Next week, we will hit the three-year mark of trying to get pregnant. In March, we will celebrate our fourth wedding anniversary. When we were first engaged and being all gross and adorable and planning our future together, I can confidently say that neither of us saw us childless at this point in our marriage. We both knew we wanted children as soon as possible and we waited almost a year after getting married before trying to conceive. (I know a lot of you are thinking that we should have “enjoyed each other” for longer, but everyone has their own timelines and goals for their relationships. Plus if we waited longer to even start trying, we would have hit this massive speed bump and it still would have been longer.)
As we near next week, I wanted to have something to remind us that this journey is not hopeless, even if it ends in childlessness. After connecting with another young woman on Instagram (that has also struggled with infertility and child loss) who makes lovely rainbows for couples with infertility who are waiting on their rainbow baby, I wanted to support her craft and have a rainbow of my own. She sent me a beautiful rainbow made of greens and off-white, the color scheme of our wedding (and honestly our whole house). I have hung it up in our guest bedroom that we will hopefully transform into a nursery some day as a symbol of hope and a reminder that God has brought my husband and I closer together through this journey, which cannot be said for many couples who have endured this struggle. I purposefully do not want to change the guest bedroom until we are pregnant, so if you happen to visit, maybe you’ll have the chance to pray for us when you see our lovely rainbow.
We’re in yet another (hopefully) short season of waiting. We recently met with our fertility doctor, who said based on the numbers we should have gotten pregnant with one of our four IUI attempts. On paper, it doesn’t make sense. My follicles were the right size at the right time, my hormones were at the correct levels or within range at the right times, my husband’s sample had excellent numbers (in both motility and number of sperm), and I took my trigger shots at the right time. Each time we were hopeful and each time it failed, each attempt more disappointing than the last.
Our next move is I am going to have a hysteroscopy. Since everything looks good on paper, something may be preventing an embryo from implanting in my uterus like fibroids or polyps. Once the hysteroscopy is scheduled and occurs, they will remove any abnormalities they find.
Even though we are on a roll with treatments and attempts to get pregnant, it all feels so empty. There is not a lot of excitement or anticipation with wanting to go to appointments anymore. There is only dread during the 2WW (2 week wait). I desprately want to get pregnant and I desparately want to have kids, but I am so tired of trying. I just want it to be over. I want the children without the work it takes to get there.
Part of this exhausting comes from having to filter a lot of encouragement and words from friends and family who are just trying to help. I have never held anything that anyone has said against them when they say things that are hurtful because I know their intentions are good and that their heart is in the right place. Those words still hurt occasionally. I believe that when words of support and encouragement are being offered, they are being filtered through the mind of someone that hurts for me and wants to be helpful. It is just that sometimes that filter is not a helpful filter.
A good friend of mine and I got breakfast recently and as she asked about how things were going with our infertility journey, she sat across that table and just listened. She asked some clarifying questions along the way but at the end she gave me the greatest comfort by just saying, “that sucks,” and it meant the world to me. Couples who are going through infertility (no matter how long) know how much this sucks. For the rest of the world that has not experienced it, you cannot fully understand this particular grief. You can empathize and hold us close, we just want to be seen and for you to understand that it JUST SUCKS. Your words are sweet, but rarely soothing, so if you have a friend going through infertility, I encourage you to ask them what they need and be prepared if they just need you to sit with them in the suckage for a little bit. It’s probably not healthy to stay down there, but a few minutes won’t hurt.