Saturday, April 21, 2012

the grief of IVF failure

If you're here from ICLW, Hi! You can find out all about me and my infertility journey in the tabs at the top of the blog. Basically my husband and I have one daughter from IVF #2. We just had IVF #3 fail and we are now looking for more answers and plan to try again this summer.

The other day, on my way home from work, I had to stop at Tar.get to pick up one of MBL's prescriptions. I was feeling okay at this point, despite the fact that I knew I was not pregnant from our most recent IVF attempt. I decided to pick up a bottle of wine and a package of pads, along with the script and thought about how I should title a blog post about an infertile's shopping basket. Like, ha, it's so funny that I need both of those things (all right, I don't *need* wine, but getting a negative beta after spending $10,000 is bottle of wine worthy).

But, the truth is, it's not funny. Thursday did not turn out to be a good day. I cried on my way home after passing the local elementary school. All those moms waiting in their minivans, I bet a lot of them would find it hard to believe that I envy their life, their situation.

Thursday involved a lot of crying. There were some insensitive things done/said and dealing with them was really painful. And then MBL was acting distant because he himself was in a funk. At one point he got so worried about all the crying I was doing that he suggested I go back on my medication. That upset me even more! There is absolutely no shame in needing or taking depression medication, but I was grieving NOT depressed! Okay, maybe a little depressed, but isn't that how I should feel? If I denied the pain of our unpregnant-ness, then it would be like denying my right to grieve over a painful situation. No one would expect me to slap on a happy face if I had a migraine that medication couldn't fix, so why should I be expected to be all sunshine and rainbows when the "treatment" we chose for the DISEASE of infertility didn't work?

That's the thing, though, people just don't *get* that infertility is a disease. They don't want to address our pain, our sadness of failing to achieve what most of the American population takes for granted. Going out in a public is a testament to just how many people clearly had children without really thinking about what that meant. A few weeks ago, I was at Tar.get and the most adorable little boy was bouncing a ball down the aisle. It kept hitting his foot and rolling away. The mom's response? "If you don't stop doing that I am going to slap you silly." The little boy couldn't have been older than two. Too often it is insinuated that fertility is granted to those who deserve it most and, yet, the situation described above seems to contradict that. Heck, our situation seems to contradict that. I promise that a baby brought into our family would be one of the most smooched, most snuggled, and most treasured babies on the planet. I don't think I could accurately put into words just how loved our next little baby would be. Piper is smothered daily with our love and we just have more to give!

Basically, I want more. My heart literally aches for our next child. I just cannot wait to get my hands on him/her. I cannot wait to snuggle their little body and smooch their sweet face. It WILL happen, it's now just a matter of when. Just looking at this picture of our sweet Pip makes me want to do it all over again (and again and, potentially, again).

(taken over Halloween 2011)

What irks you most about people's misunderstanding of infertility? Has anything every been said to you that just made your blood boil? Have you ever encountered a situation like I did?


  1. What irks me most is the whole "just relax and it will happen" BS. Would you tell a diabetic to just relax and their blood sugar would balance without insulin? Dumbasses. My most hurtful comment was right after a miscarriage and my MIL said "Well, obviously God knew that you just wouldn't be able to handle being a GOOD mother to another child... and look at the bright side, now you have time to lose some weight." FINALLY the worst situation like that I encountered was when I was 3rd trimester pregnant, sitting in the OB's office and some total crackhead lady came in and sat next to me complaining about how she was pregnant AGAIN and how much she didn't want it, and how it was SO hard to watch her boyfriend's 3 year old daughter because she just needed to be slapped all day long. And on and on. I had to work to not just punch her in the face. Instead I tried to offer some perspective "I TTC for 5 years to get pregnant, it's a blessing... and 3 year olds don't respond to physical punishment, time outs and distraction work much better... etc." She ended the conversation by giving me her phone number "in case" I ever needed a babysitter. Um, okay psycho, get by my kids and I'll call the cops...

    1. Since you now have her phone number you could do a child protective services referral....just a thought....

  2. Oh, christine, I'm sending you *hugs*.

    I was in the grocery store last weekend, when I heard a mom tell her little girl "milk is too expensive, you have to stop drinking so much." She was maybe 3. It made me cringe a bit, but I know we all have our own struggles.

  3. I am so sorry.

    I think insensitive, inappropriate and just plain rude comments are one of the worst parts of infertility.

    I think what irks me the most is when people say things like "You don't understand, you don't have kids" or worse "you'll get it when your a mother."

  4. What an absolutely precious little bug you have. I can't blame you for wanting to do it all over again! I think I have been really lucky and have never encountered anything truly unkind, but I did get all the 'relax' 'I knew a couple who...' 'have you tried...?' 'it takes time you know' stuff from almost everyone. The most welcome reaction I ever had was when I told an old school friend, she said 'Oh honey. That is really horrible, I can't imagine what you are going through. When it took me three months with my second I cried each time so I just can't even imagine. I am so very sorry.' And she hugged me, and that was just lovely. Why can't everyone be so empathetic and kind. Why does everyone think I came to them for their opinion or advice?

  5. I agree with Amy about the " you'll understand when you are a mother comments" especially when they are said by people who know you are infertile.

  6. Here for ICLW!
    I am so sorry about your failed IVF.
    As for comments stupid people make. Visiting my GP once, his nurse asked if I was on birth control and I told her briefly about our infertility issues and she said, "wow, I can't imagine that. I have trouble trying NOT to get pregnant!" Sheesh!

  7. :( I'm so sorry. I can't even begin to imagine the disappoiment you are experiencing. Hang in there!

  8. I am so sorry. I am desperately trying to conceive number two and all of those BFN's suck. I am on clomid currently and scared to death that I will have to go back to IVF which is how we conceived our first. She was one out of 12 embryos to survive therefore I am so scared of our odds next time. I am thinking of you. The thing that irks me most about infertility is that ignorant people like my brother and sister in law think I am a complainer and over dramatizing what effect the meds have on me. No one would choose to have the side effects we get from these meds. Anyway, thinking of you. Hugs to your little munchkin.

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  10. Hey there, I'm here from ICLW. I'm so sorry this cycle didn't take. Wishing you the best of luck on the next go.

  11. Visiting from ICLW. I'm so sorry you're having a rough week. I too have been pretty lucky in not having too many terrible things said to me. A big irk of mine were all the suggestions. It stopped after a few years, and I know people were trying to be helpful, but really? You think I've been sitting idly by, twiddling my thumbs, just *hoping* I'd eventually get pregnant? You think I haven't tried just drinking some tea, etc?