Thoughtful Thursday: Far

December 10, 2009

Thoughtful ThursdayHow far would you go?

My husband doesn’t like What If questions. He finds it pointless to dwell on the hypothetical and instead prefers to deal with actual situations as they arise.

Separately, he really really likes tigers. Whenever we hear about the slaughter of tigers for purposes like creating alleged aphrodisiacs with their penises, he gets terribly angry.

So, you can imagine his frustration when I asked him last year:

If you had to kill a tiger for us to have a child, would you do it?

Oh, he did not like that hypothetical question about slaughtering a tiger at all, not for its penis nor any other part. Eventually he grudgingly acknowledged that if there were absolutely no other way, conquering infertility would trump his love of an endangered species.

Thankfully, it never came to that. Also, tiger penis doesn’t really cure infertility.

We did, however, resort to other avenues that we didn’t envision when we started out. Injecting myself with hormones derived from hamsters and from human urine. Draining our savings, then waiting a few years and draining our savings again. Spending the equivalent of a part-time job, for many years, on treatments and on tears. So many other things that, when I started out, I never thought I’d do.

Because really, I would have done nearly anything for a baby. No amount of money, no number of years, no measure of pain would have been too much. Some people are more sensible and less obsessive, and they know their limits. I wouldn’t have hurt any people (or endangered species), but there’s not much else I wouldn’t have done. I honestly don’t know whether that’s good or bad.

How far would you go (or would you have gone) to have a child?

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22 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Far”


  1. Such an interesting question. I would have to say no. I don’t handle disappointment well, so for the sake of my mental health, I always have to put limits on my desires. And early on, I set limits to how far I would go to have a baby. I’ve mentioned before that we were willing to try IVF three times before we started looking into adoption, and even then, we would have opted for toddlers if a baby proved too emotionally or financially expensive.

    Strangely, I used to ask myself how far I would go to sell a screenplay or novel, and I seriously would have gone after that dream until the day I died. I never would have given up.

  2. Cat Says:

    When we first started TTC I thought I’d never do IVF. That IVF was my limit and if it didn’t happen any other way, well then, it just wasn’t meant to be. But after trying the old fashioned way for 1+ years and then finding out my tubes were blocked it took IUI off the table and IVF was the way to go. I don’t know when my mind changed, but somehow it did. Maybe it was watching our friends’ international adoption take so many years or the rare news story about a birth parent who changes her mind years later or feeling like we had to try everything available or we’d regret it later. Somehow adoption seemed scarier than the invasiveness of IVF. If our cycles hadn’t worked, though, we’d have adopted, no question.


  3. “Also, tiger penis doesn’t really cure infertility.”

    Darn. I’ll have to cancel that shipment. 🙂

    I definitely had limits. After one devastating round of IVF, I knew that I didn’t have the emotional, physical or financial reserves to go through it again.

    Luckily, after that, the path was easy. No animal sacrifices required. (although we talked about it, hehe).

  4. Elana Kahn Says:

    I would’ve done anything to have a child. Thankfully all it took were 3 months of clomid, 5 cycles of IUIs and 1 IVF. 🙂 I would’ve done more IVF cycles, added ICSI, PGD, Intralipids, anything and everything the doctor suggested. I would’ve done GIFT or ZIFT, but I don’t think I would’ve done donor eggs or sperm. I really wanted to have my own genetic child with my husband, so using a donor probably would not have been an option nor would adoption. But to have our own child genetically I would’ve done anything.

  5. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    Well, if it boiled down to animals…I would rather have hackled elephants than tigers… 🙂

    I have still not let go of the feeling that I am capable of having biological offsprings, so I cannot currently visualize adoption as a far-flung option….but if my Clomid cycles do not work again, I would like to go for IVF/wICSI again…

    Having been through with 4 1/2 IUIs and 1 IVF, and several medicated cycles, I think I could continue on and on till atleast I breached the age of 36. And that would include more medicated cycles and more shots at IVF. For the latter, my biggest problem is logistics, because I need to shift my base to a different city for the same…but I am willing to go to an even bigger city, and spend 2xsmaller city IVF cost.

    I have already participated in religious rituals meant at removing doshas and enhancing the possibility of having kids, something I would not have readily swallowed a few years back…

    I have cut down my soft drink and chocolate intake (come on, that does count in the extent) and so…

    BTW, completely based upon gut feelings, I am very positive about 2010.

  6. kittyquilt Says:

    When I first hit infertility, I was ready to do anything. When I found out we would need to do IVF/ICSI to have a chance of getting pregnant, I was all for it (after we saved up enough money, of course). When I found out my FSH was high, I became desperate to do IVF. I figured I needed to have at least *one* chance to get pregnant, even though I knew there was a good chance it wouldn’t work. We started to talk about getting a loan to do an IVF cycle, something I really didn’t want to do… but like I said, I was desperate.

    Somehow all of that didn’t feel right though, and so I did the one thing I thought I would never do… I gave up. I think that was the hardest thing I have done in my life. Giving up (and moving on) seemed like the “right” decision, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do. At all.

    It has been a year since that decision, and my husband and I just got licensed to do foster care (hoping to adopt). We could get a call about a baby any day now. I’m sure I’m closer to being a mom now than I would have been if we had gone the IVF route, but it’s not how I had hoped it would happen. So I guess that’s how far I went… to the point of giving up (some of) my dreams.

  7. samcy Says:

    Hmmm this is an interesting one.

