PLEASE NOTE: If you are struggling with infertility or are currently trying to conceive and you DON'T want to read about my pregnancy (which I totally understand), I recommend starting at the beginning of the blog (March 2010) and reading from there. I find out I'm pregnant in June 2011 so there is a lot of trying to conceive posts in between that you might find funny, helpful or relatable. Wishing you all the luck in the world!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Terminal Two Week Wait

It was March 2009 that I started trying to get pregnant. I had no idea when I began this journey that my “two week wait” would become two years. What’s worse is these ‘two week waits’ are feeling more and more like they are terminal. It’s like I’m in a permanent state of waiting to see what happens next and I hate it. I don’t even like to wait on the line for Starbucks. I want my latte and go. When it comes to having a baby, it’s the same kind of thing: I just want to get pregnant, have my baby and get on with my life. (Not that I mean to compare a baby with a latte, although let’s face it -- both keep you awake.)

In my early months of trying to conceive, I’d get discouraged and maybe a little down from time to time. However, after trying to get pregnant for two years and after having two failed IVF’s (my own version of the “terrible two’s”), I can’t help but think, “Wow. This REALLY is bordering on a total disaster, huh?” And when you have no reason for the lack of success, no diagnosis and no explanation, the road ahead isn’t just a little bumpy. It’s long, poorly lit, laden with pot holes and utterly endless.

I did see my doctor for the infamous “What The F*ck Appointment” and the only explanation he could give with regards to our recent IVF is that we just had bad luck. If they had ten couples at the clinic that day, one of the couples would have to get screwed statistically and it would seem that couple is us. I guess we took one for the infertile team that day. You’re welcome nine lucky couples. Now, can you loan us $5000?

Frankly, it always seems like we’re the doomed ones. My husband and I seem to be exceptional… but in an unlucky way. We had an unusually horrible rain storm on our wedding day (despite the fact that it hadn’t rained on our wedding date for the previous 30 years), our first doctor missed a uterine polyp that was practically giving him the finger in all of my sonograms, our insurance company broke up with us, our house got hit by lightning last year and we can’t get pregnant despite the fact that both of us are healthy. I know that things could always be worse and in the grand scheme of things, nothing TOO horrible has happened. I am grateful for that. Besides, if you ask my husband who is way more of an optimist than I, he points out that our wedding day was the greatest day of his life, that the uterine polyp had his own fan club (Yay Jackson Polyp!), and we would have never discovered the wonderful world of Blu-Ray or High Definition television if it weren't for the lightning frying our antiquated electronics. However, I still can’t help but feel like we’re the equivalent of a negative miracle.

Despite the many setbacks and despite my suspicion that we are cursed, I am committed to forge ahead with some level of enthusiasm. One thing making it a smidge difficult for me is I sense that some of my friends are beginning to get bored with our efforts or they feel we should simply move on. As a fan of the shows 48 HOURS and DATELINE, I’ve seen many an interview with a mother, father or couple whose child has been missing for years and people tell them, “Look, it’s been 10 years. You’re not going to find them so you should get on with your lives.” The parents of these missing children never take too kindly to this suggestion and rightfully so. They want to know where their child is. They need their child back… or at the very least, some answers as to what happened to him or her. And that’s how I feel whenever someone says, “Maybe having kids just isn’t in the cards for you.” It’s like they are telling me to stop looking for my missing child.

Is that overdramatic? Well, probably yes, but I’m still a bit hormonal (thanks progesterone!) and that’s how it feels. It especially stings when friends who have children tell me that perhaps I should consider doing other things with my life. That’s pretty easy for them to say, isn’t it? It reminds me of the scene in THE AVIATOR where Katherine Hepburn’s mother says to Howard Hughes, “We don’t care about money here Mr. Hughes.” And he responds with, “That’s because you have it.”

Of course I know that people are always well-intentioned. I also don’t mean to imply that if you have children, you never have anything helpful to say or that you can’t be supportive. I have quite a few people in my life who are parents and who have never experienced fertility issues that have been beyond loving and comforting. It’s just when anyone tells me, whether they themselves are parents or not, that maybe it’s time to give up, that I can’t help but want to tap dance on their windpipe.

