When is Enough, Enough?
A long time ago I watched a movie called “The Mexican.” Before you get all PC on me let me assure you that “Mexican” was the name of a gun in the movie. I don’t remember anything about the movie except two lines that have for some reason been burned into my brain:
Samantha (played by the lovely Julia Roberts): “When do you get to that point of ‘enough is enough’?”
Jerry (played by the hunk of burnin’ love, Brad Pitt): “Never.”
They were talking about their relationship, not infertility but it’s a question all of us with a shoddy
reproductive system have to ask ourselves at one time or another. We face that question after yet another treatment fails, when an adoption falls through, when we get that ONE line for the 108th time on a home pregnancy test. When is enough, enough? The answer is different for each of us; we all have our limits whether they’re financial, physical or emotional. But it’s such a hard thing to say “we’re done” and actually mean it. With those two words you determine so much of the rest of your life.
I have been reading Samantha’s blog for some time and have to say I admire her and Tim’s commitment to their original plan of three IUI’s. They did all three, none of them worked, they are done. What I admire even more is her attitude about it. I’m sure she’s sad, of course she’s sad…but she’s at peace and she’s allowing herself joy and I think that is amazing.
It’s been almost five years since our doctor broke the “you have old lady eggs” news to us, I was 26
years old. At the time it was devastating but we were young, we were healthy, we knew we could have a baby. Our insurance paid for six rounds of IUI. Awesome. We decided that even though our odds were low (old lady eggs, remember?) we were going to do the IUI’s and that was it. Two years, six IUI’s and three miscarriages later we were left bewildered. We had been smacked right across the face by infertilities dominant hand. We had said this was it, 6 IUI’s and if they didn’t work we were done…but we never actually thought they wouldn’t work.
Enough wasn’t yet enough.
We spent the next year attending informative seminars that various adoption agencies put on in our
area. That year turned out to be a giant waste of time because the only thing we learned was that
adoption definitely isn’t for us. I’m not knocking it; in fact I think couples who adopt are much stronger emotionally than I ever will be. It’s just not for us.
Then we jumped feet first into embryo adoption. We met a lovely couple who gave us their two
embryo’s leftover from a successful IVF. I got pregnant…four weeks later I miscarried those two sweet babies.
I lost it. I lost my freaking mind. I don’t remember much about those months following even though it was just last year but I know it was bad. I cried a lot, I yelled a lot, I ended friendships, I avoided family, I broke down in uncontrollable sobs in the middle of a grocery store-I absolutely lost it.
About three months after that miscarriage Justin looked at me and said “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t watch you go through this anymore. I can’t watch you pump your body full of chemicals and hormones that aren’t working and that we don’t know the lasting effects of. My wife is gone and I need her back. We’re done with treatment.” I agreed and life slowly returned to normal.
But that ache was still there and it was still there for both of us, enough wasn’t enough. We just needed some time to form scars around our open wounds.
I’m not exactly sure how it happened but somehow we decided to pull out the big guns, a.k.a. donor egg IVF. It didn’t require any convincing on either of our parts, we just agreed to bite the bullet and do it. So, that’s what we are in the process of doing. I can’t say I’m excited; I’m scared out of my mind. This is big money, lots of travel and the possibility of more loss. But the thought of bringing home a baby at the end of the journey makes every single injection into my caboose worth it.
Will this be it for us? I can give a whole-hearted and concrete “yes.” There really isn’t anywhere else to go if this doesn’t work. We could steal a baby but that’s usually frowned upon in the infertility
community. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be invited to guest post on anyone else’s blog ever again.
So away we go to the land of sharps containers, synthetic hormone induced mood swings and countless half-naked hours with my feet in stirrups. Wish us luck…and sanity, mostly sanity.
With infertility there is never a right or wrong time to stop treatment; it’s a personal decision that
should never be judged. I’m sure there are people out there who think I’m crazy for dropping
$30,000.00 and my mental stability on donor egg IVF. I would agree-that’s totally crazy but God has
given us a great peace about that decision and that’s all we really need.
Send some love and follow our journey, I would be honored if you were a part of it.