Stopping. (For Real.)

March 14, 2011 at 10:44 am | Posted in Heartbreak, Infertility | 14 Comments

Friday marked our 14th embryo and 8th transfer since we started treatments in 2006.

Whereas J has been my consistently hopeful companion over those 5 years, I’ve sensed a change in my husband the past couple of cycles.

Whereas before he was quiet, holding my hand, now he’s more prone to snark.

He complains about the wait at every transfer, even though we KNOW by now that when they say 12:30 they actually MEAN that we’ll be back in the OR at 1:30.

And at this transfer, he actually told me that he’s seen it so many times, he could actually do it himself.

When the onboarding nurse recognized us, he rolled his eyes and said to her, not the best place to be regulars, eh?

Always, when I’m in my 2ww, when we’re settled into bed, I say something like gee, I hope this works or this better effing work or if this doesn’t work I’m going to kick my doctor’s ass.

You get the picture.

He always responds, simply.

Me too.

Two nights ago, he said the usual.

But then he added:

I’m just so tired of all of this TRYING.

It really stuck with me.

And so yesterday, I mentioned that I had made my standard-protocol-BFN follow up appointment with Dr. HIT on Monday March 21.

But then I told him that he didn’t need to be there because we already signed consents for IVF and it looked like another fresh cycle was really our only option for next steps.

When he didn’t say much, I asked him, straight out.

Do you have it in you to do another fresh cycle?

He didn’t answer.

And then I said:

Should we be done?

Again, he had no answer.

(That’s my husband, you see. He won’t answer until he’s damn sure what his answer might be.)

So I told him that I’d let him sit on it, but if he didn’t think he had it in him to do another cycle, I wanted to know.

I want to know because I’m looking for a reason to stop.

Our doctor told us that he thought we had a good chance, cumulatively, to get pregnant with treatments.

Except, you know, that it will take some time.

But at what cost?

We’ve been on this rollercoaster for a very long time. And yes, we did get lucky with O.

But what’s hard about doing this all again now? We don’t have the time or ability to replenish our stores of emotional energy. O is a whirling dervish of preschooler energy, and there are days where it’s all we can do to make it to bedtime. You know, before we get up and start it all over again the next morning.

We’re TIRED just living our life in the here and now.

And this repeated failure?

It drains us even more. J and I are both driven overachiever perfectionists. We KNOW we have no control over the outcome of every cycle, but failure still defeats us.

So here we are. Both emotionally exhausted from treatments.

When I think about walking away from them, just stopping and never going back, it’s with a mix of relief and deep-seated sadness.

I really have no idea on what side we’ll end up when this cycle is over.


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  1. It is so hard b/c you know you want another child…but this horrible morass you have to go through to get it is miserable. I want something or someone to make the decision for me. I am constantly asking my hubby what he thinks…because I want him to say no more…because I am too afraid of giving up…but also too afraid to keep trying. Big hug. I hope you stick, Nemo, we really need you to.

  2. There are too many what ifs … it’s like trying to predict the future, and it’s hard to tell what’s more draining: failure or trying. Nemo, keep swimming …

  3. Just try to be where you are in this 2ww. As someone who has been down the road of having to have a Plan B and Plan C, I can tell you it is practically impossible to do until you are faced with the reality that you’ve been dreading.

    Give yourself over to this 2ww and then see.

  4. well it’s not time to give up or think about these things yet. My fingers are crossed, my prayers are said, your HOPE is held

  5. I’m am hoping and praying so hard that Nemo sticks and grows into a beautiful, healthy boy or girl, so you don’t have to think about the “what ifs” anymore.


  6. Come on Nemo!

    In totally different circumstances (job hunt), my husband and I have had that recent conversation about just being so hard to fail and keep trying and trying and how tired we have both been (not just physically, but mentally and emotionally).

    I hope your roller coaster ends soon with a positive. But, in a lot of ways…I just hope it ends so you both can rest.

  7. I hope things work out for you 🙂

  8. Can you make it one day at a time? The hardest part is missing out on what’s going on now b/c you’re always looking into the future for the family of four that may not be there waiting for you. Give yourself love while you wait and hope. But if this time doesn’t work, at what cost would you be doing a fresh cycle? Seriously two kids will kick your ass. If you are lucky enough to have that family it will be wonderful, but to be honest, being a family of three is wonderful too. There is so much more you can do, and if you decide to stop you’ll be able to sleep and run again. One is never enough and two is too many. Whatever you end up with will be perfect. Try and live one breath at a time.

  9. Hoping you wont need to make any further decisions. I have everything crossed for you.

  10. I keep thinking this HAS to be it for you. But as I sit here in a not-dissimilar position, I’m also increasingly seeing the benefits of a family of three. It still feels like a sad outcome, but somehow not AS sad as it once did.

    I hope this is a decision you won’t have to make. But if you do, I hope that you and J can find peace and be on the same page.

  11. Well, like the others I’m hoping this is it and you won’t have to think any more about it.

    But in case it isn’t… what are your arguments against taking a break? Is it too much to have hanging over your head? Are you feeling the pressure of age – not that you’re old yet, of course? If neither of you can bear to go into another cycle at the moment, sitting it out a couple of months may help you catch your breath and decide. Or not – it’s always a tough call whether to go on a break or just plough straight on.


  12. What a fvckin unfair decision to HAVE to make. I’m so sorry. Maybe it would help to concentrate on NOW. Right NOW we aren’t going to do anymore treatments. In two years-we might consider it again.

    I’m thinking out loud here-but what if you two made a decision that you will NOT get p_______ for two years. Then, re-evaluate?

    Maybe you can’t do that-I mean, maybe during those whole two years you’d be stressed about it. Unable to let it go? (only you know the answer to this-I wonder if I could).

    It’s just such a big decision and my assvice would be to contain it-i.e. make it as digestible as possible.

    It’s like with addicts-control today. Don’t drink today. Because thinking about not drinking for the rest of your life is just too much.

    And yes, I did just equate an addiction with having more children. Please forgive-I’m even less articulate than usual-very tired. : )

  13. I completely get it.

    Like everyone else, I hope you get to walk away from treatments because you get to have a sibling for O. But, I’ve also been at this trying for #2 enough to know that even if you knew you could be successful eventually, you don’t necessarily want to subject you or your family to the repeated failures to get maybe get there.

    Having said that, a forced 4 month break for us from doing a fresh cycle made me realize that I wanted and needed to do this one more time, but I know that I will stop after this no matter what happens. And having said THAT, I hope that the only thing you’re waiting for in the next 9 months is how much Nemo looks like brother O.

  14. You do such an amazing job of articulating the very same thoughts in my head. We keep trying for #2, and don’t have a clear stopping point because insurance coverage takes the financial issues out of the picture. I feel like if I stop trying, I’m giving up, and just one more fresh cycle or just one more FET could result in the family of 4 that I have always dreamed of. And at the same time, with 3 losses under my belt, I am scared of how I’d manage another loss in the future *if* I’m lucky enough to get pregnant again. I’m finding myself having more and more days when the idea of stopping treatments entirely and embracing our family of 3 is incredibly appealing…and yet, I’m just not *quite* there yet. Very close, but not quite. And I hate being in this weird limbo.

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