Tanya, age 42, one failed IUI and 3 rounds of IVF
In all my reading up on IVF, I think I can truly say there was not one article that opened with the line: “The fantastic thing about facing fertility as you get older is….”
Well here it is. Time to break the mould.
The fantastic thing about facing fertility as you get older is it is your own journey. It can’t be replicated by anyone but you, as you hold the keys to it. It may be easy, it may be hard. But it’s yours to remember, pass on if you choose to others - to help them - and most of all, no matter what the outcome, remember every journey leads somewhere. It may not be the somewhere you thought, but I think we have to take from it what we can and remember life is short so however the journey has come to you, embrace it.
Too much overzealous positivity or zen spiritual outlook in one paragraph for you? Well let’s take my journey.
"Enjoy marriage for a year, travel, try carelessly naturally, baby will come, right?"
Married at 37 to the man I'd decided couldn't possibly exist, but truly did, and the man who I could finally imagine the whole “having a family” thing with and what it might be like. We talked about natural conception and adoption openly and freely, opting to try naturally. Enjoy marriage for a year, travel, try carelessly naturally, baby will come, right? Not exactly. Enjoy marriage yes, travel yes, lots of try carelessly, and... nothing.
It’s a hard one for any woman opting for the natural path, as I think it’s always assumed pregnancy will come easy, and when it doesn’t it takes a bit to open up and ask what should I do or what doctor or what clinic should I go to?
There are a ton of resources, friends, articles - it can be overwhelming - but support is there. I think here I insert for advice: use those resources and be vocal to friends, it’s okay. I wish someone would have said that to me. I had my amazing husband, sister, and best friend, but there were more resources to use, more people to listen.
"If you don't feel 100% ready, it's okay not to be 100% ready for IVF"
Why I say it’s your journey…I didn’t start with IVF immediately. I flushed my tubes, and then did IUI. I wasn’t ready for IVF. The doctor that did the IUI, prior to doing it, strongly advised against it and recommended IVF instead. But I wasn’t ready. I say that with emphasis as yes, we women face a ticking time clock as we get older, but we are also our fabulous selves who have reached this point in life with fulfilling careers, diverse educational backgrounds, and other wonderful traits. If you don’t feel 100% ready, it’s okay not to be 100% ready for IVF. I’m not going to say after failed IUI and 2 rounds of failed IVF my husband and I didn’t bring up (repeatedly) the doctor who recommended IVF immediately. You do tend to look back at the 'what if’s?' if your path tends to be rocky on your journey. But I also made myself look forward, and during that time my husband and I still had a wonderful life together, with families and friends and careers and travels, despite the failures of fertility occurring in my life.
When IVF round 3 worked with my son, I do know that if I had listened to that doctor I wouldn’t have him and to that, I hold high my glass and toast my journey to date.
For your fertility journey if the outcome is no baby, one baby, multiple babies, adoption, or maybe even fostering…stop and remember: no matter how hard the path, always remember it’s your journey, and the outcome will be as equally beautiful as you.