Long time no see, fertility sisters!
Last year, I vowed to myself–whether I have a baby or not–I wouldn’t let another woman feel alone in her fertility journey if I could help it. And out of the blue in August, I stopped posting. It wasn’t that I wasn’t motivated to post–I was. I wrote many drafts, rewrote them, and agonized over them before deleting them in the end. They were too raw, desperate, angry… just a total depressive mess as I got closer and closer to the end of my fertility treatment, my hope plummeting faster and faster until the absolute last second when it felt like all was lost.
I also had other posts mostly or completely written during fall, but they didn’t feel right to post yet. I’m glad I listened to my gut! Now that it’s after the fact, there’s so much I want to add from my new perspective. There are even a couple of “lost posts” I thought I deleted but didn’t that don’t seem as emotionally dark as I originally thought. I’m debating on maybe posting those in the future. 🤷♀️
In my opinion, too much of the internet’s fertility content is over-negative as women publicly drown in their despair and desperation. It’s awful. I don’t want to add to that. I want to actually help, provide a sense of sisterly community for other women experiencing fertility struggles to feel less alone. So I waited, and waited… until now my fertility treatment is over, and it feels like the worst of the raw, miserable grieving might be over, so I can write about this topic in such a way I don’t take other women down with me. I want to show others how to think through such a difficult, emotionally draining part of their lives much faster than it took me the years to figure it out on my own.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020: We had our last (eighth) IUI. It felt really good, like a special life-cycle was ending. My LH surged on its own and I didn’t need my Ovidrel to force ovulation, which hasn’t happened since I ovulated on my own toward the beginning of my fertility treatment in February of 2020 (even though I still needed Ovidrel for that one 🤷♀️). It just seemed fitting for the last one. I felt more hope than I had in months, and it felt right. I was unexpectedly excited, despite feeling for some time I had lost the capability of being excited for anything in life.
Tuesday, January 6, 2021: My period was due, and it didn’t come. I was trying not to get too excited after the constant, crushing waves of disappointment that came before, but I still was, very unlike the rest of last year. To add even more to the “life-cycle completion” feeling I had, the financial advisor from my clinic called as a courtesy to tell us if we wanted to come back, we would have to pay completely out of pocket. This surprised us as we thought the allotted eight IUIs (or two IVFs, if we chose differently) reset with each year like health insurance usually does. Apparently not. Thankfully, we weren’t planning on going back if I wasn’t pregnant anyway. Both of us are done actively trying, mentally, emotionally, and I’m done physically. We want to move on with our lives. That phone call, though, added the cherry on top of the cycle-ending sundae in my spiritual eyes. It left no option for us to go back in the future if we changed our minds–we wouldn’t without insurance.
Wednesday, January 7, 2021: That morning felt amazing, with so much pure, good energy in the air, the clouds glowing in such a way I swear angels were watching us. I felt great, even more excited. I wasn’t feeling “period-y” at all, no cramps, nothing. I went to my blood test at 8am, came home. About three hours later, my period started, and I was like, “God, you’ve got to be kidding me right now!!” I angry-prayed to Him and demanded answers. Why? Such infinite, divine hope before getting blood drawn that morning, to then get my period soon after!? What a ridiculous waste of hope and time. To top it off, my awesome nurse from the clinic still had to call and give me the bad news, which just compounded the whole experience even more. Nothing felt real. As each minute went by, it felt more and more like a nightmare that wasn’t my life, like the sky was falling around me, like all the joy had been sucked out of the world. It was over. Over. What now? Why go through all of this to not have a baby in the end? I drank in bed, shook with sobs, and wailed to my husband we were never going to have a baby and he held me for I don’t know how long. Time didn’t exist for us.
It was the worst day of my life.
What made it worse was my spirituality (believe it or not!). I didn’t wake up and decide one day to have a baby, or even over time. I woke up one day and knew it was time. No thought involved, only a gut feeling. In my last post, I talked somewhat about how I was intuitively led and felt two spirit babies (still am and still do). I continuously received these huge, encouraging signs, and I felt like it was finally it, that I was finally pregnant, to then not be, over and over. When you have constant, overwhelming disappointment after each divinely-led surge of hope, it’s even more devastating than without the signs. I felt like I was doing what God was telling me to do, so why wasn’t He following through with the two babies I felt were promised to me? I’ve read about other women who intentionally let their spirit babies go because they decided ultimately to not have children, and they believe their spirit babies were conceived by other family members later on. But I want kids. I’m not letting my spirit babies go–they’re mine. So, now what happens to them? I know I went through this for a reason–even after everything–I just don’t know what that reason is. When I figure it out, I can’t wait to share it with you. I want other people, too, to see there is a reason behind their pain, even when it doesn’t feel like it, even when it’s unimaginably, uncomprehendingly dark.
It’s only eleven days later, and I still feel lost. Obviously, I’m not going through menopause yet (for reference, I’m only twenty-eight and my diminished ovarian reserve is so advanced my doctor estimated I will probably go through menopause in my mid-to-late-thirties) so it could technically happen, but without medical intervention it could take a miracle (although, babies are already miracles, aren’t they? 😉). I’m rewriting my life one day at a time, and I don’t have all the answers. I went through three years and nine months of trying to have a baby… for what? For nothing? I might not be pregnant, but I don’t believe it was for nothing. I’m a different person, life-exhausted, less hopeful and less sunshine-bright, but I’m much, much stronger. And I believe it will get better, I just don’t know what I want anymore. What does my husband’s and my life together without children look like? I’m not sure yet, and I don’t know when I’ll know. Eventually, for sure! 😅
Currently, I’m purposely avoiding phone calls and visiting with friends and family. I feel deeply relaxed in my own little world, and I’m rejuvenating slowly without feeling obligated to talk to anyone, focusing on activities I enjoy, trying to keep my stress, panic attacks, and depression to a minimum. I need this space to heal. I don’t want the pity, and I don’t want to hear about how some woman got pregnant against all odds by doing this or that–that’s her story, not mine. Her story doesn’t give me hope because I don’t know how it’s going to turn out for me, when I’m a completely different person with my own soul purpose and my own soul journey in this life. I just want to live. If a baby happens for me, great, but I REFUSE to hop back on that hope-disappointment-despair-repeat rollercoaster. Never again.
To tomorrow, ladies. 🥂 May joy find you, against all odds.