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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

IVF and adoption

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  • #1098755 Reply
    Anonforthis
    Guest

    Hello all –

    I could use some outside perspective on a longstanding discussion between my husband and I. We have been struggling with unexplained infertility for five years and have had a rough time of it (miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, chemical pregnancies). We have tried just about everything (medicine, lifestyle changes, IUIs) and are now starting down the IVF path. Our first round of IVF failed and it was pretty devastating both financially, physically, and emotionally. We are taking some time off of trying to conceive and are discussing our options while we pay off the IVF cost. Without getting into too many details, we have both agreed to give one more IVF round a shot as we would be able to do so financially and our doctor still thinks we have a chance at pregnancy by IVF.

    Our issue is that we do not know what we will do if the second round does not work. We really do not want to go for a third round. A third round would mean we would be spending over $60k (total) as fertility treatments are not covered by our insurance as well as all the emotional/physical trauma. Despite its separate challenges, I have been interested in adoption if IVF does not work. My husband, on the other hand, would prefer to remain childfree if IVF does not work. He has a stronger opinion on our children being biologically related to us. We have kept our discussions civil and communication open, but I am not sure how to bridge this divide as I have always wanted children. While we are both seeing therapists for this, our friends and family have not been all that helpful through our infertility process so I would love any advice/opinions/commiseration/positive stories about adoption or IVF. Thanks in advance.

    #1098762 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    This sucks. I have a friend in a similar boat right now, and her husband would want to pursue egg donor next, but she prefers adoption because she’d rather not have a kid that’s got his DNA but not hers. I guess the difference though is that they both want to still pursue trying to have or adopt a child some way, whereas your husband would prefer not to, and you’d like to adopt.

    I’m interested to hear what others think, but unfortunately I think it’s one of those situations where the spouse who doesn’t want the kid outweighs the one who does, because it would be bad to bring a child into a marriage that one parent has serious reservations about. Would you rather be in this marriage with your husband, child-free, or in your heart do you think you’d rather pursue having or adopting a child even if it’s not with him?

    #1098763 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Since you said you welcome positive stories, I know many people who had 1-2 kids after 1-2 failed rounds of IVF. One I know for sure was with an egg donor. The others, in one case I’m sure were not because the girls look exactly like their mom, in other cases not sure, but it never would have even occurred to me that the kids didn’t share both parents’ dna.

    #1098766 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    I too know someone who successfully had twins with an egg donor. Actually she then dove into a new career working as a fertility liaison to help people understand all of their options, tests etc to get to the heart of infertility problems. I can give you her information if you think that would be helpful. I don’t know if she’s still doing that but she’s pretty open with her struggles and what she did to get pregnant. It’s not always as simple as extract egg, mix with sperm, replant.

    I also know someone whose husband was not interested in non-biological children; she was ambivalent about kids so they didn’t have kids and it’s probably for the best.

    If your husband is always going to look at the child and see $60-80K that could be used to do something else… please talk through your next steps with as much transparency as possible. A kid doesn’t need that burden.

    If IVF fails and you’re out the $60-80K – can you live with that? Do you think your marriage can survive that? If not, then please seek therapy to talk this through before you go the next round. You can’t get the funds back, and pregnancy and parenthood can be challenging without the financial issue hanging over you.

    #1098770 Reply
    FYI
    Guest

    I mean, unless you think your husband’s preference tells you something irredeemable about his character, I would recommend focusing on the round that you’re on.

    In other words, instead of trying to plan four chess moves ahead, just focus on the agreed-upon decision — which is for a second round. Try to relax into it, even enjoy it as another part of the adventure y’all are on together, and then see what happens.

    Speculating about what you’ll do if this doesn’t work — it just doesn’t seem that helpful to add that stress. You haven’t even started round two yet. Stay in the day to the extent that you can.

    #1098774 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    It seems the fact of biological relationship is the determinant for each of you, but in different ways. He is primarily interested in carrying on his genes. You want to nurture a child, but not if the child is your husband’s but not yours, biologically. Neither of you sees paternity strictly in the sense of who nurtures the child. A lot to think about there.

    #1098799 Reply
    Dear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Ugh, I’m sorry – this is a difficult position. Best wishes for a successful second round on IVF!

    I have several friends who got pregnant the old-fashioned way after several failed rounds of IVF. Sometimes, giving up the stress of that helps prime the woman’s body for conception. If that doesn’t work, would you consider an egg donor? I have at least one friend who got pregnant with a donor egg (husband’s sperm) after years of infertility struggles (Similar to your own).

    Finally, I think if you can’t come to an agreement on a path to follow if this round of IVF doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to do some deep soul-searching and decide if your desire for motherhood is stronger than your desire to stay with your husband. If it’s not, you stay together and accept that a childfree marriage is likely the one you’ll have forever (and that can be a wonderful and fulfilling thing).

    #1098807 Reply
    Vathena
    Guest

    I’m sorry you have been struggling with this! I agree with FYI that just doing the next right thing (if I may quote “Frozen 2”) for now will serve you well.

    I am sure you already know this, but adoption isn’t a much easier process than IVF. It can also be very expensive and not a sure thing. I don’t know what the stats are exactly, but I’m guessing there are many more people wanting to adopt healthy newborn babies than there are healthy newborn babies to adopt. Adopting and older child from the foster care system can be extremely fraught, as the children often come with trauma and special needs – I know I personally wouldn’t be equipped to handle that. I have a family member with a horror story of adopting a little girl from the system. International adoptions can be difficult and expensive as well, and come with the added shadow of possible human trafficking. I’m always a bit irked at the people who toss off, “well, you can just adopt!” like it’s as easy as going to a shelter and picking out a kitten.

    #1098809 Reply
    Vathena
    Guest

    (I’m sorry – that wasn’t very helpful lol.) I do have a good friend who had success with IVF and a surrogate. Talk about an expensive process! I know someone else through my network who has adopted 3 biological siblings, one as a toddler and 2 as infants, in an open adoption – I think the birth mom has a pretty complicated situation and possible drug addiction, but it seems like the kids are doing okay. I believe at least a few regular commenters here have experience with fertility treatments and adoption, so perhaps they will be able to weigh in too. Sending best wishes for a successful second round!

    #1098816 Reply
    Anon
    Guest

    Hi! I too struggled with infertility and IVF for many years before ultimately succeeding and having my 2 kids. We went through multiple clinics and Drs and genetic testing and embryo freezing, etc, etc so I get it. The one thing that worked for me every time was acupuncture. And not just once at the time of the embryo transfer. I did it for months and months leading up to my transfers and for months while I was pregnant. Also, gluten free worked for me as well. The only times I got pregnant and carried to term (twice) included both of those changes. My well regarded Repro Endo had recommended both so I figured what did I have to lose. I also agree that adoption is not easier per se and not always the answer. We had started looking into it as well and I decided I just couldn’t take her heartbeat if a birth mom changed her mind partway through. And I can also say that having kids is life changing and SUPER hard in the best of situations so if your spouse is not fully on board with adopting, I can see that being really difficult. Best of luck with your journey. I know how difficult it is.

    #1098817 Reply
    Muffy
    Guest

    Is surrogacy with one of you left eggs and his sperm an option? It’s expensive but if you both create viable embryos you could freeze those while you save for surrogacy…

    #1098818 Reply
    Muffy
    Guest

    Was just supposed to say “with one of your eggs” not your left egg

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