Getting through the day

July 28, 2009

I thought going to work would do me some good. I wondered if immersing myself in work would help me escape. Today as I got out of the car in the parking lot I saw a baby seat in the car next to me and suddenly my breathing was so painful I thought a rib cracked. I couldn’t believe this is me, standing next to my car going pale trying to breathe in and out. Keeping the tears at bay is impossible business when there is a leaking dam behind your eyes. I have never had to take it one step at a time. I stood in the elevator and said just make it through this elevator ride. I got out and said good girl, now get to your office unlock it and get in. You can do it. I’ve never felt this fragile before.

Last night Jack and I had a very intense conversation. We really talked for the first time in months. For so long he’s been my rock and he told me sometimes he feels like that’s all he is, a rock for me while I deal with loss and infertility. He said he sees me obsessed with children and the fear of never having children and he wants to go back to how it was the first five years of our marriage when we were more than two organisms set on this planet to reproduce. He feels like I don’t care about him anymore, that all I care about is having a child. That I don’t appreciate our relationship anymore. I couldn’t believe he could think this. I thought how much I loved him was a given to him. I guess that’s the problem, I’ve let it become a given. I’ve taken it for granted. He said me focusing on this one area in which we lack spits on all the areas that are good and beautiful in our life. It’s not your fault, he keeps telling me.

How can I explain that I feel like a failure as a woman. At my basest core what sets me apart from a man is my ability to bear life. My breasts are to feed a child. My hips are to hold them and help their passageway into the world. I never imagined a life without children of my own. I feel I’ve failed at the most basic level of being a woman sometimes. I know this is logically not the case but sometimes it feels very much this way. He says not to blame myself but people never realize how subtly they do put the blame on me. The nurse in the ER said you didn’t wait long enough to try again. The ultrasound tech said you must stress out a lot, stress causes miscarriages. Well meaning friends say relax and it will happen. Simply saying this is all your fault you know? would be simpler and more to the point.

Jack says not to lose hope but to start focusing on other things in life, to let go of this obsession. I think maybe I need to do a little less hoping. Maybe I need to go into the darkest part of myself and face what life would be like without the one thing I thought with certainty I would someday have, children. Jack says if I do that then I’m giving up. I feel like I’m facing my darkest fear to put it to rest so that perhaps I will have peace. I’m not sure which way to go.

But Jack’s right, I am obsessed. I can’t focus on all the other great things in my life. I know them, I can list them out but I don’t feel them in my heart. He told me you’re a writer! you love to cook, you scrapbook, you work out, you read, you have more going on in your life than just this one thing. This is why he wants to take a break for a few months. We’re definitely taking a break until someone can tell me what’s wrong with me, but he said take a mental break from all of it, try to find out who I am again. Infertility and grief has been so all consuming this year in particular I dare say I really have forgotten who else I am besides a miscarrying infertile.


  1. Wow, this post made me cry. I’m at the very same point right now, with many of the same thoughts. I have no advice for you; all I can do is tell you I understand.

  2. It’s amazing how accurately your posts reflect what I am going through as well. I think that swiftly approaching 30th birthday is haunting us both a little heavily right now.

    Please know, Kate, that it is not your fault. People really don’t realize how awful they sound when they say the crap that they say. You didn’t try too soon, it just happened, and unfortunately there’s no saying the outcome would have been different if you’d waited 3 or even 6 months. Stress doesn’t cause infertility, infertility causes stress. You didn’t do anything wrong. This is not your fault. At all.

    I hope that your RE is able to shed some light and get you a treatment protocol that works for you. I’m sure that they will. I can’t say “it will happen” because I don’t know that, but I do know that with an RE the chances are much higher.

    I hope that in the meantime you and Jack are able to rekindle some of the pre-TTC life and you are able to remember that there is more to you than infertility.

  3. Oh, Kate! I went away for a weekend and came back to find Baby Bug is gone! I’m heart-broken, I’m so sad. I’m so, so sorry.

    It’s so good you’re going to see an RE. I’m with you, go straight to the best qualified. I hope you really like your RE and he’s able to give you some answers and a plan.

    Your hubby is so brave to open up to you and say what he was feeling, and you are so strong to absorb and consider what he had to say. It will probably take more long talks and some time before either of you can really understand each other, but you’ve made a great start. You all are strong, you’ll find a middle ground where you can accept each other’s feelings, even if you feel differently. Being open to hearing each other is the right start!

  4. Infertility and loss take so much out of you… So much. And they put a huge strain on relationships. Sometimes I wonder why we havent felt a crack yet. In our darkest moments, all we have is each other. We agree in our steps and walk them together. But it is hard… So very hard… Just like making the decision that, if this pregnancy ends with loss, we wont try for pregnancy anymore (or at least anytime soon), was a hard one coming, it was what we had to do. But it breaks me to think about the heartache we’ve gone through and what it has done to us. Are we more than just people on a crazed mission??? God, I hope so. But it is hard.

