Category Archives: Sadness

Today’s One Line

Today it is beginning to sink in.  Just one line yesterday, no pregnancy.  We’re off to the world of IVF (we think).

There’s not a whole lot more to say at this point.  I had this moment yesterday looking in the mirror, it was so palpable and distinct that we are on a different road now.  The hard road of investing a ton of emotion, money, appointments, hope into getting pregnant.  We’ve been doing this already, but now it’s to the furthest extreme.  The hard road that doesn’t seem fair and seems at times like it will be too much to handle.  Today I’m sitting with these feelings and stepping into our new reality.

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Today’s Metaphor

Ahhh…a week at the beach, amazing what it does for the soul.  I had a great week on vacation and away from technology.  It also was full of lots of observations and realizations, many difficult ones which made me all the more thankful that I was on vacation and had some space to take it all in.  Several of these observations came as a result of an unfortunate incident on vacation, so below I will share with you Today’s Metaphor.

Ways Infertility is Like Your Husband Losing His Wedding Ring in the Ocean:

1) Oh, crap.  Really?  That easy?  It was just here, within grasp, and now it’s gone!?
We assume all our lives that we will have a biological child, and yet seemingly so quickly the idea of that happening (or happening easily and naturally anyway) can slip away.  Seriously?  We’ve tried almost everything already?

2)  And there’s a sting ray in my face?!
And yes, a sting ray appeared right after he lost it.  Turns out you don’t just get dealt one bad card in your life, or in a month for that matter, like I used to theorize.  None of the other things this year have been dire, but I’m kind of ready for the poopy stuff to quit happening.  Don’t kick me while I’m down!!

3) This search is even more serious than “finding a needle in a haystack.”  It’s a gosh darn vast ocean, after all — that moves.  And titanium is light as all get-out.  This feels entirely impossible.
I will say it again, this feels entirely impossible.  That feeling of searching the water, the sand bars, the shores, the shells, it really was useless.  And felt all too familiar, too similar to our infertility journey.  Just standing there, searching feebly, getting hit by waves, sad and helpless.  If this is going to happen, it’s going to be completely the Lord.

4) “Nephews, we will give you whatever toy you’d like if you find the ring!”
Bargaining.  Third in the stages of grief, typically occuring after denial and anger.  Wishful thinking bordering on superstition, but it feels like it’s worth a try.  There was also something really comforting about having our family involved, everyone jumped in (literally) and helped with the search.  This, too, is what we need for infertility.  For folks to say “we’re in it with you,” to ask us about it, to not be afraid of our feelings, to get wet and maybe even knocked around in the waves with us a bit.

5) I’m grieving but it seems like everyone around me is frolicking happily along.
What an odd feeling to be searching for that symbol that has been a part of his everyday life in a physical way and a central part of our vow for so long, panicky and sad, but looking 20 yards over at people laughing and enjoying a beer and playing in the ocean.  It’s just an odd part of infertility, going along in your day and operating normally with grief close within reach all the time, but most people have no idea.

6) You could just stare at the ground the rest of your life and miss the beauty around you.
It was hard to not continue to keep one eye out even after we’d given up the search, and I would catch everyone else doing the same.  I’m trying so hard not to be obsessed with trying to conceive or all that I feel daily about it being so difficult.  I think there’s a real balance between glancing down occasionally, doing our part, but also remembering there’s a great big world out there for us to enjoy and engage in — the sun setting on the water, the enormous horizon seemingly all around us, family there, other things to talk about.  We don’t have to deny, but we also don’t have to let it rule us or (dare I say?) be an idol.

7) It could ruin your day (or vacation or life) if you let it but at some point you just have to accept it and say good-bye.
I wish I could say we found the ring, but no such luck.  There was something peaceful about accepting it was gone and that we could stop the search, say our farewells to the vast ocean that contains it, and mourn it.  (And I personally liked to imagine dolphins playing with it along with the four pairs of sunglasses, power ranger, headband, and goggles we also lost that week.)  Good-bye ring, and good-bye anguish with it.  No, we’re not there yet with fertility, we’re still hoping against all hope we will get pregnant, but I do continue to see the need for accepting where we are and even that conception likely won’t happen for us without IVF.  We are having to say good-bye to that picture we had in our minds.  There is something different for us and no matter how hard we fight it, we can’t make that easier path be true.

So those are my musings on those terrible moments, but really I felt like I was seeing a ton in them about infertility and about myself.

