lost

I’m so used to living my life in two-week increments. For so long, my daily routine has revolved around my cycle in some way — temping, OPKs, supplements, acupuncture, herbs, fertility foods, meds, poas’ing. While focusing on what I could do to try to enhance my fertility, I avoided other things that could have an adverse effect — e.g., alcohol, coffee, etc. It’s really difficult to accept that none of that matters anymore. Even my stupid prenatal vitamin is taunting me.

Sure, we tried months when I didn’t do all those things — I was unmedicated, or I threw out the OPKs, I drank wine — none of that mattered either. Maybe some day I will be able to embrace this newfound “freedom.” But right now it just makes no sense when we still want a baby more than anything.

Just because we are unable to pursue further treatment or consider adoption does not mean our desire for a child simply disappears.  

I feel lost without the focus of trying to create a baby and build our family.

This is a bizarre thing for me to say, and even stranger to feel. After all, I have a wonderful loving husband and we have a very fulfilling relationship. I have a meaningful career, a job that brings great personal satisfaction and hopefully helps make at least a small part of the world a better place.

But my life, our lives, have been so focused on trying to create a family. It’s what we want more than anything. Without that clarity of purpose and direction, everything else just seems pointless. No matter what we do or don’t do, none of it really matters. To me, that is the essence of hopelessness.  

What makes this even harder is dealing with the question of could we and should we be doing more. I know each person has his or her own limits — physical, emotional, financial, time.  It doesn’t mean one person wants a child any more or less than another, simply because he or she is able to pursue even further avenues to become a parent.

I struggle with the fact that our finances are a huge factor standing in the way of us pursuing further treatment and/or adoption. We don’t have insurance that covers infertility. We don’t have unlimited funds to gamble with. Hell, we don’t even have a home we can borrow against. After a series of failed IUIs, IVF, an FET and multiple surgeries, what we have left — besides our huge broken hearts — is a whole lot of debt. 

I’d be forever grateful to pay off even greater debt if a baby was part of the equation. But it isn’t. It hasn’t been, and there are no guarantees.

Infertility has taken such a drastic toll on our life, in every way. At some point, it just feels like we should cut our losses and try to get on with our lives. Take solace in the fact that we did what we could. No, it’s not enough. Nothing will ever be enough… 

Right now we need to find a way to reclaim our lives from the black hole of infertility. We’re planning a few weekends away for my birthday and our anniversary. We’re even planning on buying some bikes to get out for some exercise and exploration.

Sure, we could be trying to save for further treatment or adoption instead. We even started adoption paperwork before we decided to pursue IVF. But unfortunately, we had to make a choice, and we both decided we’d regret if we did not try IVF. We did and it failed. We don’t regret trying. We just can’t keep trying and trying until maybe someday it works. I question whether another IVF would even be worthwhile with my aging eggs, crusty tubes, and damaged ute. As for adoption at this point, after all we’ve been through, I’m not sure how we would handle the emotional and psychological strain and uncertainty of it all, even if we could afford it. 

None of this means we want a child any less than someone who sustains the loss of multiple cycles, pursues DEs or surrogacy, or crosses the globe to adopt a child. It doesn’t mean we’re not as strong or persistent or dedicated to becoming parents. It just means we have fewer resources. Our limitations do not reflect our desires or our priorities. We still ache and long to share our love and lives with our own child.

The truth is, right now I am broken. I am lost without direction or path. I know that I need to try to find or re-discover myself again if I am ever going to be whole without a child. I’m just not sure if that’s possible.

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~ by luna on April 13, 2008.

30 Responses to “lost”

  1. God I know this, the whole planning your life around sticks and sex and more sticks and abstinence from food and drink and for what??!! And at some point you need to just get off the path and have a new one, and that decision is incredibly hard. (May I add I feel like a real IF poser because I can’t get pregnant without drugs, but so far all I’ve needed was drugs — so even though our insurance doesn’t cover it either, I feel like I’ve only skimmed the surface of ART and haven’t been in the trenches, even though I’ve been through the other rigimrole for a good majority of my 30s.)

    As I’ve said to others and I’ll say to you: I really believe adoption is not plan B — it’s apples and oranges. It’s a whole different ballgame, with it’s own set of pitfalls and struggles and monetary woes and waiting games and heartbreak. And you need to be able to accept that on it’s own terms.

    It makes me so angry, the unfairness of trying so hard and doing everything in your power and being cut short by money and technology. It’s terribly sad being without a path, Luna. Thinking of you as you try and find that map.

  2. As the old saying goes, you can’t turn a ship on a dime… & you’re not going to change the expectations & dreams of a lifetime overnight, or even in a few weeks or months. It’s going to take awhile. Not sure what I can say to make you feel better. Just that I’m here with cyber(((hugs))).

