Coping

There is a quote from Laura Bush floating around the internet:

“The English language lacks the words ‘to mourn an absence.’ For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful, some not. Still, we are conditioned to say something, even if it is only ‘I am sorry for your loss.’ But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent, ephemeral shadows over their lives. Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?”

Infertility is hard. People who haven’t been through it cannot understand what it is like month after month, year after year to fail to achieve something that comes so easily to so many. And while you might feel it took so long to get knocked up with your six months of trying, anyone who can conceive in the privacy of their own home has it easy in my opinion.

I am lucky though. I have an amazing group of friends. They may not know how it feels to spend 2+ years trying to have a baby, one year of which involved multiple physicians and procedures, over $15K in medical for expenses for something most people get for free, to finally get that positive pregnancy test only to start bleeding 5 days later like some cruel joke. But they all know what I need in that situation: “Let me know if you want to talk” and waiting for me to come to them. And when I do need to talk, they listen. They don’t offer advice (trust me, we’ve tried everything), they don’t think we are crazy for doing what we are doing (no one has suggested we should “just adopt”), they just listen to me pour out all the convoluted thoughts I have in my mind, nod at the appropriate moments, and give me a hug when I need it. I have really good friends.

I have other sources of support through all this. A is the rationale one in this relationship, and he prevents me from making emotional, irrational decisions. He’s optimistic, and is right there along with me through all this. I’m seeing a therapist, which helps more than I imagined it would. I wish I’d done this sooner. I’m going to a Resolve support group, where I get to sit with a group of other infertile women and vent once a month, which is also great. I’m back to acupuncture, I’m doing yoga and I started running again.

I think it is easy to forget about your mental health in this whole process. You become so focused on each cycle, that you can forget about your non-reproductive life. I was on the verge of losing myself with this last cycle. I was just so desperate to do something, anything to get our baby. But I can’t give up the rest of my life for that quest. That would just be another thing lost to infertility.

So as resistant as I was to this break, it really is the best thing for us and our future family. And as A points out, three months really isn’t that long. It will be April before we know it.

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One Response to Coping

  1. Cristy says:

    Found your blog through a friend who has been following you (we both went to UW). My story is similar to your’s: unexplained infertility with a miscarriage following IVF. Thinking about the same things you are and hoping that your doctors are able to give you some insight into why this is happening. In the meantime, I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am that you are living with this. Infertility is an awful disease that many live with silently. Please know you’re not alone in this process.

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