I am 35 years old, living with stage IV Endometriosis, possibly adenomyosis and struggled with infertility for almost 4 years. I also struggled with PPD and now struggle with PMDD. I am a mother to a son that was born at 18 weeks and too precious for this earth; and now a mother to a son born in August 2011. By journaling here, I hope to benefit both for myself and for others that are dealing with this disease and fertility struggles. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How much is enough?

I honestly don't know how people can ride this train to fertility for so long. My steam is running out quickly. It's been a really rough week here. I get the news that maybe I should have a funeral for my right ovary soon...then news the a friend's daughter died. 17 years old. Things just aren't making sense anymore!!! So, needless to say it's been a week of very raw and roller coaster type emotions. Sadness for us. Sadness for friends. Sadness for the sadness around us!! :(

We've been trying for 3 years. Long, but, not nearly as long as a lot of couples I'm sure. How much is too much or enough?!?! When do you stop trying (and, by trying I mean thinking about it and actively trying every day that passes) and move on with your life? I'm tired and feel so beaten down. The tricky thing? I've been pregnant. It CAN happen. But, now I wonder, IF it ever happens again...for how long?!?! Long enough to have a baby, or, long enough to send me reeling into insanity? IF. IF. IF. The questions just keep getting more and more twisted the longer we travel down this road.

I think I am depressed. I miss my baby and yearn for the chance to be a mother here on this earth. But, am I missing out on the life around me and letting it pass me by? I don't know. And, I don't want it to! If there's nothing else that I've taken from this week, it's being reminded how precious and fragile life really is.

So, how do we NOT (actively) try? That's not a question I can ask someone that doesn't know the struggles of infertility. How does one that knows EVERYTHING about their cycle and timing NOT try for a few months? How does someone that wants a child so badly NOT try for just a little while. Just for a mental break? It's so much easier for my husband...he is blissfully ignorant of mucus signs, body temps and twinging ovaries. Just for one day, I wish I could be him!!! He wants a family just as badly as I do, but, for him SOMETIMES I think it's easier to keep moving forward.

So, maybe a break for a few months...if I can stand it? A month or two of "not trying"...which, for me maybe would mean not trying AS hard?!?!


Alex said...

We did a couple of those mini-breaks and to tell you the truth they never really were a break for anyone other than DH. I didn't let myself temp, but how could I NOT count the days or pay attention to my CM? Going on our indefinite break (until IVF) was really hard at first, but after I got the Mirena placed (during my 2nd Lap) I have to say it got easier. The finality to it really just helped. Obviously that's not what you're talking about doing here, but however you choose to handle your break, good luck. Try to keep busy... going back to school was the BEST thing thats happened to me since we decided to quit for a while.

Determination said...

My husband and I have been trying for more than five years and that includes a one year break.... in my humble opinion --- it never gets easier--- the pain has been there even in times that I thought I was strongest... we're still trying and will do one round of IVF soon--- if that doesn't work we're moving to adoption....

Lena said...

ps: sorry if i've already recommended it. i can't remember!

Lena said...

i wonder if i could take a break from trying too... i know it would be impossible for me to completely not try. my husband is the same way. they just have the ability to not be totally consumed...

have you read peggy orenstein's book "waiting for daisy"? if not, you must!

Heather said...

This is something I am struggling with myself right now. We are done with treatments, but I can't seem to let go of my cycle. It is really hard when you know it like the back of your hand. If you figure it out let me know!

Courtney said...

I just wanted to send you some big hugs. 3 years IS a long time....a very long time. The two of you have been through so much. The last paragraph reminds me of myself. Once you know how your body works and the fertile signs, it feels almost impossible to take a break. I know there were cycles that I tried to "take a break," but I was never successful at taking one. For me, infertility and loss stayed with me through every waking moment. It was exhausting and completely consuming. I feel like this isn't a very "encouraging" comment, but I just wanted you to know that what you are feeling is completely normal and that you are not alone. I know you have to miss your baby so much. I had such a difficult time with my loss, and it was around 8 weeks. After going through infertility, your bond with your baby is so intense from the beginning. I'm praying that you can have a break for a few months and that you can find rest and peace in the arms of God. I know He is holding you right now even if you can't feel it through the pain.

duck said...

I've got no great assvice, just hugs. We were working at it for 5 years, some mind numbing, soul sucking, life altering years.

cgd said...

I wrote about this same thing some time last week about my husband's cousind who completed 10 IVF cycles before having her baby.
I am a lot like you. I have been TTC for over 3 yrs, lost one baby, completed several IVF cycles, and have endo (although mine is mild). I ask myself this question all the time. I know for me, there was a very long time that we did not try between IVF cycles. No temp taking, no OPT, just life. It was not that I did not think about all the IF but I did live my day to day more normally. I think it really helps. A few cycles off was just what I needed. I lost all the medication weight, ran a half marathon, drank coffee and wine when I wanted. It is so refreshing.
Sending love your way.

Anonymous said...

