Glen and I are hoping to start IVF fairly soon. I say hoping, because it’s been a long, long process and I’m utterly convinced I will do something to stuff it up. That probably sounds stupid as, at this stage, there’s not much I can do except take the hormones, try not to go (even more) bonkers, pray and wait. But – I have Eating Disorder Guilt, I don’t think I’m an adult let alone a Woman and frankly, after years of beating up on my body I don’t expect it to work. I expect the consultant to look at me and laugh. I expect to fail. And I’m too scared to hope.
With the sort of IVF we’re going for, the odds of conception are very slim. Normally in IVF they harvest 12 eggs and have a stab at fertilising them all. Success rates vary, but out of 12 eggs, let’s say four or five successfully fertilise. Some of these may be ‘weak’ embryos, so in most cases, the team will select one (or two at most) and implant them. The remaining fertilised eggs are either disposed of or can be frozen, (tho only 60% of fertilised eggs will survive the thawing process).
So – in conventional IVF, you select the best egg out of the original 12 to allow for the fact that some won’t fertilise and some will be weak. Depending on age and other factors, (but taking us as a case study), the odds of success are between 20 and 30%. Each couple makes their own choices, and ours is to only fertilise eggs we use (a maximum of two instead of twelve, with no selection and no freezing).
I know that God can work miracles and I know that He’s in charge – but the odds here aren’t great. And maybe that’s where the self-punishing comes in. See, in a situation which is totally out of my hands my temptation is to grasp control. If I can’t guarantee success on account of my goodness, I opt for a share of the blame on account of my badness. Either way I tell myself I’m somehow in charge.
Proverbs says “The lot is cast into the lap but every decision is from the LORD.” This turns my world right-side up. It’s not about random odds. And it’s not about me. It’s about a LORD who has shown Himself trustworthy. That’s what I’m trying to hang on to.