The other night, I was out to dinner at a family restaurant. I was looking around the room and studying all the people with kids or babies thinking about all the things I may never know. What it’s like to see a positive pregnancy test. The pride you feel when you tell people you’re expecting. The joy of feeling your baby kick for the first time. Having a baby shower. Getting a nursery ready. Giving birth. Sending out baby announcements. The first year of being a mom. Their first word. When they go off to kindergarten. And so on and so on. Even though I was sitting at a table inside the restaurant, I might as well have been outside on the street looking in through the window at all the families. That’s how separate I felt from the experience. It was a happy family restaurant filled with happy fertile families. Pathetic, unlucky infertiles aren’t allowed. Hmmmm. Come to think of it... I wonder if they should have an infertile section at restaurants? That's not a bad idea.

The one comfort in all this is thanks to my mystery fertility issues, I may also never get to know what it's like to have your 14 year old daughter come home with a new piercing and a 20 year old boyfriend… so that’s something.

All in all, I’m not ready to give up. More importantly, as bad as our luck has been, we have never been told that’s its impossible. As I said in my last blog entry, until someone says that we can never have children or until I’m dead, I’m going to do my best to have a family one way or another.

At this moment, the plan is to go ahead with IVF #3. The doctor says we could start again as early as next month but we’re thinking we may wait another month or so to get all our infertile ducks in a row. I’m back on Weight Watchers, we’re putting as much money as we can into our savings account and we’re looking into getting yet another opinion (just to be safe). I don’t know if this is going to go on another two years, if we’ll have another two IVF’s or if we will ever have the happy ending we imagined but we’re moving ahead with hope and humor.

Hope and humor...

37 comments:

Michelle said...

I published my post about my 2 year TTC anniversary this morning. Yours is way more honest. :) I love the part about all the things you haven't experienced. I hope and pray when I am sitting in the bathroom, peeing on a stick that it will come up positive. I wonder in that moment how I will feel seeing two lines. It seems so foreign, doesn't it? I can imagine it but not amount of imagining does justice to what the real thing will feel like. Lots of love to you!

SLESE1014 said...

Ahhhh....to be back at 2 years...I'm coming up on 4 years of TTC. I honestly can't believe we're here. We'll be doing our first IVF cycle soon. Tis was an eye opening post, so thank you for sharing. At least we're not in this alone....I'm so grateful for my virtual friends here in blogger land who know everything I'm feeling because for the most part they've been where I am....


Oh and I would totally ask for the infertile section...sometimes it just rakes away from a good meal when I'm staring enviously at all the families around me...great idea!!!! Find a restaurant to pitch it....I'm sure it would catch on fast!

Secret Sloper said...

We started trying at exactly the same time as you guys, and like you, two years (or nearly, nearly that) were NEVER in my mind as our future waiting period. Try two months, right? Two years feels like an actual, substantial amount of time. People get graduate degrees in two years. People have TWO babies in two years. People meet, marry, buy a house, and pop out a kid in two years.

I'm so sorry these two years were filled with sadness. I hope the next two are filled with joy.

hallieluvsme said...

I have also been through some of the "crap" you have.. After 3 failed ivf attempts, we were at a fork in the road. Spend more $ on trying again, look into a gestational carrier, or adoption. We choose adoption... I can't express to you in words what a great decision that was!! Please check out my blog, look for the entry titled "our adoption story", and "adoptive breastfeeding".. Also check out the pictures of the beautiful baby girl we have now. We were he'll bent on having our own, but looking back, we feel so blessed it didn't ever work. Hallie is by far a cuter, happier healthier baby than we could have ever created ourselves.. I know, sounds so ridiculous, but it's 100% true! You can give up on ivf, but you don't have to give up on being a Mommy.

CS said...