    When we started this journey nearly 6 years ago I said I would do WHATEVER it takes and have done pretty much everything from doing headstands after sex (early ttc days obviously) to injecting myself to spending huge amounts of money, to acupuncture, to chinese herbs, to IUI’s to IVF and now to GIFT.

    While I still have the biggest desire for motherhood and pregnancy, as I face my 5th BIG ART procedure in 3 years, I’m finding that I’ll still explore my options but realise that those options might no longer extend to WHATEVER it takes.

    *sigh*

  8. Suzette Says:

    Such a creative and interesting way of writing. Perhaps I would give up half of my life to have a baby smiling on that baby seat.

    As a woman, it could be the biggest achievement and fulfillment I could have in my life, no questions questions about that. Wink! Also, I don’t personally believe in rituals for pregnancy.

  9. Miss Conception Says:

    After nine years of infertility, miscarriages, a failed adoption, and a diagnosis that perplexed doctors, and exploring many, many options, we are finally parents. Having achieved our family through embryo donation, I know that I would have stopped here. We wouldn’t have had the funds for donor eggs, nor would we have had the funds for surrogacy. Money and age would have been our hindrances.

  10. Heather Says:

    I don’t know about killing a tiger, but 10 years of off and on infertility treatments, acupuncture, changing my eating habits towards a traditional Chinese medicine diet, chiropractic, etc. I think I’ve gone pretty far to obtain our three kids.

  11. Ana Says:

    Once I decided we were going to go for it, I think I would have done whatever it took, in the confines of our finances & medical science today to have a child, whether biological or adopted. (those, however, are pretty big limits!). Obviously (or maybe not so much?) anything involving hurting another person physically or emotionally would not be considered.
    That was me. Not sure DH was on board with this. If it came down to it, I would have been willing to compromise, I was certainly not ready to give up my happy marriage.

  12. jill Says:

    *I* would do whatever it takes to have a child. (Short of most things illegal like murder, etc) I would be very careful with money – that’s just how I am – so things like IUI or IVF might be far between while we saved. However, my husband is involved in this decision as well and he has many limits that I have to respect. I chose life with him first.

  13. a Says:

    Well, I was pretty lucky in that all I had to do was inject myself with heparin twice a day for several weeks. I want another child, and my husband said that he was willing to go as far as we needed to have another one (however, he is completely clueless about success rates and complications and side effects. I ought to hold him to it, to make sure he does his research before he agrees to anything in the future). However, I am not willing to go that far. I feel like it would be pushing my luck, in a way. I’ve already won…I feel like I should stay out of the race.

  14. Valerie Says:

    For us, we’ve spent at least $30,000 dollars on IUI and IVF treatments in hope of having children. We were surprised with twins and now hope to have them soon. I’m 31 weeks along. In my opinion, we’ve gone pretty far…

  15. deathstar44 Says:

    Preaching to the converted here. DH only wanted one IVF, we ended up doing 4 (the last one being unmedicated). Hubby kept a running tab, and I just got more depressed. We just wanted to stop throwing money away on faint hope.

  16. staciet Says:

    Farther than I thought, as I am not finished yet. I just don’t feel like my family is complete, which feels totally selfish in a way–like I am not grateful enough for my beautiful boys. Maybe when I can’t scrape enough funds to pay for everything? I don’t really know, but I sure hope I have success again before I have to find out. Sigh.


  17. It’s hard to say, I know when we were doing IUIs and they all ended in BFNs I was not ready to give up at all. There was IVF after all. Luckily the first time worked. We would definitely have tried a second time if the first IVF would have been unsuccessful. And a third and fourth time (the limit for the French state insurance). But then? I honestly don’t know. My husband once said we would move country again after that, so we get another round of 4 somewhere else. Luckily we didn’t have to go that far. I just don’t know where my limit would have been…

  18. Photogrl Says:

    When I stepped into my RE’s office 2 years ago, I never expected that we would go all the way to IVF.

    I could get pregnant, I couldn’t stay pregnant. I figured that we’d never get to that, because surely IUI would be our magic ticket.

    I’m so glad that I opened my mind to the possibility that maybe we should try it. But if we hadn’t been so lucky, I think this would have been the end. The weeks before my beta, it seemed my mind had started to accept that Miss O. might just be an only child.

  19. Cara Says:

    I just love the way you put things…

    Interestingly, my need to have children began so early in life, too early, that my struggle was to keep my maternal drive in check until such time that conception was appropriate.

    And then, I caved. I couldn’t fight it anymore. Once I found him, we had a baby immediately. It was more a mental caving than a planned pregnancey – but even so, we all know when you give your body cellular permission for something, it responds.

    Odd answer I know, but mine. Our story is less than linear!

  20. Jules Says:

    A bit late……….

    I can answer what I thought during TTC but now that we were successful it’s something to ponder just how far if things hadn’t turned out. I wasn’t thinking we’d do IVF but I really can’t say – it may have happened had the final IUI not been “the one.”

    I honestly doubt I would have gone to the furthest extent in terms of finances or emotional strain. The deal was to take an extended break on both accounts after IUI #5 at which point we’d decide on IVF. Luck would have it we never got that far.

  21. K Says:

    I can say that I don’t know the answer to this question because like so many others have echoed, I never thought I would go as far as I did. I can only imagine if I was not pregnant now, how far I would have been willing to go.

  22. erica Says:

    I went pretty far when it came to ART. I went on a four year binge and my body was completely broken. We then moved onto adoption and I believe that all of the challenges that faced both emotionally and financially made me really committed to being a mom. I’m still not done fighting my way through infertility. I want more babies!


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