The Eternal Guest Room

Infertility kinda sucks.

This may be it


Last night I did something I haven’t done in a really long time – I came across pictures of a baby in my blog feed and burst into tears.

I feel like this longing will never go away, along with the pain. It seems like no matter how good I’m doing, I stlil have those moments.

Lately I have felt like I’ve constantly been on the verge of tears. I think I’m finally starting to admit that there is a very strong chance we will never have our own kids. I’ve always said it and always known it, but in the back of my mind somewhere I truly believed I’d eventually get pregnant.

Now I look around our house and think “this may be it.” There may never be children there; or at least not until we move out of it. I sit at our quiet dinner table and think “this may be what the rest of our dinners are like.” There may never be kids to laugh and talk with at the dinner table. I look at every aspect of my life and think “this may be all you have to work with.” There may never be anyone else.

I’m so tired. And that may be it; it may just be my overly tired, totally stressed out body and mind telling me these things. And I know IVF is coming up, but the first IVF doesn’t always work, and I don’t see how we could afford a second. The odds are against us. I know this.

I feel bad that I haven’t written or posted anything about National Infertility Awareness Week. I meant to, but I haven’t had a moment this week to get it together. I did post something about it as a facebook status; I got a lot of “likes” but zero comments. One person reposted it. I honestly wasn’t expecting more, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I do kind of wish it had done more. Maybe it got lost in peoples’ feeds with all the pictures of everyone else’s babies and kids.

I don’t know where I’m going with any of this – just trying to get some things off my chest, I guess. I think I’m too tired to think straight right now. I guess I just wish my life was different than it is now. And it’s hard that what I want is so far out of my control.

left behind in every way


Lately I have really been struggling with feeling left behind.

First, there is the obvious – younger sisters having babies, people much younger and married a much shorter time than me having not only their first kid but their second, clients whose weddings I photographed long after mine making announcements, watching other peoples’ babies turn one, two, three, and then have siblings – etc.

And then there is the other – we were supposed to do IVF in February. Then we were supposed to do it in May or June. And now we’re pushing it back till late summer or early fall. And meanwhile, I’m watching all the other people going through Infertility getting to start their IVF cycles. Or, in some cases, finish.

I was supposed to be right alongside them, for better or for worse. I was supposed to be going through it with them. But instead they start their pills, continue with their shots, talk about the sizes of their follicles, and I’m just sitting there, with nothing. No progress, no hope, nothing to show for all the years behind me.

I’ve even been left behind by the Infertiles.

I know a bunch of people doing IVF in May/June and I just keep thinking that should be me. One girl from my support group started her IVF when we had originally planned on starting ours and now she’s pregnant with twins, and when I see her I think what if that was me?

I’m just sort of here. I’m jealous when they all go “oh wow, there’s a bunch of us doing IVF in May and June!” I want to be one of them. Because I think I’ve hit the end of my hope for ever having a baby the regular way.

I know that it’s best for us to wait a few more months, but I still feel left behind. The best thing I know to do is stay as busy as possible and not think about it, which I generally do a pretty good job with, but I still feel this nagging pull in my heart when I think or hear about it. I’m not wishing away my summer, because I have things I’m really looking forward to, but I’m so ready to get to the next step. Whether it works or doesn’t, I want to get on with it.



The desperation creeps in. Slowly at first, gradually building, finally all-encompassing. You want a baby so bad you’re willing to try anything to get one. Anything.

First it’s harmless – silly stuff, really. The things everyone knows, everyone tells you, if you let them. Legs up after sex. Just relax – take a vacation, don’t even try for a month, just stop thinking about it. Get really drunk. Check, check, check.

Then it gets a little weirder, you search a little harder, spend a little money. Pineapple cores. Mucinex. Green tea. Red raspberry leaf. Special fertility vitamins. Baby aspirin. Grapefruit juice. Evening primrose oil. Maca. Etc., etc., etc.

Pick your cocktail. Someone tried this and someone else tried that, so you try them both, along with the rest. All of this possibly on top of fertility treatments and shots and pills.

And nothing happens. So you move on to the next phase: acupuncture, herbs, fertility spells, maybe even a chiropractor. The bills start piling up. But you can’t stop: this next thing might be THE thing.

You hear it and think it and say it over and over again: “I’ll try anything, anything at all,” because you’re desperate enough and you know it.

But you keep going, giving into the desperation, because this might be your magic bean, your golden ticket, your key to the whole screwy mess.

And then it isn’t.

So you try something else.

