We started our journey to parenthood by going to the fertility clinic for a simple consult. I was so naive at that point and really had no idea what we were jumping into. I kept postponing buying clothes and such because I just knew with the next cycle that we could be pregnant. Throughout the IUIs, I kept telling people how we "might" be pregnant, so I shouldn't drink beer, lift heavy stuff, etc and I now realize how silly I must have sounded telling all these people that I "might" be pregnant when in reality, there was a very very slim chance that the IUI would ever work.
When we decided to move on to IVF, I was super open again with the process. I think it helped me to share my experiences to work through it myself. What I didn't know was that other people really had absolutely no idea the struggles we were going through no matter how hard they tried to relate. It was isolating to go through so many treatments, have to plan your day around your injection schedule, and worry constantly during the two week wait. I read forums trying to understand what BFP, FET, IVF, BFN, 2WW, DD, DH, DS, HPT, BETA, and everything else meant. While I appreciated everyone's support, it was also draining to have people ask if "it worked" yet and such. After my 2nd FET when I got pregnant I told everyone who would listen, only to have to un-tell them that I was going to miscarry when I found out it was a blighted ovum at the 7 week ultrasound. I couldn't even tell people myself. I made Brian call our families and I sent e-mails to everyone else that I could. I had co-workers come up to me afterwards and say that I just needed to "relax-go on vacation and I would just get pregnant." Um, Right. Maybe if I brought Dr. S with me.
After the miscarriages and cancelled transfers, I wasn't sure we could do another fresh cycle. I was an emotional wreck and just didn't know if I could put myself, my husband, and my body through it once again. Brian hated seeing me in so much pain (physically and emotionally) and said he would leave it up to me if I wanted to go through the process again. If not, we would figure something else out. We never really talked about the possibility of adoption at length because we got pregnantwith the girls the next cycle, but it wasn't off the table. I am confident that's the path we would have chosen had we not conceived through IVF.
For me it was never a question of "IVF or Adoption." Ever since Brian and I met I had always wondered what our children would look like, and I wanted to give trying for a biological child all of our effort until someone told us to stop trying. Our doctor was optimistic and never gave us a reason to stop the fertility treatments. He was confident that with a new cycle we could change a few things and have success. Which we eventually did after "throwing the book at" my possible issues. We still don't know exactly what made those embryos stick..... could have been the thyroid medication, or the prednisone that kept my body from attacking the embryos. Could have been the lower dose of FSH meds, the constant monitoring of E2 and P4. Who knows, really. The first batch of embryos could have just been bad for all we know. I was SURE our FET wouldn't be successful either, but man was I wrong. I prepared myself for failure and heartbreak, but I got quite the opposite.
We spent a lot of money on IVF. There is no question to that. Do I regret it? Not for one second. Would I have regretted spending so much and not ending up with a baby? I can't say for sure, but I don't think so. If we had stopped treatments prematurely, I would have always wondered "what if." And "What would my kids look like?" You will know when enough is enough and if treatments are worth it for a shot at pregnancy or if you should skip it and adopt. Everyone's heart is in a different place. I know women that have done treatments, never sustained a pregnancy, and then adopted. I know women that have never sustained a pregnancy and went on to have biological children through a gestational carrier. Some adopted first, and then had bio children after. There are all kinds of situations and one that's right for one family will not be right for another.
Since I can only speak from my viewpoint of getting pregnant through IVF, perhaps others can chime in on their adoption experience by commenting or sharing a link to your blog. I know some of you wonderful ladies must still be reading. :)
Here are my 4 miracle babies!