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High risk




Hello all! This is my first time participating in ICLW and I am super excited to meet new IFers and read new, inspiring stories! First, let me introduce myself:

My name is Belle and I have PCOS (Pretty Crappy Ovary Syndrome) with autoimmune complications. In short, I’m a hot mess. If you want the long of it, you can read here and here.

Today was my official test day after a painfully long round of injects. Despite daily testing and daily BFNs, I had a lot of hope for this cycle. I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning  ready to test. “This is it! I’m going to be a late implanter and have the best Thanksgiving ever,” I thought as I opened my gourmet pee stick (I save my best pee sticks for last). Three minutes later there was no second line. I took the pee stick back to bed with me. “Maybe it will be a BFP when I wake up,” I thought as I set it on my nightstand. At 4:30 a.m. the damn pee stick was still a BFN and I was done trying to sleep.

Until today, IVF was just a Plan B. Plan B is a lot less scary than “the plan.”

I’m terrified of IVF. I’m so scared of what it will do to my body. I’m terrified of the truckload of medications and of the raging hormonal mess I will be. I am afraid of how it will affect my work and my creativity.

The price tag also makes me sick. And now I need to confess: I have not been completely honest with you, blogosphere.

My in-laws are paying for my infertility.  Yes, I know how lucky I am that we don’t have to take a loan, use savings or borrow against our house.

I also know I have to live with the knowledge that if this does not work, I have taken thousands of dollars from my in-laws and returned nothing. I will have to live knowing that I, much like a bad stock, was the investment that did not pan out. My mother-in-law assures me that she would rather give us the money now to put towards a good cause than wait till she dies, but that still does not comfort me. They could use this money now for a much lower risk investment with a higher return.

With my track record, I am far from a low risk investment.

There is a metallic taste in my mouth every time I think about this. Tomorrow I fly to Arizona to spend the holiday with my in-laws. At some point during this stay infertility will have to be discussed. I will have to admit that the last $750 IUI failed and that yes, I will be sending them a bill for thousands more in January. And no, I can’t promise them a return on their investment.



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  1. November 21, 2011

    I am so sorry your IUI didn’t work. IVF as Plan B is much less scary than “the plan,” I agree, although I admit I don’t have first-hand experience because we haven’t moved on to IVF yet. But in researching IVF, I feel the panic.

    I can see how having family members paying for your IF helps financially, but adds a completely different guilt factor.

  2. November 21, 2011

    Ugh… I know you say you feel lucky to not have to take out loans, etc etc, but this is a really, really, really tough emotional situation that you can’t discount just because the finances are being taken care of. “I will have to live knowing that I, much like a bad stock, was the investment that did not pan out.” Yuck. There’s nothing I can say that will change that feeling. I don’t know your situation with your in-laws, your relationship and what kind of people they are. But you are not bad stock and your chances at future children are not a bad investment for your in-laws or for you. You are doing everything you can. We aren’t living in olden days when women were largely valued for their ability to produce high numbers of children. You have value – to yourself, your husband, your family, your family-in-laws – that goes beyond your fertility.

    Do you feel pressure to move to IVF *because* your in-laws are paying (and you feel like they expect a “return” ie grandchildren)? Or do you really want to try IVF?

    • November 21, 2011

      Thank you for the kind words, Robin. I should have stressed in this post that my in-laws are wonderful, kind people. I don’t know them super well, as we have not been married long and live far away. I come from a family of guilt, though. In my family if you invest in something you expect a return and if there is no return, prepare to hear about it for a looooong time. Mr. Husband assures me that his family is not like this, but after 31 years living differently it is hard to shake the worry.

      Sadly, we have a big rush to “hurry up and make a baby” because of my potential lupus and chronic uveitis. Eventually the steroids that are controlling my eye inflammation will stop working and I will have to move to immune suppressing drugs. These are highly toxic to fetuses. IVF is our last hope and something the doctors don’t want us to wait much longer for.

      • November 22, 2011

        Oh, that is so good to hear. I know how you feel maybe, I also come from the Land of Guilt, and my husband’s family happily gives us money if we need it with no expectation of repayment or return. It’s hard not to let the guilt weigh you down, but it is good to know that your in-laws are probably not sending you any subconscious messages about needing something in return.

        It’s hard that you do have the pressure to do IVF, and sooner rather than later. I hope you can connect with some other IVF-ers in the online community (and real life?) to maybe make the process seem less scary 🙂

  3. November 21, 2011

    I know how you feel about having IVF be plan B and then all of a sudden, plan B is plan RIGHT NOW. I also am about to start IVF (with PCOS) and am petrified as well. Maybe we can help each other. 🙂 Try to be kind to yourself and not put so much pressure on your shoulders – if this IVF doesn’t work, you did all you could.

    • November 21, 2011

      That would be just lovely! It’s a date!

  4. November 21, 2011

    I’m so glad your in-laws are willing to help you. I think I’d accept assistance from the mafia if I had to, and it sounds like they (your in-laws) are way cooler. Best of luck in the coming weeks!

    • November 21, 2011

      Lol, thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Rachel @ Eggs In A Row #
    November 21, 2011

    I feel you on this. Plan B is not where you ever want to live. However, let’s be grateful that we have a Plan B! (I’m talking to myself, here, as well.)

    YAY Arizona! That’s where I’m from. LOL.

    • November 21, 2011

      Arizona is super! We are planning a hike in the White Tanks on Friday to work off our Thanksgiving feast. I have never been and am looking forward to it!

