Sunday, October 10, 2010

Frozen Maybes

So, I don't know. I've been so stuck about how to keep writing here. I wish I could just transition easily to paragraphs about jumpy bouncers and first teeth, but it's been hard for me to recuperate from having every single thing in my life revolve around infertility. For so long it seemed like every vacation plan, every spat with my husband, every decision about my job was really about whether or not I would, could, or should even keep trying to get pregnant. I think I was just so used to thinking about my whole life in terms of cycling that I literally couldn't adjust for a while.

Of course, the sleep deprivation is a kind of eraser. I hadn't been able to actually think about much of anything for a while when I suddenly noticed that old harbinger of possibility, EWCM. It was such a shock that at first I didn't even know what to think. I mean, I actually entertained the idea of trying to jump on the post-pregnancy hormonal rollercoaster and maybe get lucky the old fashioned way. Which is the absolutely ridiculous, both statistically and practically. But still, it was impossible not to think about it.

And then reality really hit hard when my lab called to say that my pre-paid embryo storage was about to expire and did I want to go on a yearly payment plan?

And while it is SO OBVIOUS that we will never use those embryos, I can't help but feel wretched about destroying them. It took me seven years to get those embryos. I will never again even get a chance to have embryos of my own. Those embryos are related to my kids. But of course it is SO OBVIOUS that another pregnancy would not be good for me, that both my husband and I are too old to do this again, that we are worn out and tapped out and emotionally spent and that cycling put such a strain on our marriage that even talking about those embryos caused a gigantic argument. There are a jillion reasons to put an end to this whole thing and move on with our lives and not even think about the frozen maybes anymore.

If I had fifteen fabulous embryos I would donate them and hope that they would make somebody incredibly happy. But I have two semi-good embryos that came from 40 year old eggs. I'm pretty sure isn't what couples who have gone through whatever it takes to get to donor embryos are looking for. I think about my daughter's sunset-colored hair or my son's olive-green eyes, her abnormally high IQ, his impish crinkly grin. They are both long and lean, with delicate features and old-soul eyes. As a mother, it's impossible for me to imagine that somebody wouldn't want these exact traits, even the pale skin and freckles. But as an infertile, I know that nobody chooses embryos that don't maximize their chances of a take-home baby.

So, that leaves research. Which I wholeheartedly support, knowing that research is the only thing that helps anyone have success with IVF. And increasing the chances for success, especially on "old" eggs, is so important to me that I really WANT to be more gung-ho about just signing the donation papers and getting on with things. But it's hard to just give away, give up, something I fought for so desperately.

I have always said that the longer someone struggles with infertility, the more damage it seems to do, and I know that's what this is all about. Seven years of clinging to hope makes it hard to just let go.