Your parents – the daredevils…

Hi Kids,

we’re just passed the halfway mark between ET and Test Day…and if you don’t think we’re counting the minutes, you’re crazy!!

I’m happy to report that we’re doing quite well so far (other than a little hiccup yesterday)…but I have the strongest feeling that the tension is about to start rising steadily…till we hit the terrible peak of Crazy-Mad-IF-Stressed-Out-Of-Our-Minds-Test-Day. I imagine it’ll peak about 10 seconds before calling the lab for the blood test results on Sunday morning.

Oops…let the cat out of the bag a bit there. We’ve decided to tell all our family and non-IF/non-Fertilicare-forum friends that test day is sometime the following week – wanting to keep test day to ourselves for the moment – hopefully an incredible day that allows us to tell half of our family the good news in person, after calling the other half of the family and telling them the good news first over the phone (because a quick flight to Jo’burg and back to tell them the news in person seems a little crazy)…and if the news isn’t good, we’ll have a day or two to gather ourselves before telling all of them, without the need to field a million anxious phone calls…very James Bond Secret Squirrel FBI Mossad of us I know…but sometimes you have to look after yourselves….even if it means blithely lying to your loved ones and people who care about you – they’ll understand.

Reading that though, it sounds fairly negative – like we don’t want anyone to know because we’re expecting bad news…and that just isn’t the case.

Your mom and I have discussed this IVF cycle and our approach to the 2ww (2 week wait – which is in reality the 10 day wait between transfer day and test day). We’ve decided (or maybe it’s more a case of “I’ve decided”) that you only get one first IVF cycle…you only have one opportunity to enter the 2ww fully positive and upbeat, assuming it will go as planned and that there’s little doubt of a BFP at the end of it.

Now before you start telling us about the success rate statistics, know that we’ve done our research…we know what our odds are…we know that there’s more chance that this ends in a bloody BFN than a brilliant BFP…we know that there is every chance this doesn’t work…but you know what….we don’t care! Well…if I’m truthful, I think your mom does, but I don’t!

You only get one first IVF cycle.

This is the only time that your experience isn’t tempered with the first-hand experience that it doesn’t always work, it is the only time you can totally convince yourself that you’re going to get good news after the waiting…because you haven’t had a failed cycle, you’re not jaded by reality.

We KNOW what the chances are…but we’re ignoring them and being deliriously positive (or trying to be).

We appreciate that this approach leaves you open to greater disappointment…we know that being cautious would protect us just a bit from the crushing blow of the bad news that is statistically coming our way…we know that being realistic allows you to more easily deal with the failure, because when your spirits aren’t as high, they haven’t got as far to fall…we know that this would be the sensible approach when you consider the odds…but we just don’t care.

You only get one first IVF.

And we’re choosing to wear our hearts on our sleeve…we’re ignoring the odds and expecting it to work…we’re opening ourselves up for greater pain from a (statistically likely) failure and we’re doing it with a smile on our face. We’re painting great big bulls-eyes on our souls and blowing raspberry’s at fate…we’re tempting it for all we’re worth, we’ll blatantly jinx the bejesus out of things, because we are adamant that we will enjoy this time of possibilities, we’re acting like naïve newbies, blissfully ignorant of the potential for failure. We’re talking baby names, we’re wondering how many kids we will have (1, 2 or the full house), we’re thinking themes for the nursery and buying animated DVD’s. And we’re doing it without acknowledging the fact that we’re probably making things harder for ourselves in the future, because we’re committed to being positive, because…you only get one first IVF.

We’re in this like Evil Knievel. We’re ignoring the statistics and the safe approach, we’re pretending the nay-sayers are mute, we’re throwing caution to the wind and putting ourselves in the firing line…because you only get one first IVF.

When you get to your second IVF, you know better. It’ll be impossible to adopt this carefree approach – reality will have taught you the lesson, it will have taken a great big highlighter and circled the statistics, it will have put the failure rate up in huge big flashing neon lights, it’s already bitch-slapped you around good and proper. It will be impossible to feel the way you did for your first IVF, you will be jaded and can never feel that way again.

And that’s why we’ve taken this high-risk approach.