This is my second month of not temping. I thought I would hate it - not knowing what was happening, whether or not I actually ovulated, how long my LP was. Turns out, it's kinda nice not having to see those temps every day and obsess. Doesn't mean that I don't pay attention to the twinges in my ovary or cm signs, and we definitely still hit the right days...but somehow just removing that "task" of temping does make me obsess a little less every single day.
I know even if we adopt or "move on", we'll never stop trying. I'll be that woman in her late forties who is still wishing for a miracle pregnancy because I'm NEVER going on birth control ever again.
Wouldn't it be nice to just be oblivious for once? Just turn a switch and suddenly have NO idea what's going on in our bodies - just temporarily? If only...
I hope you get a break, even if it's just a mini-one :).

Nic said...

Taking a break is hard, making the decision is also hard. We know our bodies so well, it is hard to tune out of all the little signs.
Going on the pill is a good way of going on a break. It mentally gives you a break from TTC, but you also feel like you are wasting months, what if that is the month you were meant to get pregnant.
Good luck with whatever you choose

Lauren, Daniel, James and baby Brendan. said...

I know you said this is only a question you can ask someone who has fertility problems, but I want to share my parents' story with you. My parents tried for 6 years to have a child with no success. They were never able to get pregnant and tried many things that were around over 30 years ago. They decided to "give up on trying" because it was very stressful and hard on their relationship. They just resolved themselves to the fact that they would not be parents. Then they went on a long overdue vacation. How does this story end? My mom got pregnant on the trip and I was born 9 months later. My mom was told she wouldn't get pregnant so many times that she ignored her early pregnancy symptoms passing them off as other things. Finally, she called the doctor thinking she was very ill (she never had normal cycles). My mom said horrible things were going through her mind about why she could be feeling so horrible. You can imagine her shock when she found out she was pregnant! I was the only child my parents were able to have. My mom doesn't believe that relaxing and not trying was solely responsible for conceiving, but thinks that not thinking about it and no pressure probably helped. We are still rooting for you. You are in our prayers regularly. Hang in there and call someone about how you are feeling. I am worried about you.

JellyBelly said...

I don't know how much more I can take. We've been trying for five years and I know that I'm near the end, although it scares me to admit it. I've told myself that if we're not pg by December then I'm done. It's not the first time that I've given myself a deadline before, and I broke it.

I think that taking a break is a good thing. I know that the months on L.upron (although tough for other reasons) gave me some time to regroup. Have you thought of counselling? I know that I need to seek it out for myself, but again I keep putting it off.

Sending you hugs!

Open Air said...

I ask myself these questions all the time. Just know that you're not alone! I've gone back and forth between wanting to just ditch the whole thing and take awesome vacations, and wanting to try again. But for me it came down to the fact that I still want to be mom to a living child. And whether that means fertility procedures or pursuing adoption, I know I just have to keep working toward that goal. I think it's especially difficult for people like us because we've come so close. We've been pregnant and we thought we were there. But don't feel bad for being overwhelmed, because I often feel that way.
I believe that one way or another, you will parent a living child if that's what you want to do. Because if there's one trait you have to have to even pursue infertility treatments in the first place, it's tough determination!
I'm sorry for all the disappointment this week has brought. I wish it were different...Oh let me count the ways I wish it were different!
Sending peaceful thoughts your way...with bright hopes for the future--whatever that may be. :)

Anonymous said...

i'm so sorry you are having to go through all this and even ask yourself these questions, i know how hard and excruciatingly painful it is. the worst part for me was not knowing how anything was going to turn out, was it even worth putting myself through all those treatments. would we ever have a biological child? obviously for me it was all worth it in the end and i so very much hope that if you decide to continue it is worth it for you too.
<3 xoxoxo <3

Jessica Kirkland said...

I am new to your blog, so i don't know your history. I empathize with your confusion on what to do. My husband and I took a break for a few months because of finances. It gave us a mental break. We waited a summer, then tried one more cycle. We added AI to increase our odds and it worked.
After my pregnancy and delivery etc.. my body was still really screwed up. One month I was fed up with progesterone pills to force me to have a cycle and I chunked them. They made me depressed etc.. I went on a diet and ate only chicken, fish, and vegetables. I would have an egg for breakfast but otherwise I never strayed from this. My ovaries (for the previous 3 years) had never released an egg on their own without forced oral hormones. After three days on this diet, I had a period for the first time in 3 years on my own. Every 6 weeks from that point on, I would ovulate. Free of drugs and hormones. I am sure you are much more well versed than me about the Endo diet, but I just wanted to share that. If you decide to take a break from all the counting, cycling, and drugs, maybe focusing on getting your body healthy would help pass the time and really give you a break. Hope this helps. Three years is a long time. I will also say a prayer that God will open your womb. He's better than any fertility doctor anyway.

Jeanne said...


I'm so sorry that things are so hard and that you have been through so much. :( I know you have had a LOT going on.

I also know there is nothing magical I can say to make you feel better.

At the same time, you know where to find me if you need an ear.

It was nice to hear from you yesterday! I miss you.

Take care,