I don’t really know how I feel about IVF

...and I need your advice!
Publish date:
July 16, 2012
health, children, fertility, ivf

OK, so, those of you who are interested already know that natural conception may well be beyond my body’s capabilities. I do, however, have the option of IVF in all its many and varied forms should I ever opt for them. I just don't know if it's an option I want to take.

Some of you may have noted the ‘I’ in the paragraph above doesn't extend to 'my husband and I.' My husband already has three children from a previous relationship, born within 20 sleepless months of each other, so he’s not actually bothered about having any more.

Unless I am, meaning I get to be entirely selfish about this decision. I also have parents who are not only understanding of my situation but not too bothered about whether they become grandparents at all. My Dad, I think, quite fancies it, if it does happen.

My mother on the other hand will be donning her sunglasses and sulky face for the duration of any pregnancy I do manage, and demanding the child calls her something like 'Yaya' or 'Auntie' when it reaches speaking age. She’d love the kid, she’s just not feeling being a 'granny'.

And In-Vitro Fertilisation, to give the process its full name, is not an easy option. It’s medically invasive, and can have a huge emotional effect on people going through it.

Not only because there’s a high probability that it might not work, leading some relationships to break down completely, but also because, according to many women who have been through it - not to mention the experts - the high-doses of hormones you have to take are likely to bring on the kind of mood swings that make you and your partner feel like you’re under attack. One woman I know, who never did become a mother, compared hers to those of “a pre-menstrual werewolf.”

I did a google image search for pre-menstrual werewolf and this was the first image that popped up.

So, at this point in my life, despite wanting to be a mother and not really having many other options bar a miracle, I feel ambivalent towards IVF. I don’t mean that as a judgment on anyone going through, or considering going through fertility treatments.

It’s more that having already had my allegedly reproductive parts messed with quite a lot, I don’t know if I can face going through any more of it. It’s uncomfortable on all sorts of levels.

IVF, with all its hormones egg harvesting, embryo cultures, embryo transfers and high rate of failure seems incredibly daunting. And that’s before I’ve even really considered the heartache that would surely accompany each failed cycle.

In short, I’m worried that’s a quick way of un-doing all the work I’ve put in to accepting the'high likelihood of never being able to have a child of [my] own' diagnosis that was handed to me ten years ago.

But, on the other hand, would having a child of my own be worth going through it all for? And will I ever forgive myself if I don’t?

Singer, super-vamp, and former Mrs. Andrew Lloyd-Webber Sarah Brightman is one of the few celebrities who has talked openly about the disappointment of not becoming a mother. I'm going to guess it's not what she's thinking about here.

I’m 30 and need to start thinking about it soon if I’m to give myself the best chances. I need your advice. Have you been through IVF? Would you?

Should I put my fears aside, or am I better off just counting my blessings and accepting the fact that I’ll probably never be a mother with grace a la Sarah Brightman (we look slightly alike and she’s one of the few celebrities willing to talk about the disappointment of never being a mother. Best I can do)?