Instead of jumping into IVF#3, why not pause and try harder to find out what is wrong? Something must be wrong! How do you know IVF will help if what is wrong isn't fixed by IVF? Find a doc that is willing to help? Have you read 'Making Babies'? http://samidavid.com/
GL! (I do hear the third time is statisically the charm with IVF, so maybe it isn't a bad plan - sorry to be so preachy.)

Baby Steps said...

Ugh, I can so relate to your post. It's sometimes unbelievable that a pregnancy and birth (of a healthy child) could possibly be something to experience in this lifetime.

I think it's VERY smart to get a second opinion - I have been to 5 Drs here in NYC and 1 in Denver. Some had better/more info, but in the end, we too suffer from the fabulous "Bad luck," "Better luck next time" diagnosis. It sucks dog butt!

If you need any additional info on Dr (though I know others have also offered) I'd be open in sharing my thoughts on the different centers and what they are "known" for. Between myself and all my fertile warrior friends, we've got the dirt on all of the Drs in the city... so sneaky we are!

Wishing you buckets of luck and I hope this perpetual 2ww ends sooner than later!

Natalie said...

I'm sorry that this has been such a long journey for you. It was three years of trying and two miscarriages before my daughter was born in 2007. Now it has been another three years of trying and another 2 miscarriages and I am finally pregnant again and it seems to be holding (10 weeks now). Maybe you don't want to hear about a happy pregnant person right now, but I want to tell you that I was where you are, twice and made it through to the other side. It took a lot longer than I had planned, and I am older than I wanted. (I also didn't plan 4.5 years between kids) Hang in there, and don't listen to the people who tell you to quit, not one of them has been where you are or they wouldn't be able to say that so easily. Good luck, I hope that your path to parenthood goes smoother from here on out.

Erin said...

Best of luck to you in this. It is so frustrating when other people have such a profound lack of understanding that they say ignorant and hurtful things. It's way too early to give up. I truly believe you guys can have that family you want.

clewis said...

Gosh, sounds so much like me(read my last post) im also 2years and nothing. 3 IUI's and 1 IVF. starting 2nd IVF in April. I am feeling every word you are saying, loud and clear. We ask our doctor the same thing, and also get the same answer, we are unlucky, he thought it would have happened by now. typical though, ive never been lucky. Keep going, I feel like you, till im told it wont ever happen or im dead I dont give up. Ill keep at it, no matter how bleak it all gets. Lets do it together!

Brooke said...

My situation is quite different from yours (except that I, too, want a baby and don't have one yet), but I'm all too familiar with the impatience and the feeling that your "peer group" is suddenly passing you by in the family-making arena. As a chronic over-achiever, I totally hate falling behind. My BFF is going through infertility and is starting her second round of IVF in April. Her doctor told her that there are (of course) no guarantees, but most couples will get pregnant within 4 times of trying IVF. If they can afford to try that many times, of course.

I've always known that life is unfair, but recent experience is teaching me that life is unfair in SO MANY different ways. Really, the variety is astounding. Anyway, wishing you luck.

New Year Mum said...

Your post is so honest and heart-felt... I'm so sorry that your 2WW never seems to end. My TTC for #2 is a different story but almost as long - I share your frustration at waiting. I agree with Natalie and Erin - your heart sounds like its telling you not to give up... don't listen to others ignorant comments. Love will help you reach your dreams xoxo

ADSchill said...

We are going on 1 year and 9 months and I am dreading 2 years. And you know what? I think that's exactly where we will end up. I think we will plan for our 1st IVF this summer if things don't go our way before then.

I loved your comparison of infertility to a missing child. It's horrible when people tell you or suggest that you consider your other options (like we haven't).

I thank you for this honest post and wish you all the best in your next attempt.

http://missconception-ads.blogspot.com/

Amy said...

I was so glad to see that there was a post from you today. I was starting to worry. I too just finished IVF #2 with no baby. I am with you on WW, getting my body back into "fighting shape". We can't control fertility, but we can control what we eat and how we feel about our body.

Definitely get a second opinion. I think some doctors get very married to their protocols and use "bad luck" as an excuse to use the same protocol over and over. I am changing to a new doctor who takes only "hard cases". He specializes in people who have been through the IFV ringer already. He incorporates Eastern and Western medicine. He has great statistics for hard cases, so I am feeling optimistic.