Your mom started it when she plucked up the courage to have what must have been one of the most difficult conversations in her life, that day early last year when she told me she wanted to have kids. We discussed it and decided to investigate what ‘having a family’ would look like. We went to visit doctors and specialists when all we expected was heartache and pain. We made the decision to start a family irrespective of how we got there. We looked at sperm donors and treatment options. We took the plunge and entered a treatment plan with no idea how long it would take or whether it would work at all. We diligently jabbed me with meds 4 nights a week for what felt like aeons, with no guarantees it was doing anything other than bruising my ass and our bank balance in equal measure. We’ve overcome huge hurdles to get this far. We’ve conned my testicles into producing sperm for the first time in their 36 years of existence. We’ve ‘harvested’ eggs from your mom’s ovaries and achieved fertilisation. We’ve transferred three embies in our first IVF.

All the way along, we’ve made tough choices and difficult decisions. We’ve laughed and cried, we’ve hoped and dreamed, we’ve doubted and despaired. And it’s not been easy.

So why would we choose to make Test Day any different?

We know the odds are against us, but we’re ignoring that fact…the odds have been against us from the start…and we’ve got this far. I refuse to acknowledge the fact that we may never have kids – failure is no longer an option…turning back would be like the story of the guy who decides to row across the Atlantic single-handedly. He gets three-quarters of the way across and realises that he doesn’t have enough food and water to make it the rest of the way…so he turns back. We’ve come this far…turning back or even glancing backwards over our shoulder at this point is ridiculous…we can succeed, we must succeed, we will succeed!

You only get one first IVF.

Your mom was doing well with all this, tentatively embracing this hyper-positive approach until the day before yesterday. I could sense that things were starting to get to her, that the pressure was mounting. Then, one of the ladies on the forum had terrible news – her first IVF ended in the devastating fashion of AF’s unwanted arrival. Your mom took the news really hard. It started to shake her resolve to be positive. I could see the shoulders tensing and the frown lines deepening. By last night she was in a state, desperately trying to hold it all in, trying to keep it together…and with your mom, that’s not a good thing. With a little bit of prodding, she managed to let herself go a bit and release this pent-up stress and strain, and what a difference it’s made. Overnight, she’s back to the person she was a few weeks ago, being positive and upbeat again. She lay on the bed this afternoon (rudely disrupting my pleasant reading session on the toilet) and we discussed names. How’s that for spitting in fate’s eyes. Talk about walking under the proverbial ladder, stepping on the cracks in the sidewalk or letting parades of black cats sashay across our path. We don’t care. We know what risks we’re taking with our own hearts and we do it anyway. We’re daredevils with no fear…

Because, you only get one first IVF.

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~ by HopelesslyTTC on 21/07/2010.

6 Responses to “Your parents – the daredevils…”

  1. I firmly believe that no matter how positive or negative you feel about a cycle you will be equally devastated if the outcome is negative. As much as you can try and temper your emotions you still feel what you feel so I say embrace your positivity and, if you need to, worry about the consequences later. Being excited and happy makes the 2ww easier anyway. And lastly, remember even if the odds of failure are 60% or 70% or whatever they are, someone needs to fall on the right side of the stats. That other 30% is made up of people who got their BFP on the first try and whose to say it won’t be you? It does happen! And I sincerley hope and pray it happens to you guys on Sunday. I will be waiting for your news. Either way you’re not giving up and you will get your baby so fling yourselves into the dreaming and planning recklessley. Like you say you only ever get one first go!

    Wishing you both strength for thse last few days. And lots and lots of luck and love!

  2. All I have to say is…. AMEN TO THAT!!!!! We only get the first one once and there’s no way anyone will take that away – no way they’ll take my positivity! We’re gonna do this, we’re gonna defy the odds and we’re gonna do it with our positive hats on!
    Good on you two!
    I’m shouting you on from the sidelines alllll the way!
    Here’s to your BFP and defying the odds once again 🙂
    xxx

  3. I think there is no other option but positivity, if we were taking the stats seriously, we wouldn’t even be considering IVF at all. You guys have done a fab job of beating the odds already, it’s going to take more than a little IVF to knock you down! And I’m hoping that it’s all the way to the finish line for you guys on this first round 🙂

  4. I don’t believe that emotionally preparing for bad news works either. It hasn’t for me.
    So be positive with abandon. And good luck!

  5. Good for you, all our hearts are with you.

  6. I wish you all the absolute best! I am also going through my first cycle headed towards ER. We are hopelessly optimistic because it is the only way to be. I have stayed off IVF blogs because so many are negative and scary. Thanks for sharing a fresh perspective and letting me know I’m not the only one out there with faith! Thank you and again best wishes!

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