Our fertility journey continues. Three month of un-assisted trying has not yielded a pregnancy. So we take the next step up the fertility ladder: Femara and IUI.
Last night I felt pretty panicky about this. This feels like truly “leaning in” to this experience. Both Chad and I continue to feel somewhat ambivalent about it all. We feel at our capacity with our girls, and they aren’t easy. After a hard trip with them over Labor Day to California to visit the beach, Chad and I had a serious talk about whether we really should try for another child.
A week after that conversation, here we are starting medication and embarking on a $400 procedure to try to get pregnant! It feels like a big emotional step. Both Chad and I agree that we would regret not trying for another baby. I think we’d feel as complete as we can feel after our loss, if we got to have one more child. So we feel good about pursuing this. But we never imagined we’d be in a place where we’d need medical assistance to get pregnant.
That feels intense to me. If you know me, you know I don’t like medication. I don’t even drink caffeine anymore. I very rarely take pain medication unless I’m in a lot of discomfort. So coming from that place to putting myself on serious drugs, feels scary. And the drug they put me on, Femara, is technically a class D drug. It is known to cause birth defects in rats and so contra-indicated for pregnancy. The rationale, however, is that you don’t take it when you are pregnant. You only take it on days 3-7 of the cycle and it is supposed to promote my follicles to grow and mature better. By the time an embryo implants, the medication should be mostly out of my system so shouldn’t adversely affect the fetus. That’s the idea anyway. This medication hasn’t been approved for the use of fertility but it’s been used for almost 20 years “off label” for that purpose. But still, taking a medication that puts a fetus as higher risk for birth defects FREAKS ME OUT. This medication also increases the likelihood of having multiples. I think that would put us over the edge! We just want one more baby to round out our family. I’ve learned that life doesn’t listen to what I want though.
That’s the other part of this that feels so vulnerable. Four miscarriages later, I am struggling with feeling hopeless that we’ll have another baby. There are moments when I feel more than fine with the girls we have here with us now, and moments when I feel like our family, as it is, is all we can handle. But then there are times when I ache for another baby. It feels cruel that after all we’ve gone through, we don’t really get a choice if we get to have another baby. We might not be able to and that’s the reality. How many miscarriages am I willing to go through to reconcile myself to that fact?
That’s all my rambling for today. I took Femara, the first dose, today, so here we go. Deep breaths and honest prayers.