I was racing through Walmart the other day. I had a random list of things to acquire, and I had ping pongged all over the store a few times to get them. I was getting ready to leave and realized I forgot something way at the back of the store, so I doubled back one more time to get the last missing item from my list. I cut across the center of the store and without thinking, I walked right into the baby section of the store and it stoped me dead in my tracks.
Infertility will cause you, sometimes even subconsciously to avoid certain people, places and things just so you don’t have to deal with how they make you feel. The baby section is one of those places for me.
I remember before we lost our baby, the first and only time I got to visit this magical land as an expectant mother. It was right after we found out we were pregnant, and before the ultrasound that ruined it all. I was so happy. A bit overwhelmed as I’m sure every mother to be is, but so thrilled to be there for myself instead of everyone else! I’ve “baked” a gaggle of diaper cakes, gone to a thousand kid birthday parties, baby showers and for once I’d get to feel what this was like!! I remember tearing up and texting my friend what I was doing. It all seems so silly and arbitrary but to me, that moment was everything.
Now, standing in the baby section I felt my knees start to give and I the tears start to swell up in my eyes recalling that special moment in time before things got so complicated. I wondered if I will ever get to have that feeling again… and suddenly felt like all eyes in the store were on the crazy lady about to lose it at a Walmart and I hastily bolted out of there.
These are the moments I try to hide from. It’s not always Walmart… sometimes is people in my life that make it hard for me to live this infertile life. I can’t explain it, and it’s hard to defend myself when it happens because I know it’s not fair, and I feel guilty for even feeling the way I do.
The pain, and grief that is loss and infertility is the most complicated and confusing thing I’ve ever encountered. Chances are, if you’re reading this you know the struggle or if not, you know someone that does. It’s is difficult to know how to handle this very fragile friend. The best thing you can do is to be there, quietly and carefully and without trying to fix anything. Just be here, and be gentle. We are the most broken , fragile and fierce creatures and we just want to be understood and accepted, just like you. Isn’t that what we ALL want, in some way?
I crave acceptance and validation. We all have hidden emotional land mines and try as we might to navigate our lives to avoid them, eventually we’re going to forget where they’re hidden and have to deal with a blowout. As for me, I’m still trying to figure out how to responsibly deal with my issues without emotionally injuring myself or others. Results vary, and that’s is ok too.
I’ve been having a super hard time sharing lately. Some of you may have noticed I’ve been abnormally quiet lately. Trying to figure out my “spin” on some frustrating feelings and it’s a tough thing to pin down.
We’ve made some choices lately, awesome, exciting, selfish and fun choices that are not in any way fertility serving or related. I’ve been having trouble allowing myself to be happy and confident about them. We deserve to have fun and do things that make us feel happy, remind us why we love being together and make our bond stronger…. but in making those choices we removed other opportunities and choices regarding future fertility treatments.
We’ve spent the last 8 years trying to get pregnant- and for the last year of that it has been the primary focus of our lives…. and it’s HARD!!! It’s mentally and physically taxing. We’ve suffered loss, and somehow at the end of that difficult year we are and aren’t closer to reaching the finish line. We know now IT CAN HAPPEN now….. but the questions and challenges still remain and I find myself wondering WILL IT happen more often than I care to admit.
This journey is one of pain, longing, stress, and a lot of telling myself to be stronger and more positive than I may actually be. I want to bring light and positivity to others…. but at the same time there are so many days where I just can’t get it up for the world and I just want to feel frustrated and angry that for some reason the universe continues to withhold the last missing piece and I can’t for the life of me figure out WHY!!!!! Despite so many other amazing things that may be going right— this one missing piece haunts me.
Meanwhile, when I look up from my own journey I feel my heart break wide open for others that are fighting their own battles that are totally different than mine. I tell myself to “suck it up” and shame myself for indulging my feelings because others “have it so much worse”…. and while all of that may be true…. one journey cannot possibly be measured against another.
