There are some things that you know early on in life; the one constant truth that I have held onto since I was a young child is that I want to be a mother. Yes, I want my career, and yes I want to travel and “do it all,” but throughout all of the other adventures I have always craved being a mom. Fast forward to the present. I’m 29-years-old and I have never tried to get pregnant before. It simply wasn’t the right time in my life until recently. I come from a family where getting pregnant seems to be contagious, and I’ve never put two thoughts toward the “what if I can’t get pregnant” because “it wouldn’t happen to me.” You can guess my sense of shock and denial when I was told that if we wanted to almost eliminate the chance of passing on the BRCA gene we’d have to go through the process of invitro fertilization. My initial thought was “are we even eligible for IVF if we don’t have fertility problems?”
Being the planner/organizer/worrier that I am, there was not a doubt in my mind initially that we would do whatever was needed to limit the potential of our future babes of having a horrible life-threatening disease.. and then the flood of loss washed over me. It took me a while to recognize just how deeply ingrained this loss
was is in my soul. It’s complicated and terrible and hopeless and thinking about that kind of pain brings tears to my eyes. It’s the kind of loss that is consuming and it hits you without any warning during all times of the day and night. My dog looks at me funny and I break out into tears because I’m losing the opportunity to initially conceive my children in my own body. Literally, after many scans and pokes I will be shot full of chemicals so a Reproductive Endocrinologist can harvest my eggs, they’ll combine hubs and my genetic material to form embryos, and then an embryologist will hold my microscopic embryo of a child in his or her hand in a test tube days/weeks before he or she will come anywhere close to being back inside my body. My loss at not being able to conceive my own children is devastating and I’m still working through it. I’m also working through the thought of all of my children theoretically being conceived/created/formed(?) on the same day and then being frozen until they’re ready to be implanted (that is if they obtain enough viable eggs in one go).
Being a psychologist, I’d like to think I’m quite aware of accepting, honoring, and respecting whatever emotions pop up, but boy was I unprepared for this one. It took a few months of going back and forth to make the decision to go the route of science and once hubs and I agreed that this was going to be how we had our children the flood returned and my decision to blog about this adventure was solidified- mostly for the sanity of my friends and family with whom I have bombarded by constant complaining as my way of coping. I need it out there in the universe and what better forum than the internet!
My initial reaction toward all of this fit perfectly in Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief: I was shocked and in denial that this could happen; I was angry about pretty much everything; I’ve battled and bargained and cursed and despised that fact that I can’t bargain my way out of this one (including the fact that in order to make my baby it’s going to cost me an arm, a leg, and the first born- so I better get multiples so I can pay the piper so to speak); I’ve cried and experienced the hopeless yearning for this to go differently while in my depression; and I have temporary glimmering whisps of hope that say “it’s ok” and I briefly accept it.
I’m now at the stage where I am learning about and shopping for fertility clinics and as much knowledge about what’s in store for the next year as possible. Wish me luck, and thank you for coming with me on this fantastic and horrible adventure.