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How High Can You Hope?
a blog by Gina Paoletti-Falcone, RN, BSN, October 1, 2010
I read a post today that really hit home with the juggling act we all become a part of during fertility treatments. A woman wrote that she has just started taking lupron for her first IVF cycle.
I could almost feel her hopefulness and excitement. Many patients approach new treatment plans with that eager anticipation that this will be it, the thing that makes it happen, the answer to their prayers … pregnancy, a baby.
Doctors and nurses hope that for their patients, too, and yet we know that even in the best case scenarios, patients who should get pregnant sometimes
That’s just the ugly reality. And we feel that it is our moral and ethical obligation to tell patients that up front as we try to set the stage for all the possible outcomes — good and bad.
But I understand her frustration. She has high hopes, and yet her RE, acupuncturist, counselor and other patients have all told her that first IVF cycles often don’t work and can be viewed as a test cycle or a “trial.” She goes on to say “I don’t want a trial, I want a baby.”
So here’s the rub, how high can you hope? How do you balance optimism and reality? Seriously, why would anyone ever subject themselves to an IVF cycle if they didn’t think they had a chance for a baby? So why is everyone focusing on the negative outcome?
I understand that it’s all part of the process called “informed consent,” letting patients know the odds. I have been in situations when I have tried to imagine how I would feel with the positive outcome and then with the negative outcome. It’s an exercise in self-preservation, preparing for the worst. But do we really believe that knowing that bad things can happen cushions our fall and makes it any easier to accept when they do?
So I have all my fingers and all my toes crossed for her. I am sending positive karma her way. And I will be on the lookout for her upcoming posts and hope that in six weeks she is writing about her positive pregnancy test.
Because we all deserve to have high hopes ...