I lie awake at night worrying about whether this will work or not, worrying about the future of our potential children, worrying about everything. I'm not sure if I'm more scared that it won't work or that it will. We've wanted this for so long, and this is the last time we are going to try, but we've changed in the last seven years, we've gotten older, more set in our ways, and more tired. The only thing that has remained constant is our IVF journey. Either way, at the end of January, that is done. Then what? Are we too selfish? Too selfish to have a child? Too selfish for wanting a child?
The IVF experience is truly a strange one. It is the same as for any hopeful parent in someways, but in others it is so clinical and far removed from the natural act. I assault my body with hormones for a month in order to make it bend to the will of my doctor. I am charted and poked and prodded, every stage monitored. When everything looks just right, ovulation is triggered, and this in itself is precisely monitored, down to a three hour window.
I happen to believe that life begins at conception. We know exactly when we conceive. Not leaving anything to chance, we actually have decided to opt for a procedure called ICSI. We haven't had problems with fertilization before, but this is our third round of IVF, so we are leaving nothing to chance. No prom in the petri dish this time around. None of my girls are going to be wallflowers! We will know how many eggs are fertilized almost immediately. We will know how many of the fertilized eggs make it to the third day, and how many make it to the fifth day. On (hopefully) the fifth day, we know how many embryos are returned to my womb. At that point it's out of the doctor's hands and up to me. I have to make a home for these little lives, nurture them and allow them to grow. Although there is technically no reason it won't work, that won't make it any easier if it doesn't. I've had 3 surgeries, had both tubes removed, so there is no chance of any external (well internal to me) factors possibly messing this up. We've had two runs at IVF, so we know what levels of medication will work for me, so I don't end up in the hospital again. We know my girls and his boys play well togehter, so it's all down to my womb at that point, and I see it as a judgement as to whether we'll make good parents.