      Also, you are correct, I do need to be thankful for IVF. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

  6. November 21, 2011

    I’m sorry the IUI didn’t work…and I know how scary IVF feels. Maybe after talking with your in-laws over this coming week, you can start to feel less guilty. It sounds like they’re pretty incredible to offer that. (But I completely understand the guilt, I come from a guilty family as well. i’d totally feel the same!)

  7. nh #
    November 21, 2011

    I’m sorry the IUI didn’t work, and IVF is scary, but don’t give up hope – it may be the answer that you need.
    Good luck talking with your in-laws.


  8. November 21, 2011

    i couldn’t agree more that IVF is scary as hell. i’m sorry this IUI didn’t work out. what a wonderful support system in your in-laws you have. we borrowed money from my mom for our IVF. we were also a bad investment. we’ll finally be done paying her off in May. it can’t come soon enough.

    have a wonderful thanksgiving holiday!

  9. November 22, 2011

    Sorry this cycle didn’t work out for you 😦

    My in-laws paid for one of our IVF cycles. (I got pregnant on the third IVF with the twins.) I did not feel any pressure from them, and didn’t feel bad that their cycle failed. I’m not sure why, exactly. They were really supportive of any plans we might have, including adoption. My husband always says that we would spend our last penny on our kids. I guess I just thought that they felt the same way, as did my parents. Most parents will do everything they can within their power to promote their kids’ well-being. His parents had monetary resources to help, so I guess we just figured, why not.

    Good luck!!

  10. November 22, 2011

    Sorry this cycle didn’t work for you. IVF is scary but doable, somehow you get through and I think it’s great to have that support from in-laws. Understand the pressure of it but remember you can only try and try again to get to your goal. The most frustrating thing I found was that so much is out of your control. And that’s also what makes it scary I think.

  11. November 22, 2011

    I’m so sorry this cycle wasn’t the one. IVF is scary, but like Cattiz says, it is doable, especially if you think of it in terms of steps. We paid for our first IVF and FET but had family assistance for our surrogacy cycle. It never occurred to me to feel guilty about the risk being incurred, but then again, I’m much harder on myself than anyone else is.

  12. Mo #
    November 22, 2011

    I’m so sorry about your BFN 😦
    Thinking of you and sending you a gigantic hug!

  13. November 23, 2011

    You’ve already given them a return on their investment. I can’t imagine them wanting more from a daughter-in-law that wants to provide grandchildren in any way possible and worrying about the fact that she is failing them by not getting pregnant with the treatments they are paying for. They know that none of this is foolproof and they understand the risks and they’re still willing to give you the money to pay for it. They’re not asking for you to give them a return on their investment. They’re just trying to help give you guys the best chance possible to make you happy. That’s what parents do. I’m sorry for your BFN. Wishing you luck in your next cycle.

  14. Sarah #
    November 23, 2011

    I am sorry for you BFN

    we went straight to IVF, ( I have cystic ovaries and after years of crap I had so much scar tissue built up my tubes are blocked), we had no plan B.

    I hope that you only need one round of IVF to get your miracle!!

    Happy ICLW

  15. November 23, 2011

    Argh. I took some dough from the in-laws for IVF too. My Mom kicked in some also. I’ve paid the rest myself. I feel less bad about my Mom’s donation than my MIL’s. But what are you gonna do? Roll the dice or… not. And the in-laws get what they get. Until you either win (which I hope is soon) or you decide to stop rolling those dice. But don’t let the guilt set in about the money – this is hard enough without adding that.

    @StolenEggs – ICLW#82

    • November 25, 2011

      Stolen Eggs, I am honestly shocked at how many people have had to accept help from in laws. It is nice to know I’m not alone.

  16. November 24, 2011

    So sorry to hear the IUI didn’t work. I tried to avoid IVF for many years, but now it’s here. Still scary, but when you are in it you can at least take one day at a time and deal with the challenges as they arise. I just hope that it will not all be for nothing. That is the most difficult part to deal with I think – the relatively low chance of success.

    • November 25, 2011

      The low chances of success are exactly what scare me! I guess we just have to put those out of our mind and jump, but man it is hard!

  17. November 25, 2011

    We are looking at IVF as “the plan” here in a couple of months and it scares the crap out of me, too. I’m terrified of spending all of that money,taking out loans etc, and being left with nothing but more debt.

    • November 25, 2011

      I understand completely! It is such a big gamble and I am NOT a gambler. Much like the side effects of a nasty medication, the benefits do outweigh the risks, at least for me. Good luck in making your decision!

  18. November 26, 2011

    I am the queen of Plan B! IVF really isn’t that bad. Though I don’t know what the complications are if you have PCOS. Mind you, I say it’s not that bad, but it’s still hard work, and emotionally challenging, and it just takes over your life. But I kind of see/saw it as an adventure.

    Have a read through my blog as I have some tips with coping – it may help you. Also, you might like to read Sarah Wilson’s blog (she is well known in Australia as she’s a journo) but she talks a lot about auto-immune diseases as she has one and has done loads of research –

    Hope that helps – and god luck!

    ICLW #110

    • November 28, 2011

      Thanks for stopping by! And I will check out Sarah’s blog this evening!

  19. November 26, 2011

    Oh Belle, I feel the same way about being a poor investment. My mother has helped us with legal fees for my stepdaughter’s custody, and said she would also contribute to the make-a-baby fund, but the guilt! Us getting full custody is so far from a sure thing, but I feel even less likely to give a good return.

  20. November 27, 2011

    I’m sorry the IUI didn’t work. Try not to feel guilty about the help. It is something they want to do and it is probably the only thing they can do. They probably feel helpless in the whole scheme of things. My MIL keeps giving us little gifts of money for “house” stuff. We all know what it is really for, but I don’t think she will ever admit it cuz she doesn’t want to make us feel guilty.

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