Or life with IF. What if there is no "after"? What if there is just IF?
I've been doing a lot of thinking the last week about the future. Being benched really takes the focus away from "this cycle" and redirects it towards "what next". Obviously, the immediate future holds another injectibles cycle. But after that?
I'm considering getting a second opinion. My yearly midwife visit is coming up. The visit that got me a referral to the RE last year. I'm going to discuss a second opinion with my midwife and see what she thinks about the fertility center my acupuncturist has been suggesting I check out. Then I'll need to check with my insurance to see if they'll pay for it.
Realistically, I'm 38 years old, my FSH is OK but not great, treatment has not been successful and I don't really know how long I can continue to push forward. Don't get me wrong - I'm not giving up, but I do feel like time is running out and I don't really know yet how far I am willing to go. I don't know where my breaking point is. If the RE suggests IVF, I will likely be fine moving to that step. But what additional issues might IVF uncover? Will we be encouraged to consider donor eggs/sperm or even surrogacy? We haven't discussed these possibilities, but somehow I don't see us going down any of those roads.
What I am considering is what comes next when I eventually do reach the point where I just can't continue with treatments. Professor and I have discussed adoption and we are in agreement that it is not the right path for us. This actually makes me feel a little sad and a little ashamed, but I have to be honest. It just isn't right for us.
And that leaves just us. Child free. I don't think there will ever come a time, as long as I live, when that thought doesn't hurt at least a little bit, but I am beginning to accept that as a possible outcome. I do worry about what (if anything) we will tell friends and family. I feel like we would need to tell them at least the basics. I don't think I could live that big a lie for the rest of my life. I still worry about becoming an object of pity, you know "that poor woman who couldn't have children". I dread year after year having to witness the disappointment and longing on Professor's face as he watches other people living life with their children and eventually grandchildren.
I am facing these fears, and I am beginning to approach a sort of peace with the idea.