General chatter - Regarding infertility; I just need to vent




chickadee32
04-18-2012, 12:08 AM
Not like I haven't mentioned it in a zillion places on this forum, because it's on my mind constantly, but some days are still tougher than others and today is one of them.

I am 33, and have been trying to conceive for about 2.5 years. I was ready to have children a long time before that, but my husband didn't feel ready until a few years ago and so we waited. I had an ectopic pregnancy back in June that no one recognized as ectopic at first, and after the worst 3 weeks of my life I had an emergency laparotomy that went pretty badly. I kept the most critical organs, but the surgery revealed that I have severe endometriosis, and my only option for a pregnancy is IVF (low chance of conception otherwise, high risk of another ectopic if I did conceive, and another surgery would be dangerous for me). I did my first IVF cycle in November/December, and while I stimulated well (over-stimulated, actually) and we produced plenty of high quality embryos, we did not get implantation after embryo transfer. We cryopreserved 6 embryos, and went through a frozen embryo cycle in January/February. Again, no implantation (actually, I think we did have implantation, as I had - pregnancy tests followed by + tests for 4 or 5 days, but then it disappeared and my beta was <5 by the time of the blood test). I took a month off from the hormones after that, and we have recently started another frozen embryo cycle. We'll be transferring two embryos this time, on May 21.

I am trying to be hopeful, but it is so difficult some days. This is such a long, difficult, stressful process. And everyone - EVERYONE - around me is getting pregnant and having their 2nd, 3rd, 4th child in the meantime. My best friend had her 2nd two weeks ago, and I spent the weekend taking care of her toddler while she was at the hospital. It took every bit of my strength to hold back the tears when we took her son to the hospital to meet his brother. A week before that I found out that my other closest friend is pregnant with her 3rd. And tonight my husband's sister told us that she is pregnant with her 2nd.

I am happy and excited for my friends and family, truly and sincerely so. But it's so d*mn hard not to feel incredibly sad when I want so desperately to be pregnant and have a baby myself. I don't have a whole ton of friends, but I am literally the only one without children. And not only do I want so badly to have what they do, I often feel like I can't relate to those aspects of their lives at all, and it's difficult and painful to have those conversations with them. Their children are very understandably the center of their lives, but I've never breastfed, I've never been in a mommies group, I've never made play dates, I've never potty-trained, I've never picked out a pediatrician or a nursery school, etc. and it hurts to talk about those things that I may never do or experience.

And they can't relate to what I'm going through. I don't expect them to be able to do so, and I don't expect them to know what to say (there's nothing to say that will help the situation), but sometimes I wish they'd just say "I know this is really hard for you, and I'm here to listen" instead of filling the space with well-intentioned words that frustrate and hurt more than they help. They say things like "You just have to stay positive! Don't underestimate the power of positive thinking!" as though that will make all the difference. Or, "You just have to have faith and pray, and God will take care of the rest." *cringe* Please - don't tell me what I should do and how I should feel!!!! And because they (and my mother) are trying to 'stay positive' for me, they say things like "when you're a mother you'll understand XXX" or "when you have a baby, then we can do this together!". When I'm frustrated with someone at work, my mother will say something to me like "This is just practice for the patience you'll need when you have a baby." I feel like yelling at her, "It's quite possible that I will never have a baby, and it makes me feel worse when you say those things!!!!" I've TOLD her that (without the yelling), and her response was simply "But I KNOW you're going to have one, and so I'm just going to keep thinking that." And so she keeps saying things like that. My best friend has repeatedly told me the story of how she was talking about her struggle with breastfeeding with another mother, and how the other woman said to her, "yes, only those of us who have gone through IVF would try for that long to make breastfeeding work". My friend didn't go through IVF (it took her 3 months to get pregnant with her 2nd, and she thought that was a long time!) but this seems to be her way of telling me that she has had to struggle as hard as someone who has... or she knows what's it like and can relate... or something. I want to scream every time she tells me that story, but I just nod my head and change the subject. I know she means well, I know my mother means well, I know they all mean well... but f***. It makes it WORSE.

