So Here’s What Really Scares Me

DefTTC and I had a lovely evening last night.  No it wasn’t date night, just one of those evenings at home where you really talk.  DefTTC made steaks on the braai (bbq) – just the very best, he marinades them for a minimum of 24 hours and they are so tender and juicy and really yummy.  But I digress.

We started chatting about what’s on the cards for us in four weeks time when we get the next test results.  I think now that we have had a chance for the reality of the last SA results to sink, it is also dawning on us that there is very little chance that we will be in any position to do IUI.  And so we started to talk about how we feel about IVF.

So I am going to come right out with it and say I am terrified of IVF.  No not the medical stuff, not the jabs or scans or retrieval.  But I am scared about the emotional toll of IVF.

You see while I’m not very religious (anymore), I have very strong feelings about the sanctity of life.  And very firm ideas about when life starts.  I believe that the moment you have fertilisation you have life.  I know that doesn’t make that life viable, but to me it is life.  And here’s where it all gets scary.  My brain is abuzz with questions – what if’s?

What if we have loads of fertilised embryos and they all die – will I feel like I lots loads of babies

What if we have loads of fertilised embryos and we put two back and they both take – what will we do with the rest.  I don’t want a soccer team, I think two is perfect, but what would I do with the other embryos.  I couldn’t let them die, I would feel like we had killed our potential babies.  Not sure about donating to science, how can you offer your children (yes I know they aren’t kids yet) to be experimented on.  I think I could come to terms with donating them to another couple, but what if no one wanted them.  I re-read an old diary entry recently.  I hadn’t been in the UK for very long when there was a newspaper article on how there were thousands of embryos which hadn’t been claimed and were now going to be disposed of.  I was outraged and furious and so disgusted at a society that could end these potential lives.  But what else could they do?

What if we have loads of fertilised embryos and we put two back and neither of them takes – I’ve read blog where women say they are PUPO – Pregnant until proven otherwise.  I think I would be  one of those women who would see it that way.  And then the BFN would seem like a miscarriage – and I know better than that, but I can’t help my crazy brain from having these crazy thoughts.

My friend L and I have talked a few times about not seeing IVF like that.  Those embryos are not viable life, until they divide and embed and grow past a certain point.  I know this stuff in my head, but my heart…

And so as we start to come to terms with the fact that there is a very strong likelihood that we will follow the IVF path, I am scared.

I don’t mean to upset anyone, this is just my crazy view on this crazy business.

About MommyAtLast

Finally a Mommy to our Medical Miracle IVF Boy / Girl Twins who were born in November 2011. We overcame azoospermia using hormone therapy for my hubby to conceive our precious Hope Babes on our 4th IVF.
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16 Responses to So Here’s What Really Scares Me

  1. Bratty says:

    MiW, I understand your fears…I cried many tears having to go the IVF route…I thought all the same thoughts as you. I was just fortunate that I did not have to make those choices. My eggs did not even fertilise…except one. I said to my B that if things did not go the way they did, I do not know if I would have had the courage to do it all again. The injections, ER and ET are the easy part. All the emotions involved is what destroys you. The strength needed to go from day to day. To keep having faith is difficult when you are scared.
    So when you go through the IVF, I will be on the sideline supporting you, cheering you along and praying each day for your BFP.
    Love M

  2. Cathy Nel says:

    I suppose that this is all part of the process and this is all part of ‘wrapping our head’ around things. You need to do some soul searching and perhaps even some research, jot down your feelings/questions and speak to your doc about them. Perhaps he can take your concerns into account when doing your IVF/ICSI
    If there’s one thought I’d want to leave you with it’s this…. life is a choice and everything we do starts off with a choice, whether it be what we wear, eat, drive, reactions, actions, good moods and bad etc. How we choose to see/do things. It’s all a choice and you need to choose how you are going to see the road of IVF. One thing you need to do is choose to be positive and focus mostly on the good as opposed to the bad. Choose to see this as a blessing and a beginning and an oppurtunity for you and DefTTC to have your own biological children. Alter your course of treatment to honour your beliefs and choose what is good for your heart and soul.

