What {IF} this is the end of trying?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Although I am squeaking in at the last second, I do want to recognize that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week. You can learn more about it here. And, over at Stirrup Queens, they are doing a project with Resolve that I really wanted to be a part of.

Because I am naturally an optimistic person (so I am sure that this IVF will work, ahem), it is hard (almost impossible?) to consider that we won't ever be pregnant. But after a year of fairly intensive treatments, we are almost out of emotional steam and actual dollars. So we are pretty sure that if this IVF doesn't work, we'll be taking an indefinite break from specialist-involved TTC'ing while we save up some more baby-making dollars. (Is that when we will get magically naturally pregnant??)

But, per my title, what if this is the end of trying?

I have wanted to write about this a couple of times before, but I always feel like it is so contrary to my natural state of being that it would be out of place here and taking up my time focusing on something that I don't really want to focus on.

But it's a possible reality that I have to be prepared for.

On the one hand, if this is the end of trying, there are some forseeable benefits. With having to drive 40 minutes one way to the RE at least once a week for the last 3/4 of a year, all the monitoring and appointments have wreaked havoc on my work momentum, and it would be nice to have that back. It'd be nice to not have a permanent bruise on my left arm where they draw blood. It'd be nice to not feel guilty about having a glass of wine or missing a day of prenatal's. We can schedule horseback riding lessons as our something-we've-never-done-before summer activity. I can put away the sharps box and clear off the dining room table of all the syringes and medicine boxes and alcohol swabs.

But on the other hand, I can barely imagine what my day-to-day life would look like. What will I blog about? How long will it take to save up for more treatments or adoption? Will I use my fertility monitor anyway? (Compared to the monitoring I've grown accustomed to, the fertility monitor is so elementary!) What will my mom say when I tell her we've stopped treatments? Will I have to learn to live childfree with a smile….forever? (My first "what if" question here!) How will I react to friends who get pregnant without trying while we're not trying? What will help me accept that we're not trying anymore? How will I hope for a miracle baby when my hormone levels aren't very good without medication?

I am big on hope, so the last one really hits me hard. I fully believe that God can create life whenever He wants to, but it is going to be difficult for me to hope for this because I have come to know that my hormones aren't really peaking as high as they're supposed to. How long will it take me to reach a balance of a bearable level of hoping while not trying? Is that even possible?

The first one is a biggie, too. I love this community and all the bloggers I have met!! Will they want to read my blog still, if it's not about meds and cycle days and hormone levels? Can I still call it an infertility blog if we're not actively trying? What will I write about? It has been so great to be able to use this as an emotional outlet. I imagine I will still enjoy having the emotional outlet, but about what?

As I just re-read this draft, I notice in a very big way that although I can pick out several "good" things about not trying, there are a seemingly endless number of questions that flood over when it comes to what if this is the end? And maybe that's what makes it so hard. Just as starting fertility treatments is stepping into an unknown world, I think stopping fertility treatments is similarly daunting. I don't know how I will cope. I don't know what is coming next. I don't know how we will shift our lives back to the way it was before we had an inch-thick chart at the RE's office.

I'd venture to say that I'm not the only one who's been at this crossroads. National Infertility Awareness Week (link here) shines such a needed light on those of us struggling in darkness. Infertility (link here) affects so many couples, and it's sad that in so many circles it is still treated as a lack-of-relaxing situation.

And so, to leave you with my positive (and more characteristic) "What IF" statement..

What if this cycle "ends" with our baby?


One Who Understands said...

Love this post! I have had a hard time thinking about the negative of the what IF project. I too will be sneaking in at the last minute today. I hope we both have wonderful results from our current cycles! HUGS!!

Andrea said...


I will still read your blog no matter what you talk about! I am really praying that TTC will completely end for you after this cycle though...because you'll be pregnant with a beautiful baby.

Melissa said...

I pray that all your what if's will be answered at the end of this successful cycle. I know God has big big plans for you :)

I'll still read your blog - whatever you choose to write about. Whether is be going through a pregnancy or baking or your new adventure...we'll all be there!

