My posts so far have been sharing my background, and all of the twists and turns that have led up to this point. But I want to share where we are now… right now.. because it is absolutely surreal.
Two years ago, if you had told me that we would have tried unsuccessfully for 18 months without a having a viable pregnancy, I would have been shocked.
If you had told me three months ago that we would be traveling to Valencia, Spain, to meet with a world renowned doctor and (fingers crossed) start IVF treatment, I would have been incredulous. At that time ago our doctors, MH, and I had a plan: to complete a non-medicated IUI every other month, and to try naturally in the months in between. The agreement we had all reached was to give it six months. We believed that time, along with the Clomid MH was taking to help correct the male factor infertility issues, was the winning recipe to getting pregnant.
However, our plan disintegrated at the first IUI appointment. Shortly after the doctor removed the catheter, while I was still naked on the table, she told me we “probably want to move on to IVF”. I knew that statement was more of a directive than a suggestion.
So here we are in Valencia, with my IVF consult just hours away. By a serendipitous sequence of events this opportunity landed in our lap- or more literally in our home- by way of an Airbnb guest. And since I have been screaming to the universe that all I want is to be a mother, when the universe threw me a bone, I snatched that shit up.
Pursuing IVF in Spain was a simple decision for us. When we found out that it would cost almost $20K less than the US, that the clinic was best in class, and the doctor is world renowned. All of our boxes were checked and we ran to take that leap of faith.
The choice to pursue more invasive artificial reproductive technologies is an extremely personal decision, and the paths to finding peace for having to rely on a scientific process to do the work that our bodies have failed to naturally do are unique. For MH, he was happy with the path of least resistance despite the cost. For me, once I was able to forgive my failing and build up confidence to move forward with the potentially harmful procedure, the biggest chasm I had to cross was the cost of the treatment. To spend $30,000…THIRTY THOUSAND DOLLARS…it felt like a sin; it is money we do not have. And what if it didn’t work? It would take us years to recover. It would mean more years of waiting, more years devoid of bedtimes stories and play dates and lullabies. It was not only daunting when thinking about the “what if my body fails me after spending all of that money”, it literally made me feel sick to my stomach. I felt like I was being dragged down a path that I did not want to be on, but was I willing to risk years of resentment and self-loathing for the chance of success. I didn’t want to, but I was willing.
Packing to be away from home for several months felt surreal. It barely registered what I was actually pursuing, or where I was going. And that is the way I wanted it. Instead of focusing on the “what happens if this doesn’t result in a pregnancy”, I was worrying about which shoes will fit in best with Valencian fashion, how many bikinis to pack, and if there was going to be any surf. I was happily trading thoughts about sunning topless on Spanish beaches for worries about the stakes of this trip- and make no mistake- this distraction was intentional. MH and I were genuinely able to frame our upcoming travels as an adventure we were excited to embark, rather than a process we were beholden to.
On the overnight leg of the flight from Dallas to Madrid I was reminiscing about the only time I had been to Spain. Several Months after MH and I met, we traveled to Ibiza for his friends’ wedding celebration. It was during this trip I became enchanted with the island and the Mediterranean culture. We had the quintessential Ibiza experience: red wine buzzed never-ending dinners, dancing until dawn’s first light at Pacha to David Guetta and Dimitri from Paris, island hopping, and eating grapes and figs off the trees that lined our community’s streets. During one of our pre-dinner activities, we sat around a table and everyone answered the question of where they saw themselves in five years. When I was asked that question, I said that I hoped I would be married to MH, with children, and maybe even spending some time living in the Dominican Republic. That was almost six years ago, and after having navigated setbacks that I would have perceived as insurmountable then, we are returning to (almost) that same part of the world to make this dream come true. On this flight I looked at my sleeping husband in awe, and came to the realization that he must love me so fucking much to upend his life for the next four or five months to do this for me. We could have stayed at home, and yes, it would have cost a lot more money. But I knew he is taking this leap of faith for me.
And now that we are here, everything about our decision feels right. I am so grateful to have arrived in Valencia.