Tuesday, March 02, 2010

You Know When It's NOT a Good Time to Start a Happiness Project?

I'll tell you when. When after 27 months of trying to get pregnant, you finally decide enough is enough.

Our IUIs busted again this month. That's 4 IUIs, one of them back-to-back. Next stop is IVF-ville. And I can't do it. I can't hurtle my body into menopause with drugs so that I can then throw it back into overdrive to make my ovaries spit out a dozen eggs. I can't feel the pain of those follicles exploding and filling with fluid for days after the procedure, sending me from a size 10 to a size 14 within the span of a few hours. I can't walk around looking 6 months pregnant for 2 weeks, knowing in my heart that that's likely as close as I'll ever get to really being 6 months pregnant ever again. I can't keep taking progesterone that mimics the symptoms of pregnancy so that every month I allow myself to hope, just to keep looking at one pink line on a pregnancy test over and over again and calling the clinic to report my cycle-day-1. I wish I could do it. But right now I just can't.

I'm so tired. To my bones. In my heart. Just exhausted. I remember saying to Husband when it didn't happen the first month, "Don't worry; just because it happened right away with Ethan, it might take us a couple of months this time." What I would give for my 2010-self to have been able to whisper in my 2007-self's ear then. To let me know it wouldn't happen. Not in a few months, not after a few diagnostic tests, not after a year, not after rounds of treatments. Not after two years. I'm exhausted.

Someone said to me today "The miracle you pray for isn't always the miracle you get." And while this moment in my life feels like the universe cracking inside my chest, I know to some extent that is true. I was so elated when I found out I was pregnant with Ethan. And after only one month of trying! I was so relieved to find out how fertile I (thought I) was. I realize now that Ethan himself was the miracle, perhaps the one egg in my body that would work and that found it's way into life, and has turned into the most wonderful, amazing little man I could ever hope to be the mother of.

So yes, I guess tonight (and every night) in my gratitude journal, "Ethan's existence" is my number one item. Because his laugh and his hugs are getting me through this.

I am trying to find the positives in not having any more children. No fear of miscarriage, no invasive cerclage to deal with, no bed rest or hospitalization. No "Advanced Maternal Age" testing or test results to worry about. No NICU. No chance of colic or reflux, or a baby who won't nurse. No sleep deprivation. I can start to think about going back to work sometime in the next year or two. We can save more easily for college. We will only need a three-bedroom house. No sibling rivalry.

All of these things make me feel better about closing the door on this particular part of my life. But I will still be the woman who can't look at a pregnant belly walking by me without crying a little on the inside. And I worry that, as happy as I know I will be for friends who share pregnancy news with me in the future, I will cry a little inside then, too. I've discovered recently how many break-up songs on the radio can be applied to the loss and grief of infertility--it's pretty embarrassing to be sobbing at the traffic light over a Rob freaking Thomas song, but there it is.

Husband wants us to keep the door open to IVF in the future. And I won't deny him that; this is his future, too, obviously, and I want him to have as much of a say in it as I do. But that's hard when it's my body going through the treatments and my body that is deficient. When it's me who is failing month after month to fulfill our hopes. I'm trying to keep an open mind. I know myself well enough to know that bad memories fade from my mind quickly--perhaps in a few months time I will be willing to go through with a round of IVF. But not now. Now I want to forget all of this, and focus on the miracle I do have.


18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love you Sarah. You are an amazing woman.

Uncle Al

Alice said...

Oh Sarah. I can't say it any better than your Uncle Al. Sending some internet (((hugs))) your way.

kimberly/tippytoes said...

It really is brave, you really are brave. Even if it only ends up being a temporary brake - it's such a hard decision to make.

Dana said...

Sarah, It does get easier. It won't always feel this raw. I'm really sorry.

Elisabeth said...

It sounds stupid, but I do think you're brave to say "this is enough." I can't imagine how much it must hurt every month finding out you're not pregnant. You know, I think I've told you this, but I really look up to you and have you as a role model for how I want to be a mom. I knew you were cool the first day we met and mutually "overshared."

Lisa Marsh said...

Hi Sarah,
You may know that I follow you on Twitter. Your post is so beautifully written on such a heartbreaking crossroads in your treatment. I do understand the strength that it takes to make a decision like this. That's my point, I guess. You sound like you are emotionally exhausted, but it's strength at the core of you that helped you to do it.

It may be a bit cheeky, but I'll risk it on the chance that a few posts on my blog might help you at this time:

Giving Up v. Making a Choice http://yourgreatlife.typepad.com/your_great_life/2010/02/giving-up-v-making-a-choice.html and

You'll Have Reached Your Infertility Saturation Point http://bit.ly/SaturPt

I hope that you will continue to feel confident that this decision is right for you. As your husband said, there may come a time when you want to revisit the issue of IVF, but it does sound like you need a breather. In the meantime, it sounds like Ethan is a lovely boy who brings you lots of joy. I've enjoyed your tweets about him. You sound like a great mom, with a special relationship.

Lisa

Sarah said...

Oh, Sarah. I am so, so sorry. You have handled this whole experience eloquently and with such grace and humor. Ethan is lucky to have such a brilliant, wonderful mother, jut as you are lucky to have such a perfect little man.

Savanah said...

WOW! You are so brave, my heart goes out to you and your family.

Becca said...

So, so sorry. I can feel your disappointment from this post. I wish things were different for you but admire you for focusing on the miracle you do have. Can you guys do something special together today?

Brie said...

I absolutely love your blog, the way you write, and your ability to (try) and notate the good things, even when your heart is breaking. Seeing pregnant bellies walk by, and crying inside??I hear you 100% on that one..and we may have even shared a few tears over a Rob freaking Thomas song..you gave me a little chuckle when I read that!! Was it by chance "Unwell"?

If there is anything the infertility journey can teach us, it's that you can never know what the future holds. There are no for sures, no 100% guarantees, and it's frusterating..But one thing is for sure, Ethan is yours and he is a very lucky little boy to have a mother who apprecitates whata miracle he is.

Jane Silvia said...

I am so sorry you have had such a tough time. I know how much you wanted it. You are brave to know you need to stop for your own sanity. I wish you were here so I could hug you.

Bug And Peanut said...

Your words are beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I understand every feeling that you have expressed. I am going through it right now, although for not as long or as in depth as you have. Not yet, anyway, and I too am not sure how far I will go. Might not even do the IUI. I talso have a little 3 year old miracle and need to focus more on him. This whole process is so consuming, it takes over every thought, even when you think you aren't thinking about it. Know you are not alone and even though I don't really "know" you, I wish I could give you a big hug.

Anonymous said...

i'm so sorry :(
lots of love,
kita

Amy said...

I am so, so sorry. You have approached this whole thing with such honesty and humor and it sucks.

Hopefully a good glass of wine and some spa time this weekend could help.

Susan said...

I'm so sorry Sarah...

Eyegirl said...

I'm new to your blog and had no idea of all you've been through. I'm so sorry for your struggles!

Laurel said...

I'm so sorry, Sarah. I know how much you want this, and how hard you've tried. I can't say I know what you're going through, because I obviously don't. But I can understand how difficult it must be. Jim and I desperately want children, but time is passing by with no cure in sight, and each year I lose a bit more hope. I am beyond thrilled when I hear of a friend's pregnancy, but I cry a bit inside too, because I yearn for it so much. So, you are certainly not alone. And you have that wonderful little guy, Ethan, who is a true miracle and blessing. Hang in there.

Monica said...

Oh Sarah, no words could fill the void you're feeling. So sorry you have to experience this infertility battle. Hugs to you.