It's Complicated, Exponentially So

"The most painful state of being is remembering the future, particularly one you can never have."
~Soren Kierkegaard

21 months spent pursuing anything is difficult. Whether it's a job, a stable relationship, or a clean bill of health following a long illness, wanting and waiting takes its toll. It begins with hope. And expectation. And thoughts of what life will be like once the pursuit is finally over. As time marches on, though, hope is replaced with disappointment. And disillusionment. And despair. And thoughts of the life you imagined for yourself are replaced with a kind of coping mechanism that develops out of necessity. I've spent 21 months pursuing a baby.

I wish I could say that my last post's comment on life soon becoming "exponentially more complicated" was in reference to being pregnant. Several of you who read this blog thought as much. Instead, in about one month's time, husband and I are doing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Our last-ditch effort to have a baby that's biologically ours. It represents for me the end of a journey toward a future many women believe will come naturally to them whenever they are ready. And for most of them, this is true. Unfortunately, it isn't the case for me.

We've spent the last year receiving fertility treatments-a calvacade of nightly pills and injections, followed by ultrasounds at dawn to monitor follicle development. Sex life reduced to a rigorous schedule. Inseminations and pep-talks from perky "no tears here" nurses and technicians programmed to boost spirits with words like "4 mature follicles!" and "excellent sperm counts!" and "ultra-thick uterine lining!" And then the stirrups, and the speculum, and the catheter, and the hope injected inside...And the crushing disappointment two weeks later.

We've spent the last year enduring every conceivable (ha-ha) fertility test as well. Invasive, embarrassing, personal. And nothing wrong whatsoever. It is unexplained infertility. Nothing's wrong, but nothing's right at the same time.

I've lost friendships as a result. And others have changed, and not for the better. Dealing with a friend who has baby-proofed her life for self-preservation isn't always the easiest thing to understand when your children were conceived without a problem. It's impossible to fully grasp, if you haven't gone through it yourself. I know this. And I don't blame them for not calling anymore.

Technology has given us a chance. A 50% chance, according to my doctor. I'll take it. In the meantime, there is no more talking of names, of child-rearing strategies, of "when we have kids, we're going to do X, Y, and Z." There is no discussion of childcare plans, or family vacations, or bottle versus breast-feeding, or what color to paint the room that holds books, and boxes, and wrapping paper, and not much else. And there hasn't been in quite some time. Instead, there is expectation and anxiety. And calendar-glancing, and discussions of what to tell (or not to tell) managers, and friends, and family, the latter of whom know nothing. And buried somewhere deep, there is hope.

16 Responses to “It's Complicated, Exponentially So”

  1. # Blogger CAL

    Well as I told you yesterday, I'm going to be the optimist. :)  

  2. # Anonymous Claire

    Hi, I've come over from Michele's. I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles. My sister is just embarking on the road to having a baby and seeing her disappointment each month as she realises it hasn't been successful is heartbreaking. I can't imagine how it must make you feel after such a long time. I hope that the IVF treatment helps and that you're in the 50$ statistic that works. Good luck.  

  3. # Blogger Caryl

    First off, I would like to say how sorry I am for all the trouble you are having. I can only image how sad, frustrated and angry you must be. However, I’m going to take the side of waningliberal and be optimistic. I know that you are past being optimistic at this stage of the game. However, it ain’t over until till it’s over (Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck).
    To hell with the people who don’t call you anymore! You have tons of friends who are pulling for you and are praying that you will be in the 50% group where IVF is successful. So, you keep plugging away on your end and I’ll keep praying and sending all good karma your way – good luck!  

  4. # Blogger Marie

    I'm so sorry you're going through this difficult time, Kristi. I am sending lots of prayers and good wishes your way.  

  5. # Blogger Geekwif

    Oh Kristi, I'm so sorry. I'm losing a battle here to fight back tears because I understand what you're going through and I hate to see other women having to deal with such a painful situation. I don't like to talk about it much, but we've been trying unsuccessfully for a very long time.

    I truly hope this next attempt is a successful one for you.  

  6. # Blogger Alisha

    This post was beautiful. Sad, and beautiful. I am so sorry for what I know, all too well, is one of the most difficult times you will probably ever face. The last paragraph of this post was so real to me, especially the last line, that it brought me to tears. I share your struggle, although we are in different phases. If, after all you've been through, the desire is still alive inside yourself to have a baby biologically yours, then I applaud you for continuing the fight. There is a reason for everything under the sun. Ignore, lovingly, the well-meaning repetitions of "Why don't you just adopt?", "If you'll just RELAX, it'll happen". I'm sending you many positive thoughts!  

  7. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Yes, what everyone has said, a thousand times over. I can't even begin to understand how you're feeling, but you are absolutely right not to give up hope. I am SO pulling for you on this and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for sharing this with us and please keep us posted.


  8. # Blogger Clare Eats

    *Huge Cyber Hug* XO  

  9. # Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty

    Kristi, oh. I'm so sorry to hear of your struggles. This time last year I was also heading off to the infertility clinic before work for bloodwork, stirrups and wands. I now how frustrating, disappointing and depressing the whole ordeal is. I truly, truly hope that IVF is the answer to your prayers!
    Have you checked out the message boards on:
    I found them very helpful.  

  10. # Blogger Kristi

    Waning-Somebody has to be! Thank you.

    Claire-Thanks for visiting, and thank you for the kind thoughts and the luck.

    Caryl-I'll take all the optimism I can get, so thank you! You're a good friend to me.

    Marie-Thank you. I'll take 'em!

    Geekwif-I'm so sorry that you know exactly what I'm feeling. Email me anytime if you want to talk with someone who can truly understand what you're going through.

    Alisha-I'm sad that you can relate so well to this post, because it means you're enduring the same struggle, which I would wish for no one. I'll keep you in my prayers. thank you for the advice, and for your kind words.

    Amy-Thank you for the prayers. I know they help!

    Clare-thanks! A hug all the well from the Southern Hemi has to be a great thing!

    Kross-Eyed-From reading your blog, I could tell that you might be going through something similar. I haven't checked out those boards, but I will. Email me anytime if you want to chat about this horrible thing we have in common.  

  11. # Anonymous MissMeliss

    I really hope the IVF works for you.  

  12. # Anonymous E

    I have had your site bookmarked for quite some time and visit you often, although I rarely comment. This post, however, couldn't be passed by. I wish you luck as you continue to travel down this path. I haven't been in your shoes, but I have many friends who have similar stories. I've watched their anxiety and hope and I've seen some celebrate. I wish that for you.
    Thanks for visiting me via Michele's yesterday. I'll keep coming back to visit and I promise I'll try to comment more often!  

  13. # Blogger cara

    It is impossible for me to truly feel your pain, I hav emy own children. Follow your heart and do what you believe is right for you. I have faith that you will have your hearts desire. Keep your head up, and you are in my thoughts.  

  14. # Blogger Kristi

    MissMeliss-Thank you. :)

    E-Thanks for stopping by again, and thank you for your kind words. They mean so much to me.

    Cara-You're sweet. I'll take all the good wishes I can get.  

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  16. # Anonymous Anonymous
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  • 34-year-old writer and
    mother to a daughter
    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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