And then there's the "well, are you thinking about adoption?" question. I hate that one, because a) it always seems to come with the assumption that it's almost just like having your own child, and so is just a natural alternative that would make everything ok, and b) it makes me feel like others think it's time for me to give up. I have nothing against adoption, not at all, but NO. We're not talking about it yet. I want to be pregnant and have a child and I'm not ready to give up hope on that yet.

*deep breath*

I know I have a lot to be grateful for, chief among them that IVF is even an option, both physically and financially. I know I am lucky that certain aspects of the IVF work well for me, as that's not the case for many women who have to do it. I know I am very lucky in many ways, and I try very hard to remember that. Things could be much worse, and what I have to deal with is small compared to the difficulties that others have to face in their lives. I know this, and I try to keep it all in perspective. But, it's really hard not to feel very, very down and very alone some days.

And I'm sorry. I've probably said a bunch of things that will offend people in this post, and I'm sure I sound like a horrible, ungrateful friend when people are just trying to be kind and helpful. I just need to get some of this out. And keep myself away from the eating to soothe thing that I seldom do but am fighting not to do tonight.


konfyoozed
04-18-2012, 12:23 AM
sometimes a vent is absolutely necessary and totally acceptable!

i'm very sorry you are going through all of this and i hope things go well for you next month :hug: (your next IVF is on my anniversary, i'll send some good vibes your way!)

chickadee32
04-18-2012, 12:30 AM
Thank you, konfyoozed, for the kind words and making me feel like I'm not a complete nutcase. :hug: And thank you very, very much for the good vibes; happy early anniversary to you. :)


I'm going to do some exercise. Better than eating, right?


Pepino
04-18-2012, 01:02 AM
Aww hunny!!! So sorry you are feeling so low!

You know over at the babycenter website (they have different versions for each country which is why I didn't put a link) they have forums specifically for women who are doing IVF. They could definitely relate and support you (as can the women here but of course you'll find more people going through the same there).

I haven't done it but I have known people that have and it is very, very emotionally taxing. You have every right to feel how you feel. Not to mention the hormone injections don't exactly help with the positive mood!

mandalinn82
04-18-2012, 01:02 AM
Your feelings are normal. Being conflicted about loved ones getting pregnant is totally normal. Feeling like people don't understand, being offended by genuinely insensitive or well-meaning but poorly worded comments - totally understandable. You have a right to be sad, to be conflicted, to be frustrated, to be upset. So let yourself feel those feelings.

The thing is, fertility issues suck. There is nothing anyone can say that will make them not suck, so people struggle with what to say and end up saying things that, well, just don't help. And that just adds to the frustration.

I'll be sending you sticky baby vibes on the 21st as well. No matter where your fertility journey takes you, have faith that it will ultimately get you the family that the Universe (or insert higher power of your choice) means for you to have.

An aside - you know how on 3FC, you can talk about weight issues, going out, skinny friends, etc in an environment where people truly understand? There are lots of message boards for those trying to conceive. Have you explored any of them? It might give you a place to be reassured that you are DEFINITELY not alone, and discuss the rollercoaster with people who are on the same ride. They were really useful for me when we were trying to get pregnant.

rainydays
04-18-2012, 02:09 AM
:hug: ((baby dust)) *positive vibes* :hug:

cherrypie
04-18-2012, 02:16 AM
People really do say the stupidest thing. It took us four years to have our first and I still remember a friend phoning me hysterical because she didn't get pregnant the very first month she tried :lol:

I'll send happy embryo thoughts your way. And do look into forums for people in the same situation you are in. I know how isolating this sort of thing can be.

chickadee32
04-18-2012, 02:42 AM
Thank you very much, ladies. I just needed to get it all out, and I'm feeling better now after the exercise. It was just kind of rough hearing the news tonight, on top of a few rough weeks in that regard.

