Resignation? Acceptance? What?

July 19, 2012 at 10:14 am | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away), Choosing Happiness., Stuff Outta My Head, The End of Trying | 12 Comments

Yesterday the woman I work for told me she’s pregnant.

Due in December.

I can’t get away from it.


Coming back from a month-long hiatus in running is really, really hard. I’ve managed to shed half of the 10lbs I managed to gain, but I’m still up in weight. It’s been hot and humid here and the air quality is bad enough that it’s hard to breathe.

So I had my first running clinic on Tuesday night. A 2 mile time trial, where, as my coach put it, All you have to do tonight is run two miles as hard as you can.

It was, in a word, awful. 93 degrees at the START at 7pm. Probably a million percent humidity. I was wheezing on my WARM UP, and knew 2 miles was going to suck.

And honestly? I actually quit after 1.5 miles, but an awesome runner from my club told me, Come on, it’s one more lap! Run slow with me.

And then she proceeded to encourage me around the last lap until I was angry enough at myself to sprint to the finish.

I crossed the finish line, my legs wobbly.

And promptly burst into tears. Huge, sobby, wheezy, messy, sweaty tears.

I shouldn’t BE here. I should be pregnant. I should be home, with my feet up, resting, with one of those perfect embryos inside me, working on turning into a baby.

Five minutes later, it was over.

Honestly, I haven’t cried much since getting the BFN. I’ve felt crappy about it, of course. But not in a “I need a good cry” kind of way.

In fact, the overriding feeling I’ve had about everything is that I’m just tired.

Tired of feeling crappy. Tired of the pregnancy announcements hurting. Tired of writing the same old story: I want a baby, we try and it fails and wow it really hurts.

I can’t tell if I’m resigned or accepting of it all.

But what I’m looking at, right now, is the reality that we might invest more time and energy into this process and not end up with a baby.

And really, the question for me is how long I can keep doing this.


Last night I had dinner with Charlie Brown’s cousin. Many years ago, when I was smarting from a year of failed treatments, we were drunk, she and I, at a wedding, and I confessed how awful things were and how much I wanted a baby.

I will never forget her words: Serenity, at least you have a family. A husband. I’d love to be in your place.

She’s single, you see. And older. And I remember feeling shamed by confessing how hard IF was on us, because she was right. At least I had Charlie Brown and a CHANCE for a baby, right?

So I stopped crying on her shoulder. And it wasn’t until last Saturday where I told her our second round of reproductive woes – just that we had been trying again and it wasn’t working, I had a bunch of failed cycles again. I made myself tell her as neutrally as I could, because I wanted to be sensitive to the fact that it is 5 years later and she’s still single. I didn’t want to make it a big deal.

She was amazing. Oh my god, Serenity. I’m SO sorry, she said.

And at dinner?

And she told me that she’s done six IUI with donor sperm cycles for her own baby. And since that didn’t work, she’s moved on to her first IVF cycle.

So not the conversation I expected to have, especially on the heels of hearing my boss’s news.

I tried to say the right things. She WILL make an excellent mother. I really hope it works for her. I would love to see her pregnant, would love to have another baby in the family, would love for her to create her own family. I totally support her decision to go it alone. And I know how hard it is to try and fail, and how strong the need to have a baby is.

But I couldn’t offer her any positivity, any reassurances that IVF might actually work. I could only tell her I hoped it would, and if she DID end up with a baby at the end, it’s completely, 1000% worth it.

Nagging at me is that feeling though.

What if she doesn’t end up with a baby?

What if WE don’t end up with a baby?

Something’s changed for me since last year. Outweighing the desire to HAVE a baby, the grief of not completing our family, is a thought.

I don’t want to waste more time.

I don’t want to wake up in 5 years and regret the fact that I wasn’t really present in my life because I was seeking out something I DIDN’T have.

There’s a line in my favorite running song: I’m holding on to what I haven’t got.

It’s become my biggest fear. That I’ll hang on to this hope that we’ll have a family of four when maybe it won’t happen for us.

And this fear outweighs the fear that I’ll never have another baby.

Does this mean I really AM at the point of acceptance that this is all I’ll have? Am I really close to The End of Trying?

Or am I just resigned to the fact that I no longer have any hope that IVF will work for us?

I don’t really know. It’s something I will be sitting with, though, in the coming weeks.


The thing is, I do believe that maybe we just haven’t found the right embryo yet. Maybe ours are just delicate, and we need to find the one who is strong enough to survive the change from the culture medium to my uterus.

It’s possible one of those 5 embryos in the deep freezer will be the one that makes it so we bring home a live baby.

It’s just that it’s MORE possible, given our history, that we will go through those 5 and end up with nothing.

And I am tired of going through this process and feeling crappy about it. I am tired of hurting when someone else around me is pregnant. I am tired of looking at my life as if there’s something missing.

I am starting to believe that you can, in fact, CHOOSE happiness.

I’m going to try it and see what happens. Stay tuned.



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  1. You know, every time you’ve talked about whether to keep going or not, I’ve said “do it. Maybe it’ll work!” Because I wanted to see you end up with a baby (and yeah, easy for me to say. It’s not MY body.) But I don’t know, lately I just feel like it is taking such a toll on you. Yeah, if one of those 5 embryos results in a real, live baby, it’ll all be worth it. But if it doesn’t, and it just keeps tearing you apart like this? I don’t know.

