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Everything is different

I’m not sure what happens next, and for me that’s just about the scariest place I can be.  I am still feeling quite sure that I never want to go through this again – and by ‘this’, I mean the whole nine yards.  I mean the daily medications.  I mean the “am I? aren’t I?” hell that is the 2ww.  I mean the weekly ultrasounds to check “Is the heart still beating?”  I mean the daily – no, make that the constant – infusion of terror that all is not as it should be.  I mean the constant second-guessing, the constant refrain playing in the back of my mind that I am not good enough, young enough, special enough, lucky enough to have what comes way too easily to 90 percent of the world.

I want a family – I need one.  I have given up rather a lot to try – so fucking hard – to make that happen.  And it hasn’t.  Over and over again it’s almost worked.  But not quite.  Every gamble seemed like a safe bet; the odds were in my favor every single time.  Except life doesn’t work that way.  At least mine doesn’t.

And I don’t know that there’s anything left in me with which to roll these dice.  I may have hit bottom.  For the first time, I am seriously contemplating adoption as not just a last-ditch option, but as, perhaps, the best option for me to come out of this with a child in my arms and with my self intact.

My head understands that my problems have almost assuredly been with my elderly, fucked-up-beyond-their-calendar-age eggs.  Maybe living in the uranium capital of the world for so many years aged them all prematurely?  Mutated them til they’re none of them compatible with life. Who knows.  Honestly, at this point, who the hell cares?  My eggs can’t make babies that can live even though the womb o’ death seems more than happy to let them stick around indefinitely.  I fully expect the genetic testing to come back abnormal.

Which means that a donor egg cycle would likely work like a charm.  I don’t have a problem maintaining a pregnancy, I have a problem making eggs that are normal enough to live past 9 weeks.  Someone else’s eggs + my fabulous uterus, it’d probably = a great match.  Probably a trouble-free pregnancy.  I wouldn’t even have to worry so much about prenatal testing results and what to do with ’em, because – hey! – young-thang eggs!  I know this, but I cannot believe it.  My heart cannot believe that a pregnancy in my body could have a good – a live – result.

Last year when I was first looking at the demise of my dream of a child made of me, I knew that I still wanted that magical time of bonding with my baby in utero.  I wanted to be able to labor to bring her into the world.  I wanted to be the voice she recognized and turned toward when she was born.  I wanted to be the first thing her eyes ever saw, my voice the first sound she heard.  I wanted to feed her with my own body.  I wanted that physical link, even if the chance of a genetic link was gone.

Now, I’m not so sure that’s important anymore.  I’m not even sure if my previous belief that my body would be the safest place for a child is accurate anymore.  How could an environment poisoned by a constant flow of adrenalin be a healthy place to grow a child, and how could I keep from hitting that level of stress if I were to go through this again?  If I’m terrified of what a careless mother might do to my unborn baby in utero, how could I consider allowing a baby to partake of my toxic system.  I cannot believe that high levels of stress could be anything but harmful for a developing fetus, and I cannot believe that I could have a pregnancy that would not be stressful.  I’ve been through too much.  I would be unable to relax and enjoy it.  I would be unable to provide a healthy environment, as much as I might want to, as much as I might intend to.

I’m not sure I could.  Not sure I can.  I’m not sure I’m strong enough to keep going – I know other women are, but I might be hitting my limit.  I know some women went through 15 miscarriages before they finally had their first child at age 48.  But I don’t want to spend the next 8 years of my life like this.  I want the next 8 years of my life to include about 7 years with my child, not just dreaming about him.

I’m still worried that my husband and I don’t look as good on paper as we should.  He’s turning 56 this year, I’m turning 40.  He has three grown kids.  We’ve both been married before, and have only been married to each other for a year.  We live in the city, not in a green place with a white picket fence.  If I were a frightened 18 year old, would I choose people the same age as my parents to raise my baby?  I don’t know.  Will we commit to this course of action only to realize after a year or more of waiting that we are not getting any calls?  I don’t know.

And I am so tired of not knowing, of not having any way to plan.  Of not even having a map to show me what I should expect to see next.  Have I mentioned recently that infertility sucks?  It does, you know.  It kills dreams, it kills joy, and it kills your soul, little by little until you look up one day and wonder where your life went while you were preoccupied by grief and fear.

