After 1 year of actively trying to have kids, you’re welcome to say you have fertility struggles. If you say you’re struggling at any point before trying at least one year, be prepared for a punch in the gut from yours truly. After two years with no success, you can say you’re infertile. That length of time and the endless meds and doctor’s appointments are traumatic enough; however I’m at 28 months. I’m way past “infertile”.
Then, you get what I consider to be the “end all, be all” for infertiles. It’s the dreaded conversation of, “Have we discussed doing a cycle of IVF?” My response in my head sounded like, “What was that? Come again”, but I’m sure what came out of my mouth was more like, “Abuh, haba, what uh, bebah, bleh blue, habaduh?”, followed by a good 20 minutes of the ugly cry. In fact, the ugly cry was so severe that my husband couldn’t keep a straight face when I finally made it home to talk to him because I looked like Gene Simmons. The black tears streaked my face and my cheeks, lips, and nose were all swollen and red. We’d only done 1 IUI and already my doctor’s were giving up on that method? That’s not a good feeling!
Why was this so traumatic? Well, I equate an infertile hearing “IVF” to a cancer patient hearing “BMT”. When I worked on the oncology unit (and fell madly in love with all of my patients), I would keep my fingers crossed that they never had to have a BMT, or bone marrow transplant. This can be a life saving treatment option for many lucky families; however, I also saw this as a last ditch effort which often ended with fatal results. My heart is still with those kids, so I’m in no way comparing my experience to what they suffered; however, the fact remains the IVF is the last possible option for an infertle, just like BMT is for leukemia. It also has a similar 50/50 success rate and costs thousands upon thousands of dollars. Not everybody can afford this. We can technically afford this, but do we want to?
This made me start thinking, “Hmmm, maybe I don’t even want kids”. Let’s see what life could be like without kids. Here’s the “No Rugrats Plan” or Plan A:
- Sleep until noon on Saturdays
- Buy expensive furniture in luxe fabrics like suede and silk
- Travel in off-peak times without worrying about missing school
- Spend 40,000-60,000 of their college fund on a G-wagon or Range Rover instead
- Meet your girlfriends after work for martinis
- Fill up your DVR with adults only shows & movies
- Spend romantic weekends away with your husband
- Keep your body in tip top shape & your breasts above your rib cage
- Buy Loubitins and Manolos without worrying about your feet stretching after pregnancy
Not too shabby! Maybe I don’t want kids! Okay, so now for the “Join the Procreators Plan” or Plan B:
- Wake up at 6am on Saturday to a sleep eyed little one who snuck in the bed overnight
- Hear the words, “I love you, Mommy” that sounds more like “I wuv voo, Mummy”
- Stare at a face in the middle of the night that is a Picasso-eque version of me and my husband and wonder who it looks more like, without really caring about the answer
- See my child/ren score a goal in a soccer game or playing t-ball & scream as if I’m watching the Superbowl
- Watch them sing/dance in a talent show at school and be uncomfortably nervous for them as I mouth the words
- Lay on a chocolate stained old couch watching lame cartoons and giggling together
- Pull them out of school in October or April because I’m just dying to show them what they’ve been studying in real life at the Louvre or the Mayan ruins
- Cherish 2 minutes alone with my husband hiding in the closet during a game of hide-and-seek because it’s been our only time alone in months
- Stay up late on Christmas Eve tracking the reindeer and decorating cookies for Santa
- Watching them do the drunk Bambi walk when they take their first steps and laughing with my husband at their awkwardness, but crying from excitement and pride
- Catch them asleep in my husband’s arms
- See my parent’s faces light up like they’re battery powered every time they see their grand babies
YEP, I guess I still want kids! It will, of course, be chaotic, messy, inconvenient, and often heartwrenching as they grow up, but I’m not done trying for them yet. If it doesn’t happen for me, I can find the positives in Plan A, but Plan B is still where my heart is. I’m committed to 3 more rounds of hyper-protocol with IUI and then, go for the gold with IVF. If I have to work 70 hours a week to afford it, I’ll do it. I want that chubby hand on my face so bad I can feel it. Here we go again!