Last Tuesday was the first of a slew of appointments leading up to my IVF, and so, naturally, I was a mess Monday night. My anxiety felt very similar to what I experienced a few months ago, and once again everything inside of me wanted to abandon ship.
There was a very clear trigger. That evening, Robby and I read through the pile of paperwork they gave us at our Protocol appointment. It probably wasn't the best idea to save that for the night before our appointment, but we had honestly forgotten all about it. A big piece of it was understanding the risks and unknowns that take place with IVF (terrifying) and indicating what should be done with any embryos that are not used this cycle (guilt-riddling).
Outlined were numerous scenarios, most of them extremely unlikely. For example, who would get the embryos if we were to divorce? If one or both of us were to die? If I were unable to carry them? For the majority of the scenarios, there were three choices: donate to research, discard, or give up for adoption. We circled adopt for all of them and felt that that would be the most loving and ethical thing to do, but it still was difficult to say even that.
I found myself again with my desperate wish to be "normal" -- to be a woman who is joyfully surprised by a pregnancy, to be a couple whose decision to have a baby doesn't involve signing on the line.
We tried to encourage each other as we worked our way through each page, reminding ourselves of what we've learned and how we've prayed and prepared for this. Still, the lump in my throat and the ache in my stomach wouldn't go away. A couple of hours later, I was sobbing. I was an inconsolable mess. I wanted to give up, to call the doctor right then and cancel, to move on and put it all behind me. But then this image would come to my mind of me and Robby and a baby. Every time I would nearly decide it was over, I'd see the image again.
I finally calmed down, and Robby and I talked about what specifically was making us uncomfortable and afraid. Neither of us thinks there is anything wrong with the IVF procedure, so what was it? Clearly, we were not okay with the thought that there would be embryos left over. We decided right then we would tell our doctor to fertilize even less than what we had planned at our Protocol appointment. Immediately, I felt the burden lift. Yes, I thought. Our God is a God of miracles. He is the one who brings life regardless of the odds. It may seem more prudent to give ourselves a greater chance by fertilizing more, but if we are uncomfortable with it, we have to trust God's whisper. He has led us this far; he will lead us still.
The next morning at our appointment, we voiced our decision with our NP who listened and supported us. She put our concerns at ease and said most likely, we will have one shot. Knowing my situation and having been the one doing most of the ultrasounds and appointments, she said she's expecting only a few embryos. Strangely, that brought comfort. It took away much of the burden to make a perfect decision with such an imperfect situation.
Tomorrow morning is another appointment, and another one takes place next week. We received the box of medication yesterday, and I spent some time this morning going through everything. It's all moving so quickly now. March had seemed an eternity away, and now within a month--a month!!!--we will have a result. In just a few weeks, I could be carrying what we've been dreaming of for years. We could have a baby.