I want all that back.  I want to stop focusing on pregnancy and to start being able to dream of raising a child.  I want whatever obstacles we encounter to be external ones that I can hate and resent – not internal ones that I have no control over but that make me feel inadequate and guilty anyway.  I want to remember how to complete a sentence about a hoped-for future without knocking on wood.  I want a baby, and I don’t care how it comes to me.  I don’t care if it’s not the way I always dreamed of.  I don’t care if I mix a bottle for my son instead of opening my blouse for him.  I don’t care if we can’t play the “she has your nose” game with my daughter.  I don’t care about any of that.  I want a child in my life to love and to cherish and to carry my world into the future the way that children – the way that families – do.

I want to be a mother, and I just may be at the point where that doesn’t have to be a physical definition at all.  I just might be (more than) ok with that.

30 comments to Everything is different

  • PJ

    Yep. This is why I am afraid to cycle again. I could be stimming in about three weeks, but I think I’m going to put it off another month because I’m chickenshit to put myself through the emotional crap again, so soon.

    You and Mo have really been in my thoughts these past few days. My heart aches for you.

  • EB

    I was the stepmom to three girls for about 2 years. The youngest one aged 1 when we met. I had no idea what to do with her. After a nano-second I was all about this little one. She is still, in my heart, my first child. Genetics are convenient but that’s it about it. For me, its the little foot in my hand and she snuggles up to watch her fave vid for the 408528th time. And everywhere we went people would say “doesn’t she look like you” . That is why I am doing DE and why adoption is not our last resort either.

    In my mind and heart you are a mom already, just by your persistence to become one.
    Love to you

  • Here’s to hoping that the clouds part and you have a vision of clarity so you can begin to travel down your next steps in peace.

    After our IVFs failed, adoption wasn’t the last option but it became the right option for us because as much as I wanted a baby, WE wanted a family much more. That has been our goal since the beginning and growing our family by adopting a newborn has become our next natural step. Once we knew this was a good thing, we committed fully and have never regretted doing more medical interventions.

    I hope that whatever decision you come to and when it comes that it will bring peace to your heart. It has for us.

    Thinking of you every single day,

  • Praying for you, for peace, for answers….my heart breaks for you.

    I cannot even imagine the torture in your mind and heart…

    Thank you for being so transparent….I wish you HOPE….

  • Yes. I think that scared 18 yo would want you. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true: Love makes a family.

  • Oh, I wish I could just give you a big hug and cry along side you. I’m here, I’m listening. I know there are lots of other options out there – I’m thinking of you as you and your husband work your way through this difficult time to find the solution that feels best for you.

  • I’ll be thinking of you and reading and supporting as you work through these feelings. Follow your heart and you will come to the right answer.

  • Thinking of you. Hoping that you find the right way for you.

  • this is my firt visit to your blog via maybe baby’s blog…i’m so so so sorry for your loss. remembering you during this hellish time.

  • I know, the story of the woman with the daughter after 15 m/cs at first comforted me and then it made me freak out because I DONT WANT TO GO THROUGH FIFTEEN… it alternates in what it means to me. In any case, I also plan to adopt one day, regardless of how the bio-kid thing works out. . . it is a wonderful way to expand one’s family. I’m so sorry you are going through this. I can only imagine how you feel right now. When you’re ready to make your decision I know you’ll make the right one for you. I too plan to adopt one day, I think its a great way to expand my family. Also, there are adoption options outside of the US too. A friend of ours adopted a beautiful girl from Belize, and another adopted twin girls from China. *hugs* as you go through this. I’m glad you have your dog and your husband and a strong support network as you go through this journey.

  • I’m so sorry this is just so damned horrible. again. I can’t imagine how anyone looking for a loving home for her child wouldn’t look to you after reading that. It’s clear that a child would be loved every minute of every day with you. Trust that’s what a scared 18 year old wants for her baby.

  • I’m so so sorry. I’ve been loosely following your story and this just breaks my heart. I have never made it as far as you have (currently in the midst of IVF #5 with nary as much as a chemical myself) and I can’t even imagine your pain. But I do know this: I am done done done with treatment after this one. Regardless of the outcome. I have reached the threshold and it’s actually liberating in a very strange way that I never, ever imagined. We’re also in the midst of an international adoption (though we haven’t been public about it yet) and it is exciting and thrilling and wonderful-again in ways I never, ever imagined it could be.
    I’m rambling but just wanted to reach out. You have suffered so much and no one deserves the kind of pain you have endured.

  • I am at the same point in this IF journey. I KNOW that I can’t go through the hormone injections an 8th time. I’m giving up on having a genetic child, but maybe being a mom is really what’s most important here. IF has stolen several years from my life and I WANT THEM BACK. I want to l.i.v.e. again. I want to smile again and see joy in the simple, everyday things. I’m with you on this journey. You are not alone.

