Friday, April 29, 2011

A few questions answered

It is mind boggling to me that I can feel 100% confident that stopping treatments is the right decision for us, but can also experience so much pain simultaneously. I know that God has led us to this place, and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders with the relief of never having to experience the pain, stress, and grief of another failed treatment cycle again. BUT it is so weird to experience that confidence and relief and at the same time feel completely devastated that we are stopping, grief at the loss of what we dreamed of, fear at the unknown that lies ahead, and, at times, to want to run back to what we "know" - fertility treatments. I am living proof that these two seemingly opposing experiences can live side by side within a person.

Some of you have asked about other options to still build our family through various treatment paths, and I wanted to answer those questions since I have never really written about them on this blog.

  • A second opinion: This is something I have considered at various points along the way, and is one area that I sometimes feel guilty about because maybe we didn't do "everything" we could have. BUT, the reality is we all have to draw our lines somewhere as to what we will do, and the emotional and financial consequences of each decision we make are large factors. For us, we felt like our desire to limit fertilization to a small number of eggs disqualified us from many practices (or at least would make second opinions a bit of a moot point - not enough "data" to work with). I know you don't KNOW this until you ask, but can you really imagine C.CRM working with somebody who purposefully only fertilized 3 eggs? So that felt like an immediate hurdle. Plus, our RE seriously discounted many of our cycles and we were able to do 5 ART attempts for the price of about 2 at many of the well known clinics. We did not want to spend so much money and take the time to travel. Also, we simply felt so respected by our RE and his willingness to work within our moral beliefs that I could not give that up.
  • Donor eggs and/or sperm: This is one area that we knew from the beginning we would not pursue, as we did not feel it would honor our marriage covenant and that it would create a child who experienced some of the same questions and loss that come with adoption for half of their genetic make up. We have never really considered this.
  • Surrogacy: Based on what I have read and what my RE said, it is pretty rare for the problem to ultimately be uterine and that I could not carry a baby. Yes, I have had fibroids, but many women are pregnant with fibroids. We will never know for sure, but I just feel like it was really our embryos and not my uterus that caused us to be unable to conceive, so I have never seen a need to consider this. Plus, this is really, really expensive for something we don't feel certain there is a need for.
  • Donor embryos/ Embryo adoption: Hmm....this has been a possibility in my mind at times. Right now, it still feels like such a risk for a BFN that it is hard for me to want to do this. Also, my husband is not really on board - he simply feels like it is a little too "out there," and worries about how to explain this to a child who would also have the loss that comes with adoption. I don't think it is completely off the table, so we will see how God leads us, but for now it just doesn't feel like a good fit for us.
After I started this post, I read another by Serenity Now about a piece of her own journey to come to terms with being done with treatments. (She said a lot more than I am touching on here, but it is an excellent post that you should read!). I mostly related to her feelings about struggling to talk about it with people in real life (I have yet to talk about stopping treatments with anybody but DH), but I also found her difficulty to blog about it interesting, too. I find it pretty easy, but she said she feels like she has to justify and explain her decision all the time....and I laughed at the irony that I just did that above. I KNOW all of your questions about further options are well-intended, and I was happy to answer them here. But her post did get me thinking, and I do appreciate that pretty much all of you (including those who asked questions) do seem to accept our decision to stop and are so supportive of it. Thank you.


Leah said...

I can relate to the relief and the heartache of stopping. When my husband and I decided to stop treatments altogether, there was a lot of peace, but unfortunately, a lot of what if's as well. and in our situation, I think we would have continued with treatment had we had the money to do so. But that is just us.

I think whatever you decide with your husband, will be the very best decision for you.

Amy said...

I know you are still grieving (as is to be ezpected) and you need to take all the time you need to do that before you move on to adoption. But I thought I would make you aware of a potential opportunity through the agency we adopted our son through. I know this is a shot in the dark because it is only available to families in these states: Oregon, Washington, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan. So disregard the rest of this if you don't live in one of those states.

Anyway, this agency just started an African-American Domestic program and the need is VERY great for parents. They said they have mothers who are due in May that they just don't have any profiles to show them. It is sad. Anyway, just wanted to let you know in case you live in those states. If you want more info you can email me

I am praying for you as you guys grieve and decide what is next for your family. God will direct you to the right place I am sure!

Anonymous said...

You are one strong woman!
It sounds like God has made this clear to you. It does not mean that it is easy, just God directed.
Somethings God directs us to do are very, very painful.
Bless you!

gringa78 said...

I just wanted to say that I wish you peace and healing as you move forward. I know you will find the path that is right for you and your husband - take the time you need to find that path. ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Many hugs to you. We are about at the same place with our journey for another child (I know, we are very blessed to have one via IVF #1) but 2 fresh transfers and 2 FET's later, we are at a loss. Like you, I spend nights wondering why this is happening and crying but there must be a larger purpose in life. You sound like a very strong person and God will show you the way - either adoption or using an embryo donor (which we are considering). God Bless you always.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you.
Hoping after you wade through the grief
hope and joy find you again.

-C by the Sea

Aaron and Jennifer said...

Hi Hillary -

I've been quietly following your blog for awhile now. I'm so sorry about all of the losses you have had to experience. My husband and I are embryo adopting parents. We lost 8 babies in the process but are now 26 weeks pregnant with boy/girl twins. It took 3 FETs to achieve this pregnancy. Ultimately, embryo adoption, like any kind of adoption, is a calling from God. So, if you just don't feel led to pursue it because you feel God leading you elsewhere, then by all means, follow God's leading! However, regarding that it is a "little out there", I did just want you to consider that even though it is unconventional, there is a huge need for it. There are over 500,000 frozen lives waiting for a chance at birth (not all are available for adoption though but many are). We saw EA as a pro-life issue just as much as we saw it as a way to grow our family. Anyway, I will cheer you on no matter where God leads you and your husband!

Jennifer :)

Shruti said...

i a so sorry for the failed ivf's and I know that you have already stopped the fertility treatments. I am also in a similar stiuation where after trying fro 3 years, starting from Apr 2008, I didn't see a single bfp. I am through with all the possible treatments pills, injects, iui's and the last one was fresh failed ivf cycle. My RE has advised me to got for, "Killer Cell Assay" test before moving onto FET, as everything was perfect in every cycle. But it didn't click. And last during the failed ivf cycle she suspects implantation failure and that's why she wants me to go for the above mentioned test. Not to mention my lining was great, she transferred 4 perfect A grade embies this time, still its a bfn for me. Are you sure of giving up the fertility treatment and opting for some other alternative??


Britney said...

I wasn't going to post, and then thought about it, and then saw Aaron and Jennifer's post and decided I had to. I completely echo her words. We, too, are pregnant through EA. We are 35 weeks along with a girl. It worked the first time. We had also done IUI, IVF, and gotten preggers on our own and miscarried. So I know what loss feels like. It took us a LONG time to come to grips with EA. It also felt very unconventional. We did a TON of research, and ultimately, God led us to this option. We were done with expensive fertility treatments, and were going to do traditional adoption again (we have a son domestically), but I'd always wanted to experience pregnancy, and this was definitely the least-cost option.
May I recommend a workbook? "Discerning the Voice of God" by Priscilla Shrier. Changed my world. I hope it does yours.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that it is a very difficult and confusing place to be stuck between grief and relief...I won't pretend to know how you feel, but I know that I was feeling very much the same the closer we got to the end of our last cycle. I don't think you need to justify ANYTHING to others, but I'm glad that you feel good about the decisions that you made. Continuing to wish you peace.