My theme this year is IVF/ICSI, a process we’re starting at the moment and today it’s L for Love.
Chances are, whatever your reason for needing fertility treatment, there’s a massive factor in deciding to do it; love. You probably have other reasons as well; you want to meet someone who is the genetic mix of you and your partner, you want to add to your family and have another person to share birthdays or holidays with, everyone else is having babies and you want one as well. But the main reason is because you love your partner and you love the idea of making and raising a little person together.
Excuse me, I might be getting a little bit mushy here.
Let’s face it, the term ‘labour of love’ is surprisingly apt for the process of IVF. I’m not sure that anyone would willingly put crazy drugs into their system that make their ovaries swell as eggs develop and put themselves through the stress of the blood tests or scans if it wasn’t for a huge amount of love.
And although the love you share as a couple is a big factor, there’s also another element of love in there as well; the love you already have for your unconceived child.
It sounds kind of weird but before you even start IVF you’ll have composed an idea of your hypothetical child. You probably first imagined them when you made that heady decision to dispense with the birth control and to start trying for a family. If you’ve been trying for a while they might have changed a little bit. In the beginning my hypothetical child was very definitely either a little girl or a little boy (depending on my mood at the time). Nowadays it’s just a child of indeterminate sex, I guess because gender isn’t so important to me any more.
I’ve spoken to people online who have said that when they first found out that their eggs had fertilised and their embryos were developing they felt an overwhelming surge of love and a desire to protect those little bundles of cells, their potential-babies. I guess there’s some deep mothering instinct at play there, the knowledge that between you and your partner you’ve created life and you want to help nurture it.
If you’re on the outside looking in, it may seem weird that someone can feel such strong emotions for something that isn’t technically a baby yet. Just remember, by the time a couple gets to that stage they’ve probably been waiting quite a while to get that close to pregnancy. And they’re doing it because they love each other and the idea of their prospective child or children. Bear that in mind when you’re commenting on the process.
Obviously I’ve not been there myself yet. Hopefully I’ll get there in the next couple of months. Until then I’ll keep on focusing on why we’re doing this.
It’s all about the love.