  3. I’m reading this with a heavy heart. You sound so forlorn and hopeless.

    I know what you mean about how we all have different limits. Blogging has taught me that- at first I spent a lot of time on different blogs trying to see if the experiences were similar to mine- but then I realized that even if someone had never even done IVF before, their thoughts and feelings may be very similar to where I am right now. We all have different medical histories, family situations, and financial situations, but the same longing, the same fears, the same loss of control is there for each one of us. I used to read posts and think “well, they could just ____ and it would probably work.” But then I realized that wasn’t the point.

    I know what you mean about feeling lost without a focus of having a baby. I know what you mean. You are not alone…. I hope you find some peace soon.

  4. Luna, I feel it with you. We spend so much of ourselves on one goal, one path, one direction and then are forced to face that it may not be. So then what next? Last week, I went back to a counselor who was very helpful to me years ago and after crying for an hour I realized that I don’t know where I fit in anymore. And it makes me feel lonely and angry. I agree with Loribeth, you can’t turn the ship on a dime (or hell, even a dollar). I have to believe that with time and will, you find peace. I’m even close to being there yet, but I have to believe it will come. In the meantime, I will continue to hold you in my thoughts. I’m crying with you.

  5. Such a familiar feeling. I find myself envying girls with the resources to pursue options I can’t almost as much as girls who are pregnant/have babies. There’s so much in there about “doing what you can”. I find myself questioning why we don’t sell the flat/get a second job/borrow from family for something so important, but what it comes down to is that we could do all these things and STILL not have a baby – and we’d also risk losing the good things we DO have. It’s just so hard.

  6. Luna, I’m going to make a suggestion. It’s unsolicited, and perhaps unwise for me to do so. Maybe I’m just projecting my own needs on yours. Anyway, feel free to consider this a load of crap you didn’t ask for if it makes you feel any better. But I want to say this:

    Maybe, while you’re trying to heal and rest and recover yourself and sort things out, you should consider the other ways you could end up being a mom. None of them are ideal, but I know people who’ve done them, and none of them regret them.

    You might not be able to afford traditional infant adoption. But you might be able to afford adopting an older child, or a child from a less-than-perfect background. When I was in the ER with my ectopic, alone because J was in NY, my doctor sat with me for more than an hour, telling me about her adopted babies. She’s gay, so traditional adoption was out of the question. So she adopted through a Maryland program that set up adoptions for babies born from women who’d been on the streets. These kids didn’t have good prenatal care, and might have been exposed to drugs, but they were beautiful babies who needed a home. My doc seemed full of joy and hope, as she told me there was another way. In some ways I thought she saved my life that night.

    Anyway, it’s just killing me, watching you stare down a life without children, especially because your primary obstacle is money. It just seems so wrong that something like money could keep you from raising a child. So I just can’t keep my mouth shut any longer. I’m not saying you should do this. I just think that, if you find that you’re just not able to accept the childless life, you should consider the option of parenting a disadvantaged child, or a special needs child, or something like that. Or at least talk to someone who’s done it, and see if maybe there is another path for you.

    Like I said, I don’t mean to impose on your grief of make things any worse for you. I just hate to see you hurting this way, and wanted to throw this out for your thoughts.

    Be well, Luna. A lot of us are pulling for you.

  7. Oh Luna… I can understand so much of what you’re talking about. And I think about the financial implications constantly — especially living in NYC where it seems like everyone around us (except us) can afford a zillion IVFs, surrogacy, adoption, etc — whatever it takes.

    Right now, I hope you are able to take a little break and get some space from this and enjoy your trips, the new bikes, each other. As Babychaser mentions, there really are many other parenthood paths out there — which I also am slowly trying to learn more about. But I think it takes time to get there, and there’s healing that has to happen first. You have been through so much, so bravely.

    Thinking of you and wishing you peace. I know this is a super, super hard time.

  8. Luna – As I sit here planning a vacation that we can’t afford but that we need…our marriage needs…I feel guilty charging yet more money we don’t have….money that should perhaps defray what our one shot at IVF is going to cost us. I feel every bit of your pain . You aren’t alone. I wish I had easy answering for all of us but I don’t know. I know it’s a matter of time and of healing and of doing what feels right in your heart.

    I hope that you come to a place of peace and direction in all of this.

  9. (I hope what I say comes across with the lots of love it is intended to be communicated with . . . .)

    It sounds like you and I have a similar streak in us — we are “planners” (I actually have a Master’s degree in planning, so I get is entirely). We need, and feel better, when we have a plan. It stresses us out to not have a plan. Plans have paths and details and even options.

    I believe you will find a new plan. You will be a mother. But as some of the other posters mentioned, it may require you to forge a new path, and consider a plan you hadn’t before.

    You have been through gut-wrenching loss. And you have been stretched emotionally, physically, financially, and so much more. None of it is fair. None of it makes sense. I don’t know that it ever will.

