What to expect when you’re not expecting

– Posted in: featured

I thought long and hard about writing (and publishing) this blog post, but in the end, it was hard to ignore the fact that I can’t be the only one feeling this way. SURELY there is someone else experiencing a similar spectrum of emotions, and so, if you’re out there, this one’s for you.

The journey to pregnancy has proven to be rocky, scary, fascinating (in a weird science kind of way), and mostly emotional.

There are days when I feel like a lab animal. Giving blood multiple times a week. Increasing my vitamin intake, waiting on blood test results, and wondering if I even believe in the fertility hocus pocus. Then I feel guilty for having doubt and I wonder more often than not what all of this is going to cost me. And yet, I return to the appointments and meet with financial counselors and get on the phone with the insurance company because there is a part of me that wants to believe that this is the path to pregnancy. I rest my honey bear socked feet in stirrups and wonder what’s going on downtown and if I’m the only woman who experiences this level of discomfort at an HSG test.

Also, did I just piss the table? No. Okay, good.

I stopped Googling. No good can ever come of that, anyway.

It’s hard to describe the emotions something like this can have on the psyche, and though friends and family have directed me to infertility boards and people who have gone through the process, I’m reluctant to join and I’m scared to phone them. I so wish I had a good friend who was experiencing this along with me (though I certainly don’t wish this on anyone), because honestly, I feel like a freak when I tell my stories of the doctor who said he was going to “clamp down on my cervix” and I resisted the urge to kick him in the throat.

Provided that all goes well with the results of the past few tests, I will start IUI treatments next month. I want to be excited, but my doctor explained the low success rate and told me that in truth, she’s not sure this will take. It was a hard pill to swallow. She told me that the best course of action for me would be IVF, a procedure that isn’t covered by my insurance and a complete gamble at nearly $40,000 and a 60% success rate. I don’t like to be swept up in numbers, and I’m certainly not a betting woman, but it’s a shitload of money and I don’t know if I want to go down that road. Yet.

Is it all worth it? I guess that’s yet to be determined.

In the meantime, I can’t help but feel terribly overwhelmed and alone. Of course, Bryan is my sounding board, but it’s not quite the same.

The other day as I gave blood, I sensed a woman in desperate need of someone to talk to.

“What are you in for?” she asked while I quietly giggled to myself.

We swapped stories—she’s a mom of two and wants a third (via IVF) to complete her family. I felt selfish for not wanting to continue the conversation because how could she possibly relate when she already has two kids at home?

“You’re so young,” she said, warmly and my façade began to crumble. As I left the office, she gently called after me. “Good luck,” her eyes twinkled. I smiled back.

It was exactly what I needed to hear.

20 Comments… add one
Beth October 11, 2017, 10:37 AM

Thank you for writing this my dear. While I haven’t experienced it personally, I have several friends who have. It is not easy to talk about and it sucks to go through. There are no better words than that. I will be thinking the best thoughts for you. I do have a friend who had success with an IUI – so it does work in some cases. All the love to you my sweet. I will always be willing to listen with a loving ear.

Shann Eva October 11, 2017, 10:42 AM

I wish I had the right words to say. Just know I’m thinking of you and sending you a big hug right now.

ShootingStarsMag October 11, 2017, 11:10 AM

I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who are experience very similar circumstances. I can understand wanting someone in your personal life to truly understand what you are going through though. It’s definitely not the same for the guy, so they can only do so much.

I think you’re really brave for sharing this. I know it probably makes you feel vulnerable, but I just see a lot of strength. I’m so sorry you have to deal with all of this to have a baby, and I do hope that it works out without you having to spend tons of money.

Love you, Charlotte! *hugs*

The Rhyming Mum October 11, 2017, 11:41 AM

You’re really brave for sharing this. Whilst I haven’t experienced it personally I have friends who have and I know sharing your story will help those who feel like they’re suffering alone. I wish you all the best on your journey.

Carma October 11, 2017, 11:44 AM

A blogger friend who I have “known” since I started blogging – so about 8 years – is over 30 weeks pregnant now after doing treatments for years so it happens and hopefully to you as well 🙂 🙂

StephTheBookworm October 11, 2017, 12:13 PM

I’m glad you wrote this and opened up because I know you’re not alone! I’ve read several blogs of women going through the same thing and have seen success! I can’t relate completely because I have a healthy son, but have been struggling this second go round since December. I know the pain you feel when you see yet another negative pregnancy test because I feel that too and it sucks. It just plain sucks… no other way to say it! I so wish you didn’t have to deal with that heartbreak and I pray that this works for you. I know you will be an amazing mom one day. You already are one to the pups and will be one to a human baby too.