The desperation is consuming. It clings to you like you cling to it. It’s cruel; it gives false hope. It keeps you coming back for more. “Sure,” you say, “I’ll try that. After all, it won’t hurt anything.”

Just your bank account, and your spirit when it fails. It surely looks irrational and ridiculous from the outside. People will think I’m silly and wonder why I bother – many will wonder why we don’t “just” do IVF.

I had a warm spinach salad and a glass of warm water for dinner. Not because I wanted them, but because it might make some sort of difference.

I am desperate. I’ll try anything. Anything at all. I can’t even begin to explain it.

*Disclaimer: I haven’t actually tried all the things listed above – just most of them.



I spent all of Monday and Tuesday with my phone in my hand, waiting for the office to call with the results of D’s test. I finally called 40 minutes before they closed on Tuesday – and after leaving a message, I called back 10 minutes later, politely demanding to speak with a nurse right away. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all these years, it’s that you have to be your own advocate; no one else will watch out for you. You have to do it yourself.

D posted a while back (about a year ago, actually) about the status of his…you know…reproductive material…here’s the chart, for quick viewing:

At our last IUI (in December) the numbers were dismal: volume was only .2ml (that’s POINT two, not 2) and total motile count was 1.4 (one point four) million; normal count is 16 (sixteen) million. Motility and morphology have stayed around the same numbers for a long time, so we haven’t worried too much about those numbers. It’s interesting to note that while those parameters have improved, the count consistently decreased over time over the course of the past 2 years.

Since that last awful sample, when we were told that we’d have to do IVF with ICSI because the count was so low, D has been going to acupuncture, taking herbs, getting back on special fertility supplements (FertilAid), and eating less crappy foods and more cooked veggies, beans, etc. I worried that it was all for nothing and I spent the two days waiting for results in an anxious state, worrying that the count would go from one million to zero, or something like that.

But I finally got the results; I had to go in the next day to pick them up because the nurse wouldn’t give me the details and I was desperate to see all the numbers on paper.

Motility & morphology are about the same (41% and 7%). Those seem to be ok – on the low end of normal (40% and 4%), but still above the minimum. Volume went from .2ml to 2ml. And the total motile sperm count went from 1.4 million to 18.9 million. Normal is above 16 million.

Something worked. We’ll never know for sure if it was the diet changes, acupuncture, herbs, supplements, or just random, but I feel like it was really a mixture of everything we tried. Our acupuncturist doesn’t think we need IVF. D doesn’t think we need IVF. I am willing to wait a little longer before we jump into IVF as well; I can think of a lot better things to do with $13,000.

We’re going to push IVF back a little longer; at this point, what’s another 3 months? We wouldn’t be able to start until June anyway, but because of several factors we’re going to wait to start in August or September. We booked a trip to Mexico for our 9-year anniversary. My three best friends are coming to visit in July. We might have some other things going on as well. And we have a little shred of hope that we won’t need it after all. And if we do, we will absolutely, definitely be ready.

We are relieved that we are seeing some improvement; even if we do get to IVF, that will help us out tremendously. Yay for good news!

trying to be ok


I am trying so, so hard to be ok. Of course, the harder I try, the more stuff seems to be thrown at me. Or at least that’s how it seems.

But I try not to dwell on those things. (Too much.) I take time to grieve them – get a pizza, have some wine, listen to sad music, don’t do any work for a day – and then try to move on. This weather is helping. Winter gets me down and Spring makes me breathe deeply again. I see the sun and hear the birds outside my window.

I know that we might still have a long road ahead. IVF keeps getting pushed back and back and back. But I can’t keep putting my life on hold and so I try to get on with it, and be ok.

Life is busy now, and that helps. I don’t really have time to be sad. A big part of my job is to focus on the happiness in other peoples’ lives, and that’s been hard these past years but I’m trying to get past that.

I’m also feeling hopeful. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing; at this point it helps me get through the days but I’m afraid that at another point it will grind them to a halt.

I’ve been listening to a fertility teleconference this week and they talk a lot about trying to gain control. I’ve felt out of control for years and there is comfort in trying to regain some of that. More on that in another post.

As soon as I figure out how to work my new scanner I’ll share my polyp pictures. They’re pretty interesting and actually may hold some answers. I know you’re excited to see the inside of my uterus! Who wouldn’t be?


1 Comment »

I haven’t been posting much for awhile. Partly because I’m super busy these days, so it’s hard to find the time. But I’ve also had a hard time knowing what to say. I feel so stagnant. Saying the same things over and over. Having the same surgeries with the same outcome. Watching other people go through treatments while I sit and wait for the time to pass.