I have been to and posted on a forum specific to trying to get pregnant by IVF (by invitation from someone here, actually), and it did feel helpful for a time, but when my first cycle failed I was so despondent and felt like I didn't want to be there, or maybe shouldn't be there. It's hard to explain. That first cycle was such an involved, intense experience - in part due to the process itself (the injections morning and night, the daily appointments and daily wait for the afternoon phone call with the number of follicles, the size, my hormone numbers, the number of embryos still developing, etc.) it was almost all I could think about, all day long, it was constant - and posting about it there and reading about and responding to the same experiences from others just seemed to amplify that. I really wanted to try to relax a bit more with the second cycle (an frozen cycle is so much easier all around to begin with) in the hopes that not being so tense would help things work better, and so I didn't go back and tried to keep myself occupied doing and thinking about other things as much as I was able. But you're right; I should go back, as it is helpful to talk to others who understand. And on that forum too I think I have to understand that - as you said, mandalinn - this stuff just sucks, and there's nothing that's going to make it not suck. It's just the way it is, and there is nothing anyone can say or do to make it better or easier.

And thanks to all of you very much for saying that it's ok to feel how I'm feeling. There are a lot of conflicting emotions surrounding this stuff, and sometimes I don't handle them well. And yes - the hormones don't exactly help that either! lol

Thank you again.

LovelyAndLosing
04-18-2012, 05:59 AM
Chickadee,

I am not yet 25 (and am single) so I'm not where you are yet, but I can somewhat relate. I have pretty severe symptoms from endometriosis, and have been told by multiple doctors to prepare for the likelihood that I wouldn't be able to conceive. In many ways, I'm glad I was warned so young, I have spent years getting comfortable with the idea that adoption might be my route to mommyhood someday. Although, we will see if all my "rational thinking" goes out the window once I actually meet someone and try to concieve!

My big sister has a 18 mo. old and is pregnant with her second (without trying). I have had this EXACT conversation with her multiple times:

" "It's quite possible that I will never have a baby, and it makes me feel worse when you say those things!!!!" I've TOLD her that (without the yelling), and her response was simply "But I KNOW you're going to have one, and so I'm just going to keep thinking that." "

I know the frustration when a close family member shrugs off your legitimate fears and says "I'm not worried. It will happen."

Anyways ... this is kind of rambling, I just want to say you aren't alone and ... HUGS!

Porthardygurl
04-18-2012, 12:35 PM
Let me give you some hope..

My husband's sister, tried for over 5 years to get pregnant. They finally determined after 5 years of trying everything possible, to go to a doctor who diagnosed her with severe endometreosis. She thought this was the end of a chance for having a baby. They wanted to go in and do a biopsy of the uterus lining. Exactly a week before she was due to have the biopsy, she found out she was pregnant..but lost the baby two weeks later. She and her husband decided to keep on trying right after losing the baby and she got pregnant again and lost that baby as well...She said "if i lose the next one, im done". She concieved a few months later and now she has a beautiful little girl...

This is just one story of a diagnosis taking another turn..

Here is another one:

My friend and his wife were having issues getting pregnant. Turns out he had a very very low sperm count, but the persisisted..10 years later..she got pregnant with their very first. They had to try for 10 whole years! Thats a long time to try..but it happend..and then after that..she got pregnant again in less than a year..they now have two beautiful children.

What is my point? My point is..some situations LOOK hopeless..but they arent hopeless..You just need to keep holding onto your faith and keep on holding your head up high..If these people had to wait 5 and 10 years and doctors said "no you cant have a baby or its unlikely" and yet they defied the doctors diagnosis...dont you think you can to? I would honestly just keep on trying the natural way too...

WebWoman
04-18-2012, 01:07 PM
My sister was in your situation years ago and did IVF. It took Multiple times and a lot of their savings, but she ended up having a boy, and later a girl who are now 11 and 13. Don't give up!

samcakes
04-18-2012, 01:41 PM
having a baby is on my mind wore than anything else these days. my hubby and i never really tried not to have a baby... if that makes sense (5 years... no birth control)
but in the last 2 years we have been making the effort to have our first.
my sisters all have children, and had no fertility problems. it really hurts to see them with their children, when i have wanted one for so long.
i totally understand how you feel. i dont think there is anything so frustrating than your body refusing to do what is was meant to do.
jon and i are trying our first round of artificial insemination in 2 minths, and hopefully we wont have to go so far as ivf. we would never be able to afford it.

good luck, your not alone!

runningfromfat
04-18-2012, 01:48 PM
Hugs. I've had my own issues, although, I've been very lucky to have my daughter too. I think when it comes to infertility you've either been through it or you haven't and it's just hard to explain all those fears/frustrationg to friends and relatives who have gotten pregnant very quickly and have never dealt with it. They might want to be there for you but just not know how to do it. They might struggle with understanding the idea that you might not get that baby that you so desperately want and just want to give you hope instead of see you upset.