    But as I sit here, poised to become an adoptive mom to a less-than-perfect baby (minor heart issue) from a foreign country, many many MANY dollars in debt, and scared to let Hope in again, I am convinced that this little girl was meant to be mine, and I to be her Mommy. If you told me tomorrow I could be handed a biological infant, I would still chose this baby from China. She, my husband, and I were meant to be a family.

    It wasn’t the life I thought I would lead. And it was borne out of a plan that I never would have imagined. But it is to be Our Story.

    Sending you the most sincere of peace. And pulling for you.

  10. As I sit here trying to figure out what to say, I realize that all of my options are inadequate. Just know that I am thinking of you.

  11. Unfairness was the word that came to me as I read your post. It just doesn’t seem fair that finances get to determine such an important decision. I wish I has something better to say and could offer some great advice, but I got nothing. I am thinking of you and hoping you find peace with this one day.

  12. The only thing I feel can offer right now is a hug – many hugs. I am so sorry you are rudderless at sea right now, and suffering. Please know I am thinking of you.

    Andie

  13. I’m sorry you’re feeling so lost. I know what’s it’s like to live without joy. Been there, bought a t-shirt. I had therapy to deal with the worst of the grief, ate everything that wasn’t nailed down to fill the hole in my heart. Even starting adoption didn’t fix things. It just stirred things up. And when my husband came to me and told me he was unhappy within our marriage, I just about packed it in. But it taught me something about myself. I reached way down and decided to fight for my life. For my happiness so that if I didn’t have a husband, if I didn’t have a child, I could still exist in this world with purpose. I’m still working on it. Things are much better. You may not have a plan, but you did need time. Have patience with yourself. My heart goes out to you.

  14. I have tried to start a response to this post several times, but everything I write sounds so inadequate. I feel your ache pouring through your words, and I ache for you. None of this is fair. It shouldn’t be that people who so desperately want a child (and who would make such great parents) have so much trouble making that dream come true. I am so sorry that it is like that for you. I am so sorry it is like that for so many of us.

    All I can wish is that a path to a child of your very own opens soon–whether that be biological, adopted, fostered, or however. I want to believe that there is hope.

    Much love and many hugs to you,
    Stacie

  15. Babychaser stole part of my comment.

    This thing sucks. No question. I’ve gone through plan b, c, d, I think we’re on e or f.

    And it still sucks.

  16. You need not explain why or how you two make past or future decisions. We’re all just doing the best we can with the cards we’ve been dealt. I just want to say I’m here and I’m wishing peace for you, with time. My thoughts are with you.

  17. Luna, your words made me think of one thing: rupture. The big ruptures that break into our lives and make the futures that we held dear dead to us.

    I felt something like this after I divorced my first husband. I wanted to live the life I imagined for myself in the context of our relationship, but I knew it would never happen. I felt broken, because I couldn’t fathom any other possible future that made sense. It sucked all the joy out of my life for quite some time.

    It may take time for a new future to come to you, a new vision for what could be. Therapy really helped me immensely, and was my only really refuge for several years. I hope that whatever begins to give you some space and solace, that it helps uncover a new path forward, out of this desert.

    I’m sending much love your way!

  18. Luna, I’ve been thinking of you loads. It is all so awful and I haven’t anything wise to say. Please know that I care very much and I’m worried about you.
    Take care Sweetie, please.

  19. Everything you’ve been through breaks my heart. I only recently found your blog – I’ve been checking in on you for the last 3 weeks and “sorry” just isn’t enough. I know what it is like to try to keep living and functioning with a hole in your chest where your heart was. My boy and I are down to our last chance to be parents (IVF w/ DE) – in some tiny measure, I can identify with where you’re coming from. Hope is so elusive at times like these, but don’t give up on it. Be kind to yourself, and you and M hang on….

  20. Luna, I’ve been struggling to come up with a response to your beautiful and truthful post. Again, it’s as if you are reading into my life. I can tell you that from my own journey, I am continually struggling to get to the next major step. It’s been four years since my last medical treatment for infertility (that one failed IVF) and I’m still struggling. I want children, but like you I’m also not emotionally or financially stable. And I’ve also recently begun to question whether I am even supposed to be a mother at all … as much as I want to be.

    And although this post isn’t doing much to make you feel any better, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this. And that I’m also here, stuck in limbo with you.

