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Jul 31 / Caro

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

…Should you try again?

Ever since the failure of our disastrous second IVF cycle, we’ve know that at some point we’ll probably have to make a decision about trying again. Or not, as the case may be.

Much like the first time, in the immediate aftermath, it seemed almost impossible to put myself through that pain again. But quite quickly, this time, I began to reconsider. To think about whether I could end things on such a poor outcome. I thought about how, if we tried again and had a similar poor result, I could feel confident that that was how things were meant to be. Things having gone so much better the first time made me think, however, that we could also have a chance at another good cycle.

It could still all end in a negative though. After two failures, there is no escaping that fact. And would I feel any better in that situation for having gone through the process all over again? I’m not sure.

I still long desperately for another child. I long to experience pregnancy – even morning sickness – but definitely the kicks and rolls of a growing child whose heart beats inside me, alongside my own. I long to feel at first hand the joy of welcoming another baby in to the world. I’d love to breastfeed again, nurturing and providing for my child. I dream of snuggling a tiny, totally dependent little bundle close to me, inhaling that newborn smell. And then watching them learn, explore and grow in to a person to be (hopefully) proud of. I want all of those precious moments to happen to me all over again.

At the same time, however, I am also strangely at peace with the idea that it might not happen. Gone are the random bursts of crying that punctuated the early weeks of summer. For the most part I’m able to smile, and to laugh, without my thoughts continually returning to what I don’t, and maybe can’t, have.

What I don’t know, though, is whether this acceptance has emerged from the fact that I know we¬†can try again. Right now, the option is there. We haven’t closed the door on anything, so there is still a chance that one day we will be parents again.

And in a way that makes me frightened to try again.

If we try again, it will be the last time. Best of three. It might go well, but still result in no baby. It might go badly again. Either way, the odds aren’t going to improve if we keep going. We can’t simply keep throwing money at the problem in the hopes of solving it. And my emotional rope will run out eventually. We have to be realistic.

But if we try again and fail again, being realistic means accepting, finally, that there will be no more babies for me.

For now, I still have hope. In much the same way that I didn’t want to pee on a stick back during the long two week wait of our first cycle – because it had the potential to pop my bubble of hope – now I’m afraid to commit myself to the final round. Some days I think that I’d rather have hope than face the almost certainty of not being a parent again.

But there my logic falls apart. Because without trying at all, I’m facing that very certainty anyway. As the saying goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it. I’ve got to do the final cycle to have a chance.

It all boils down to comfortable, non-committal hope versus a the risk of a chance that could be the one.

Today, I think I might be brave enough to take the chance.

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