Sunday, 25 March 2012

A belly full of eggs and a head full of doubt

I have started writing this blog about five times over the last week or so.  I have deleted parts over and over again trying to put my thoughts into the right words.  I have read it and felt ashamed for being so self-centered, depressed that the words I read are as sad as my thoughts, mad because I want to not have the experience behind the story.  So I have edited it to the following.  This blog isn't written for sympathy, nor is it written for your judgement.  It is simply written in truth, and because of that, I know that we can not be alone in our thoughts, actions, or emotions.  If you don't have anything constructive to say, don't say it, if you can relate to me, please do...

This is our "last chance" IUI.  So basically, we're up to attempt three at this IUI process and if this one doesn't work the chances of it ever working are hugely diminished.  If this one doesn't work then we have one option left, IVF.  We knew this time might come.  It's something we were told we might have to expect, from the day we were told I had PCOS.  Yet, here it is, those three little letters: I.V.F. Which are burnt into our minds like giant, fluorescent lights in the night sky.  We close our eyes and there it is.  We open our mouths to talk and there it is again.  We try NOT to the think about it, but there it is still.  IVF!!  We get it IVF; your approach is imminent!  

And I think because we can feel IVF breathing down our necks, this IUI cycle is destined to fail.  It feels as awful to say as it makes me feel to write the words, but there is no part of this cycle that feels positive.  We "ummed and arrred" and debated heatedly for days prior to insemination day, even with the news that we had four big, fat follicles.  Mostly because we haven't really had time alone together in about six weeks (my shitty work roster and Hubby's other commitments), and IUI just felt like a big inconvenience to us both.  But, ultimately we decided that we wouldn't give up our chance of utilising the insemination process, in case we wouldn't get to see each other again during my fertile days.  Hubby worked the day of the insem. and so I attended the clinic on my own for the first time.  It all felt very unusual and surreal to be doing this alone, especially given the circumstances.  

At the end of the process I lay on the table, waiting for my 15minutes "warming" to be over so I could pay the receptionist and sulk home.  Fortunately my amazing doctor picked up on my low mood, leaned over and gave me a hearty arm rub and offered to wait with me, despite there being a waiting room full of pregnant women anxious for their appointments.  I gratefully declined and instead used my time alone to think.  This is not how I want my children to come into the world.  I do not want to believe it is easier to expect the worse, than to believe in miracles.  We are not those people.  We have waited 18months so far for our miracle.  It has been 18months of trials, tears, experimentation, disappointments, unexpected surprises, lots of friends and family having babies, and so much WAITING!!  And to be honest, we would go through it all again if we had to.  But right now, it's all too much.  I WANT this IUI cycle to work.  I am desperate for it to work.  I don't want to think negatively about the possibilities that this insemination may bring.  But it's all I can do at the moment.  Our brains are so committed to preparing us for IVF that we have totally disregarded this cycle as anything but a time-killer, one final stab in the dark.  And that in itself is enough to make us realise that we have had enough for a while.    

IVF is such a huge commitment in so many ways. If this is your belief too (and I would have to think that for most IVFers it would have to be in some way) that life begins at conception, than IVF is so much more than just me and my husband deciding to have a baby right now.  It's about the creation of life for any and all of our future children.  We are making a decision to create embryos which will hopefully be viable with life.  We are creating lives!  We are transferring those embryos to my uterus and praying like crazy to God that they implant, grow and be healthy.  My brain boggles at that in so many ways!!  If those cycles don't work, we have lost a life!  This is something we talk about so often now, its a more common subject than 'honey, we need to buy bread'.  We would like to have four children, but in order to give birth to four children, how many embryos do we create?  How many eggs do we harvest?  What if they all fertilise, and what if none of them do?  How could we possibly cope with more bad new at the moment?

We don't have the answer to any of those questions?  We have spoken to friends, family, doctors, and still we draw a blank.  We are not ready.  We need more time.  And so, in our jumbled world of overwhelming questions and choices we have made one very simple one.  It is time to stop.  Not permanently.  But for no indicated time frame at this point.  It is time to collect ourselves.  Clear our heads.  Reconnect as a couple and not just try-hard infertiles.  It is time to think about something other than 28 day cycles, temperature charting, needles, symptoms, timed sex, blah blah blah.  It is time to let go of the reigns we have been gripping so tightly for the last year and a half (or the majority of our marriage!).  