    Ginormous hugs to you, Luna

  21. Luna- I don’t know where to start. Sometimes when I read your blog I hear my own heart and soul- this is one of those times. Feeling lost is one of the worst feelings- from early on as little girls we are given dolls to prepare us to become future mommies and then we start to babysit and a seed is planted in our heads and our hearts- seed just continues to grow throughout our lives- we marry and think we will start a family just like everyone else around us- we see all these ‘perfect’ families on TV and in movies and in public- and our dream just continues to be fed- and we continue to wonder- why isn’t that us- we aren’t any different- we deserve that life just as much as they do- don’t we, shouldn’t we.
    When we have that set path- those daily, weekly, monthly plans- our lives are set- we are almost on auto-pilot- then when it all stops, it doesn’t really stop- life keeps going on around us while we are standing still trying to figure out where we feel off the path so we can get back on- but the path isn’t to be found- and the new path seems so far away and we aren’t really sure that that is the path we want to take- that isn’t the path we had always planned to take- life isn’t a Robert Frost poem for gods sake- I guess all I can say is that I am here with you looking for that new path- every time I think that I am okay with the new path that my life has placed me on- I don’t want that path- I want the original path- but that path for me is the one that is so far away now. This journey is long and rough- healing takes a long time- and you won’t be alone- reading all the other posts- there are many of us with you on this journey- I am so sorry that your path and my path have crossed at this junction in our lives- I wish that we were both on different journeys, But I will keep you with me in my heart as we travel along whatever life is going to hand us. I send you loving thoughts filled with hope and eventually peace and happiness. The smiles and laughter will come again, I promise, I just can’t tell you when.

  22. Luna –

    What a wonderfully written post.

    I hope that it is comforting to know that you are not alone in the feelings you expressed so eloquently. Regardless of the number of IVF cycles, facing the end of trying without achieving success is incredibly painful. For me, trying to figure out why anything I do really matters anymore is something I continue to struggle with on a daily basis as I try to redefine the meaning of my life.

    It is so hard after the years of incremental living, as you described it, to remember what you focused on before this all began. To remember how to just be the person you have always been, not the person who weighs each and every decision, large and small, important and insignificant, against which day of your cycle you are on or what might happen next time you go in for BW.

    And I agree with you that being limited to one or two cycles by finances or other circumstances does not mean that you wanted it less than someone who did 10 IVF cycles. Six was my limit, but that doesn’t make me any more heartbroken than you are right now. I can definitely empathize with you on that little voice which says, “but maybe we should try again…if I really want this bad enough, I should try again regardless of debt, etc.”

    In the end, I am utterly convinced that it takes more courage to stop trying than it does to keep going. And you are doing your best to reinvest in your life outside of infertility, though it is hard to get out of the vortex.

    I wish you strength. Know that there are lots of us standing beside you.

    Alacrity

  23. I think this is what made it so hard for me to give up on ART. That sense of freefall when you realize all of it was for nothing and now what? It’s scary. I’m still refinding myself, but it does get better with time. And, I still have recurring, though passing, thoughts of trying again.

  24. Hey Luna – you are welcome!

    I agree with beagle about that sense of freefall. I really think that it was fear that drove me at the end. Stopping meant facing that fear and facing failure, while continuing to try allowed me to avoid that, and gave me a small chance of never having to face it at all.

    Hang in there Luna!

    Alacrity

  25. I am with you in the darkness.

  26. If I may be so bold as to offer assvice (and I apologize in advance if it’s not what you need right now) is that for us, when faced with a big expense for a chance and a big expense for a certainty, we chose the certainty. Adoption will happen. It may take a while, but it eventually will. And there are ways to help yourself afford it a little better, including a tax deduction. Good luck with your decision making. I know how hard this is. In the end, you need to do what’s right for you and only you can figure this out.

    It’s just so unfair and it just completely sucks

  27. As you say in this wonderfully eloquent post, just because you are unable to pursue further treatment doesn’t mean that your desire for a child miraculously disappears. At the moment, you are grieving for all that you have lost, and all that might have been.

    I have no advice to offer – there are no words that could begin to mitigate the enormity of what you are going through. Instead, I’m just going to sit quietly with you.

  28. Even though we are in a different situation, I have felt much of what you feel What do you do when you are no longer TTC – when that has been your focus of everything you did for so long. Last night I wondered through the house wondering if I had any purpose at all. Being a mom could be distracting, but shouldn’t I have a purpose outside of being a mom too? And I do recognize that I would choose my situation over yours. I feel very fortunate that we did have the financial resources to try DE. I just wanted to say that the lost feeling can happenif you are successful adopting or whatever.

    Although I didn’t get to the point (assuming this pg makes a live baby) where I couldn’t try again, I always imagined running out of money (vs emotional energy) would be the hardest thing to deal with. Running out of emotional energy seems like it would be a choice that said, “It just isn’t worth it anymore.” While running out of money is more along the lines of “It is still worth it, I just can’t find a way to do it.”

    I don’t know if that makes sense or is in any way true, but I am sorry just the same.

  29. I know the desire is not abated by your decision but what an adventure you’re embarking on as you rediscover yourself.

  30. […] began with lost hope and led to more failure and a cycle of despair, confusion and depression that lasted for months. I’ll spare you the details, you’ve […]

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