Every journey is unique and no one else is strong enough to move the mountain that has been assigned to you. It’s grueling…. and all the more laborious if you don’t allow yourself to experience what you’re feeling and constantly suppress and stifle yourself for the sake of putting up a brave face.
Today, is Cycle day One… and I hardly have words for it. There were lots of signs, symptoms, and it felt like the world was finally set right and things were aligning perfectly just for me!! So for my AF to show up today just seems a bit cruel and unfair.
And there’s no explanation, no refunds, no redemption.
It’s a bit of a gut punch. Coming off the high of a wonderful vacation with my love, with the hope that later this week I would finally get my BFP (big fat positive)… only to begin my period a few days early is a hard pill to swallow.
I’m doing my best to remain positive. It’s easy to be grateful, I know how very lucky I am to have this awesome life, as well as a caring and considerate parter to hold my hand through it all. But I can’t explain away the hurt, disappointment, and numbness that comes with such repetitive failure after trying as hard as we do.
Dreams sometimes take their time coming true. Sometimes your heart gets broken… and you have to Rest, Repair and Rebuild. Never Give Up.
- Cycle Day: 42 (17 days past possible late ovulation)
- Pregnancy Tests: Infinity ⛔️
- Mental State: Impatient
This week’s excerpt has been one of the hardest for me to complete. Which, is astounding when you consider the very personal and detailed information I’ve shared over the last few months.
This week not unlike others, I struggled. I was emotional, confused, scared, angry and fearful about nearly everything but mostly the uncertainty of what lies ahead in the future. Being stuck in an extended holding period like I am, causes a lot of anxiety– apparently.
This cycle is lasting a very long time which is both good and bad. It’s good, because there is still a glimmer of hope that I could turn out to be pregnant, but bad in that despite my period being late I have not yielded a positive pregnancy test. This uncertainty tends to unhinge me a bit, and it causes the less rational and destructive parts of my brain to take over the controls.
I have never even realized that this alternative psyche existed until recently. I’m very rough on myself. Far more critical to myself than I would be to anyone in the outside world. I tend to have the highest of expectations, and very little patience for failure or for waiting in general. Not a good thing when your primary goal involves mostly waiting!
I found myself mid meltdown this week trying to figure out what tipped me over the edge…. and I couldn’t! I sat crying in a bathroom stall at work, feeling afraid, sad, and guilty for feeling all of the above! Nothing specifically happened to me, other than this sudden tsunami of emotion, that may have been purely hormonal.
Luckily, since my loss in December I have started seeing a therapist. I have regular appointments set every few weeks and while some times I see her with nothing serious or upsetting to report, others like this week I was able to work through all of these feelings to a constructive end. There is no measure for the benefit I have realized with therapy.
In times like these, the only thing to do is: LABEL the feeing….. “I am anxious because I do not have control of these circumstances”. Then, TAKE AWAY THE POWER, by doing anything that you CAN control. Any distraction is typically GOOD distraction. The last thing to do, is to reaffirm positive statements to yourself. For me, the internal voice comes at a whisper and usually I don’t even realize it’s happening until the damage has been done. It whispers of failure, paralysis, weakness and all at once I am consumed by a deep fog of doubt, fear and sadness. The only way to prevent or reverse the hostile take over is to remind myself that this place is not permanent. My journey is far from over. I am doing everything I can to make my dreams come true– and I am.
- Cycle Day: 7
- Fertility Treatments: none
- Mind blowing epiphanies: Infinity
- Emotional State: Calm
One really gross thing you may not know, when beginning an IUI Cycle, the first order of business, alongside blood work is a very graphic and intrusive transvaginal ultrasound on the 2nd or 3rd day of your cycle. I mean, of course it is! I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do on the 2nd day of my period that have a dude jam a 12 inch rod up there and poke around a bit!! — Said no one ever! It really is terrible – and I’m sorry if that was more than you bargained for, but its reality man, deal with it! So it’s really no wonder why I wasn’t rushing to start a new cycle after the completely brutal failure from IUI #5.
