Monday, 29 March 2010

The Post Where I Sound Like A Spoilt Brat

This summer, barring any unexpected test results or near-immaculate conceptions, I will have IVF.

IVF that is free (well, Ok I have to pay a piffling amount on prescriptions and will top that off with inordinate sums spent on acupuncture, expensive vitamins, gym membership, organic food and general treats - because this is as good an excuse as any other). But essentially I get not one, but two gratis attempts at IVF.

This is a process people the world over scrimp and save for. That they swallow their pride to beg parents for loans or gifts for. That they sacrifice holidays for (and then someone will have the gall to tell them if they just went on holiday and relaxed they'd get pregnant anyway - I really do wonder why there aren't more fatalities amongst friends of the infertiles). That they take out loans they really can't afford for.

Even people who have access to the same NHS might not get the same benefits, or have to wait longer than me.

I am lucky. Not so lucky that I can get pregnant through sex, but lucky that I have this opportunity.

I know that.

I really do.

The thing, is I'm just not really sure I actually want IVF. I've written about this on Fertility Authority.

So tell me, I can take it, did you read that wanting to smash through the computer grab me by the lapels and tell me how grateful I should be or do you get where I am coming from?


  1. I had the same reaction and I don't think it makes much difference whether you get it gratis or not. Why? Because it shouldn't happen this way. It's an affront to justice. You should be able to get pregnant the old fashioned, unfussy way. It should happen at home or on some nice weekend getaway. Hell, outdoors or in a car would do just as nicely. But not on a sterile table at a clinic after having pumped yourself full of all sorts of drugs.

    But you do get over that feeling once it starts. You never stop resenting the necessity for it, but that odd foot-dragging, that feeling of "It's not right" passes. I promise.

  2. I get 2 fresh and 2 frozen on the NHS and I hope to have this in the summer as well. I am with you on the not wanting IVF. I want to be able to concieve naturally, I want to not inject myself and go through procedures to have a baby.
    I think we all understand how you feel.
    However..... we will do anything to get our baby, to get our dream. You can do this, you can take it. Go for it!!

  3. Grateful to get "torture" for free? Nah, don't think so.
    I don't think anyone looks forward to injecting themselves either. I was eager though, because I finally wanted to do something. And then nothing happened... No side effects, no effects, no follicles, no retrieval... But I got to try it. No more what if's.
    It's over before you know it.

  4. I do understand the "going back and forth" about IVF. I'm scared to death of trying it, but, at the same time, I'm SO jealous of people who are able to do it. I feel like it's going to be our only hope and I just want to get to it already. But, then I'm utterly afraid of the thought of doing it and the time, money, work problems, etc. it will involve.

  5. I felt the same way and yet here I am waiting for my embryo transfer. I guess I figured that it would happen on its own - but it didn't. I finally decided to do IVF when I realized that it was our best shot.

    Speaking of shots they're not as bad as everyone says. I did it myself and I actually felt empowered for doing so. I was nervous about the retrieval but it too wasn't as bad as I had imagined it would be.

  6. At this point I am so desperate that I really just want to kidnap some random person in a white coat and make him or her shove some damned embryos up my vagina!

    But I haven't actually considered it for real until recently. My biggest concern is that they'd somehow mix up the goods and I'd end up giving birth to someone else's baby-- then have to make some awful decision about whether to keep it or let the desperately-wanting-it biological parents have it...

    But seriously, yeah, you're lucky to have the option when/if you are ready for it...

  7. IVF is a scary, scary step. And not just for financial reasons. Actually, I think having to pay for mine helped a little, cause it gave me a very real, very concrete place to direct any fear, anger and anxiety. ("This is probably a waste of money" was easier for me than, "I will probably never get pregnant") But you're going to do great. You're gonna rock it. AND, you're gonna have all the money you need for the tastiest, most organic treats England has to offer.

  8. I totally getcha. And, frankly, I am comforted knowing that, in some places, family building is valued enough that it's covered under health insurance plans.

    It's a weird juncture, for sure--having the means to pursue treatment, but still balking. I could have had a million bucks at my immediate fingertips, and I still would have not wanted to do IVF. In our circumstance, none of the treatment is covered...BUT we did have accessible {albeit limited} savings. Yeah, it sucked to access those funds...but we had it, and we feel grateful for the opportunity, too.

