May 20, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Posted in Infertility, The End of Trying | 6 Comments

Last night I wrote the very last of the checks we’ve been writing to pay off our $3K bill to our clinic.

We’re now done paying for this past winter and spring’s Big Fail.

It was very freeing, actually, to know that we don’t need to transact at ALL with my clinic.

In the short term, at least. They will, no doubt, bill us timely for the storage of the last three embryos we have in the future.

But for now, we are free to fail on our own.

Or, you know, NOT fail.

I think at some point in EVERY one of my sessions, my therapist says this.

It’s just a feeling.

Okay, so I admit it: I’m emotionally stunted. I never learned how to DEAL with emotions. What I’ve consequently done is: a) ignored that they were there and real, b) criticized myself out of HAVING them, and/or c) tried to outrun them.

And learning how to accept my emotions has been a bit of a rough go with me because of that. I tend to freak the fuck out that I’m feeling crappy, like it’s the emotional equivalent of my face getting frozen that way.

So I think my therapist keeps saying the above to remind me that just because I feel something strongly, it doesn’t mean I’m going to feel this way forever.

And – the biggest issue – I can’t JUDGE myself for feeling one way or another.

I’m not going to lie to you. It’s hard right now. Sitting with my emotions makes me edgy and cranky and tired and grumpy. I want to run screaming into the night. I’m angry. Sad. Happy. Free.

It’s messy, and tiring, and hard to deal with emotions.

But at the same time, I’m LEARNING.

When I wrote that check last night, I took stock of my emotions.

And the biggest one was this soaring sense of FREEDOM.

We chose to stop treatments. We stepped off the treadmill of Want and Fail and Ache and Hope and Despair by our own devices. Because we think that life in the here and now should be MORE than the endless cycle of assisted reproduction.

It hurts, yes. But not all the time.

I have my life back.

I can plan for my grandparents’ 65th wedding anniversary cruise this coming Christmas. ( Do you remember when they took us on a cruise for their 60th? They’re doing it again for their 65th!)

I’ve lost 5lbs since the BFN, and I am on track to lose 5lbs more.

I am planning for a marathon in October.

I’m running a really cool relay called The Race to the Beach in September with some coworkers in my Company’s name to raise money for the American Heart Association.

I no longer have to caveat plans with “if I’m pregnant…”

Even though this was not what I would have chosen if we didn’t have to, it was a CHOICE. And that’s a big deal.

Because if I can choose to stop treatments, maybe I can also choose to be happy. Maybe I can choose to look at my life as it is now and see the GOOD in it.

Maybe that means I can choose to see the good in ME, instead of the fail.

And of course, it’s not all the time. I’m not going to lie. It hurts a LOT right now. I fall back into my old habits often.

But when I do? I just remember what my therapist says.

It’s just a feeling.



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  1. the fact that you describe your experience with fertility treatments as “Want and Fail and Ache and Hope and Despair” makes it clear that that is not the path for you anymore. good for you for deciding to “live” life! You cannot open all your wonderful future doors without closing the painful ones of the past. losing time to that kind of stress is a terrible thing considering we all only have a finite amount on this planet…glad you are taking your time back! your life will unfold as it should

  2. As hard as moving on this path is…you are choosing to be alive, to end your pain, to be happy again an dmake themost of this time that you on this earth. I really should remember that feelings are just emotions..they overwelm me at times.

    You have so much to look forward to this year…and in life.

  3. I’m reading Thich That Han’s _Peace Is Every Step_, and he says as much … we learn to recognize feelings, see them as part of ourselves, and then let them go. It’s a powerful (though very difficult) approach.

  4. You are doing the best you can do to process, heal, and embrace your life. It will likely not be a linear progression, but rather a couple of steps forward and a step back as you navigate your now and look forward to your future.

  5. Making that choice, even if it’s one you hoped not to make, has to count for something. Choosing a path for yourself, even if it isn’t the path you envisioned, matters. I commend you for starting to take control of your life from here on out, even if it isn’t the life you planned. You’re living the life you have, and that’s important.

  6. There are so many things you said in your post that really resonate with me. I can say that most of the time I feel ok with our decision to stop, too, but yesterday was a hard day. And I started to beat myself up because I thought I shouldn’t be sad if I chose to stop treatment. Pangs of sadness that just fall away quickly are ok, but not this all day sorrow that just hangs there, unshakable.

    Thank you for reminding me that it’s ok to just let whatever sadness there is, be. And be there for as long as it needs.

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