Rach said...

That is my biggest what if. We only have 1 shot at IVF. If it doesn't work and there are not frozen embabies, we are done. How scary and sad.

I really hope this cycle works for you.

Hillary said...

Beautiful post, A. I cried a little as I read it because I can relate so much to all of those feelings. I'm so thankful for the friendship we've formed through IF, and even if we walk away with no pregnancy in the end, we still have a journey that God has set before us. I am just so scared of that unknown journey and the pain that comes with it. But I am so thankful God will walk with us through it.

And, of course, I am praying like crazy that we both finish this cycle pregnant with a baby that will be in our arms in 9 months! I pray for your daily.

Sooz said...

What a great post! I feel a lot of same things that you are going through, but we have to have hope that whatever cycle we're on will work. It's all we've got.

I will definitely continue to read your blog!

m said...

sneaking in at the last minute too - and using your question. I am sure this was a hard post to write, but it is beautiful. And maybe I got a little teary with your last what if. Hoping with you.

Praying for Hope said...

Well, I'd continue reading. If this cycle happens to end with a baby (fingers crossed), you will have an interesting time trying to balance blogging about about the baby while remaining sensitive to those still immersed in TTC and IF. Having waid that, I hope you're in an interesting time.

Basic Girl said...

Let me just say I love your blog (especially this post) and it doesn't matter what you write about I will always be reading ;)!! And I'm hoping your questions are answered very very soon, and of course praying that answer is a BFP at the end of this awesome cycle. I have such great vibes for you, I know you're going to continue to rock this IVF. Thinking of you hun!!

Leah said...

I loved this post A. It is so real and things that are definitely thought about all the time.

That was my exact thought on our last IVF. I knew it would be our last due to finances, and I kept thinking, holy crap! If this doesn't work, I'll NEVER be pregnant. And here I am. Where there is life, there is hope.

I know how ever your life plays out, it will be beautiful and perfect in His eyes.

And I hope regardless of what happens that you still blog. I would really miss connecting with you via the blog world.

One Who Understands said...

Thanks for your comment on my post. No I haven't tested yet. I will help you all the way through your 2ww. No worries. The first week was a little more rough, but this week I just feel like it worked! Don't know how to explain it. Monday will be the big test!! So excited.

HollyT said...

This was such a moving post. I wish you the best and I hope this cycle is the one. And I believe hope heals the soul, so as hard as it may be, never give it up.

Al said...

Great post, A.

I'll still be reading if you decide to stop. I've thought the same things - what would I write about if we stopped treatments? I think there would still be so much for us to write about - we'll still need an outlet.

Hope that this cycle is it and so many of your what ifs will be answered.

Kacey said...

IF is hard to comprehend. We know this cycle could go either way. Just know that even though we don't know...God know the plans He Has for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future....-Jeremiah 29:11. You will be happy...this is just part of your journey! Hold on to that scripture!

Kristin (kekis) said...

The What IFs are killers to me. I want to focus on them now, so they won't become surprises to me in the future. The upside of that is preparation, while the downside is me not living in the moment. I doubt you and I are the only two dealing with IF that feel that way. If we are, then at least we have each other. :)

So what IF this cycle ends as a baby? I'll be thrilled for you!

Thankful said...

We are having the same thoughts and I completely understand all of your "ifs". If you continue to blog, I will continue to read! :) Hoping that your blog becomes a pregnancy blog soon!

Shanny said...

This is such a "wake up post" and very touching. As hard as it is when we are going through all these treatments we do have to think of the what if's. I think you are great and you will make it through no matter what BUT I'm praying my hardest that this cycle does work out for you. Big hugs!

AplusB said...

Love your post! I like the last what if...and hoping that this cycle ends with your baby. Hoping that this "cycle" is 9 months long!
One of the reasons I love your blog so much is your optimism and great attitude. Wish some of it would rub off on me sometimes!
Good luck as you continue this cycle...such awesome news thus far!