Keep fighting. I know of someone who's body was allergic to her husband's sperm and was killing it off. It took them years of treatments to figure that out. Once they did, she got pregnant with twins. There are odd reasons that these things don't work. I don't know if you have read the book "Inconceivable" or not, but it was very inspiring.

Keep going and keep writing. You are an inspiration to all of us.

amiracle4us said...

Any point on the IF journey sucks, but when 'anniversary's' come around it's even harder. Our 3rd anniversary back in Aug/Sept was very hard but bc we were moving forward with IUI and IVF it made if easier bc we had something to 'look forward to'. Now, 6 months later, it sucks more. This was a good raw post and I am hoping the 2ww's for us both are over soooon! If you wait a few months we will be together in the May cycle :)

Briana said...

I just found your blog... and I'm hooked. My husband and I have been 'trying' for just under a year and, although I know that is no where near the 2 years you've been thru... it's nice to know that I'm not alone in this whole eff-ed up 'trying to get pregnant' phase.

And if one more person says to me, "Oh I get pregnant if my husband even looks at me"... I might commit murder.

...just sayin'.

Emily W. said...

Thanks for your writing. I shared the part about the latest WTF appointment with my DH. He almost busted a gut laughing. We've been there--we are there. I'm tired of Two week waits and nothing but "I'm sorry" phone calls. I wrote a blog post about missing out on the "club" experience of being parents but I never thought about it from the perspective of not having to deal with the newly pierced teen!

Heidi said...

don't even think about giving up--i would NEVER stop trying!!! everyone has their own threshold, but for me, 2 years is FAR from it! lucky number THREE!!! i think our life experiences are used for our growth--to teach us things, to learn from others, to teach others, and to remind us that we can't do everything on our own! you'll have your 14 year old rebel someday soon, and you will love her with all of your infertile little heart! sometimes i think infertility is a blessing to our children--surely we love them just a *little* bit more... :) i'm thankful your RE is so optimistic--his encouragement has to be contagious!

bunintheovenplease! said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I've always believed that if you don't enter the race - you can't win. Please don't think of giving up just yet - the next one could be the one!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely do not give up!!! I have been where you are for as long and unexplained is the WORST b/c you just don't know BUT it WILL happen for you, someway somehow and I am so glad to hear you say you are going to continue. I can totally relate to your feelings about seeing all those families. It seems so out of reach but in time you will be amazed at your dif perspective. It WILL happen!! (have been reading on the sly since last spring, thanks for the much needed laughs while going through this myself!!)

Jacksmom said...

It is really hard, I can speak from experience. Hell, I feel guilty bringing my 4 year old product of IVF into the RE's office with me because will people assume we had him naturally and are having trouble now, or will they feel inspired by seeing that it can work, or will they just be depressed because it hasn't happened for them. It's hard all the way around. And as far as the restaurant bit-think about how not all of those people were happy fertile families, but how many of them graduated from our little infertile club. Maybe more than you might think, but I love your honesty anyway. And I'm with Heidi-I do think we love our children just a "little" bit more, or at least we appreciate the true miracles that our children really are where I honestly do think SOME fertiles take it for granted. I don't think it's easy to stop trying, nor would I ever tell anyone to give it up and move on, I think that's somewhere that people get on their own when they've resolved themselves to that, and I think your comparison to a missing child is spot on, perhaps dramatic to those who haven't been infertile, but it is true. *hugs* Enjoy your rest cycle, and then get back on that horse!

Tara dS said...

Infertility sucks. No doubt about it. And by no means should you ever give up on your dreams just because other people don't get what you are going through. I have been where you are and It was a dark and lonely journey. I truly hope that your path will lead you to the baby you dream of.

