I know that some people may think our (my) decision not to do IVF is drastic. Some might say, if you want something bad enough you will do ANYTHING to make it happen (usually those are the people who have not had to struggle to get pregnant or face the thought of all the challenges (injections, financial stress, etc.) that infertility/IVF brings). I put “my” in parentheses because my husband says he has no opinion on the subject. It is my body and my decision how we move forward with trying to have a child. Yes, he wants a child. Yes, he is hurting as much as I am about it. But he does not have to deal with the multiple procedures, medications, and needles that are involved in IVF, I do. He feels that his opinion does not count and has openly said he will support me in whatever decision I make.
There are many reasons as to why I do not want to move forward with IVF. It is not just the fact that IVF literally terrifies me (which it does).
One reason is the fact that I have to have a surgery. Sure, it is a quick outpatient procedure but the prep and recovery of it are no easy task. My friend told me that she was unable to run for two weeks prior and two weeks after the procedure. Now I absolutely despise running, so that part wouldn’t really affect my life so much but still. The egg harvesting procedure involves them taking a giant needle through your vaginal wall (ouch!) and literally plucking eggs from your follicles. Obviously, you are under anesthesia while this is happening but that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt after the procedure is over. There is no guarantee that by doing this procedure they will even succeed in harvesting one, let alone multiple, viable eggs. The whole experience could end up being for nothing. Risky.
Another reason is the fact that I have to have multiple injections, some of which are very painful and they are all self-injected. Now I started this whole process absolutely terrified of needles and the prospect of having blood drawn. Of course, I am over this fear by now and completely desensitized to having my blood taken. However, that does not mean that the idea of giving myself multiple injections (or having my husband do it) doesn’t freak me out!
Obviously, the financial cost plays a huge role in my decision as well. Our doctor said IVF is $11,000 plus meds, which is another $3,000 – $4,000. That is a huge amount of money. It costs more to do IVF than it did for us to finish our basement. That just seems ridiculous! I know doctors run plans where you can keep the cost down and if the first round isn’t successful, you get a discount on the second round, third round, and so forth. However, $11,000+ is a huge amount of money to spend on a 65% chance of having a child. The way I see it, IVF can end one of three ways. It could be successful and I get pregnant the first round, best case scenario. It could not be successful and I am out $11,000+. It could be successful and I could still end up miscarrying naturally. Two out of the three outcomes end with me not being pregnant and losing $11,000+. I struggled paying that much money to finish our basement knowing exactly what the outcome would be and that I would be adding value to our home. I cannot take the risk of spending $11,000+ and gaining nothing but heartbreak. I would much rather save that money and put it towards adopting a child who needs a loving family.
I am not a 38 year old woman who is facing her last real chance of ever having a baby. I am 27 years old and my husband is 29. If I were older then maybe I would seriously consider IVF because it would really be my best chance of having a child. My husband has always said that he wanted to be a father before he was 30. He turns 30 this year. I know he wishes that we had at least one kid by now but that hasn’t been our lot in life. Even though I am already in my late 20’s, I still have plenty of time to try and have a child. Yes, my biological clock is ticking now and has been for quite some time. Yes, all my friends are already on their second and third child by now and I’m still over here struggling for one. But, I am not well into my 30’s giving it one last shot to have a child. We still have time to explore our options and save for the possibility of adoption or IVF (later in life). IVF is a very drastic jump from what we are currently doing and right now at this point in our lives it does not seem to be something that we HAVE to do.
It is a lot. IVF is a lot for a person to go through. Not just physically, but emotionally. The past five months have been heartbreaking to me with all of the doctor’s appointments, needles, bad news, and failed attempts. I’ve cried more in this past year and a half than I think I have throughout my whole life. Doing IVF would be the same pain but on steroids. It would mean more doctor appointments, like 10 times the amount of needles, surgery, and the same emotional roller coaster, only amplified by the fact that we are spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on one attempt. It is a lot to consider and something that I know I cannot handle at this point. IVF is worst case scenario to me and we have not exhausted all of our other options yet.
There is simply no guarantee that it will work. Yes, it increases our chances of getting pregnant but it is not a sure thing. It is a huge risk and one that I am not willing to take at this point. I’m not sure it is a risk I will ever be willing to take. Since my husband and I are both open to the possibility of adoption, I think I would much rather put my efforts toward adopting a child, if the current methods aren’t successful, than the possibility of spending thousands of dollars to make our own and fail. There are plenty of children out there who need loving, stable parents and I know my husband and I would be able to provide that.
Currently I am starting to become more open to the idea of IVF but not until we have exhausted all of our other options. My friend did a second round of IVF and is pregnant. My co-worker and his wife did IVF after years of struggling and were successful. Hearing their stories does make me re-think my decision. Now that my husband has given me a couple injections, I’m a little more confident in his ability to stab me multiple times a day. But he is not a fan of it and his anxiety about giving them does give me anxiety about getting them. Right now, I still think I would prefer to pursue adoption but I am more open to the possibility of IVF. I’ve learned to never say never so I won’t say that I will never do IVF. Even though I am open to adoption, I still would like to be able to carry my own child and IVF would give me that opportunity. It is a really hard decision and I am torn in two different directions. Hopefully, our current protocol will work and we won’t have to worry about deciding between IVF or adoption.
I didn’t write this to criticize anyone who has made the decision to do IVF. I fully support anyone who has made the decision to move forward with it. I know it is a tough decision and one that many don’t enter into lightly. It is a struggle that everyone dealing with infertility faces and thinks about. I wrote it to explain my reasoning as to why it isn’t for me at this particular point in time. If you choose to do IVF, good for you! If you don’t, that is fine too. You have to consider all options and do what is best for you, your husband, and your possible family. 🙂