach purse or a nice watch. Now, here I was faced with the realization that $17,000 had been spent, with nothing to show for it. But I guess we did get something out of it: every failure we experience in the infertility world brings us one step closer to that one time when it will work. What my husband and I gained was a new resolve to continue the IVF process in hopes of that call from the doctor that starts with an excited “Congratulations!” Until that day, we have to try and be as positive as we can.