    Please forgive me if I sound like I’m lecturing you because that’s not my intention. All I want to do is to give you a different viewpoint and let you know that you have a choice. Life seems so simple when you think of it that way.

    Good luck and take all the time you need to make your choices. They will be the right ones and you will be blessed.

    Good luck and I’m so looking forward to reading about your excellent SA results in 4 weeks time!

    I’m cheering you on from the side lines – you can and will do it 🙂

  3. dee says:

    The physical stuff is a breeze, the emotional side a little more difficult.

    Its your first IVF so the doctors don’t know how you will stim, Im guessing they will be conservative so you probably wont end up with hundreds of embies, its very rare to freeze at all. For 6 of my cycles I never froze anything, even DE cycles. If you are freezing then that’s a bonus but don’t go into the cycle EXPECTING to freeze.

    We made a choice long ago that we would use up every last embryos that we ever produced, if that means having a soccer team well then so be it. I realise that this might not suit everyone so if you are keen to donate them that would be an excellent option. At one stage when I was looking for donor embies there are waiting lists for people who are interested so you wont have an issue there. Ive also heard of overseas visitors who come for a DE cycle and if their cycle doesn’t go well, often they are offered donor embies as a back-up.

    I also believe that life has started at fertilisation. You will see when you see your embies on that screen, you will feel like they are your children already. AND this is the very reason why a negative cycle from an IVF is a different kettle of fish. You have seen your future children and when its negative you GRIEVE the loss of their lives. Im not going to lie to you, its not easy BUT what if it works? The loss of those embies is bad but the loss of a chance of trying would kill me, that’s what kept me going all these cycles.

    I must also add that after 7 cycles my attitude got a lot more blasé, you try not to get as emotionally involved. Your first IVF is very hard because you have to deal with all these emotions for the first time. I hope that you get your twins on your first cycle and in the meantime we will be here to support you!

  4. Lesley says:

    I had / still have all of the same thoughts as you about the embies so I totally understand. The only way around it I think is to remember that you are doing this to create life that otherwise would not have had a chance.

    Don’t mean to seem harsh here but;
    Don’t go down the PUPO route, it is not even true and has the potential to smash your heart. You are only pregnant when you get a positive beta and you can only have an mc if you were pregnant.

    Of the embies are extremely special but lots of embies simply do not make it in everyday circumstances. Yes it is sad but try not to dwell on it.

    Arrghh, the more I type the more I still I sound like an a$$hole. Go for counselling and talk to a professional about this, worked for me.

    Much love

    • You can never sound like an a$$hole – I know where your advice is coming from and value it immensely. I will try to take your advice and see if we can get my crazy brain to comply.

  5. Mash says:

    I’m in the same boat. I’ve booked my IVF but I’m still not sure I’m going to do it. The embryo issue has always been huge in my mind. One of the blogs I follow, Sunshine, is having her 11th IVF, and has never ever frozen a single embie (and they don’t have sperm issues). I told the doc I have issues with it, and he kind of looked at me as if to say, we’ll deal with it if we ever get there, it’s so unlikely. But there are other options, like only fertilizing 2 of the eggs and freezing the rest (as eggs not fertilized embies). Lower success rate, but it’s an option. You know, everyone looks at octomom like she’s a maniac (and she is) but her reasoning was that she didn’t want to keep her embies in the freezer. Science needs to take that into account and make a plan!

  6. Mash says:

    oh and! Did you know that the loop doesn’t prevent conception, just implantation? So lots of people are walking around that have “fallen pregnant” lots and lots and lots of times, but the loop is causing them to have “miscarriages”. I also only recently discovered that.

