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January26

DEALING WITH IVF

You have battled with infertility, month after month, for God knows for how many years. The most noble of dreams still eludes you. Having your baby.
You have hit the brick wall of infertility and finally admitted to yourself that you need help.
IVF is the only other option for infertile couples who still want to achieve their miracle.
What happens with IVF?
1. This can be a very expensive process.
2. There are no guarantees for success.
3. The woman’s body is injected with chemicals, which cause her hormones to do somersaults and also possibly bring on the menopause a lot earlier in her life.
4. The one and only contribution that is required from the man, is to ejaculate into a tube.
5. IVF is the last chance saloon. If you cannot get pregnant with IVF, there is just nothing else.
6. This creates even more pressure on your glorious wife/partner.
7. REPEAT. Your wife/partner is the one who has to jump through all the hoops in order to create your family.
8. PUT HER ON A PEDESTAL, for this is where she belongs, like every other mother and wannabe mother.
In a nutshell, a simplistic outlook of the process of IVF is like this:
—Chemicals are injected in the woman.
1st hurdle- Her eggs are then harvested. (We are assuming that she produced eggs)
—The husband provides his sperm
2nd hurdle -You have to wait and see if the eggs fertilized. (We are assuming that they fertilized)
—The eggs are then inserted in your wife.
3rd hurdle- Nail biting period of waiting to find out if your wife is pregnant.
Simple isn’t it?
There is a very thin line between success and failure with IVF.
The tough thing about IVF, is that in whatever part of the process you fail, you cannot start the next IVF from where you failed the previous time. You start every single process from the beginning. A hurdle you successfully passed before might be the hurdle that fails your current IVF attempt. On our 1st IVF, my wife successfully got pregnant. On the 2nd IVF the eggs did not fertilize. Same woman, same process but different results. Let me tell you, it sucks!
I am a man and I found it overwhelming, even though my contribution to the process was miniscule. My wife like all women, carried the burden of multiple IVFs all by herself, not once complaining, having total disregard about any possible long term harm from the chemicals and the early arrival of the menopause. Her health and safety had never crossed her mind. She just wanted to be a mom. That is how deep that desire runs. They are the creators of life. Remember, PEDESTAL.
I read various articles on the internet claiming that on average a couple has to try at least six times, before they are successful. Tell that to the poor souls who are on their eighth or tenth attempt. The ones who are just about to start their sixth attempt, please, do not be influenced by this. It is not a magic number. It is just statistics!
Let us assume that every IVF attempt costs you $15,000 (including medication). If you take into account the days off work that you and your wife have to take throughout the process, the cost increases. So a ball park figure of $20,000 is not far off.
Scenario 1, you had six attempts and you were successful on your last one. You are $120,000 in the red but you have managed to achieve your miracle. Your baby. You cannot put a price on life. Congrats!
Here comes the kicker:
Scenario 2, you had six attempts and still got no result. You are $120,000 in the red, with an emotionally scarred and devastated wife and your life is in limbo. She has battled with infertility, had six courses of IVF chemicals injected into her and still no baby. That glorious woman needs your understanding, compassion and love more than ever before.
Every time you have an unsuccessful IVF attempt she will feel a failure. Her confidence and self-esteem will disappear. She is a tortured soul. This is how bad women feel, even if they do not show it. When men catch the ‘flu’, our poor wife knows all about it and we expect her to look after us. When my wife went through the IVF attempts she never once complained. She had mood swings due to the chemicals but she dealt with it a lot better than if I had gone through it. Women are resilient and tough but this infertility curse breaks them inside. BE THERE FOR YOUR WIFE/PARTNER.
You have faced infertility and every month you faced the disappointment of the ‘period’ raising its ugly head. You thought it was tough. Face IVF failure time after time and the hopelessness you felt before is nothing compared to what you will be feeling now.
You know that you have a budget as to how many IVF attempts you can undergo. Every time you fail… MORE PRESSURE.
IVF is your last chance salon. If you cannot get pregnant with IVF… MORE PRESSURE.
The chemicals that are injected in your wife… MORE PRESSURE.
Nothing else matters in your life apart from having a baby. Everyone around you is getting pregnant… MORE PRESSURE.
IVF can be devastating when you do not get a successful result. A lot of couples have split up after going through this harrowing experience. This process can take its toll on them and they call it a day.
