Thursday, July 5, 2007

How much is enough?

That song by The Fixx has been going through my head. I just change the words a bit:

How much is enough? when your womb is empty
How much is enough? in the land of plenty
When you have (almost) all you want and you still feel nothing at all
How much is enough, is enough

The reason the chorus is on perpetual repeat in my head is because I keep thinking maybe I should try just one more time. What if my eggs are good, but just have a bad reaction to the stims? Low-dose and natural cycle IVF are all the rage these days. What if that is the answer, the magic cycle, the miracle cure for me? What if I don't try it and always wonder, "What if?"

And yet, I am feeling emotionally - and certainly financially - spent. There is a part of me that wants to completely let go of the possibility of having a biological baby for the greater possibility of being successful with donor eggs. I also want to not care at all that he / she would not be my biological offspring now and forever. I just don't think that is likely.

Should I spend another $12,000 for one more chance - which my RE (who doesn't believe in low-dose protocols but might be talked into it) gives a 10-15% chance of a live birth? Perhaps I could cycle along with the donor and save 1-3 thousand dollars. Of course, if all goes well we could have 3-4 babies implant and be faced with selective reduction. You may be shocked to hear that I have thought about this possibility and discovered that a maternity (instead of "paternity") test can be done with a CVS (an earlier, but riskier test similar to amniocentesis). I could maximize my odds of success and then reduce her babies if need be. Yes, I do know how awful that sounds.

Another scenario might be that I cycle with my eggs along with the donor and have one or two babies implant. I am not going to pretend they are my genetic offspring. I am going to find out and be honest about it with our children. Will my bonding be slowed or otherwise negatively affected because I don't know if he / she / they are my biological children? Wouldn't it be better to fully come to terms with the loss of a genetically related child before our potential babies are born? What if I have one of hers and one of mine? Would that be hard on our children? What if I treated them differently because I was trying so hard not to?

Then there is the fact that my donor won't be ready until November at the earliest. I could just do another cycle with my eggs while I am waiting. If there was no cost to us, I would already be signed up. Better to at least be distracted with the hope of a successful cycle than just wait it out. How much is $12,000 worth anyway? I used to know. I used to have a feel for that amount of money, but after spending more than four times that amount (and counting) it could all just be monopoly money by now. Who needs to retire anyway?

And so I go around and around and around. Have I really tried hard enough? Wouldn't I love a donor egg baby as much as my own? I believe I would. Should I use this time to grieve this loss and be farther along the journey of healing before we start the donor egg cycle? Would one more chance be worth potentially throwing away more than ten thousand dollars? Is it worth that money for closure? Do I really want a biological child just that much? I don't know. Maybe I should ask Dear Jane.

How much is enough in the land of plenty . . .


BestLight said...

Sometimes "plenty" is Tantalus plenty.

He was teased by the best fruits on a tree, but whenever he reached, the branches raised.

He was teased by standing in a pool of water, but whenever he bent to drink, the water receded.

In IF, you can be surrounded by plenty -- just out of your grasp. It's infuriating!

I wish you guidance and insight in your decision. It's a toughie, I know.

Anonymous said...

Kami I am struggling with exactly what you are. We had a conversation the other night and I think we are going to try again. Of course this time we arent going to tell anyone - no friends no family nothing. I will have to figure out a way to get time off from work but whatever. I thought I could move on but I am having the same doubts and what ifs as you. I dont think I can move on not knowing what if. Good luck in whatever decision you make - I will be here rooting you on whatever path you take.

Jill said...

I have thought about this some myself... if we want another baby, I'm not sure I can go through it all again... and so maybe we'd consider adopting. I worry that having one biological child and one adopted would somehow make them "different"... but then I think that tons of people adopt children all the time, and love them just the same. And no matter what, you will love the baby or babies. And if you have 2, you will love them both. You will love them differently because they are different people. But not more or less.

I can't tell you what to do though... a lot of big decisions. I just know that you always come to a decision that makes you feel positive about it... so I trust that this one will be a good one for you as well.

The Town Criers said...

There aren't easy answers. There aren't even clear answers. But I think a lot can come from making lists and seeing it all out in print in front of you. And taking the power out of money. It's what I'm struggling with right now--the financial side of things. Josh has been reminding me how we didn't know how we'd pay for it last time and we did. I think that there's financially smart and there's financially fearful. I'm falling into the financially fearful category right now and I'm trying to take deep breaths and move myself over to the financially smart category so I can make sound decisions but not be strangled by the financial side of things.