In the past month I’ve been to three OBs, one gyno-oncologist, one fertility doctor, to radiology and ultrasound, and a fertility support group. To say we’re overwhelmed with information and feeling would be an understatement.
The reality of our situation hits us in waves. Some moments we can find peace and hope. Others we are curled in a ball on the bed crying into our pillow. We’re up. We’re down. We’re resigned. We’re angry. We’re always, always sad. After all those experts took a look at my case, examined my uterus, the stupid fibroid encasing the top of it, my cancer history and sub-par cervix, and my god damned closed left fallopian tube, they all said the same thing: the fibroid has to come out and you’ll have to do IVF if you are going to carry your baby.
But one doctor at a different hospital was very frank and blunt and laid out the risks involved with such a surgery. The likelihood that I would have to be cut open is high instead of doing the less invasive surgery robotically. That would increase my recovery time as it’s harder on my body. Removing the fibroid is tricky and mine is large so I could start to bleed while they attempted it laparoscopically and then they might quickly have to open me anyway. Even after that surgery and subsequent recovery, there is no telling if my left tube would open OR if it would be safe for me to carry a baby to term. The uterus could rupture while I am carrying our baby which is very risky for me and for the baby. What percentage are these risks? I don’t know. But they exist and are making us very concerned about moving forward with this path towards being parents.
After the appointment with the blunt doctor (we appreciated her candor and time), we sat in the car in the parking lot and talked about what to do. Mr. Darcy felt that we should not move forward with me having the surgery and trying to carry our baby. He thinks it is too risky and he doesn’t want us to go through that. He basically said, “You are the most important thing to me and I don’t want to lose you. We can find another way to be parents.” (Everyone I tell this to goes “aww” or tears up.)
I’m pretty sure he has some PTSD from having to watch me during that rupture day and I don’t blame him. He’s got a lot of anger towards doctors who were negligent, rightfully so. I’m mad too it’s just that I’m more sad and I have to spread what little energy I have to trying not to fall completely apart. I mostly agree with him on this as I’m not sure what my body can do and I’ve lost faith in it. What if I went through with the surgery and we paid through the nose for IVF and I still didn’t get pregnant? By then we’ve likely lost a year, we’re closer to 41, and if it doesn’t work we’ll have to start anew on a different path, all of which are time-consuming, lengthy, and costly.
Depending on the day, hell, the hour, my decision changes. It absolutely breaks my heart to think that I cannot carry our baby. That we will not have a child with our genetic make up. Please don’t tell us how we will love an adopted baby just as much even though you mean well and you’re probably right. We’re really sad and mad right now and trying to wrestle with the reality that we can’t be parents the way most folks can. Please don’t tell us about surrogacy unless you have gone through it. It’s complicated and costly and difficult to get support with that option. This is an uncomfortable situation for everyone. No one knows what to say and all the advice is well meaning and most of the time we appreciate it. Sincerely, we do. But there’s a huge piece of this that makes us feel really, really alone and lost and like failures, and so angry at unknowns and bad luck and EVERYTHING. There are parts of this that we, as husband and wife, are unable to even support each other through. Grief is often a solitary process.
We’re still looking into the options though not really the one where I carry the baby as all signs point to that being not the right path. We’re still looking to talk to adoptive parents either through foster-to-adopt or private adoption and anyone who has done surrogacy. We appreciate your good thoughts and sympathy and your well-meaning advice. I might not respond to every email right away but I will eventually. I am buried at work under a 400-person gala fundraiser that is sucking the life out of me. I’ve hardly had time to feel my feelings on this because I’m working my ass off and have no spare time. I cry in the car or on my morning walks and then I get back to business because this event isn’t going to plan itself despite of me wishing it would or the numerous times I’ve walked into my boss’s office saying I want to quit (she refuses to entertain these dramatic outbursts- luckily we’re friends).
I probably won’t be writing again until after the fundraiser. That is, if I survive it, or if I’m not crumpled in a ball in the corner having a nervous breakdown.