Trust me.  I say this answer was simple one, but it was very difficult one to choose.  The idea still makes me feel anxious, sick to my stomach.  Something deep inside me is telling me not to waste more time (probably my uterus), and something else is telling that voice to shut to hell up for a while.  I walk into work on a daily basis, where a number of the staff are now pregnant and glowing with their round bellies resting against their uniform blouses, and my anxiety kicks up a notch.  I want that to be me.  I want to be telling the world we're having a baby.  But I'm not, and won't be for some time to go.  So I deep breathe, rest my head on tables to lower my pulse and ease the red flush in my cheeks, and say prayer under my breath.  That is all the energy I have left for.  So I know, it is time to stop for a while.  I want to be with my husband.  I want us to smile together again.  I don't want life to be a timeline of scan dates and negative pregnancy tests.  I want to feel the warmth and wholeness that our love brings to life, build a fortress around it and prepare for the next unknown.

Until then, I pray that there IS a chance for our four little follies.  I pray that even if we don't know they can make it, someone else does.  I pray for calm.

  But I will sing of your strength,
  in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
   my refuge in times of trouble. 
{Psalm 59:16} 


  1. I just want to tell you to hang in there. I know it is so frustrating, hard, awful, so many things. But this whole process is making you a stronger couple. It's uniting you as a team before that little person comes along and alters life as you know it. You will appreciate your children more for how hard you had to work to start your family. And you will forget, not completely, but this pain and heartache will fade. Stay positive, imagine that baby sticking and keep talking, complaining, crying. Don't hold it in. And good luck!

  2. Praying with you that this cycle works. I know after about 18 months we hit our breaking point too. We had suffered multiple miscarriages and had lost hope and connection. Perhaps 18months is an infertile couples 7 years itch? We took a step back to reassess and remember who we were outside of trying to be parents. We had sex because we wanted to and not because it was the right time. And it was the best thing ever, For us, we decided to move onto adoption but if we had done IVF, it would have been the same intensity of stress and fear and I am not sure we would have survived without the break and the four or five months of just being us again. No talking about babies just loving each other better and with more intention. A strong marriage is the best gift we can give to our children. May you know God's peace and joy together as you wait for you babies to come...and praying that this IS your miracle cycle. Blessings.

  3. These are all valid feelings hon. You should be giving yourself time to make the huge decision that is IVF. We took five months between IUI and deciding to start an IVF cycle. I felt all the same things you do. It's sad and scary and overwhelming to think about what an IVF cycle entails. You have to be ready mentally and physically.

    There is nothing wrong in taking a break (if your IUI doesn't work) and spend some time being good to yourselves.

    I know you have a lot of questions about embryos and the IVF process. I know you feel that there are so many hard decisions to be made, and there are, but you will know what to do when the time comes. There are parts of life that you have to just take as they come and make the best choices you can at that moment. There are no guarantees with any of it and sometimes you can stress yourself out trying to make decisions (like embryo freezing, etc) without knowing what the actual outcome will be. If you get to IVF, you'll want to learn to handle each decision as it appears before you and not beforehand. It's good to have an idea of what you would want, but it'a just so unpredictable that you will go crazy trying to plan it out ahead of time.

    Take whatever time you need and just find some peace. You don't want to go into IVF with a heavy heart and overwhelming stress.

  4. Hey sweetie, you know I know where you are coming from. I so hope this IUI will be the one. My thoughts changed all the time during mine, from it will work to it won't to feeling like there were good omens to thinking all the signs pointed to failure. It is nothing to be ashamed of, that doubt. All your feelings are valid and important, and I don't believe you'll jinx it by just feeling less positive about this one. Being on a break myself, I can relate to what you wrote about wanting to reconnect with your spouse and not have life be encompassed by IF. For me it has been hard to be on a break, to "give up" for awhile, and sometimes the IF thoughts get the better of me. But I am starting to feel good about enjoying the little things in life again and break out of the IF tunnel vision. I know we don't "know" each other but our journeys are similar, and just know you can email me if I can give you any support.

  5. Thanks everyone for your kind and encouraging words. It's so nice to hear your thoughts and feelings being validated. I know that unfortunately so many of us have felt this way. Much love to you all xx

  6. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking about you. I hope that no matter how it comes to be, that you get to celebrate some fantastic news soon. I pray for calm for you too.

  7. thinking of you and praying for you. I am glad you posted this- it is so important to get your feelings out in the open so that they don't fester and ruin your chance at peace and hope.

    hugs from here.

  8. I just want you to know you are in my prayers. It is not an easy decision to move to IVF, but once you do some of the decisions will come easy, some will be made for you, and some will not be so easy. As an ivfer ive learned that it isn't the end all be all, so it is smart to take this time and then start refreshreshed. Good luck on the iui i hope itworks!