Friday, September 16, 2011

"My Infertility Is Ruining Our Marriage"

Well, not exactly "ruining", though I'd be lying if I didn't admit more than half of our arguments (knock down, drag out fights on occasion) are based around our struggles to conceive. Below is a long (but IMHO, useful) e-mail exchange between myself & one of the other women in my infertility therapy group. D. is a true vet who has been TTC for well over 5 years & has had multiple failed IVFs. I consider her sharing this info & her input on what Vid & I are going through to be quite helpful. Here ya go:


Hi A.,

I was at the hair dresser today and there was an article in a magazine about a couple experiencing infertility and what they did to resolve it. I was thinking of you....I wished I could have ripped out the article and given it to you, but I felt funny doing that. They were a bit older than you...wife was 37, husband was 35, but there were some similarities to your situation. They could not agree on a path forward. The wife was told she had DOR and that donor eggs were the only option. She didn't like that option (she was fearful of IVF and didn't like the idea of donor) but was open to adoption. She was Indian. She felt that if they were to dish out over 20K for donor, she'd rather go forward with adoption since there was almost a guarantee to get a baby in the end. Her husband, American, wanted to do IVF with donor so he could have a biological connection. He was stubborn. They both weren't budging. He thought he couldn't love an adopted child like "his own" and that there are a lot of stories of adoptive children having problems.

They ended up going to counseling for over 9 months. During this time, the counselor made them face their behavioral issues (her being too emotional, him being too angry and flippant), then moved onto asking them all the pros and cons of both options as well as how they would feel about various aspects of each choice, focusing on the bad and good of each aspect, ie: what were here concerns over ivf, over donor, how would she feel about carrying a child not of her biological makeup, how she felt about having a baby that did or didn't look like her (being she was Indian) how would she feel if it didn't work out, financial aspects, what they were willing to accept on the adoption front, why he felt he wouldn't love an adoptive child as much as biological, were his concerns over adoption real of just based on get the picture. But it was a bi-weekly or monthly meeting where they got together with this counselor and she would ask different questions to ponder and they'd discuss them in the next meeting, having had enough time to think about it (when they wanted, not a forced time based time).

They ultimately came up with what was the best decision for was trying one cycle of ivf with a donor that was Indian and looked like the wife and if that didn't work out, they'd pursue the adoption path. Well, surprisingly, they found an Indian donor close by (they said it's difficult to find Indian donors), chose her, but then she backed out at the last minute. After this, the husband saw what his wife went through with this disappointment and would put herself through with the process in general. Something clicked within the husband and he was open to considering adoption. They ended up adopting an Indian foster child (I can't recall, but I think it was from India - pretty bad, since I read that only 4 hours ago) and were happy with the choice.

I guess I thought of you because I know you are at an impasse. I felt for you in our last meeting when you expressed your heartfelt feelings about the relationship you have with your mom and if you'd become a mom...and about the impasse you are at with your husband. I haven't read your blog yet, so I don't know how you are doing lately, but I think that with some work, you guys will figure out what is best for you in terms of treatment or adoption. I know it is and has been a long road, but hang in there. Don't forget, it took that couple in the article about a year and a half for them to come to their decision. I think I've expressed how long it took me to move forward with adoption. I have also read several blogs of people who went through infertility and didn't agree with their husbands on a path forward. Sometimes, when they thought their husband wouldn't budge, he just may have taken a while....or they decided to give. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but figured I'd let you know I was thinking of you and hoping that you and your husband can somehow come to an agreement on a best path forward.



Here's the article she was refering to. Good God, it's like they're talking about us! My response to D. after reading the article:


Hi D.!

I asked on Facebook if anyone knew about this article. Lo & behold, a friend posted the link on my page:

Same link as above.

God, that could totally be us. I feel like we're wasting time & money by doing more tx while my hubby is "convinced" they will work. I think it's just because he so desperately wants a child with his genes & his mom's terminal illness has made him even more adament. Not that we can afford egg donation (we're lucky enough to have 80% infertility coverage but freezing & donor are not part of it) but it really doesn't appeal to me anyways.

We've pretty much compromised @ this point that I will be an IVF cycle but that's probably it. And if we're lucky enough to get embies for an FET I'd try with them (freezing is about $500 for the year whcih I will scrimp & save for) because to me, they're my kids & I want to give them a chance @ life. It's not that I'm against IVF or anything, it's just I think my time & finances would be better served by adopting. Egg donation just doens't appeal to me; don't know why. But that's just my opinion.

I've made it very clear to my hubby I am not going to live "child free". Heck, we started TTC just a few months after we got married! I know he wants kids too but I think he's in denial that they may not be ours biologically. And I have a hard time with him pulling the "adopting's not part of my culture" card when he married me, a non-Hindu & non-Tamil & when he eats steak & then proceeds to go to temple. :)

I guess it just comes down to I want closure: I want to stop worrying about "if" I will become a mom & move onto "when" I will become a mom. I know adoption is not easy or quick but by moving on to that I feel like I'd finally be leaving behind the hell of the last 3.5 years. There are so many kids in India who need adopting: perfect little girls abandoned simply because they are girls, kids of both sexes abandoned because of a simple medical condition like cleft palatte that can be fixed with a $500 operation, etc. I want to start the ball rolling before the rules get changed & we cannot adopt from there; I don't want his feet dragging to cost us the chance to parent.

In closing, if you don't mind, I'd like to turn this e-mail exchange into a blog entry. I will of course take away identifying info, but I feel this conversation has been very beneficial to me & may help others out there. Thank you so much for being part of our group; I often think of you as the wise swami up on the mountain top with all you've been through, lol. I know you've called yourself a "veteran" in the past & I really appreciate your knowledge, candor & thoughtfulness. See you next week!



Just thought I'd post this here in case any of you on the interwebs may benefit from it. I'd love to hear your thoughts too! :)


kthappy76 said...

I am so sorry that you have this conflict, though it sounds like as you are able to move along w/IVF, hopefully things will come together for you, one way or the other.

I know that for us, talking seriously about what would have been our next steps: cycling OOP in or adopting from India, gave me the reassurance that even if we had to literally go to the ends of the earth, we would find our babies eventually. I actually had a dream that we adopted one when were there this time last yr, as they donated FIL's things to an orphanage, but unfortunately for us they don't just hand out babies. (((hugs)))

~M~ said...

Thanks for sharing that article! ...this would have been a better post to share the interview on me & dh (I commented somewhere on an older post). I'm so sorry that you're having so much conflict over your family-building. I hope that eventually you will both come to an agreement that brings lots of happiness to both of you!

Rachael said...

It's like you wrote about our situation almost exactly. We don't have the different ethnicity part or their diagnosis, but everything else is where we are right now. I'm in such a holding pattern right now. I've so over cycling. Every once in a while I see a crack of light in his opposition to adoption but then it goes away again. I'm not going to be child free. I just don't know if my marriage will survive if he refuses to adopt.

Kerrik said...

Thank you for this post. I found it so honest and interesting, especially with my husband also being Indian, and coming from a family far less open to adoption.

Before doing IVF, we did find a level of agreement that had IVF not worked, we would have most likely gone forward with adoption (most likely from India) - and we still might if we experience secondary infertility. Still, it is always a difficult topic to bring up, especially as I find him casually referring to adoption as our "worst case scenario".

I hope you and your husband are able to find a common ground in all this. All the best,

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Talk soon.