I just want to tell you though, that if your path takes a turn, as mine did, and you decide to adopt, these are some of the things you will experience. What it's like to be told you have been chosen to be someone's mother. The pride you will feel when you share the happy news with others. The shared bond with other adoptive parents. The joy of holding your baby for the very first time. Having an adoption shower (yes, someone will throw one for you!) Getting a nursery ready. Sending out adoption announcements. The first time your child calls you Mommy. Your first year as a mother. Kissing your child's soft cheeks. Reading him/her a bedtime story. Walking in and actually shopping at the Carters store instead of turning your face away as you pass by it. Raising a child. Imparting your values. Holding hands when you cross a street. I could go on and on. During the time that I was waiting to be chosen, I talked with a friend who has an eleven year old son. She said to me, "pregnancy and childbirth is such a very small part of being a parent" and I though, "easy for you to say.". But thankfully she was right.

Take care of yourself. You'll be a mom one day. Hope it's sooner rather than later for you.

Peleb said...

I appreciate your honesty and wish with all my heart you get pregnant. I know of an amazing RE at Brigham and Womens in Boston named Dr Rachael Ashby. She is so inspiring, positive, and brilliant. She herself has been thru fertility and I believe that it makes her an even better Dr. It never hurts to see another Dr , even if you don't "work" with her. Hang in there and really and truely Believe!

Kate said...

I told myself this morning if you hadn't posted I would email you and see how you're doing. I know that may sound strange coming from someone you don't even know but reading your blog has really helped me through some dark days and I thank you for it. You're an IVF sister friend. I had my "what the fuck" appointment with the doctor last saturday where I ran into a friend who told me she is 12 weeks pregnant (fucking fuck). Anyway, my doc sent me to get more blood tests. She has officially diagnosed me with having a low egg reserve so this test will tell us just how low. Either way we're going to start a new IVF cycle using a different protocol hoping to get a better result. I guess I just wanted to say hang in there. Also, have you ever looked into doing IVF overseas? I live in India and my IVF treatment only cost me about 3,000USD for everything. Thailand is also another really good option. If you (or anyone for that matter) want to know more I'd be happy to help. Sending you lots of positive vibes.

Alex said...

Two years... Ah yes, we started trying two years ago as well. What a beautiful post, looking back over the past as well as looking toasted the future! I hope this next IVF is the one for you!!! Hope and humor - love this!!!

kateypie35 said...

Ok, I wasn't sure if I should post this or not - it could sound discouraging but it's not meant to be. It is an "I have a friend" story - but I really do! Here we go. I have a friend who did IVF six times. SIX TIMES! With no success. Six times having her heart broken to pieces. But then...then... the 7th try - she got pregnant with twins. And is now a happy mother to a boy and girl. She kept moving forward, just like you. Why is it so difficult for some, and so easy for others? That I have no answer for. It is NOT fair and it sucks so badly. But I do believe you CAN and WILL be a parent, even if it is a fucking long and terrible road to get there. Even if you get there a different way than you expected. There are so many options out there to bring a child into your life. Don't give up on something you want so badly. Don't give up because others don't understand.
Don't give up because it makes other people uncomfortable.
Just don't give up.
I am rooting for you.

Kelly said...

I think that, despite it all, you still have a really amazing attitude. I sincerely hope that things work for you soon and you can be one of those families with kids in the family restaurant.

mystrandofpearls said...

I am on the other side of infertility fun. I was diagnosed with PCOS but haven't started "trying" yet. Right now I am still at the stage where I get pissed because ovulation is so elusive. Every friend I have is at the stage of getting pregnant (most of them did so "accidentally") and I have been having such a hard time lately with all of it. I feel like a spoiled 2 year old stomping in the corner yelling about how unfair life is. I mean, life is always unfair. But somehow, seeing preggo bellies everywhere and contentment is much more glaring to me than anything else. I just wish I could stop thinking about it all the time. This can't be healthy.

I admire you for persevering after 2 years. I don't know you in "real" life, but I think it's awesome to exhaust options before you "give up." I certainly wouldn't fault you if your path takes a diversion - but it has to be YOUR choice. Good luck is around the corner. The best is yet to come.

China Doll said...

This post made me laugh and cry... Don't give up! xx

My So-Called (TTC) Life said...