This is why I stress this and I urge any couple who are considering IVF, to have an informed idea about the positives and NEGATIVES of this method.
The actual outcome of the process will not change but it will help them enormously should they face problems down the line.
—The likelihood is that it will not work the first few times.
Be optimistic but know that statistically it takes a few times. Should you fail, take it on the chin and soldier on.
—There is a bigger chance of birth defects on an IVF baby than one who is conceived naturally.
—There is a bigger chance of birth defects when you use a frozen embryo than a fresh one.
—After a few attempts money is getting tight. People might be tempted to look abroad to clinics who advertise IVF at a fraction of what they are paying back home at reputable clinics. Would this result in similar outcomes as botched cosmetic surgeries?
—Danger of Ovarian Hyper stimulation. Due to this treatment, the woman’s ovaries might balloon to the size of balls putting her in mortal danger. It happened to us and I almost lost my wife.
There are lots of things that can go wrong. Having an informed idea about it makes you stronger in facing it. It can also make you more alert and react sooner to problems. Our local doctor said that my wife had an infection and told her to drink plenty of water. If we knew about the possibility of Ovarian Hyper stimulation we would have gotten in touch with the IVF clinic sooner instead of listening to our clueless doctor with wife facing mortal danger.
When we first attempted IVF we were very optimistic. We faced a few of the problems I mentioned above. We only knew the positives. We were not prepared. We were overwhelmed. Ours was life and death.
I think that we could have avoided a lot of panic, helplessness, hate and anger. If we had a more detailed knowledge of the negatives we could have coped better. We definitely needed that information because ours was extreme.
Life has a way throwing a spanner in the works, which can shake us to the core. Sometimes things do not turn out the way we expect them to. It is good to be in an optimistic mind frame but naïve at the same time. Whether we are prepared or not, bad things can happen to us. Being prepared or just knowing about them, does not overwhelm you as much.
BE PREPARED!
If nothing major happens, you have not lost anything by learning the possible negative outcomes. File them in your head and hopefully you can share them when someone you know goes through IVF or even show off at a party about your knowledge (Joke).
If something negative happens, by reacting quicker you might alter the outcome. If there is nothing you can do about it, you already know that it could have happened and even though it will be tough, you as a person can cope better with your misfortune. I did not know the negatives and it crushed me, turning me to an antisocial monster.
There can be complications in a normal pregnancy. Unfortunately IVF brings its own complications. You might be desperate to have a baby but do not treat IVF as a one attempt obstacle. There are too many variables. Yes you might get lucky, but it is naïve.
I shall give you another example about how every case is different with IVF. You should not lose heart when someone who had the same infertility problems as you, had problems with IVF. That does not mean that you will have problems as well. My wife and a friend of us, had polycystic ovaries. So both women with the same infertility problems went through IVF but years apart. Obviously the other woman knew the terrible problems we went through and she was very worried that she could be facing the same fate. She went ahead with IVF and produced only one egg. It was not looking good. She got pregnant though and everything went smoothly and she had her daughter. The following year, she got pregnant naturally having another girl. Two women, with the same condition faced different results on IVF. Do not compare yourself to other people. You have enough pressure as it is and you do not need this unnecessary and unproductive pressure.
Do not get me wrong, I have nothing but praise for the advance of IVF. Lots of couples who could have faced a childless future became parents because of it.
Through IVF I am a father today. Knowing what I know now, would we had still gone through with it?
In a heartbeat!
We faced some problems that were IVF related but most of our terrifying moments can be faced in any pregnancy whether it is IVF or natural.
Your best bet when embarking on IVF, is to follow www.resolve.com and www.infertlitynetworkuk.co.uk and read their updates on IVF. You can also follow blogs of women who share their journey as they go through it. You get to read their ups and downs and you get a clearer and realistic picture of what you can expect to face yourself.
I wish you all a safe journey in trying to achieve your miracle.

We suffered. We fought to achieve our miracle. We are VASPX.

VASPX is the author of ALL I EVER WANTED WAS TO BE CALLED MOM.
Available in print format 1st March 2016.
Now available for download. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_4_18?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=all+i+ever+wanted+was+to+be+called+mom&sprefix=all+i+ever+wanted+%2Caps%2C1436.

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