Special Torture (or how to grin and bear it)

Lessons in compromise. And in eating your words.

July 25, 2012 / by admin

When I first started thinking about having a family – this was in my late 20s or early 30s – I was exceptionally vocal about how I would never take fertility drugs. I thought it was selfish and foolhardy to do so. Why risk bringing more than one baby into this world when there were already too many who needed good homes. I would adopt, I proudly proclaimed, before I would take the drugs. I would go with none before I had drug induced multiple births.


I wish I could have talked to future-me at that point. Maybe if I had known how bittersweet the idea of having my own biological child would become, I would have tempered my anti fertility drug rants. Maybe if I had know that most adoption is more expensive than even the most state of the art assisted fertility procedures, I would have not been such a blowhard. Maybe if I had known that I would be infertile, I would never have rigorously lambasted one of the few options I would have to get knocked up.

But so here is the thing, I am still anti-assisted. I still agree with past-me. It’s selfish and irresponsible. What’s more, I also know that my insurance does not cover IUI (inter uterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilisation) and that there is next to no way I want to find myself 15, 30, 45 thousand dollars in dept. I am not even sure which is worse – being that in debt with no baby to show for it or owing that much and bringing a child into our debt ridden lives. And lastly, I have heard the horror stories. I don’t want to take those drugs. Mood swings, hot flashes, weight gain, more migraines, more cysts, and multiple conceptions. I don’t think I have ever feared a group of drugs more than I do fertility drugs. And I have been on a lot of scary drugs. And for the record, I am especially anti IVF. Right now, in my mind, IVF is the NO-GO that any assisted fertility was 10 years ago. IVF is the boogeyman. Not because I thinks it’s a bad idea for most women. I just think it’s a terrible idea for me.

It’s just that willfully saying ‘no’ to drugs and some crazy procedure (and what might be the only means for me to get pregnant) is harder to agree to than I had ever thought possible.  It’s like giving up, bowing out, or simply saying, “I guess I did not want to be a biological mother after all”. Ouch.  And fuck, things change. People change. I am allowed to change my mind, right? Am I? I try to think that no one will find fault in my back-sliding. That I can live with myself and my hypocrisy. That I could survive the assit.

Enter the AMIGOS study.

Four rounds of IUI with drugs. Free. IF we qualify. We probably qualify. We find out next week. So this is it. This is present-me staring past-me and the face and seeing who blinks first. Of course future-me wins. I want a chance to be a biological mother and I am not ready to give that up yet.  I’ll take the drugs. As here is the compromise – In my mind IUI is half way between me and IVF. I’ll do IUI. I wont do IVF. Right? Right. IUI is half way to giving up. I still have some fight in me. I am still giving it that old college try. IF we get in to the study, I am doing it. I’ll be eating crow and I may not get pregnant, but at least I would have tired.

Right? Right.

But when the IUI fails and the IVF study presents itself, what then? Am I really going to be able to give up? Only future-me knows, god bless her.


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