grief and loss · Infertility · journal entry · sermon takeaways · trying to conceive

The loneliness of infertility

I haven’t felt like writing very much recently. Part of that is just being so busy with work lately; and between that and trying to do work on our new house and start planning for a move…there’s hardly any time to think.

But it’s been a while (again) and I’m finding that I’m in a rather uncomfortable place emotionally so I need to try and sort things out.

Things are fine during the day. I’m occupied with the aforementioned work/house tasks and that keeps me distracted. And most of the time I’m so exhausted at the end of the day that I just crash.

But lately I’ve been finding myself overwhelmed by a cloud of negative emotions and I can’t get myself out of it (other than by going to sleep; which ends up being difficult if I get down enough).

This infertility journey has become very lonely. I feel so isolated. Yes, there’s people I follow on social media and various blogs; so there’s indirect encouragement sometimes. It’s helpful to see that I’m not alone; but that isn’t translating to my immediate day to day life.

People have all but forgotten about the miscarriage; and I don’t think they realize that the continuing to unsuccessfully try is almost as hard for me now as the miscarriage was, and how difficult it has been to deal with the unsuccessful IUI. And they don’t ask. I want to be heard; but I don’t want to force my emotions on anybody so I keep them inside until someone asks.

I even feel like I can’t really talk to my husband about it. Which is absolutely not true; I know I *can,* he always is willing to listen. But I know I sound like a broken record whining over wanting to be pregnant and whining over who didn’t say or do what I thought they should have, so I just get tired of repeating the same things and making him feel badly for not being able to fix it or make me be able to move on.

He made a comment recently indicating that he wouldn’t have even been able to remember our baby was due in October; and that really stung. I know those dates are more meaningful to me, but I guess I thought he would at least remember our due date and hoped that when the time came he’d acknowledge it.

So even in the processing of the loss (which was definitely set back by the failed IUI) I feel very alone and forgotten. I get a sense of, “why are you still being so angsty about this” from people whenever I do bring something up related to it.

I can’t handle pregnancy and birth announcements. I can’t handle seeing moms with newborns. I want it to be me so badly and every month it isn’t I feel like it’s less and less likely and the ache just gets deeper and heavier.

I know in the journey of all this I’ve all but forgotten God. I’ve pushed him off to a corner to try to deal with everything on my own; and so unsurprisingly he feels far away. As my pastor pointed out, “we shoo God off to a corner and then wonder where he is when we need him…he’s probably still sitting over there saying, ‘I’m here, I just gave you the space you asked for.'”

I’ve been trying to get back into reading my Bible (amazing how when I forget one day it completely throws me out of the routine even if I’ve been doing it consistently for weeks…) and I picked up a book on spiritual disciplines that I need to spend some time looking at. The sermon on Sunday was really applicable as well, he was talking about the function of lament as a means of helping us to respond well to despair; so perhaps I need to take some time to form my own lament in an attempt to reconnect with a God I believe to be good even if none of this feels good right now.

And I guess I also should just talk to my husband. He can’t fix it, but he can be there and I just need to let him.

after miscarriage · grief and loss · Infertility · iui · pregnancy loss · sermon takeaways · trying to conceive

The valley of “should be”

I can’t help but think about the fact that today I should be halfway through my pregnancy. We should already know our baby’s gender, we should be planning for baby showers and where to fit a crib in our apartment…I should be starting to show and…and…and…

I thought when my period came a few weeks ago that things clicked into place and that I was ready to be okay again. In some ways, I have been; I’ve at least been able to be productive and not zone out in front of the TV for hours on end (see previous post).

But every time I see a baby I want to cry. Every time I hear about another pregnancy it’s a gut punch. Every day of my cycle feels like it’s another day closer to be reminded of failure; because at this point I really don’t have a whole lot of confidence that we’ll be able to conceive completely naturally.

I’m just so tired of this being all consuming. But I honestly don’t know how to think about anything else.