Other highlights of vacation, however, included riding waves on the sea kayak and toppling several times in front of hundreds of people on the beach.  I like failing when I don’t care, not to mention Hubs and I laughing a ton together.  We needed that.  I also got to talk to my dad more about what we’re going through and it was a really sweet moment.  I rarely in my life have cried or been very vulnerable with him, so it was good to let go and also to be comforted by him.

Perhaps the best moment, though, was taking the kayak out really far off the coast and Hubs and I screaming at the top of our lungs to infertility.  Don’t judge.  A hearty “F— you, Infertility!” or two works wonders.  I highly recommend it.

And finally, I put this label on myself about a year ago, but it is official: I am a severe pre-mourner.  As my sister and I planned the meals for vacation a couple weeks ago and we talked about our Friday meal, I started to feel sad already about the vacation coming to a close.  That was TWO weeks before the vacation even started!  I have a problem!!  She was kind to point out to me that there’s no wonder why I’m a pre-mourner as an (in)fertile woman.  Expecting you probably won’t get pregnant two weeks before it’s even possible — that’s the name of the game!  I guess to counter-act any potential hope crash.  So as I’m awaiting Thursday and the likely negative news (especially since we didn’t do an IUI this month), I’m trying not to feel sad about that yet or frustrated by all that’s ahead of us the following month.  The bigger deal is not pre-mourning a “no” with our final IUI and having to decide about IVF vs. adoption.  I want to strike the balance of thinking ahead enough to know where we’ll go next but also not borrowing feelings from tomorrow that do me no good today.  We’ll see how that goes.

So today my vacation is over and it is time to mourn that, but it’s also nice to be back to the pup, a warm fire in the fireplace, and the return of fall.  Maybe #6 is already sinking in!

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Today I’m Numb

An early BFN came my way yesterday — for those of you not reading infertility blogs on a regular basis, that stands for big f-ing negative (pardon my french).  Hubs and I were trying to process last night but realized, there really isn’t anything to process.  It just sucks.  We’re just not pregnant.  Again.  For like the 24th time.

I’m trying to muster up something inside of me to care about my really full workday ahead.  I really need the Lord for that one.

I’m also realizing this “no” feels like the beginning of the end.  If we decide to do one more IUI it will be our last and so this time next month we will know if we’re going to have to move on to adoption or IVF.  That’s looking pretty likely.  I’m trying to have a realistic and faithful amount of hope but also am preparing myself for that next step.

Enough of that depressing rant.  I’m treating myself to a chai latte as big as my head on my way into work this morning.

.   .   .   .   .

So I stepped away from blogging to get a call from my doctor — who called me back herself, by the way — and, in the meantime, the old clinic beeped in.  Chaotic morning calling doctors’ offices, playing phone tag, and I’m actually on hold as I “speak” to get an appointment nailed down.

However, I just have to complain here for a moment.  What’s worse than having to go to work when you’re super sad to see six patients, have a meeting, and class back to back?  When your first patient comes in and immediately announces that she’s pregnant.  Yep, that’s right people.  On her first month trying.  I just prayed “Jesus, fill me.  Help me.  Help me to be what this patient needs for 50 minutes, help me to get through these 50 minutes.”  So I just did.  I survived, and I even think I was helpful to her in that time.

Taking this day one step at a time.

Today Is Bittersweet

The hubs and I are celebrating our fifth anniversary this weekend and, while it is mostly a very happy time, it’s also of course colored by our very real and immediate reality of infertility.  So with the anniversary come some intense reminders and feelings for me.  Feelings about needing to take an hour of our anniversary to talk through recent information and potential upcoming decisions.  Of the juxtaposed bliss of our wedding day, looking at photos considering how that 5-year-younger couple had no idea of what was ahead of them.  And the fact that now 40% of our marriage has been full of unsuccessful attempts at conceiving.  Well now that’s a depressing way of looking at it.

The morning of our actual anniversary we were driving to the beach and the words “five year plan” kept coming back to me, hauntingly.  We’d always said we’d like to be married about five years before we had children.  I laughed this weekend at our presumption that we’d get to somewhat determine that.  When we were getting married we prayed about what God might want for us in terms of that timing and the five year plan is where we landed, so it’s not as if we thought we should be completely in control.  But of course we assumed we’d have much more say in it than it turns out we actually do.  I cried and mourned that this was now officially not true and not going to happen.

But, and please forgive my cheesy song reference, the song “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts (originally by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) was playing in the fertility clinic Thursday morning as we prepared for our IUI.  It immediately took me back to our wedding day (another overwhelming moment in the fertility clinic!).  This was a song my sister had suggested we play at our reception because she thought it so well described my husband’s and my story.

