By: Stephanie Sackrider
(FYI this is my first post for the Sackrider.org Blog. My husband’s very proud)
Most of our closest friends and family know we have been going thru IVF. I felt that I needed to share some of my thoughts and the experiences we are gaining. There is so much to the treatment and process, I’m not even sure where to begin.
IVF is a method of assisted reproduction that involves surgically removing an egg from the ovary (by ultrasound-guided retrieval) after ovulation induction, combining it with sperm in a petri dish and, after fertilization, replacing the resulting embryo(s) in the woman’s uterus. (www.ivf.org/glossary.html) Does this sound complicated? Because boy does the actual events complicate and take over your whole life while going thru it.
Now don’t get me wrong. Dale and I want lots of children. We have since the first time we talked about having a family. We would do almost anything to fulfill this dream. But when some one that is actually qualified, tells you that anytime you want to have children you have to do so in a dish, it takes a new turn of reality. Ok. She didn’t say it that way but close.
There are months worth of preparations before the cycle date begins. Bloodwork, numerous tests, financial planning, and nurse teachings are just a few of things to have to be completed to start your IVF treatment. They run bloodwork to check out hormone levels and electrolytes. Some tests included are an HSG and SHG which both help doctors to find blockages or abnormalities. You also meet with a planner who goes over the cost. And IVF is not cheap. If it were not for Dale’s great insurance there is no way we could have completed the financial obligations that it requires. Even with our great insurance, $35 copays when you go to the doctors’ office every day adds up. Then you have teaching visits to go over how to give your self or your partner gives you the injections. Also you have teaching visits that goes over all your medications, because when your balancing 20 different meds that you take some by pill, some by injections, some gels, some patches, and all at different times and intervals, it gets a little confusing. While doing all this, not forgetting to contact the insurance company for approvals and balancing an already full plated lifestyle is part of the juggling required.
1 in every 6 couples is infertile. Less the 1/4 of all infertile couple will achieve live births of a baby. For 10% of all infertile couples, the cause will never be discovered. These are tough statistic read let alone live. (www.arizonarms.com)
During my prep months, I was diagnose with PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome. PCOS is a genetically-linked hormonal imbalance that prevents ovulation. (www.sbivf.com/glossary.htm) This disease is a very common cause of fertility problems. I had it when I conceived Zander but not to the degree that I do now. Then it only affected one ovary and that is why I ovulated every other month. After the diagnosis, is when I was informed of my future abnormal baby making adventures.
In the past I’ve struggled with the challenges of being abnormal when it comes to trying to conceive. This blow took new tolls. Why? Why? Why? was my number one question. All my friends and family have their pictures as the definition of fertile myrtle. Why did I draw this unlucky card? Why did the Christian girl that saved herself for marriage find this plague of infertility? And my biggest question was, why God wouldn’t remember me as he did Rachel, listen to me and open my womb. (Gen 30:22 NIV)
For over 2 months (October to the beginning of December), I worked on all the preparations to begin the IVF treatments. I started rearranging current responsibilities and commitments. I scheduled giving up the two children that I watch for extra cash and Dale started working with his job to schedule assisting me with Zander for appointments. Still the ups and downs emotionally, financially and physically didn’t prepare me for the process that is ahead.
When I began this entry, I thought I would just share a little about my experience during my IVF process. As I began the 5th paragraph, I realized I was sharing more then just a little about my experience. It would be more like a short book if I kept going. So I’ve decided to make a little IVF series. I hope you get some insight to what Dale and I (and many other couples) are going thru and maybe even enjoy the read.