Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
After years of trying to get pregnant with in vitro fertilization treatment, Heidi Krupp-Lisiten has learned a lot about herself and the pitfalls of fertility treatment.
Now, she shares the emotional roller coaster of meeting with a Las Vegas-based specialist—Dr. Geoffrey Sher—for her eighth attempt at getting pregnant.
In the years I've been trying to get pregnant, I have tried everything. I have spoken to psychics, healers, energy workers and astrologists—among others—to help me attempt to "control" the situation. I met with an acupuncturist almost every day. In one case I carried a fertility photo from a tomb in India in my underpants, close to my uterus, to bring about what I still so desperately want—my very own living, breathing baby. I would try anything to help make it work. My doctor thought I was completely out of my mind.
When I finally realized none of that stuff was working or giving me what I hoped for, for the first time I let go and said, "Not this time." I surrendered to the universe, hoping for the best, but having walked down the road of the worst—keeping in mind there is a way I can and will have a baby, and allowing this journey to get me closer.
Sunday Morning: Leaving for Las Vegas
I've completed 10 days of follicle stimulation meds, and now I am off to Las Vegas by myself.
I haven't really focused on the cycle the way I would have in the past. I think maybe I am getting wiser, so keeping my focus on getting lost in work helped me pass the 10 days of shots that I had to give myself. My protocol this time was different in a very important way—fortunately, for both me and my husband, I didn't have to take Lupron every day. This drug, which affects estrogen levels, has the ability to turn me from nice "Heidi Jekyll" into savage "Heidi Hyde"—or at least some other alternative much-less-fun-to-be-around version of myself.
Over the past days I really committed to getting to sleep early, cutting out wine and watching what I was eating, and continuing my morning exercise as I usually do. I figured if I didn't allow myself to totally concentrate on the cycle and told myself I was just going with the motions this time around I would prevent myself from becoming carried away.
As always with IVF, I was taking the various meds and injections each night as though they were part of my routine—no matter whether I had a hot flash or a moment of exhaustion or a feeling of defeat, I just keep moving forward. I just did not allow myself to emotionally engage in what I was doing for fear that it would hit me suddenly, "What if it doesn't work?" In the past I relied on positive thinking, focusing on being extremely optimistic, just "knowing" that failure wasn't an option.
When I get into the car to take me to the airport, I realize that I have to let go. I made a commitment to myself, to Darren and to our doctor that I understood the risk that a woman my age isn't likely to have quality eggs. For once in my life, I allow myself to feel that instead of racing through it and pretending to myself that by doing so, I could deny this reality.
I burst into tears as I hug my husband and asked him if he will still love me if it doesn't work. I am as vulnerable as I have ever been, yet feel so protected at the same time. I let it out, I let it go. As least for now, I am able to release my fear—I face it head on, off I go to the airport, and now it's on to the beginning of the Vegas journey. I hope that what happens in Vegas, leaves Vegas—and grows for nine months into a healthy baby. Our baby.