Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Road to Uncertainty

Once you start ttc and bring children into your life, you end up giving up an element of control. There are so many things that could go wrong. Before finding myself deep in infertility treatments, when I was first started to seriously think about having children, I imagined all of the changes in my life. How would J and I be able to afford children? How would I manage work and family? How would relationships with family and friends be changed? What would our children be like? Would we be good parents? I didn't really think that much about act of getting pregnant, and was kind of scared of pregnancy--particularly childbirth. When I was pregnant for the first time, I spent some time reading a Lamaze pregnancy book, which included a section on the whole birth experience, including some troublesome cases. It freaked me out so much, that I thought at time, "Man, How am I ever going to do that!" I guess by 30, I've changed my mind, but scary pregnancies haven't gone away. I'm just more willing to risk them.
My above worries are now much farther down the list, supplanted by worries of treatment and managing to have a healthy pregnancy. For people who don't battle infertility, I suppose they might never have any other types of worries. However, I think that I was probably also naive about all of the uncertainties that come with pregnancy. When I first started with treatments, I thought a positive test would solve all of my problems and everything would go smoothly. The advertisement for HPTs make it sound that way: "Look, honey, two pink lines!" {Hugs and kisses all around} I have come to realize now, after suffering four heartbreaking miscarriages, that the first positive beta is but one of many hurdles to jump over in the quest for a healthy child. As IFers, we just get a head start on the road to uncertainty.

I have recently again had the elusive positive beta, but it was low. I helplessly watched it rise, then fall. Although about a week after my last beta indicated an HCG level less than 5, I got a postcard from my clinic with a congratulatory note and instructions for next steps. Hello! As if I'm not already feeling bad enough, can't the office get it's communications straight! But even if I had experienced three positive beta tests with good doubling numbers that's a must before they consider you pregnant (at this clinic), the uncertainty wouldn't end. There's the first ultrasound. Will there be a heartbeat? Follow-up and tests. Will things continue to progress normally? Oh yeah, and if you make it that far, you still have to go through child birth. I cry every time I read about another blogger who loses a pregnancy.

If you do make it to the point where your child is born, all of those initial concerns of mine are still valid. J and I could strive to be good parents, but our children could turn out to sick, we could make bad decisions adversely impact their life, or they could make bad decisions, despite our best efforts. I feel like I had loving parents who did what they could to place my life and my siblings lives on the right track, but things still did not always turn out as planned. It's an awesome responsibility to be parent, to try to raise your children to be ready to go out into the world, and things may not work out as planned, despite your best intentions.

Thinking about the next step in our IF journey: the IVF cycle, makes me scared of all that uncertainty all of those things that could go wrong, just in the process of trying to bring my potential children into the world. J says that he is trying to not think about the uncertainty, about the weight of potential problems, and just go where the cycle takes us. I wish I could do that.

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