When Addison was somewhere around the age of 3 or 4 I decided that having another baby might not be the end of the world. You see, before that I had made a firm declaration to Dear Husband and the world that I was absolutely not, under any circumstances, having another child. It took all of my energy and sanity to handle one, why in God’s name would I want to attempt it with two? I was going to be a one child mama and I was completely fine with that. Somewhere after the toddler years and the beginning of the pre-school years we learned that Addison had Sensory Processing Disorder. We came to grips with it, sought the help of an Occupational Therapist, learned how to deal and live life again. Finally, another child didn’t sound so bad after all.
A decision had been made. Being responsible parents, Dear Husband and I…well, I don’t kiss and tell. However, our efforts did not result in a positive pregnancy test as quickly as it had the first time around. Month after month of only one pink line and it was time to do some research. I read up on natural family planning, understanding “your cycle” and how to tell when my body was at it’s most fertile. Dear Husband did what he does best…and that’s make spreadsheets. Logging and tracking my body temperature and marital relations is not the most romantic thing in the world but when you’re bound and determined to have a baby sometimes romance takes a back seat. If I only knew how “unromantic” things were about to get. Analyzing a graph of our sex life is like roses and candlelight compared to what we were about to embark upon.
Armed with our charts and graphs we went to see my OBGYN. She would know what to do. Surely there was some sort of cream or something she can prescribe to make this all better. She ordered some tests for Dear Husband and myself. Dear Husband’s came back with a red flag. I’m not going to get into it (it’s Dear Husband’s private story to tell), but very long story short, we had a scare of testicular cancer, wiped our brow after having dodged that bullet and then discovered that having a baby the old fashioned way just wasn’t going to happen.
We were referred to a fertility specialist and went in for a consultation. That first visit was very surreal. I wasn’t sure what we were doing there. We already had a child…we didn’t belong there. This was for couples who were desperate, who were at their wits end and who had spent years and years trying to have a baby. As I sat there and listened to her explain the diagnoses (why we couldn’t have another baby) and then go into detail about what our options were, I still didn’t believe it. I kept waiting for her to say “Now that I’ve told you all about what I do, you can go on your merry way. I’m sure you’ll get pregnant if you just keep trying.” She didn’t say that. Instead she said that while we could try Artificial Insemination she felt certain that it wouldn’t work and would be a waste of our money. She advised skipping ahead to In-Vetro Fertilization (IVF).
We were given a lengthy explanation as to the process and cost. In a nut shell, IVF takes a whole bunch of the mama’s eggs, then one by one each egg has a single swimmer (a.k.a. sperm) injected into it. They leave it alone in a little dish and that’s when the magic happens. Cells start to split and 3 to 5 days later you have little embryos. Not all of the embryos will develop properly and become what they call “viable embryos”. The ones that are viable are given a rating according to how shiny their hair is, how well they can play the piano and their SAT scores (kidding, but they are actually rated). The best embryo(s) are implanted into a warm and waiting uterus. More waiting…the embryo may or may not find the uterus to be a cozy place to make a home for 9 months. A week after the implantation a blood test is given to find out if the mom is pregnant. If the answer is “yes” then you are off and running…to Babies R Us. If the answer is “no” you cry your eyes out, pull yourself together then figure out what the next step is.
Dear Husband and I absorbed all this information, made a follow-up appointment then walked out to the car hand in hand in silence. We looked at each other and said “Well, I guess we’re going to do this.”
Stay tuned. The road down IVF is long and bumpy.