    Sending warm thoughts…

  5. oh sweetie,
    just sending love.
    just sending love.


  6. i can’t believe you would take the time to leave a comment for me when you are going through such a hard time yourself, you are so thoughtful, seriously, you’ve brought tears to my eyes! i hope you are doing ok and i am thinking about you.

  7. I know the obsession all too well. It will pass, with time. Mine is just about at a healthy level I think. And it’s been 7 months since my m/c and I’m finally starting to enjoy the good things, ya know? I still want pregnancy more than anything else that I don’t have in this world but I no longer catapult it over all else that is already good in my life. You will get there. You will find balance. Don’t be hard on yourself now. Now is a time for you to indulge whatever it is you feel, to mourn. I know the pressures of doctors and family and everyone on earth. I’ve been subtly blamed, and not so subtly by Dr. OBG (same thing, about the waiting – they’re so eager to find a reason and exonerate themselves) It’s not our fault, and there is more to being a woman than having kids. The more mothers I talk to these days, the more I hear it. Mostly mothers of kids that are around 9 or 10. When they realize it’s time to rediscover themselves ’cause their kids don’t need them so much anymore. We are enough. Those of us who are on a ‘break’ need to spend the time to accept ourselves, I think. It’s like getting into any relationship – we have to be happy with ourselves before we can make someone else happy. And we have to accept ourselves, and our lives, before we can foster someone else’s. Don’t rush anything, just know that all your feeling is totally justified, you deserve to take your time with things, and there will be better days.

  8. I’m so sorry to hear what has happened. I’m thinking of you….

  9. Oh gosh, Kate.

    All I can say is “Word word word word word!”

    “How can I explain that I feel like a failure as a woman. At my basest core what sets me apart from a man is my ability to bear life. My breasts are to feed a child. My hips are to hold them and help their passageway into the world. I never imagined a life without children of my own.” These thoughts rush through my mind like a cancer, on a daily basis. It’s so cruel.

    I hope we’re both able to find ourselves again. *hugs*

  10. I wrote a really long post after my third loss about the fact my husband always has to come get me and drag me out of my dark places. I vowed I would try to meet him halfway. I do – some of the time – but he is my rock, my anchor. We had a very similar conversation about my obsession with this process. That every time we tried was a “hail mary” and I got extremely invested in the process but more so in the outcome, as if it were the only and last time we would try. I just don’t know any other way to do it – that is who I am. I did try to pay more attention to my husband – less time on the computer, more time cooking like I used to, etc. It is so, so hard. I still feel fragile. I still feel like a shadow of my former self. IF and loss has taken great big huge chunks out of me.

    I have had all of the RPL testing. Karotyping. HSG. Sonohystogram. The things I did not do – and would have/will do if I have another miscarriage is an endometrial biopsy and a laparoscopy. They never found anything “wrong” with me…but who knows…

    BTW, you may know this intellectually but you did NOTHING to cause these miscarriages. How incredibly rude and unprofessional of the people in the medical field that said that stuff to you. And for friends – I have always been tempted to send them articles about what not to say after a friend miscarries. I have had some really insensitive things said to me by my friends.

    As for testing, they may or may not be able to find anything – that was the hardest part for me. It is so frustrating, feeling broken and not having a way to fix it.

  11. Hubby and I have gone through this too – the whole question of whether my happiness depends on having a baby – all I can say is that therapy has helped us a lot…it has helped me feel less “crazy” and less “broken” and has given hubby the tools to help me work through my intense grief…just a thought.

  12. i’m so sorry you were subjected to the thoughtless, ignorant comments made at the er…those kinds of words have such a way of devastating us in an already devastating time.

    i know you know this…the grieving process takes time…it can be a long and winding road and i hope you don’t rush yourself through your process. as i was reading this post i was thinking about how differently my huz and i have grieved each of our losses…it’s so good that you and jack are communicating–especially the stuff that’s hard to say/hear.

    remembering you, l

  13. The constant grief and emptiness of infertility feels like a bottomless well sometimes. I got so tired of the WANTING all the time…that ache. I gave up on the hope that there would ever be children for us, I just wanted the wanting of them all the time to go away. Then just when I got to the point where I literally didn’t give a damn if my FET cycle worked or not because the last time it had worked, only to end too soon…it worked. If it hadn’t, I think I would have been okay, too…it just took a really, really long hard road to get to that point. I hope you find a way to be in the trenches fighting infertility and still be yourself…it’s a really tough balance.

  14. Thank you to everyone who offered their own personal insights and support. It means the world. I am always amazed at how many times I feel like I’m alone in how I feel, or that my conversations with my husband are original… but they’re not, they’re part of having IF as all of you seem to relate to so much of what I say. It doesn’t make it easier to be infertile and to deal with loss, but it helps to know that what I’m going through is normal and part of the burdens that IF gives us. Sometimes feeling normal about what you’re feeling is all you can hope for admist the pain of IF and loss.

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