As I listened to Monica moan about that fact that her husband has put his feet down concerning any more fertility treatments for the time being, my heart went out to her. She felt he was being inconsiderate, as saying no more fertility treatment meant she watched her fertility dwindle and not be able to do anything about it.
You see, they did not just get here. This was officially their fifth year of waiting, besides the “obligatory” first year of waiting. Throughout those five years, they had done all sorts, seen all sorts of specialists, tried Clomid, Femara, brought her high prolactin within control, they had moved on to IUI thrice, and it failed woefully. They moved on to IVF, after saving for months.
It failed, because implantation did not happen. That was sometime this year. In this same year, Monica had lost her job, leaving her husband as the only one footing the household bills, not forgetting their now expensive fertility treatments and such. It was no funny business at all.
With the remaining of their savings, after the failed IVF cycle, Monica had started a small business, selling creative art supplies, with a bit of school supplies too, as she deals mostly with schools. We were both making rounds of school at the same time, but for different reasons and we got talking, The Fertile Chick came up and there, the TTC sisterhood just got another member.
Monica wants to try again but her husband doesn’t even want to hear anything starting from I and M right now. Forget about completing it IVF or saying Money. He overreacts, recalling the hundreds of thousands that they had spent with nothing to show for it. The number of hours, he had “wasted” in the waiting room of their clinic, (which, by the way, I have never heard offered IVF), the man was just tired. With the downsizing going on in his organisation, he is on edge as to the future of his career, and with the economy in recession; this is not the best time to be talking about undergoing another expensive fertility treatment.
In fact, his new mantra is “Let’s grow this business very well. It might be feeding us soon.” Right now, Monica and her husband are speaking different languages, all thanks to the dreary economic situation that means that their baby-making plans would be placed on hold for some time.
Another TTC mom did not even get to the IVF stage, before she threw in the towel. Maume and I had grown up together. At almost 13 years of age, when I started my period, Maume, at 15 years old was yet to see her period and she did not see it until she was almost 20 years old. So, for years, while myself and my sisters and cousins had become experts in changing sanitary pads and knew the various brands and their staying power, Maume was strutting about aunt flo-free. There were times, we wished we could trade places with her…if only we knew what that really meant.
No one had thought anything was wrong with her, as her mom said she started her period later than usual too. But with so many concerned questions coming in, Maume was taken in to see a doctor and that was when the bad news was delivered. The fact that she hadn’t get started seeing her period, even though had gone through other stages of puberty, meant her chances of being able to conceive were almost non-existent.
For a long time, we did not hear anything; even Maume was close-mouthed about what went on during her hospital appointments. I guess that is not something you discuss easily, even with childhood friends. She eventually opened up and it was a bit emotional. Here was a young lady, with her life of her, and then she had to deal with the fact that a baby was not going part of that life.
But she held onto the hope that her mom, who had started her period late too, at age 18, went ahead of have 6 children, almost back to back. So she hoped same miracle would happen for her too. Nay, it did not happen.
She got married two years after I did, at age 25. It was to a man, who had been married before. He even had two young kids, whom she loved like she would have loved her own kids. Sometimes, I think that Maume intentionally went for a man who had already had kids, so as to reduce the pressure to have a baby herself, because she had some interesting suitors back then, all eligible bachelors with no childrenren, some with no previous serious relationship sef. I guess, I will never know for sure, why she married him and you know what, it doesn’t matter.
One thing going for them was the sincerity of their love and the beautiful way, they blended their family. It was more of Maume doing most of the work, but she did a beautiful work of becoming a de facto mom to the kids.
Inspite of the doctor’s verdict years earlier, Maume tried to have a baby. She tried and failed but she kept trying until, one day out of the blues, my sister called me to tell me some symptoms and asked if they were signs of pregnancy. I said, they were classic signs and cautiously asked who was having those symptoms and hoping it wasn’t my baby sister o.
She eased my fears, when she told me it wasn’t her but Maume. I quickly called her, even though we hadn’t kept in touch much by then, she truly had those symptoms, the pregnancy test she did too confirmed, she was pregnant. Unfortunately, she lost the baby three weeks later because her hormone levels were just not going up at the levels needed to maintain a pregnancy. Her ovaries were aged far above her biological age.
Maume had another miscarriage and then her doctor suggested IVF. That day, she called crying about where she was going to get the funds to do IVF. I did not know much about IVF back then, but imagined that it was something only the elite could afford and here was a nursery school teacher, being asked to go for it.
Without being told, I knew it was a foregone conclusion that they would not be able to afford it. Maybe if we had pitched in, who knows, but that would have been embarrassing in the least for her and us too, whom she would have had to explain why she needed the bail out.
With that door shut firmly in her face, Maume turned her sight on natural therapy and they were many choices, it was now a matter of choosing a genuine one. Before she met the right person, she tried several and it was failure galore.
She had given up hope, when it happened. She got pregnant spontaneously. It was absolutely unexpected. She did not believe it herself. When it was confirmed, she waited to miscarry, but even that did not happen! That baby girl hung on tight, till she was delivered after close to 42 weeks of gestation.
Maume named her Iyanu (Miracle) and that’s what everyone calls her. Maume hasn’t gotten pregnant since that time, almost 4 years now, but the last time we spoke, she wasn’t bothered. If it happens, all well and good, if not, it was also absolutely fine. But she wasn’t trying any more fertility treatment and that was it.
Her family is complete and the boys love their newest sister like nothing else. She is everybody’s darling, such a sunny child with a disarming smile, that literally pulls at your heart strings. And with the fact that she is a reminder of what God was capable of doing in spite of medical diagnosis, Maume can literally go to bed and rest easy. God is in charge!
There are so many other reasons couples say no more to fertility treatments, asides from financial concerns, some range from faith issues to psychological issues. But it is still a decision, couples would have to make on their own. One can only hope that before it gets to this stage, a miracle would have happened.
Godspeed mamas and Dads too!
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