After I had my miscarriage I know my friends and family really wanted to be supportive but, yeah, sometimes I got misguided remarks. I often get asked by strangers here when we're going to start TTC for #2 and since I don't want to go into my entire history for an innocent question I just have to shrug it off.

It's frustrating and definitely look for outlets to be able to vent. It sucks not being able to get pregnant when everyone around you is and that's what you want. You have every right to vent. Just know that even though your friends and family might not understand it exactly or be able to say the right words, it does sound like they care about you. :hug:


Oh, and lots and lots of good baby vibes for your next IVF cycle!!!!!!

Elladorine
04-18-2012, 03:02 PM
I'm so sorry to hear you're having such a hard time. I think I can relate a little, even if I don't have any infertility issues that I know of.

I've wanted a baby for years, but like you, was with someone that wasn't ready. My ex promised marriage and starting a family, but as time passed, it became obvious that he wasn't ready to be an adult about a lot of things. I already felt I was in pretty late in the game, watching all my friends having babies as I was getting older. I finally broke up with him (his issues ran a lot deeper than making a commitment to me) and went into the relationship I'm in now. Dated, got married, and stayed on the pill since my husband wasn't quite ready. While not actively trying yet, I went off the pill last summer when my husband agreed he'd be happy if it happened, and that if I wasn't pregnant in a year we'd find ways to get more active with trying. Life was pretty busy and stressful in the fall and the last thing I expected was getting pregnant.

Then my SIL announced she's pregnant. She's 13 years younger than me! While happy for her, I cried when I heard the news because all I could think about was, "where's my baby?" And what was it, two weeks later? I realized I was feeling funny and noticed my period was late. Took a test and found out that I was already pregnant myself! I was so excited! SIL and I hugged each other when we later met up, dancing around the restaurant as I told her I didn't let her be pregnant alone. ;) We all talked about how our kids were going to grow up together and even discussed moving to a closer part of town since we were going to need a new place anyway.

I was one day shy of my second trimester when I miscarried. :( Such a horrible, painful experience on top of the obvious (I could not believe how horribly unprofessional the staff was at the ER, I ended up losing the baby after they kicked me out of admittance). Now it's three months later and I see SIL's belly continuing to grow, with ultrasounds posted on the fridge and new baby stuff getting piled everywhere. I still have the baby blanket that MIL knitted for us at Christmas, packed away in a box, waiting. We're no longer talking about moving just yet as we're not rushed to find a bigger place without a baby on the way. It all just . . . hurts so much. I can't describe it. And while I'll be so happy for SIL when her baby is born, I know I won't be able to help but think about the baby I've lost whenever I see hers.

Sigh . . . life's never how we planned and it's just one of those things. A lot of people have offered me advice or words of comfort about what God supposedly wants or trying again or what's "meant to be" . . . I know they mean well, but it tends to make things more painful. What I have found the most comforting is knowing that I'm not alone, that other people have gone through this kind of thing and have perhaps come out stronger because of it. I certainly hope that's happening to me, as it's been an incentive to get healthier. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I relate in some way. Even if we haven't gone through the exact same thing, I know the pain of watching everyone else with growing families and feeling helplessly empty. You have every right to vent but hang in there! We both have our own set of options to keep trying. :) I do hope things will work out for you soon! Sending hugs your way. :hug:

MadeleinesMom
04-18-2012, 03:14 PM
Just wanted to say that I've been in your shoes.