  • This is from Julie at A little pregnant:
    “You are brave, to reinforce what half of you already acknowledges. The courage comes in doing it at all, not [just] the carrying or the bearing. The nobility is in the intention, if you ask me, of starting a family.”

    I think this is sort of what I was trying to say earlier– Sprogsusan, you are meant to be a mom, you will be a wonderful one. I hope whatever comes next for you comes soon.
    And, PS, you look great on paper. You really do. Wanting this, WANTING this with all capital letters is the most amazing gift you can offer.

    With love,

  • t

    i’ve been away from the internet for the last few days and i just saw your posts. i’m so so sorry lady. i can’t imagine the pain you’re feeling. it just isn’t fair. i’m so sorry you have to go through this… .again.

    thinking of you.

  • I ‘only’ had 3 failed IVF attempts w/ my own eggs…never mind the thought of 15 MISCARRIAGES….we then turned to DE. Actually, ‘I’ turned to DE. The husband took some convincing. I just couldn’t try one more time with my own eggs. After 3 I was done. I just wanted a baby. period. I didn’t care about the genetics anymore either.

    I hope (as all the above posters do as well) that you get some peace and some clarity. The pain of IVF always clouds everything….

    Thinking of you,


  • I am new to your blog – stopping by from Phoebe’s.

    I am so sorry for your losses and for all you have been through. No real good words to share to make it any easier, but know you will be in my thoughts.

  • Excellent rant. I think this time is best for getting it all out there, but not making the big decisions for at least a while. But absolutely check into adoption if you are interested, checking doesn’t obligate you! And God knows I understand DE is no guarantee; my uterus has already carried one child and even with shiny new donor eggs I can’t get pg. But the odds ARE in you’re favor – another thing to try. Good luck as you ponder all the possible ways to go forward. Thinking of you ((hugs))

  • I am new to your blog and just wanted to say I am so sorry for your recent loss, for all of your losses. infertility does really suck. you nailed it when you said:

    “It kills dreams, it kills joy, and it kills your soul, little by little until you look up one day and wonder where your life went while you were preoccupied by grief and fear.”

    I just turned 40 and the past 6-7 yrs of my life have been dedicated to trying to bring home a real live baby. we turned to adoption last year when we came to the realization that my child was not going to come from my body, and our little girl is now 10 wks old. whether you look to adoption or donor eggs, or whatever you may decide, I wish you peace and great success, and soon.

  • Marni

    As someone who went through so many very early miscarriages I lost count, I share your pain and frustration at this very sad time. You express yourself so beautifully.
    But we did have bio kids and are now adding two more by adoption. I started an adoption support group in my community four years ago and yesterday we had our annual picnic. It was wonderful and reassuring to see these amazing kids and their happy parents.
    One way or another, you will have the child of your dreams.
    Very best wishes,

  • oh sweets… sending you so many hugs. so many…

  • I’m just catching up on the last few days and I am so very, truly sorry to hear about what’s happened. Sigh. I wish there were something — some elixir or magic words — that could be done to take this away from you. If there were, you would’ve had it taken away many times over by now, by all of us out here who understand where you are and how you’re feeling. I think you are on your way to figuring it out. It may seem fuzzy and totally confusing right now but I believe that your sheer desire and will for a family will lead you to the right place. And that you will be an amazing mother, no matter what. And that someday, all of this pain will fade — never disappear, but fade — as you feel that love. Wishing you all the best in these coming weeks as you think these things over.

  • Oh, god, Susan. I was away from the computer all weekend and just now read your news. And now I can’t stop crying. This IF world is so damned unfair. I am so sorry that you’re dealing with m/c again. I’m sorry you ever had to deal with it even once. I’m wishing you peace with your decisions and great success with whatever you decide to do. I wish I could offer more.

  • Susan,
    I have been away and just saw your sad news. I am in shock. I am so deeply sorry. Sending you thoughts of healing and clarity as you figure out what’s next.

  • I am so sorry for what you are going through. Sending you prayers.

  • Stopping by from Phoebe’s blog. I am so sorry for all you have been through, so much pain. I wish we did not have to go through this.

  • All I can say is that I’m sorry for your loss. I am crying with every new post. There are no words to make it better but just know that we are thinking of you.

  • I absolutely ache for you. I’m thinking of you.

  • I’ve been where you are (as much as one IF can say that) and am now the mom of an 8 yo daughter and a 6 yo son.

    If you’d like to talk about any feelings you have about adoption, just let me know. I’ll share whatever I can.

    I’m sorry this is so hard.