I thought I’d be going through IVF with a few people, but instead I watched them go through it. Some of them had success and others, sadly, didn’t. But I had hoped to be on the other side of it, not just continuing to wait and wonder. I even feel left behind by other “Infertiles” sometimes.

It’s kind of a hard time of year for me in general. It seems like everyone has babies in the Spring. The other day I saw the babies across the street sitting in their yard and remembered that it was last March that I saw the yard signs out announcing their arrival. Next week my niece turns three. She’s like a real person now – not just a little baby laying or crawling around, but an actual person who walks and talks and feeds herself. She even has a little sister now. It’s hard to watch other peoples’ kids turn another year older.

And the worst thing: the other day, one of my friends from my support group went in for her 10 week ultrasound and found that the baby had died. She had initially been pregnant with twins, but one stopped growing early on, and now the other has followed. My heart breaks for her. I can’t even imagine that pain and grief. Especially on top of IVF. It isn’t fair. No one should have to go through both; one is bad enough. Some days I feel like shaking my fists at the Universe, screaming at the top of my lungs that life is cruel and so unfair and how can things go so wrong?

It’s hard to know what to say about all these things; some days I feel like I want to say something, but I don’t know how or what. So the days just keep going by.

Please keep my friend in your thoughts and, if you have them, your prayers. She shouldn’t be going through this. I don’t know how much good thoughts or prayers really do, but I suppose it can’t hurt, and she could use all of them that she can get.

4 years, 48 months, or 1461 days


However you count it, it’s been a long time.

Today is one of those days I dread months in advance: our now-familiar annual anniversary of when we started trying to do this one simple, basic thing. How could it have been this hard or gone on this long?

I don’t really even know how I feel at this point. It’s still hard and I still hurt, but it’s a different kind of pain than it was in past years. I look back at our one and two year anniversaries and think “wow, that was nothing.” Two years is not that long. When I was in it, it was, but now I realize what an insignificant amount of time that is. You have a different mindset once you reach the two-year mark. I don’t want to minimize anyone’s pain who is still under two years, because it sucks, and I remember vividly, but once you get past that, it’s different.

Three years was tough. But four years is just surreal. I remember being at one and two years and thinking there was no way I could be one of those people still trying at three, four, and beyond. I didn’t see how they could go through so much grief for such a long time.

Of course, I understand now. 

There are so many children on my (mostly hidden) facebook feed that were born in those four years. Some people, my younger sister included, even have two. How is that fair?

Of course, the answer is that it isn’t. But of course we all know that life isn’t fair.

The pain used to be sharp and piercing – like getting cut with a knife or hitting your head on the corner of a shelf. Crying your eyes out and feeling intense pain and eventually pulling yourself together and taking some pain meds and going on with life. Now the pain is dulled but deeper; like a chronic ache that you’ve had for years that just won’t go away.  A stiffled howling inside that no one else can see or touch. Something that can’t be treated. Something so far beneath the surface that it’s just a part of who you are. Like a piece of yourself is missing. Like some part of you has died.

I am not who I used to be.

I haven’t dealt with these years very well overall. I’m trying to dig myself out of several holes now, but some of them are so deep that I don’t really see a way out.

I honestly thought this would be over by now, one way or another. I can’t believe we’re at 4 years but still at least 2 or – more likely, as I discovered doing some math over the weekend – 3 months away from doing IVF, and we’re willing to try a second round if the first doesn’t work. So we’re facing the possibility of being at or close to 5 years. And then what if I still can’t give up?

Because it’s almost like a drug and I sometimes feel like an addict. “Just one more try, just one last round, then I can stop, I swear, but I just need this thing so badly I can’t give it up.” And we do it again and again, expecting or at least hoping for different results, subjecting ourselves to pain every time. But I can’t let it go just yet.

And so we carry on. Will we see 5 years? Maybe, maybe not. The only thing I can say for sure is that I have no idea what the future will be. I just hope this next year will be kinder than the last four.



I feel really crappy lately. Like I’m just in a weird funk. And there’s no real reason for it, except for the reasons that have been there for longer than the funk, so I don’t know if those reasons are really the “why” or not.

I just feel blah. It started a few days ago, it came out of nowhere, and I haven’t been able to snap out of it.

It’s frustrating. I feel like I make all this progress and then – BAM. Out of nowhere. Going backwards.


and the world turned


I write this post with hesitation. it’s a post I’ve attempted to write several times, but I never could quite phrase it the right way. I probably still can’t, but I think it’s time to give it a shot.

