Saturday, December 8, 2012

The past few years Christmas season have always been a stressful time of year for me.  Besides the fact that I'm busy like everyone else is trying to work and to find time and money to shop for gifts, I'm also thinking overtime about our infertility.  This is my third year that I hoped I'd either be pregnant or have a family for Christmas.  For most, Christmas revolves around children so I feel very left out and sad that I don't yet have what I want so badly.  It doesn't help that I can count over 5 people off the top of my head that just had newborns or are pregnant.  It seems the pregnancy and baby announcements are a daily occurrence.  And while I know I'll be doing it once I finally have my family, it doesn't help getting Christmas cards with pictures of children, babies and families.  The other stress come from the fact that just because I don't have children, doesn't mean I'm not busy too.  I have a career, interests, hobbies, and responsibilities too.  Sometimes it frustrates me that others with families take advantage that.  Why are my responsibilities any less important than theirs just because I am childless?  Why do people always assume I have more money to spend for the holidays or for day to day things because I have no children?  Why am I always the one to travel to meet up with people or for the holidays?  I agree that maybe I have a cleaner house with no toys cluttering the living room and take extra vacations because I don't have children....but for the past 2 1/2 years, this hasn't been my choice.

To put things into perspective (if you have children) how I feel now:  the amount of time and intensity you spend loving your child and doing things for them, is the same amount of time and sadness I have thinking about and dealing with our infertility.  It isn't as easy as turning off a switch. Try having that hang over your head when everyone else seems to be enjoying the holidays.  

I can't wait until it's my turn to be busy with changing diapers, or trying to find a sitter, or being stressed out because my child is sick, and freaking out because I have no time for myself.  I have no doubt these things are difficult but I welcome them.  I'd take that any day over living through what I feel now.  I just hope that I have a few close friends who will remind me of this when I start freaking out to them or posting complaints of facebook when I have a family.  Something tells me that the first few people who remind me of this will be the people who LEAST understand what I'm going through now.  I feel that my putting my thoughts out for all to hear is like condemning myself from never being able to complain or to have a bad day when (and if) I have children.  I'm sorry but living 28 months through testing, poking, prodding, uncertainty, sadness, guilt, anger, loss, embarrassment, jealousy, and grieving gives me a bit of a license to complain a bit from time to time.  Everyone is entitled to complain, but it's the people who complain about their life and kids that don't think before they say something or don't first acknowledge how lucky they are that bothers me.  

As the year ends, there is a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel.  Chris and I were one of the finalists for an IVF grant though a non-for-profit organization called Baby Quest.  We were one of 4 chosen recipients!  For me this is the most amazing thing...someone actually read, understands, acknowledges and is willing help with what we are going through.  I'm still not sure of what we have exactly won but it appears that we will be getting some help with medication costs (which can range from $2,000 to $6,000).  We will be responsible for the remaining $11,000 for the actual IVF procedure.  While this is exciting that our IVF is around the corner (I'm hoping for March), it's also a scary time too.  For those who've never dealt with infertility, they see this as only amazing and exciting and while it is, it's also horribly scary.  Obviously we hope and think IVF will work, but there's also a small chance that it won't.  It is NOT a guarantee.  I know this all too well with living through a few other failed procedures (IUIs) and 20some plus months of trying on our own.  It never gets easier. Ever.  And the more effort you put into it, the harder you fall.  This IS our last resort like any other couple who seeks IVF.  There ARE no other options for us to have a biological child.  Sure, we could try again, but coming up with $15,000 again isn't easy.  Sure we can adopt, but that also costs $20,000 to $30,000 too.  Besides, even though I may have a baby by the end of it, I'm am definitely NOT looking forward to juggling work and doctors' appointments 3 to 5 times a week, shooting myself with needles, side effects of hormones, painful surgery to retrieve eggs and having strangers invading my personal life and body.  I know going through this is essential but something about a foot long needle up my who-ha to retrieve eggs doesn't seem like fun to me and THAT is why I have mixed feelings.  But bring it on because I'd rather try and not succeed than not try at all.  What I could get out in the end will be my greatest reward. 


  1. Congratulations Rachel!!!!! This is wonderful news and I am so glad that someone read your story and felt the emotion I'm sure you poured into it and realized you and Chris deserve this grant!

    As far as IVF goes, I have been through it twice and would be happy to answer any questions you have. You had mentioned the egg retrieval and I admit it was very scary for me because I didn't know what to expect the first time. I cried pretty hard when we arrived at the appointment. They kept telling me I had nothing to worry about. I asked what drug they were giving me and they responded "the Michael Jackson drug" lol. They were doing as much as they could to make me laugh. I tell you no lie, I closed my eyes and felt it was over in a second. When I woke up, I felt so loopy but in a good way LOL. I was so out of it that I told them "this is good stuff". It wears off within 15 minutes and you're back to normal. I can honestly say there was no pain afterwards or any cramping. The second time we went, I had the "bring it on" attitude. I was more than ready.

    As far as my husband and I go, I have been on bedrest the past 5 weeks for a sub-chorionic hemmohrage. It was getting drastically bigger and it was pushing on the babies and risked cutting off their oxygen. My doctor was concerned I was going to miscarry. Now it has decreased from 8 cm to 3.5 cm. Things are looking up now. I thought once we were pregnant all the emotional difficulties would be behind us but I was wrong. Sitting in the house lying in bed worrying about losing your babies after all you been through to conceive them was heartbreaking BUT now we are out of the danger zone and just have to monitor what is left of the hemmohrage. My RE released me last Friday and I am now seeing a multiple birth specialist and my OB.

    I just want to say congratulations again on your wonderful news. :-)

  2. Thank you for such an honest post. I stumbled across your blog after doing one of many google searches on "failed iui". We have undergone the procedure twice and are bracing ourselves for a third. This Christmas has been especially difficult for me as well. I can relate to many of the things that you shared. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Rachel - I came across your blog today and I can't tell you how close to home it hits and how much I appreciate it! I spent my entire work day on your blog and wanted to read everything at once! We have been TTC in one way or another since 2008 but didn't try the IUI and IVF route until a year ago. I did one IUI and 2 IVFs to date and we are contemplating a third and possibly final IVF - but money is a huge factor as you know in all this. I have reached my max lifetime on meds so we are in saving mode right now. Thank you so much for sharing and I wish you both nothing but great things!!!

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