What a fantastic post, J. And I totally agree--why would you stop trying if no one has told you there's no chance at all? And even then, I'd have a hard time giving up anyway b/c how do they know for sure?

I still have so much faith that this is going to work for you. I don't know when, but somehow it will. One day you will be the lucky one. I just know it. xoxo

justine said...

I love this post. While I wish the 2WW hadn't turned into something else, I admire your attitude and your awesome sense of humor.

TeeJay said...

Very good post and very good attitude. I definitely think a second opinion is a good idea. I hate it when I hear that maybe having a baby is not in my plan. First, it crushes me because maybe they are right. Second, would you say to someone with cancer that living isn't in their plan? NO, of course not. We are humans and we fight for what we want...it's in our nature. Sometimes we lose the battle but by God we do not go down without a fight. I'm hoping that you get your miracle and that you don't have to stand on the outside looking in anymore.

Birdie said...

I'm just starting down the IF road and I want you to know that since I stumbled across your blog a few months ago, it has been a tremendous support. Thank you for being so honest.

I truly believe that you will become a mother and that your child will be one of the luckiest kids alive. Keep the faith and the sense of humor!

Anonymous said...

The reality is: 1 in 3 ivf's make a baby. To make matters worse, this statistic resets itself for you every time you do an IVF cycle. So, if you think about it in terms of another person: The lovely Celine Dion (gag) did 5 cycles of IVF to get pregnant with her twins. Who knows how many embryos she transferred in between IVF cycles? (If any.) Anyway. The interesting and most important thing to take from Celine’s experience is that she was just below the average in terms of IVF success rates. I hope you find comfort in this. I know it’s hard. But, please don’t give up. Please don’t blame yourself or try to remember what mirror you broke or what you did to shift Karma against you. IVF is like going to the CASINO.

I went to an infertility clinic for 3 years before I became pregnant naturally. Yup. We were waiting to put in our last embryo and my period didn't come....actually it took me 8 weeks to figure out why my period was late. We just thought it was infertility stress....

Jen said...

1- Yes, this feels like I'm looking for my missing child. Totally. (Though I'm sure parents with actual missing children will happily put me in my place...) But, I am supposed to have a child after two years. Where is it? I can't find it! Help!
2- Only adult restaurants for you from now on, missy. Ones with ample cocktail lists. Mmk? I know, they're everywherein our neck of the woods. The stroller set has even taken over our local beer bar (have they no shame?!), but we definitely avoid baby-friendly places and times. One thing I love about NYC these days is that you can have a very child-free life doing lots of fabulous adult things while we wait.

Susan said...

Thank you for this - I felt like someone took my thoughts and put them into your blog post. It's just not fair! I've had terrible luck, too. We tried naturally for over a year (started in Sept. '08), endured three failed IUIs, got pregnant with twin boys on our first IVF, but then I went into unexplained preterm labor and lost them at 21weeks. In the mean time, we rushed to buy a bigger house for our twins. The transaction was final a week before we lost them. So, now we sit in this bigger, empty house, alone. After an emergency D&C from a retained placenta two months later, we tried IVF again in September, which led to internal bleeding during Egg Retrieval, and hence a failed cycle. Failed FET after that, and now just finished our third IVF. I hope we both see those double lines on a HPT, soon. I wish you all the best! Feel free to reach out to me: susano13@hotmail.com

caliopej said...

Am wishing you and your husband all the luck in the world TWW. You are a talented writer and seem to manage to bring some humour to even the darkest moments. That's incredibly brave. Reading through some of the experiences of your readers, women who have been through years of IVF and other treatments and finally got there in the end, makes me believe it is really going to happen for you.

Antonietta said...

Hi Jay,
I just found your blog because I'd like to start my own infertility blog!
My husband and I just started learning about the Creighton Method for NFP- which is specialized in treating infertility. The best part so far is that this method is designed to find out WHAT THE HELL is causing the infertility, not just to treat it.
I'm liking it so far, and finding it a better option than all the other ones I've been given. I wanted to pass it along to you.
Hope this helps!!

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