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On a separate note, at least things are in process again with infertility treatments. It was super stressful for a couple weeks; I was beginning to be afraid that our new insurance wouldn’t be accepted anywhere (though technically I didn’t even know enough about our plan to get accurate information from any of the clinics I called).

But after a bunch of phone calls and (unnecessary) stress…I was able to switch our insurance ‘group’ to the one that is accepted at the clinic where our previous RE already works. I’m very hopeful that because she knows us she will just let us jump right in to another round of IUI with my upcoming cycle and not make us go through all the testing again; though if it’s a matter of getting insurance to cover things maybe she’ll still have to. I don’t know. I’m just grateful to be able to go back to her; it’s a small blessing in all of this.

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I’ll close with a couple reflections from one of my pastor’s recent sermons. He just finished going through Psalm 23; and the sermon on verse 4 (“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”) had some especially helpful observations.

First was just the quote that he started with…an ancient proverb or something. “All sunshine and no rain makes a desert.” Enough said about that.

He also pointed out the following observation, something I’d never noticed before. The first three verses of the psalm refer to the Lord as “He.” (he leads me, he restores…etc) After the valley…after the first part of verse 4, David refers to the Lord as “you.” (“You are with me, you prepare, you anoint…). Walking through the inevitable valleys of life deepen our relationship with our shepherd and make it personal. We’re not just sheep being herded around…we are children walking through life with a father who pursues us with goodness and mercy. (that was in today’s sermon; the word for follow in verse 6 actually can be translated as “pursue.”)

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And as I pondered a title for this post I realized that the whiny first part is it’s own type of valley…so I guess I need to actually take what I just shared to heart. Hopefully it encourages someone else but apparently I also needed to be reminded of it again.

how to · Infertility · journal entry · sermon takeaways

When your post has a mind of its own…

I don’t know if this counts as my ‘creative’ activity of the day since I’m just planning to vent a little bit…but I’m technically writing so I’ll probably count it.

I’m actually in pretty good spirits today. The sermon this morning was very encouraging and challenging; especially the bit about “rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.” More on that another day perhaps…

Or not. Suddenly I don’t think I should use today’s post to vent. I can save that for another time.

We’re going through Romans in church; and we finally reached Romans 12. That’s been a journey in itself; and we’ve been in Romans 12:9-16 for several weeks now. Today was focused on verses 14-16.

Paul calls us here to humility…humility being a state in which we consider others above ourselves. If we are considering others above ourselves, the natural result is that we sympathize with others. We take our eyes off our own situations and fully enter into the joys and the sorrows of others.

Rejoice with those who rejoice: as an early church father pointed out, perhaps Paul put this one first because it is actually harder than it sounds. Especially for a girl on a journey of infertility. I don’t want to rejoice with yet another acquaintance or friend or family member who is pregnant. But if I’m thinking of others above myself, then their joy should be mine as well.

Mourn with those who mourn: easier to understand. Not always easy to do; especially for the fixers who don’t know what to say or do to ease pain. But as I’ve already learned and experienced, in times of grief it is almost always more effective to just sit with, cry with, be with. Pastor read a reflection from someone who’d experienced loss, and the takeaway was the realization that people who come bearing platitudes and messages of hope and redemption are often the ones that we wish would leave. It’s the ones who “sit quietly, listen carefully, and pray simply” that bring the most peace and comfort.

And interestingly enough, that last bit leads into what I initially wanted to write about. I’ll close with this as a reflection instead of creating an unnecessarily long tirade. Perhaps the ‘sit quietly, listen carefully, and pray simply” is why I’m feeling so tired of all the people who want to tell me about every so-and-so they know who “tried for _____ and then got pregnant”, and especially when that includes a “maybe you should try ______.” I’m not in a place right now to hear that. It doesn’t help. I just want the people I share this struggle with to show up, listen to me vent, and then pray simply with me for patience in God’s timing (and for his timing to be soon!).