Our 3rd round of IVF failed and the whole thing has hit me like a bus. This is not a podcast episode because I am not able to speak about this without crying. And to be honest, even crying seems so overrated right now because what I feel is a deep sadness that crying seemingly cannot express. Since test day I have cried a few times but nothing like I imagined it in my head. I cried like a baby, while my husband held onto me tightly, for about 5 minutes the morning we took the pregnancy test. The crying after that caught me unaware; while I was drinking tea, drinking water, while I was eating, while I was staring outside or staring at my phone… and it was just tears rolling down my cheeks with no sound or body response at all. A slow release of the deep sadness which has engulfed me.
I contemplated about writing this – and it has nothing to do with shame. I just knew that writing this, was going to be very different. I am usually very positive, and I always like to pair my words with encouragement, but I contemplated writing this because quite frankly I do not have anything encouraging to say. I don’t feel encouraged and right now I don’t even want to be encouraged. I worried this round of IVF would ruin me – we had 2 embryos transferred, it was our third go, in my head I couldn’t imagine anything more cruel than it not working. And then it didn’t. And now I have to reconcile what was once genuine optimism with grief, yet again! I told my hubby mid-tears that IVF feels like I’m in prison and because of good behaviour there is a plan to release me soon but then test day (“release day”) comes and I find out something unknown sabotaged my case, and I am no longer getting out of prison and have to continue serving my life sentence. That is EXACTLY what IVF feels like to me. And I AM SO TIRED.
I have prayed. I have been positive. I followed my protocol. I’m a good person. I don’t get it, what am I meant to be doing that I am not doing that is blocking my path to parenthood? Other people get pregnant SO easily, I have put in the time, surely I deserve this too? My whole life people have told me what a great mother I would be and it is honestly the only thing I have ever really wanted and now this is happening to me. To what end? What is the point of all this? What lessons am I yet to learn – that other people clearly don’t need to learn? It’s cruel, this infertility/IVF journey. It’s damaging to the spirit and we carry on because life must go on but how am I supposed to come back from this? And I don’t mean superficially come back, which I think many of us do, but how can one regain what has been lost – over the years? For the first time I really started thinking… I have never really heard anyone in the infertility/IVF community say “it’s worth it in the end” (although people who have never experienced either say it to me all the time) but I get it now, because I am not convinced that the day I hold my baby in my hands I will say it was all worth it. I will be grateful for the blessing, but I cannot assign the pain of this journey to the worth of my baby. I reject that. No one should have to pay a price like this (physically, emotionally, mentally & financially) just because they desire to have child. So no the infertility/IVF journey is not worth it. My baby will be worth a whole lot of something, but certainly not pain and ruin.
Everyone’s story is different and in all of it, the one truth remains that I KNOW I will be a mother – whichever way that happens. I have been comforted by this knowing right from the beginning but on the flipside, it makes the IVF failures harder to process because in my mind I’m thinking if not now then when? How far from now? How much more do I have to endure? I have a lot of younger women who follow my journey and although I lack the capacity to tell you this with conviction right now, please stay encouraged. It’s not the end unless you say it is. In an act of diving timing, a few days before our test day, I was led (by a close family member) to Gabby Bernstein, who has this wonderful talk on Oprah’s Soul Sessions & a book that is currently SAVING MY LIFE called ‘The Universe has your back’. I am not sure I would have the chance to make it out of this heartbreak if it wasn’t for the loving reminders to the spirit that I am reading in Gabby’s book. It’s very spiritual and it might not be for everyone but as it is literally saving me, I feel so compelled to share it in case it can do the same for someone else going through the anguish and heartbreak of infertility/ IVF. I have deeper love and respect for all of you who have walked or are currently walking this journey. Our resilience is unparalleled, and I have no doubt that our desire will be met. Make room. Make way. For love to lead. For your fears to be transformed into faith. I am saying all of this to myself as well. Because, cue Gabby Bernstein, “When we assume an energy of faith, we are receptive, released, and magnetic.”
Big love and thanks to the women who reached out to me during my 2 week wait and sent me care packages in the form of self-care gifts, text affirmations and check-ins, and love. Everything can be so shit but our #TTC community is so beautiful! Thank you so much x