coping with the feelings of infertiity

Infertility sucks! And it sucks on so many different levels. Sometimes just when you think you’re at a good place, infertility turns around and bites you in the rear, yet once again. {sigh}

Every once in a while you read something that takes your breath away with its to-the-bone honesty. Such was the case with a post by Kara D. on the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group. The last two paragraphs brought tears to my eyes. I want Kara and you in my cheering section. With her permission, I share it with you.


I am 6 days out from our second frozen embryo transfer with a donor embryo. It’s been a long haul, nearly 5 years of treatment, including 12 IUIs [Intrauterine inseminations] with donor sperm, 2 miscarriages, a DVT, a PE, cellulitis, a car accident… just a long and bumpy game of “what else could possibly go wrong?”

I’m 46 and thinking this might be my last try at bio parenthood. We would have one more try with a donor embryo (our clinic allows for 3), but after these last two cycles and all of the many hurdles, I think both my husband, myself and my body might be ready to move on to other parenting options.

After this last transfer, I feel decidedly pregnant. Of course I always do–the mind, hormones and hope are such a powerful brew. This morning, I can’t stop crying. I suddenly realized in a rush of tears that I am already grieving the loss of this baby. I am already saying goodbye. I have already steeled myself against the phone call on Saturday after my labs that will tell me I’m not pregnant after all. I am ready for the change in the sonographer’s brow during the first, or second, or third ultrasound when she sees that our baby is gone… again. I have not yet made it past week 9 of pregnancy, but when and if I do, I will still be ready for miscarriage, fetal demise, stillbirth.

Often, I feel like I am literally crawling and scratching my way toward motherhood.

Some days I feel kind of strong and scrappy, like an underdog sports team. Other days I’m just exhausted by the effort, the injections, the ultrasounds, the labs, the guilt, the brain-space all of this takes up. I feel like a hero, and I feel like a failure.

I also feel a strong, protective sisterhood with all of you, and with my friends who are also on this journey. One day, a close friend from childhood with whom I now have mostly Facebook and Christmas card contact sent me a homemade card out of the blue. The envelope said “Open carefully. Don’t worry, it’s not glitter.” Inside was a collection of tiny wood figures in beautiful bright colors. She said: “Here is your cheering section. I am front and center and cheering my heart out.”

understanding the emotions of infertility
“Here is your cheering section. I am front and center and cheering my heart out.”


Keep fighting, scrappy friends. Keep insisting on the path that is right for you. And when a path is at its end, and the brambles get too thick to go on, grieve. And know that we all grieve with you. Know that we are grieving, and celebrating, and laughing, and cheering, and dancing in the kitchen with you. We are your cheering section.


P.S. Kara did not get pregnant from this donor embryo cycle. She and her husband are taking a break and exploring their parenting options.

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