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While in pregnancy purgatory over the past four days, I've received lots of support from friends and family in the usual varying forms. There's been lots of talk about God's plan, which falls on my completely deaf ears. (I refuse to believe that a God would plan and intend for infertility to happen to good people while stories of child abuse abound--including a mother who recently ate her baby. If that's the plan, someone needs to go back to the drawing board.) 

But I kept hearing one bit of encouragement that really had me confused: prayers for the strength to keep trying. We've now been through eight consecutive failed cycles of IVF. We have no idea why embryos implant and then cease to develop appropriately. We have no idea why PGD-tested embryos go in, but never make it out alive. They're sucked into the black hole vortex of my uterus, never to be heard from again. And we just don't get it. 

Right now, we have two genetically and chromosomally normal embryos sitting on ice waiting for us to decide what to do next. (Well... first we're waiting to see what happens with this struggling embie that's half-attached. THEN we're waiting to decide what to do next.) And I can't help but ask myself if the only way to be "strong" is to try again. Can't I walk away and still be strong? Can't I throw in the towel and resign myself to enjoying the beautiful life that I currently have and still be strong? Can't I just stop making lemonade? I think so.

Strength is so typically associated with persistence, the ability to overcome, and refusal to quit under any circumstances. But strength should also mean the ability to admit when a struggle is starting to suck the life out of everything else that matters. Strength is being able to look at a challenge and say that it's not worth the cost. Strength is staring in the face of infertility, the thing that keeps you from what you want most, and saying I don't want to fight anymore. Truce.

So, here we are. Pulling together a truce agreement. Trying to pick up all these heartbroken pieces and put them back together in a way that makes sense. In a way that makes us stronger than all of this loss. It's hard. It's going to continue to be hard. We've known nothing but IVF for the past 3+ years. But we're ready. We're calling a truce.

 


07/15/2013 1:29pm

This post really spoke to me. I am totally on board with this idea that it takes a huge amount of strength to climb down from a dream, to know when to put the brakes on. It's a bloody underrated strength.

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    My Story

    Infertility has been messing with my family for the past five years. We've seen amazing highs and the most heartbreaking of lows; but with each passing cycle, we've grown a little closer, a little crazier, and a little more willing to just eat the freaking pineapple core. 

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