Our story, our path, wasn’t a smooth, linear one by any means.  In brief, it was one where we were in love but felt it best for both of our growth to part ways.  This was immensely painful and in a lot of ways did not make sense to us or to others.  But God made it happen and He then so used the almost two years before we got back together.  We both were very different people at that point, so much more mature, now both walking with Him, more aware of who we were and what we wanted.  Looking back I can truly say that I cannot imagine us having ended up together, much less having a healthy marriage, had it not gone that way.

So the song says:
I set out on a narrow way many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn’t see how every sign pointed straight to you

Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I think about the years I spent just passing through
I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You’ve been there you understand
It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true

Now I’m just rolling home
Into my lover’s arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I was comforted with, this time, a positive reminder.  That God had control over our relationship then and that I’m very much grateful — now — that He did and not us.  Let me emphasize again what a complete disaster it would have been if we had had it our way.  Disaster, I tell you.

And I was also comforted and felt very much at peace imagining that these lyrics may be ones we sing to our child one day.  That it was a broken road, we felt lost at times and blind to where we were going.  But that what felt like missteps or wrong turns at the time actually were part of the intended path.  Ultimately there was a grander plan leading us to just the children God had for us.

It so helps to remember.  How He has been faithful.  How He has redeemed my personal brokenness and Hubs’ and my shared brokenness.  How He’s orchestrating all of it and eventually it all really will be okay.  And those crooked paths, from that point someday when we do have our child, I imagine are going to look a whole lot straighter.

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Today It Rained and I Poured

And by today, I mean last Wednesday.  I hear you can take liberties such as these as a blogger, but I think I have a pretty good excuse.  Last Wednesday night a couple hours after finding out we again were not pregnant, I was being a dutiful conception-attempter taking my vitamins and somehow — I have no clue how — some water sneaked out of my glass onto my laptop.  Do you like the passive, it just happened to me language choice there?  It really did!  I wasn’t even doing anything stupid!  A frustrating and super long day at work and hour at the Genius Bar later, I knew that split-second mishap caused $700 damage to my computer.  And so, alas, I’m quite behind with my posts.

But yes, when it rains it pours.  And by pours I don’t just mean water on my laptop, I mean I cry big-time.  I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing my feelings so I was able to get through Thursday, but by the time Friday came around & I had my appointment with the RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist), I had my first breakdown at the Fertility Center.  I’m actually proud of myself that I lasted this long (minus the HSG when I made myself dissociate so as to not pass out when they had to start over because of my retrograde uterus!).  My doctor and the nurse were so sweet to me.  It really is amazing how far some good bedside manner will carry a patient.  Woot woot for Jennifer and Kelley.  They told me they’d thought my previous appointment with them would be the last time they’d see me and I could tell they both were really disappointed themselves that we (all) weren’t pregnant.  So sweet.  And in the back of my mind I’m thinking I hope they don’t blame themselves for it not working yet or if it never does.

Anyhow, this “no” was definitely the hardest to date and blame is a big theme here the last few days.  I’m really fighting the urge to blame myself for not being pregnant yet.  It’s so hard because there is a very real element of doing what you need to do — going to appointments, taking medication, home or doctor-facilitated “intercourse” at just the right time, and my all-time favorite, not stressing!  Don’t stress!  Okay!?  Don’t do it!  Be calm!!  I of course stress about not stressing.  May I now direct your attention to a much-beloved fertility internet artifact: “I Tried It: A Helpful At-a-Glance Guide to My Infertility.”  This is so great.  I checked 56.  No joke.

But really I am finding myself wondering if I should change my diet yet again (I’ve read two books on the subject already), start acupuncture, cut back on my work hours, make myself do yoga, etcetera etcetera.  What is the balance between obsessing and taking wise steps and being passive?  And how does God’s sovereignty come into play here?  Does He need me to spend extra time and money on acupuncture?  I kind of don’t think so.

These are really tricky questions and I don’t pretend to have any answers.  Of course I blame myself for the stinking 1/8th ounce of water on my computer, but really, am I honestly not going to drink water the several hours of the day I’m near my computer?  There comes a point with all of these things when we just need to be realistic with ourselves and not expect perfection.  Grace.  Breathing it in.  It’s not all on my shoulders.  It’s not all in my hands.  Usually that frustrates me to no end, but when I think about it from this angle — that it actually means that He is over all of these details and not me — that is an enormous comfort.  So for tonight I’m just letting myself be sad and trying to take all of this in.  And maybe asking my husband to tell me it’s not all my fault.

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