When Sparring Partner and I were told that getting pregnant via sex was no longer going to be the norm and that a couple of IUIs would probably get us that second child, we drew a line in the sand. We would try a couple of injectable cycles and then that. was. it.
Of course we never thought it would take more than that. We were able to get pregnant easily twice before. We thought it was a matter of poor timing.
After the second IUI, which confirmed the findings of the first IUI, which was Sparring Partner’s count and motility were not conducive to even a well-timed IUI, our RE recommended IVF or donor sperm.
The ocean’s tide wiped out the first line so we drew another in the sand. We would try IVF. Doesn’t everyone get pregnant with IVF? All those eggs and professionally fertilized embryos…which is why we justified the cost. A sure bet and a line we were confident we wouldn’t have to cross.
As most of you know and others could guess, not only did the IVF not pan out, but we didn’t get a lot of eggs to try for subsequent FETs (which was like a mini-line in the sand), so our second line drawn out in the sand which we had set further from the breaking waves was obliterated by dozens of beachcombers.
We took a step back, drew another line, this one would be two IUIs with donor sperm. Long failing story short, that line was taken out by the hurricane force winds.
Dashed and broken lines were plotted and dismissed, much like our plans for donor embryos and adoption.
We drew yet another line, this one was most certainly IT. Donor eggs. A huge financial and emotional gamble that paid off only by sheer luck.
While we said a half dozen (and really many, many more) times, that “this was it! no more!”, we pushed on. Sparring Partner was the one who would indicate where the line should go, it was me who drew it, always taking the liberty to push it out just beyond if I could.
I know some couples who not only clearly define the lines they are willing to meet and once met, they are able to stick to that. It’s admirable, the strength and the belief that the decision they made was the best for them. It’s actually more than admirable, it is enviable.
I don’t know what we would have done had our “last” cycle failed. Would it really have been “it” or the last? There’s no way to tell. However, I know that many of us draw lines in the sand only to watch them get trampled, washed or blown away, but that’s the beauty of its lack of permanence. It’s OK to change our minds and go a different route while mourning the first of what could be dozens of lines drawn and then lost in the sand.
Photo courtesy personal file: 1999