What IF?

So I’m taking a break from my break for National Infertility Awareness Week and Project IF.  If you’ve read me from anywhere near the beginning, you know that helping other women cope with the isolation, the fear, the anger, and the frustration of infertility is a pet of mine.  I’ve been volunteering with my local RESOLVE peer group since 2007.  So when Mel asks that bloggers participate in a project with RESOLVE to help raise awareness about infertility, that tugs at my heart strings.

What if?  What IF?  There are nearly endless what ifs during and even after infertility.

There are what ifs about the decisions you made before you had a clue you were infertile: What if we’d started trying earlier?  What if we’d gone to the doctor sooner?  What if I’d eaten better?  What if I’d run less?

There are the what ifs in the early days: What if we have to go to the doctor?  What if I have to take medications to get pregnant?  What if we have to do IVF?

There are the what ifs a few years in:  What if this never works?  What if we run out of money?  What if I can’t ever, ever have a baby?  What if my husband grows weary of this before I do?  What if my doctor says we should stop?

And then, even after you’ve succeeded, there are what ifs about the rest of the family you dreamed about: What if our daughter never has a sibling?  What if I never get to do this again?  What if I have a third miscarriage?  What if I have another hemmorhage?  What if I die in pursuit of another child?

That last what if is the one that gets me.  We worked so, so hard to get to our miracle baby.  But we never pictured an only child, so of course used our frozen embryos.  Oh, and did that fresh cycle, too.  You know, the one that almost killed me.  So now we have more frozen embryos.  My doctor says it’s safe.  The Maternal-Fetal-Medicine doctor says it’s safe.  Heck, he thinks it would be just dandy if I got pregnant with twins.  The experts all agree – it was a rare complication that would even more rarely recur.  A freak accident.

But I can’t shed or shake or escape that nagging what if.

I don’t want to explore the answer.  I want to believe it’s simply fear talking.  I want to go back to before I knew you could bleed to death from a miscarriage.  I want to use those embryos.  I want those embryos to be babies.  All of them.

But I want, I need, to be a mother to the daughter I went to the ends of the earth for.  I need to be a wife to my husband.

If you’re looking for a decision here, you’re not going to see one.  The question is too big, and the consequences are too mighty to even really process.

7.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with infertility.  They’re all wrestling with what ifs.  And all of them are complicated.

What if?

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~ by Larisa on April 28, 2010.

6 Responses to “What IF?”

  1. I feel like you feel. I got my sons, and yet the What if’s never stop. They crowd my mind and my heart and I feel less like me than I ever have somedays.

    I don’t know you, I don’t follow your blog (although I’d like to) I don’t know if I have anything in common with you beyond the what ifs, the IVF that success of bringing a baby home, but I will tell you that I feel kinship in this space, I know how it feels to sit on both sides of the fence and cry.

    We’ll never answer the what if.. because it didnt’ happen. but I’m glad that I get to share this space with women like you.

  2. You have been such an inspiration to me through your struggles. I appreciate your openness and honesty through your struggles and heartache. May your life be blessed beyond what you could have ever imagined in so many ways!

  3. I wasn’t planning on writing a post for this project, partly because I don’t want to draw outside attention to myself.
    But I’m reconsidering now that I’ve read your post.

    I’m glad the experts told you the odds of the same thing happening again aren’t great. However, I can imagine only too well that you’re not reassured by that statement. I don’t think I would be. It’s tough.

  4. It’s good to hear from you. I feel the same way in that I need to be here for the one I have. My little brush with the rupturing ectopic sealed that for me.

    Yes, it hurts. Yes, I still think about the “what ifs” a lot, but he’s the most important thing.

    I know you don’t have answers now, but I hope that in time they come.

  5. Great post, Mrs. H. Just very well put. I love how much love you have for your babies. I hope you meet as many of them as possible, and if it turns out you meet only one, it’s wonderful you loved them all anyway.

  6. I’m glad to see a post from you. Thinking of you!

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