My husband and I tried for a year to get pregnant and then my gyno referred us to a fertility expert. After a few cycles of trying IUI's, they told us we should try IVF. The problem was mostly with my husband, so at that point I wasn't taking any drugs and was totally freaked out about taking them. (I can be a bit of a hypochondriac.) Then a friend of ours got pregnant doing IVF with the same physician and we decided to try it. We went through the first cycle and I didn't get pregnant. I remember being so upset because I just assumed it would work. We had the "perfect" cycle and all the blood tests and ultrasounds were coming back like they should. But I didn't get pregnant. We were left with four frozen embryos. We waited a few months just because we were so devastated and then we started a cycle for the frozen embryos. We went through all the injections and tests and I was scheduled to go in the next day for the transfer. I got a call that night saying that three of the four frozen weren't going through the process well, and there would only be one for the transfer. My husband had been out running errands and came back to find me on the sofa crying. He said that's it, forget it. We just won't go. I said no, we've gotten this far, I have to see the cycle through. So we went the next day and they transferred the single embryo. When I actually wound up pregnant, they told me how rare it is for someone to get pregnant with only one embryo. That was nine and a half years ago, and we have a beautiful daughter.

We did try again when our daughter was two years old because we would have loved to have another, but I didn't get pregnant. And one day not long after when something crazy was going on around the house, my mother actually said to me, it's just a good thing you didn't get pregnant again. Yup, she actually said that to me. No one can understand how upsetting it is to go through this except someone who's been there. I feel your pain, and all I can do is wish you lots of luck and good thoughts. And believe it or not, all these years later, when I look back, all the shots and blood tests, etc. almost seem unreal. So you too, will come out the other side and find your way to having the baby you want.

threenorns
04-18-2012, 03:17 PM
the beauty of pre-warned venting is you can pretty much get away with saying anything at all and by obligation, nobody can hold it against you.

it's understood that you've been stressed past your breaking point and you need to relieve pressure before something snaps.

all i'm going to say is i'm sending positive vibrations and baby dust your way.

chickadee32
04-18-2012, 09:17 PM
LovelyAndLosing, thank you very much. I know EXACTLY that feeling when someone dismisses your fears and feelings and concerns, and I'm so sorry you have to deal with that too. It's frustrating, and it hurts. And while I hate phrasing it this way, because I wish you weren't dealing with endometriosis and the risks to your fertility... but I'm so glad to hear that you have doctors who have recognized your symptoms and understand the risks. It certainly doesn't make dealing with it any easier, but I really hope that the diagnosis came early enough to stave off even more serious damage so that your chances of conceiving are higher. :hug:

Porthardygurl, thank you for the hopeful stories. I am definitely willing to keep trying as long as we can manage the meds financially, and I am still hopeful that given enough attempts it will eventually work. Unfortunately though trying naturally isn't an option for us; it was made quite clear that it would be a dangerous route. So there won't be any happy surprise pregnancies for us, but I'll gladly take a had-to-try-really-hard-to-get-it pregnancy at some point. :)

WebWoman: Thank you too for letting me know that the IVF worked for your sister after multiple attempts. I get worried that because we didn't get implantation even after transferring a perfect embryo twice that it means I might never get implantation... but I just need it to stick ONE time, that's all, and that can still happen.

samcakes: I'm so sorry that you have been struggling to get pregnant as well. I know how hard it is to want it so badly while watching everyone around you having children, and I really feel for you and hope so much that the IUI will be successful. I couldn't imagine affording the IVF before either, but depending on the fertility center there may be options for assistance (I think something like 60% of the women at my center get some sort of financial assistance), and depending on the state in which you live/work there may even be some insurance coverage. There wasn't for us, but thankfully my center has a great plan - we can do up to 6 fresh cycles of IVF and as many frozen cycles as we have embryos for one price, and if it doesn't work or if we quit the program before going through all 6 fresh cycles then the entire amount is refunded. It doesn't include the cost of the medications, which are considerable on their own for fresh cycles (much cheaper for frozen cycles), but just having that many chances has given me greater peace of mind where the money is concerned. There aren't any of the 'if it doesn't work this time, can we even afford to do it again?" worries. And from what I understand, more and more fertility centers are offering similar plans. Anyway, I really hope the IUI works beautifully for you and you'll never have to consider going the IVF route, but if you do end up facing it please know that it may be more feasible financially than you'd think - that you may still have options, and still have reason to be hopeful.

