As our appointment with our new fertility Dr. approaches we are discussing more and more how we would like to do things differently this time around. This discussion began after a really helpful talk I had with one of my cousins who is a built in bestie. She reads the blog and also because one of the things were doing different this time is sharing with others what we are going through I had told her we were gearing up to give things another go. Like I said we are close so she was able to give it to me straight, not just say oh that’s exciting good luck! She said she was worried, worried about me falling down the infertility treatment rabbit hole that I had before, worried about my health, mental and physical, the immediate effects of all the medications on my body and mind but also the long term effects those drugs could have down the line.
You see my cousin has reason to be worried about me and my health because she is fighting stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She was diagnosed at age 35 not even months after delivering her first baby boy ( she did not need or use fertility treatments). In fact our family is riddled with illness from chronic anxiety and depression to various forms of cancers, like I said in the post Selfless Love we are all still grieving the loss of my Aunt, my mom’s little sister, who we very recently lost to colon cancer. My cousin’s worries are not unfounded they are very real and something that I had not previously given much thought to because of course before i had on baby blinders and was willing to do literally anything to make our baby wish come true.
In an effort to do things different this time we are talking more about things like my future health and also hard limits that we are setting so that we can try to avoid that spiral of doing whatever the Dr. says is “best” in the moment agreeing to whatever they suggest. As a couple our hard no’s are donor anything, eggs, sperm, embryos. We had to draw the line somewhere and for us that’s where we aren’t willing to go. My personal limit is no high dose steroids. They really screwed my body up our last go around, I lost a significant amount of hair when I finally weaned off of them and two years later I’m finally growing it all back. I am not willing to do that to myself again and I don’t see how putting my body in that state will help us conceive a child.
Most important is that I’m being more vocal with my husband about what I think I’m going to need from him if and when we start the process of IVF again. I told him I need to feel like I’m being supported, I need to feel like I’m coming first, and I need him to check in with me and make sure I’m doing okay before giving his time and attention to anything else. He has wonderful parent’s( I seriously have the best in-laws) BUT they can be a little bit needy and my hubby is there go to guy. However he is also my go to guy and I’m going to need him more during any treatment we do and I need to feel like our little family comes first, he understands that and is going to make sure I’m taken care of before running to help them every time they call. Last time we did IVF I tried to take it on myself and act like it wasn’t a big deal and I could handle everything and ended up isolating myself and feeling alone and misunderstood by him. Lack of communication. I’m hoping that all this self awareness I have found will be helpful to us moving forward. It already feels different this time. I think because I’m going in with a different mind set. A baby isn’t EVERYTHING, it’s a piece of our family puzzle that we are missing right now but we have plenty of other pieces in place holding us together. I’m feeling that wonderful sense of possibility again and it’s making me feel hopeful for the future!