***note: I originally drafted this post in January of 2023, when the emotions were still very fresh. I have done a lot of healing over the past few months, but it has not been a quick or easy process. A lot of ugly parts of me have been revealed during this process – anger, bitterness, resentment – for the people who have stuck by my side during some of my worst seasons, thank you. Thank you all for giving me grace as I try to become a better, healthier version of myself.
This is the third, and what I believe will be the final, update on our infertility journey. In May of 2020, my husband and I started trying for a second child. In January of 2023, we stopped trying. After 2 and a half years of this emotional roller coaster from hell, we finally decided to quit.
There’s a lot more to the story, but if you just want the cliff notes, that’s about it. I suppose it’s not really the end of the journey, because now it’s time to take a detour on the path called grief. I wish that the journey was just over and I could go back to my life before. I wish I could feel like who I was before we started trying to have another baby, but I don’t know how to do that. We will be forever changed by this experience, and I’m just looking forward to the day when it doesn’t hurt so much.
Because I’m weird, or perhaps a bit obsessive, I tracked how many cycles I’d had since we began this process and figured out how many times we ended up trying (and failing) to get pregnant. So here are the stats below:
31 months total
35 cycles total
30 = # of times we tried to get pregnant
5 = # of cycles we took a break from trying
17 = Longest consecutive stretch trying for a baby
Over a period of 31 months, I had 35 cycles.
Out of those 35, we made an effort to get pregnant 30 different times.
There were 5 cycles that I purposely opted out of trying because I needed an emotional breather every once and a while.
Our longest consecutive stretch of intentionally trying was 17 cycles in a row.
I don’t know if it’s helpful or not for me to see these numbers, but in a way I feel like it validates my experience. I can look at the numbers and understand a little more why it has been so hard. 30 is a lot of times to feel emotionally shattered.
So what happened? Why did we decide to quit trying?
In the last update I gave in October of 2022, I had just talked about how we had recently seen a reproductive endocrinologist and that potentially we could try one of the less-invasive treatments: intrauterine insemination (IUI).
After thinking about it, we came to the decision that starting in January of 2023, we would give IUI a try, up to three times. If it didn’t work, then we would plan to call it quits.
But not every couple is eligible for IUI. There’s a lot of factors at play – sperm count, number of healthy eggs left, fallopian tubes being open/blocked, etc.
When we last went to the doctor back in August, it looked like we were good candidates for this procedure. But before going through all the trouble of attempting IUI in January, we wanted to double check that everything still looked promising, so we did a few tests again. This time, the test results were not good. What our results showed is that things had changed, and we were now ineligible for IUI.
“Let us know if you’re interested in pursuing IVF.”
That was the last message we got from our doctor’s office.
But I had already decided that I was not going to pursue in vitro.
I’ll pause here for a moment because I just know someone out there wants to ask, “if you want another baby so badly, why aren’t you going to try in vitro?”
Infertility and the journey of trying to have a child is a very personal, not to mention difficult, journey. What’s right for one person may not be right for another person. And that’s okay. And when a couple decides their journey is over, it’s important to validate that decision.
For me, the mental and emotional toll of not getting pregnant every month is something I can’t continue doing. The past year I found myself struggling with depression often. At times, I found it hard to find the energy to get out of bed.Read More »