Tamara October 11, 2017, 4:51 PM

Well. My sister has an IUI toddler and an IUI baby on the way so I certainly believe in that.
And in you.
You are so young.

Lillian October 11, 2017, 5:48 PM

You are never alone. But I know what you are saying. It would be extremely helpful to talk to someone who is experiencing exactly this – exactly at the same time. The ones who have been through it have the benefit of hindsight. The ones who have not been through it can support and listen, but it is not the same. There are times when you need to lean. This is one of them. Lean on me as much as you can. 💙🦋I love you and I have super positive vibes coming at you!!!

RAS Jacobson October 11, 2017, 6:09 PM

First of all, you are absolutely right that your words will have resonance for someone else, so never doubt that. Second, you’re a great writer. And third, nice to meet you. I only have one child, and I consider him to be a miracle. It gets easier to believe that as they head off to college. 🙂

Lecy | A Simpler Grace October 12, 2017, 12:06 AM

Oh, sweet friend, I am sending you big hugs and lots of love as well as all the prayers and positive vibes I can muster. Thank you for sharing your heart today. <3

catherine gacad October 12, 2017, 12:26 AM

I’ve known hundreds of women who’ve gone through this including myself. You are not alone! And there’s nothing wrong with you or your body. It’s just not your time yet. Also, lead your best life and be positive. There is a child waiting to make amazing you a mommy.

Divya October 12, 2017, 8:00 AM

Oh lady, I don’t want to pretend I know what this all feels like, but I can imagine all the emotions you must be feeling.
Have you tried finding online forums/groups of people TTC? I know there are a lot of people out there who may be just the support you need. <3

Sam October 12, 2017, 11:16 AM

Thank you so much for sharing your journey Charlotte. I have yet to experience it myself but I empathize with your struggles and have my fingers crossed for you ❤

Erin @ DebtandSweat.com October 12, 2017, 11:21 AM

Interesting spin on this topic! Love it!

San October 12, 2017, 2:56 PM

Isn’t it funny how for years we (women collectively) try to avoid getting pregnant and then when we want to get pregnant, it doesn’t happen easily for so many of us?! I know so many examples… and can only tell you that most of them were successful sooner or later. I am thinking of you and hoping for good news soon!

Lindsay October 14, 2017, 12:08 PM

Hello my sweet friend, I am sorry that I have not read this sooner. I cannot imagine the myriad and waves of emotions you’re going through. *hugs*
Getting your cervix clamped down on is certainly no fun whatsoever; I had that when I had my IUD inserted and it was excruciating.

Gonna go on skype now and see if you wanna/can chat. I’m home for a bit.

Love you momma bear and all my very best wishes, wherever this journey takes you. I’ll always be here for you. <3 xoxox

lisa thomson October 14, 2017, 5:00 PM

Oh, this is one of the hardest things to face as a woman IMHO. Possible infertility is such an emotional roller coaster. It took me a while to get pregnant with my first and I recall the crushing disappointment each month. I have a feeling this will happen for you one way or another Charlotte. I have heard good stories about IVF, but I can understand your hesitation to commit to that at this time. Sending you a big hug and lots of love. Your opening up about this will help so many women facing the same journey and hopefully provide some comfort for you in knowing that you are NOT alone. xxoo

Christine October 16, 2017, 7:16 AM

I financially couldn’t do it, but have friends who have gone through IVF. If you ever need to talk, I am here for you! Sending you ((((hugs))))!!

Anne October 18, 2017, 3:00 PM

It’s been years, but I was there. I’m not sure sharing this will be helpful –
as a) you don’t know me, and b) we ended up making what I consider to be a less common and less popular choice at the end of the infertility journey. I, too, did not know anyone else going through this. You feel so alone. They never figured out why we couldn’t conceive – but we knew it was me – my husband’s testing checked out fine. Our ultimate choice was to get off the train, as I think of it. We don’t have kids. We didn’t adopt. So I went from being someone who was all in, to accepting that we would be childless. I’m okay with it now – but it was not easy. I’m not sure what I’m hoping you get out of this, but just know that whatever choices you make? they will be the right ones for you. There’s a mostly silent sisterhood out there of people going through similar situations, whether you find them now or in the future, whether you eventually have kids or move forward without them. Sending you mental strength and the courage to make the right decisions for you and your family…

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