Leading up to the start of this cycle, I was running away from some very strange feelings. I tried to brush them off has hormonal nothings, and ignored some pretty clear messages I was trying to send myself. At that point the only message or feeling I was into was submission. I felt like I was being shoved into a locker by a bully and just decided it was easier to stay in there hidden in the locker instead of facing my bully. Just do whatever Infertility says, go along and somehow this will all be ok. The bully will go away and I’ll get through this!
Finally the voice inside had enough, got irritated, spoke louder, and all of a sudden it was clear to me. “Stop. You just needed to stop. You need rest. You need to recover. You are not ready for more hormones, and everything that comes with treatments. And, all of that is totally ok.” Whoaaa!?! Voice in my head, that’s a lot to take in! The concept here is really scary and foreign to me! Anyone who knows me, knows if I’m in-I’m all in!!!! It’s been the same with fertility treatments, we’ve gone head first into this world and I just expected that if I just keep plunging forward everything will be ok. It’s not. Apparently, there is a breaking point and I had finally reached it. Fighting against it only made everything worse.
Now, it was all starting to come together. I heard the voice, clearly and leaned into those feelings instead of pulling away. I was amazed, how easily I was able to own these words once I said them out loud. I expected them to be rough and poisonous as they left my tongue- I expected to feel ashamed, but instead l, felt a freedom and peace I have not felt in months- maybe years!??
That internal conversation has caused me to question everything I’ve felt for the last several months and years of my life. I’ve been consumed with making a baby that I have completely neglected to listen to even the most basic messages coming from inside for fear I would be judged, fear I would fail, and fear that I would miss my chance.
Trying to make a baby has made me so frantic!!! It’s more than the cliche internal ticking clock. I had bullied myself into thinking that time is my enemy and it was quickly running out! “Can’t waste a single cycle!” “Try harder, you’re not trying hard enough!” “This is all your fault, you could have done this better” — jeez I’m such a jerk to myself!!! I would never talk to any of my friends like that?! Why was I being such a jerkface to myself!!??
When I really stop to think of all the times when I am depressed, saddened, lost, or confused it’s horrifying to realize that the reason is because the bully inside me has been saying these awful judgey things and I’m just going along believing them all!!!!
Sure, going through this struggle with infertility makes me hyper aware and sensitive to shit most people don’t even think of, and that’s tough. But this whole time I’ve been made to feel like there is a whole suite of exterior pressure coming from others when in reality the only one applying any pressure is me.
May 22, 2017
Roller coaster does not quite cover it.
I feel like, my emotional state is a moment to moment thing. One second I can be totally calm and certain that I am totally going to be pregnant this cycle…. then I blink and all of a sudden a tidal wave sweeps over me and I’m suffocating in thoughts of fear, doubt… and anxiousness.
Any signal I get from my body could mean I’m pregnant– or it could mean my period is eminent!!! It’s soooo fucked up!!!!! I have no clue what to think. I want to remain positive but I want to prepare my heart!!! I’m so torn!
You know it’s bad when you are afraid to go to the bathroom for fear you will find what you already expect that the liner you put down just in case is now no longer a preventive measure.
Wanting to find out, but knowing I’m not ready for the results because it means there’s a 50/50 chance that it’s over. I’m not ready to give up! I still want to fight!! I want to punch and kick and scream and claw as tears run down my face — because I’m not done yet!!!!!
I want this baby! This life!!! This chance!!!!!! I need this chance to prove I WILL be a good mother. To see what our kid would be like?!?! Please!!!!!!!!
I don’t know how else to fight… I tried with everything I had this month! Every time I had to do something hard, or painful I’d tell myself “it will all be worth it”….. but now sitting here thinking my period is coming I have to wonder….will it!???? I’m so tired and beaten down. What else can I do but plead and beg to a God I’m not even sure can hear me… please!!!! Please don’t take this chance away!!!!