runningfromfat, I am so very sorry to hear about your miscarriage, and I wish very much that you didn't have those struggles and issues of your own. :hug: Over the past several months I've often thought that it must be very difficult too to have fertility-related issues when you already have one child and want/wanted another but are/were unable to for whatever reason... and I'm sure there are well-intentioned but equally frustrating and hurtful comments and questions in that situation too. Having one child already doesn't make it any less difficult or painful when you want more. And I do try to keep in mind that my friends and family care and have good intentions; I know they love me, and I can't expect them to know how to related. I wouldn't know how to relate either, and I'm sure I've said some incredibly insensitive things in the past without even knowing it. Thank you very much for the good wishes, and I wish you the best as well.

Elladorine, reading your post broke my heart. I try not to think about it, because it reduces me to tears every single time, but I remember so clearly that excitement of getting the positive pregnancy test back in June after wanting it for so many years. I know that overwhelming joy, and the despair that comes with losing the pregnancy (they thought I was miscarrying at first, and did a D&C... the first of many missteps by the medical professionals over the course of those three weeks). And my joy and excitement only lasted a few days, it didn't have the time to build and compound the way that yours did... it hurts my heart to imagine the devastation you must have felt with the miscarriage, and all the pain you've been feeling since that time watching your sister-in-law's pregnancy and baby plans progress. It would kill me. Of course you're happy for her... but it's just.so.hard. I hope, really hope, that as horrible as this experience has been for you that it does something good and positive for you in another way... after my surgery in June and all the bad news that came with it, my resolve to keep losing weight and getting healthier became stronger. It was something I could control, when it felt like everything else around me was out of my control. Having something else to focus on and being able to achieve those health and weight goals HAS made me feel stronger and better, and I hope that's the case for you too. And I really, really hope that someday soon you'll have the baby you want too. I will be thinking good thoughts for you. :hug:

MadeleinesMom: :hug: I really thought it would work for us the first time too. All the signs were so positive, I had great numbers, a great lining, a perfect embryo... and it was so devastating when it didn't work. And I worried too with the last frozen cycle about the thaw, and now I worry about what might happen this cycle, what if it has to be cancelled if the embryos don't make it or my lining doesn't develop well... I know those emotions, and how intense they are, how hard all of it is. It gives me a lot of hope that you were still able to get pregnant though with just the one; I am so hoping that transferring two this time will give us a better chance than in the last two rounds. I'm really sorry that your try for a second didn't work for you. And I'm just speechless at what your mother said to you. WOW. Talk about not getting it. Thank you very much for the understanding and the good thoughts... when I get upset I'm going to try to focus on the thought that this may all just be a distant memory one day.

threenorns: Thank you very much for the good vibes, and I hope I didn't say something to offend.

threenorns
04-18-2012, 10:14 PM
pas de tout, pas de tout - trust me, it'll be obvious if i've gotten offended!

Arctic Mama
04-18-2012, 11:23 PM
I am sorry for your struggles :grouphug:

runningfromfat
04-25-2012, 09:42 AM
runningfromfat, I am so very sorry to hear about your miscarriage, and I wish very much that you didn't have those struggles and issues of your own. :hug: Over the past several months I've often thought that it must be very difficult too to have fertility-related issues when you already have one child and want/wanted another but are/were unable to for whatever reason... and I'm sure there are well-intentioned but equally frustrating and hurtful comments and questions in that situation too. Having one child already doesn't make it any less difficult or painful when you want more. And I do try to keep in mind that my friends and family care and have good intentions; I know they love me, and I can't expect them to know how to related. I wouldn't know how to relate either, and I'm sure I've said some incredibly insensitive things in the past without even knowing it. Thank you very much for the good wishes, and I wish you the best as well.

I just saw your response now. Thanks for the :hug: and back at you. ;)

I hope you keep us updated on how the next IVF cycle goes (both good and bad news because we're here for support either way).