    It’s obviously not my place to tell you what to do. But it’s so hard to see you like this. And maybe knowing that after a certain point you’re DONE, for real, (whether it’s after those 5 embryos, or whatever) will give you space to figure out what to do next with your life, what will make you happy.

    Anyway, hugs!

  2. I don’t know what the answer is here, and even if I felt like I knew I would never presume to pass that little bit of (my own useless) “wisdom” on to you. One of the hardest things about IF is only we can decide when we are done trying, in the face of not having the family we’d always dreamed of (or even something resembling it). I have not had to deal with the very difficult decision of when to stop and I’m sorry that you have to. What I have witnessed, in reading other people’s blogs about this subject, is that when it’s time to stop they usually feel a really amazing release, there is obviously great sadness but the feeling of relief is also incredibly present and a great comfort to them. It doesn’t seem like you have reached that place yet. You have said, we are done, and then when you are done you feel pretty good about it but eventually that need to add to your family comes back and you pursue treatments again. I don’t know, maybe for some people there isn’t that deep exhale when they know they are done, really done. Maybe some people always feel that unquenchable longing for another child.

    This is a decision only you and Charlie Brown can make. Maybe working with a therapist would help? Maybe you will find your answer, or guidance to it, in the blog of someone who experienced something similar? I honestly don’t know. I wish I could bring some light to the darkness of all this. Please know that I’m here, abiding with you always.

  3. Reblogged this on Marriage Mothering and Marathons and commented:
    Took the words right out of my mouth…. Er, fingers.

  4. My friend, the fact that you are hurting down to your very core hurts me to mine. I wish I could give you a huge hug and make the hurting stop. I pray for you every day and wholeheartedly believe that God will “tell” you when your journey with IF is over by a baby(which is what I pray for) or peace. I love you lots.

  5. Wow you are writing about my life! 17 embryos later no baby! You are writing exactly how I feel! I too wish I could just forget this and live my life now and with my current children not obsess over a child that doesn’t exist : (

  6. Oh Serenity, I am so sorry. I’ve been away from the internet travelling for a week so am only reading all the news now. I was so excited to log in and see your good news- I felt so positive for you.

    I wish I could say or do something to make it better.
    Love and hugs,

  7. I think you can choose happiness, to a point. I also think that the choice takes time, if you’re not completely resolved/resigned/whatever. The happiness won’t be immediate, even if you decide to stop now. This whole thing sucks. But I’m glad that you found support in an unexpected place.

  8. “I don’t want to wake up in 5 years and regret the fact that I wasn’t really present in my life because I was seeking out something I DIDN’T have”
    I am there too… trying not to hold on yo what I havent got

    HERE, TODAY and NOW… good luck to you

  9. What an amazing story about your friend. I’m glad you both were able to support each other. I think Justine’s right about wanting happiness. She’s a wise lady.

  10. Only you know what the right choice is for you. But if you do decide not to do any more cycles or if you don’t end up with another child from the 5 embryos that are left, you will, in time, find peace and be happy. I was at a similar point over a year ago. I thought I had run out of embryos, then got the news that my donor could donate one last time. I didn’t know if I had it in me to do more cycles, but I didn’t want to regret not cycling with my donor again. I wished for one last chance, with no embryos to freeze because I felt I only had it in me to do one more cycle. I got my wish, but not another child. I knew I was done even though it pained me to walk away from treatment. For the next year, I asked myself if I did the right thing by stopping. I didn’t want to be finished with my family, but I also didn’t want to put myself through more failed cycles. I gave away my son’s clothes and most of his baby gear. And somewhere, deep inside, as much as it hurt, I knew I was done. I also knew that I needed to give it time. Lots and lots of time and I would find peace with it. Now, over a year later, I still have moments that I long for another child. I still have moments where I think about cycling again. But those moments are getting fewer and farther in between.

    There are now stretches of weeks and sometimes months where I not only live in the here and now, but I am able to envision and plan a life with my family of three without pain or loss or the thought that someone is missing. Most days, I have some of the peace I so longed for when I first decided to stop treatment. Just the other day, I ran into a woman who took her oldest child to a music class I attended with my son. She was in her eighth month of pregnancy the last time I saw her. This day, she had her newborn with her. I wasn’t sure how I would feel seeing her with her second child but it turned out ok. We chatted briefly, I felt no jealousy or pain at the fact that I didn’t have a second child too. Just a twinge, from remembering what my son was like when he was a newborn.

    Whatever happens, it will be ok. You may have tears and heartache but you will be ok and you will feel whole again.

  11. When I see you struggling I wish I could wave some magic wand and make the hurt go away. You’re going to come to the right conclusion in your own time. You DO have many wonderful things in your life. One big thing isn’t going the way you want and it sucks and isn’t fair. I will tell you from personal experience that accepting your life as it is right now and choosing happiness makes a world of difference in your life. It isn’t easy and you have to work at it, but the alternative is shitty.I hope like hell you can find happiness and contentment.

  12. I’m sorry for not being around earlier to comment and once again catching up. It does sound like you’re slowly resolving your fertility issues, one way or the other, and for that I’m glad, although it may seem a small consolation without the result you were after. I will keep my fingers crossed for the coming treatments – both the ones with your fertility specialist and the ones with your therapist.


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