On Roller Coasters and Unexpected Journeys

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Just a heads up: this will probably not be the most positive post I write about our journey with infertility. Actually, we shouldn’t call this a journey; we should call this a roller coaster. When I think of a “journey” I think of Hobbits carrying a ring to Mordor.  I realize the Hobbits didn’t have quite the easiest time with that ring but for the purposes of this post, we aren’t calling this a journey today. This is a roller coaster: filled with ups and downs, lots of twists, turns and the occasional feeling of being completely upside down. I have always hated roller coasters. I hate emotional roller coasters even more.

I’m getting very wordy here but the main purpose of this post is to tell you that this week we found out our IUI didn’t work and I am not pregnant.

No one thinks they will struggle to get pregnant. No one thinks they will ever hop on the infertility roller coaster and strap in for the long ride. No one pictures their baby being conceived by an IUI or IVF; no one dreams of their husband’s sperm being placed into their uterus with a catheter in order to have a child or spending hours on the phone with their insurance company to find out if they will be covered for IVF because it looks like they might need it.

No one understands what infertility truly feels like until you’re sitting face to face with your doctor and he looks as sad as you do and he can’t tell you why this isn’t working. He can’t tell you why because there is no logical explanation for it: there is nothing he can point to and say “this is broken, let’s fix it”. He can’t say that because nothing is broken, and there is nothing to fix: there is no explanation for the unexplained. All he can tell you is to try again, just once more, and you’ll say yes because you think that if you try, just once more, the answer could be different. No one understands what infertility feels like until you’re standing in a CVS with a prescription for a third round of Clomid while a mother stands behind you holding a baby with beautiful blue eyes.

I am riding the world’s scariest roller coaster and I feel like I’m going to throw up.

Here’s the thing about this particular roller coaster: I can get off at any time. I have the power to say “I think I’m done now, thank you, now please point me in the direction of a very capable therapist.” I control the speed, the number of times I ride, the people who are strapped in with me. But here’s the other thing: I can’t just get off the roller coaster. I can’t just walk away from something I want so badly. And here’s the final thing about this roller coaster: no one will understand the complication of wanting to get off but not wanting to get off unless they are also riding it.

This was not my dream, but motherhood is. This was not Kyle’s dream, but fatherhood is. There will be no silver lining to this post: no lesson about looking on the bright side and choosing joy. There will be no LEO metaphor or well-placed quote. Not today. Today, I am in pain. Today I am angry. Today I am heartbroken. Today I feel like I let Kyle down and let myself down. Today my dreams feel shattered.

Today, I start my third round of Clomid and prepare for my second IUI.

Many of you have reached out asking how you can support Kyle and I during this time. Thank you. Please know that it truly means the world to us that you care. We humbly request the following:

Prayer. Please pray for God’s will to be done in this second IUI cycle. Pray for strength and courage for us. Pray for our doctor and for his team.

Respect for our privacy. We are very open about this process and how it has looked for us. We always welcome your questions because infertility is hard and we need to talk about it more. But, at this moment, we are not quite ready to talk about next steps. Right now, we are focused on getting our hearts and bodies ready for another IUI.

Empathy. You might not understand what we are feeling or experiencing right now but we ask that you give us some empathy. I won’t speak for Kyle but I am not in a good place right now.

Your friendship. We often feel very alone while riding this roller coaster. This is hard. Again, I won’t speak for Kyle but I am not in a good place and am not entirely easy to love at the moment and I’m sorry about that.

Hoping third time’s the charm.

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