It’s a post about faith.

I feel like I should start from the beginning: I grew up with a church background. My dad has been a minister for the majority of my life. I went to church at least 3 times a week for most of my life. I believed. I had faith. I knew what I knew. I had no doubts. I went to church after I went to college; it was important, it was a part of me, it was something I believed in.

But then I became “an infertile”, and I began to doubt.

My faith has been shaken to the core.

My journey with infertility has, admittedly, coincided with an awakening, of sorts. I saw religious people that did not practice what they preached. I took an interest in politics, and the teachings in the bible often didn’t mesh with the politics of people in the church. I began to question everything.

But mostly I questioned what I had always been taught: that God is in control, that things will work out the way they should, that you need to have faith to get what you want, that everything happens for a reason.

I don’t believe that it does.

I want so badly to believe that what should be, should be. That what is meant to be, will be. That everything happens for a reason.

But I don’t believe it. Not at all.

And I don’t know that this is a belief that even coincides with religion, or with God, or with what have you – but for most people, they go hand in hand, so it’s hard to separate the two.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told people what we’re going through, only to get a response along the lines of “Well, when it’s supposed to happen, it will happen” or “things will work out the way they’re supposed to.”


I have issues with these lines of reasoning. If things happen for a reason, why are people given children when they abort them or leave them in a dumpster? Did God give these people pregnancies with the knowledge that the result would be a dead baby? Yet I can’t get pregnant? Me, who has been planning for years and who is fully prepared, it’s not the right time to give me a baby? But all those horrible, neglectful people are given babies? On purpose? For a reason?

I don’t buy it.

I believe that some things happen for a reason. Absolutely. But I also believe in Free Will. And I believe in Chance, or Coincidence, or whatever you want to call it.

As for my Faith – as I said before, it’s been shaken to the core. This is one of those things that makes you question everything. Everything.

There are some big life events that make you question your faith/spirituality/religion/whatever you want to call it, and infertility is one of them. Some peoples’ faith grows, and some peoples’ disappears. In all honesty, I don’t know yet where I fall on the spectrum.

But I know that right now I question everything. And I don’t know how I’m going to come out on the other end of this.

I know that I question, and that I doubt, and that I think very deeply and seriously about the whole thing. In the beginning, I prayed. We both did. But now we don’t. The closest I ever come to a prayer these days is when I’m in bed at night, lying in the dark, and my prayer is a pleading whisper: “Are you there?”

And right now, that’s all I have.

pre-op day


I’m about to leave to go to my support group, and I’m really glad it’s tonight because I don’t know if I’d make it through this evening otherwise.

I’m feeling very down and admittedly fairly whiny about having surgery tomorrow. I just did this, and it didn’t work. I can’t believe I have to go through it again.

Meanwhile everyone else keeps getting pregnant and popping out babies like it’s the simplest thing in the world. It isn’t fair. Everyone else just goes about their normal business, then happily pees on a stick a few weeks later and goes “oh my god I can’t believe it happened so fast!”

Why do I have to watch them all for so many heartbreaking years while going through surgery and procedures that may or may not work?

I’m a big believer in NEVER saying “Well, things can’t get any worse,” because I know that things can always get worse. I know there are worse things in the world. But that doesn’t make this easy to deal with.

Especially on days like today.

I went to both the RE’s office and hospital today to do my pre-op stuff. I had to go alone because D is already taking time off work tomorrow and Friday, so an extra afternoon off wasn’t very realistic. But it was depressing being there alone. While I was at the RE’s office, a family (?) came in – 2 men, 2 women, and 2 small children. I think the couple with the children was there with a couple going through IF, but I couldn’t say for sure. I was so annoyed to have to watch and listen to little kids running around the office when I was feeling so down. Then, when I was waiting at the hospital, I watched a brand new mom being brought out to her car, with her husband carrying their brand new baby. She didn’t look very happy. I felt so hopeless. And then I went to Target to pick up my pain killers for tomorrow, and saw 5 very pregnant ladies, in addition to all the moms with little kids in their carts.

I’ve been having a really crappy week, well, more like a really crappy month. I don’t know why January and February always have to be such terrible months for me. But I’m so tired of things going so badly.

We did finally find good pizza in dallas, and D took me out on valentine’s day and we had a great night despite it being a really hard day. So that’s one good thing. And I have my support group tonight. That’s another good thing.

I’m going to eat as much bread as I can get down, because I can’t eat or drink anything after midnight tonight, until I wake up from surgery around 3:30pm tomorrow. Those bread baskets will never know what hit them.