Ever since I've known that the likelihood of our ever having a child of our own is slim-to-none, even with medical intervention, I have probably asked myself "why?" more than any other question. For my readers who are also "in the sh1t" with infertility, I'm sure you've asked yourself some of the same questions. Why me/us? Why did I have to wait until I was 37 to TTC? (Well, the answer to that one is that I didn't meet my husband until I was 36. . . . ) Why can meth-addicted high school dropouts reproduce at will, even when they don't want to, and we can't? Why don't we deserve to be "blessed" with a child of our own? Why do my uneducated 20-something relatives have children and I don't?
Chief among my whys has been "Why can't we get pregnant?" Such is the particular frustration of being "unexplained." Yes, our RE has told us that our most likely problem is poor egg quality related to my age. But, at best, this "diagnosis" is an educated guess on his part. As my sister has sagely pointed out to me, it is also the most convenient explanation for an inability to conceive in a woman over 35. . . . and because I never tried to get pregnant when I was younger--in fact, I always tried NOT to get pregnant--we can't know that the problem is not something else which is non-age-related.
Because we don't have a true diagnosis, any treatment we try is empirical. It is not a case of truly treating a problem; rather, it is simply a case of "well, this has worked for some couples in your situation who have tried it." To me, this fact makes it particularly difficult for me to make treatment decisions.
Let me be clear: by no means do I think people who aren't unexplained are lucky or that I would be happier to know why we can't have a baby if the reason were something that would have the same effect, i.e., making it difficult or impossible for us to get pregnant. If I knew, for example, that I had blocked tubes, or I didn't ovulate, or I had endometriosis, it wouldn't make my infertility any easier to bear. (If we knew that MM had sperm issues, I know that would actually make all this much harder for him to bear. He takes some solace in the notion that he is not "the one with the problem.") So having a known problem perhaps wouldn't change our (already low) odds of conceiving naturally, and it wouldn't take away the need for costly intervention. . . . but it would answer that thus-far-unanswerable question of "Why can't we get pregnant?" It would be one less "why."
Contemplating a move to very expensive intervention--donor egg IVF costs around $30K, as opposed to the several hundred dollars each IUI cost us--has led me to even more whys. Why doesn't MM have a higher paying job? Why didn't we save the $15K we paid for the in-ground spa in our backyard, just in case? Why did MM have to buy a new car last year, just before we started IUIs, when his old car was in perfectly good condition? Why wasn't I born with a trust fund? (OK, I'll admit; I have thought of this one before IF.)
I swear, these days I am asking why more often than my 3-year-old nephew. So frustrating, especially when there is no answer to most of my questions.