    I remember feeling totally soured by the thought of IVF. I'm not especially warmed to it now...BUT, once you get past that initial mental hurdle it suddenly feels okay. You get used to it, and it begins to feel like the new normal.

  9. Don't focus on the process but rather focus on the opportunity.
    (OK I suck at trying to give useful advice - sorry)

    Having said that, its perfectly acceptable to rant and rage as much as you need to.

  10. We moved from IUI last year, to ICSI with immune suppression earlier this year. I remember feeling exactly as you did beforehand, mainly because I felt we were taking the nuclear option i.e. if this doesn't work, there's nothing more we can do except retry the same thing. That actually frightened me more than the needles (which are so thin they're virtually painless) or the retrieval (you're only knocked out for about 30 mins and you don't feel much pain at all afterwards). So for me the fear wasn't so much IVF, as the fear that I have no other options available if IVF doesn't work.

  11. I know exactly what you mean.

    I really didn't want to go down the route of IVF, now I can't wait for it to get started. I still get pissed off that we are having to do IVF and I'm desperately trying not to freak out over the whole process but the thought of it not working is nearly killing me.

    I'm sure by the time it comes round you will have changed your thoughts and feelings on IVF at least a million times.

  12. Thanks for the reassurance Adele

    WE can do this Nic

    That is a shit ending Valery, but you’re right it is worth doing something.

    That Rebecca, totally sums up my feelings.

    Yup, Pregnant Yuppy, lucky 13. Fingers crossed.

    Make sure the dude in the white coat is a Doctor not a butcher Leslie, oh and the mix up? Cheers, yet another thing to worry about!

    Finch, you are the first person I have ever heard find a plus for paying for IVF. And I love that.

    Cheers Trinity, I hope you land safely the other side of this hurdle.

    Cheers Corymbia, that doesn’t suck at all. You are right I do need to focus on the opportunity.

    Ta Kelley (though naturally it worries me if you understand me!)

    I see what you mean The Shelia, there is no next step. Shit.

    Just a million times Secret D?

  13. Sorry.... well, you probably won't even notice the mixup if you get the same ethnic background. :)
    I just dropped back by to say that to me the swan looks pretty scary. He kinda reminds me of the dude in the white coat, actually. Maybe he squirts in embryos instead of sperm... like, 4 of them. Or was it 2? Whatever.

  14. I'm so glad you wrote that post. The thought of doing IVF scares me for all the same reasons. For me, I feel like making the "To IVF or Not IVF" is going to be harder than going through the actual process. Because once I make the decision, I'll have the follow-through to commit.

    P.S. "Spoilt Brat" sounds like you left sausage out on the counter too long. :)

  15. For fuck's sake, Leslie that doesn't reassure me!!

    It is a tricky one isn't it Stickles? Thing is how to you decide, is there really a choice?

  16. I get it. I have (and do) feel exactly the same way. Due to 'structural issues' we went straight to IVF so it felt extreme - very extreme. It's actually a big part of why I spend so much time and effort on things like acupuncture, exercising, trying to minimize chemicals in the rest of my life - because IVF feels so unnatural. But, I have also come to terms with it, because in the end, we want to be parents.

  17. You have an army of supporters agreeing to the thing that's hard to say, hard to admit to yourself and even harder to admit to other people. Such a big, complicated subject with so much stigma still attached - just think, though, in 30 years IVF will feel how councelling and psychotherapy feels today - weird if you're not doing it.

  18. and as an addition to that, I realise there are a million other health issues that concern you about this - ignorance would be bliss.

  19. I don't think anyone ever "wants" IVF, but it is a means to get to another place we want to be.

    It IS a big step and I think the scariest thing for me was realizing that this was "it" in the world of IF. There wasn't a statistically better procedure after IVF. But we jump in because we want that chance and this has the best odds!

  20. Completely understandable, and I think it's smart to be fully on board before giving it a try.

    I believe that any decision in the whole fertility treatment game is very personal and has to be what you (and your spouse) are comfortable with - whatever the decision.

    No one should EVER judge a decision about that, especially if they've never had to go through it themselves.

  21. god, what a relief to find i'm not the only one feeling this way. i'm trying to focus on feeling grateful for the opportunity (instead of scared and angry) and then i end up feeling guilty for not only feeling grateful.



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