Filled with anticipation I eagerly watched the 60 Minutes update story on Mary Coustas and her husband George Betsis and their quest to become parents. If you hadn't seen or heard, I won't keep you in suspense. It happened, healthily, on November 25, 2013 when their beautiful daughter Jamie was born. I was and still am absolutely thrilled for them that their dream really has finally come true.
If memory serves me, Mary had said she lost count at how many IVF attempts they underwent, but calls it at least 20. Twenty!
My husband and I underwent one IVF cycle. Just one. It is a big ask of a woman's body with all of the injections, ultrasounds and monitoring. Walking with ovaries full of eggs is no mean feat I can tell you. Egg retrieval is uncomfortable and painful. Like many things, unless you have done it, it can be hard to comprehend just what is required and what your body goes through. Personally, I think with IVF it is mandatory to keep your eye on the prize.
I can distinctly remember discussing a 'Plan B' with my husband. If our first IVF cycle was unsuccessful, what was our Plan B? I knew I would need another focus, quickly, if Plan A went pear-shaped. Our Plan B was simple. We had two embryos stored. If our first attempt was unsuccessful, we would allow ourselves the sadness and disappointment that is only natural with not being told the magic words of 'you're pregnant', then we would dust ourselves off and get ready for attempt number two.
Emotionally though, I really didn't know if I could take it. I have only described the physical toll IVF preparation takes in the earlier paragraph. The emotional toll is almost overwhelming. Desire is what gets you to the IVF clinic and is what keeps you going. What is overwhelming is knowing damn well IVF is your last resort to fall pregnant. If this doesn't work, there is nothing else. Nothing. Nahda. Zip.
We were fortunate that our one and only IVF attempt resulted in my pregnancy and delivery of our healthy first born son.
To repeat that process twenty times? Wow. My heart breaks and I literally shed tears to think of the sheer disappointment Mary and George faced time and time again. The questions they must have asked - of themselves, of their specialists. I take my hat off to Mary and George. That is one hell of a commitment to their desire: a desire to become parents and a desire to exhaust ALL avenues. Giving up just wasn't on the cards for them.
Jamie Betsis sure does have some awesome parents. I'd like to be a fly on the wall the very first (and I am sure only) time she says "I can't, it's too hard." Now that will be an interesting discussion!
At Not So Secret Women's Business, it's about giving credit where credit is due. It is definitely due on this occasion. Congratulations to the Betsis family. With persistency came reward.
Photo credit: 60 Minutes