  7. We just got the start date for our first and possibly only IVF w\ ICSI and I’m starting feel all these same fears. Whatever the physical stuff is I’ll handle… emotionally is an entirely different thing.
    Your right to think and question this whole thing but don’t count it out until you’ve spoken to your doctor about all of your options with IVF.
    Wishing you the best.

  8. ttcnot2easy says:

    This is yet another example of how differently people view the whole IF thing. I’d never thought if it this way at all – to me, personally, there was life when the heart began to beat; and if there wasn’t a heartbeat to see, it was not meant to be. That ‘baby’ was sick. Maybe this is not true to some; or some don’t agree with this – but I think that all of us have our different ways of dealing with it and sugar coating it, in order to protect ourselves in the long run.
    On the keeping embies front – we’ve never had ones viable to freeze (from the DE cycles, my own were always a bust). When I voiced my disappointment at this, Dr S said that getting to the stage where you freeze the embies left is actually not as common as one may think – here I was thinking that it was a common occurence because I read so much about it on FC.

  9. ChrisN says:

    Sjoe – I can’t give any advice as I haven’t been down the IVF road. All I can say is I wish you so much strength and peace and I will be here cheering you on from the sidelines. You have so much support, you will make it through!

  10. zamom says:

    Not sure if this will help… we didn’t choose IVF first time around but landed up with it by default as I had 20 eggs on IUI cycle (yes, I’ve got PCOS). Of those 20, 13 fertilised, 2 transfered and 3 frozen on day 5. 1 baby the result and then none of the frozen survived the thaw. 2nd IVF 25 eggs, 21 embryos, 2 transfered, 10 frozen,1 m/c, 4 frozen used BFN, another 3 frozen used 1 baby the result. 3 frozen left. So, from 45 eggs, we got 34 embryos, have 2 little girls and 3 frozen embryos which we’ll probably use (or donate) but it probably won’t work. Even the FS said we get way above average number of good embryos (even by donor standards)and no I’m not bragging just trying to show you you don’t have to worry about a soccer team. Sorry, I know this is long but I’d go for IUI first before IVF if the FS says it’s an option.

  11. marisa says:

    The contemplation of IVF is difficult – I spent many a sleepless night thinking about many of the comments that you made. It still didn’t prepare me for the emotional rollercoaster. It was the toughest thing I have ever done and I thank God for a wonderful support system that kept me from going nuts. Ultimately, you’ll need to determine what you guys can handle emotionally and then surround yourselves with a support system that will get you through it.


  12. Me says:

    No words of advice just hugs.

    Happy ICLW!!

  13. Krissi says:

    How surreal because I remember all too well having all these very real and scary thoughts. Every time an embryo didn’t make it, I did feel so sad. And when it didn’t implant, it did feel like a miscarraige. And when we finally had our family and made the excrutiating decision to donate our remaining embryos to science (because I couldn’t handle all the what ifs of donating them to a couple) I thought that was the best decision for us and it could help with saving lives through research.
    My best advice is to not even let your mind ‘go there’ for all your what ifs unless you need to. Cross the bridges when and if it comes. IVF comes with a LOT of stress and overwhelming thoughts and decisions but take it one day, thought and decision at a time.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I do hope you come back! Happy ICLW!

  14. samcy says:

    Heading into one’s first IVF does bring up many questions and feelings about it all. I think primarily cos you don’t know what to expect.

    Dee was right in one’s first IVF one would not be stimmed to hard (a more conservative approach should be taken) which means the possibility of having embies to freeze is not high. Also most clinics only freeze embies of THE highest quality and many just don’t make the grade.

    Like you I belive life occures from fertilization, but now 6 years on and 5 major ART treatments under my belt with 28 embryo’s created, I’ve still to achieve a sustainable pregnancy and baby.

    I say decide on your course of action. And then take it one day at a time, one step at at time. Focus only on that step as you go through it. Thinking ahead can only cause unecessary heartache.

    Decide what you’re going to do with frozen embies if/when you get there. Until then… one step at a time.


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