A New York City Tale of Infertility

A New York City Tale of Infertility…..pregnant3
Infertility is a true Journey. No two roads ever look the same and the path traveled toward a resolution (Baby) is unique for each woman, man and couple traveling on route.

While the dearest of friends and family seek to “understand”, there is no better way to really experience the journey than hearing it from the experts: the real women, men and couples who live it every day.

As a testament to the Infertility community’s authentic journey, I have compiled and array of real Journal Entries which have been kindly shared by women living with infertility in New York City.

All real names and dates have been modified for confidentiality purposes, but the words you are about to read are as real as they get.

The infertility topics in these entries vary, and emotions range from sadness to hope, heartbreak to excitement, overwhelming anger and sheer joy. They are real reminders of the many reasons you could benefit from processing these emotions in therapy and gain the tools to cope with the road ahead..

The Uncertainties

It is the morning of February 20, 2008 and I feel as if someone has taken my heart and crushed it to pieces.
Yesterday evening on my way to school- 12 days post my first intrauterine insemination treatment I began to spot. This morning I began my period.

I have been planning on giving myself until this Saturday- exactly two weeks from my IUI to test. Time and time again over the last torturous two week wait I mustered in my head the timing, place and possible result of my Saturday “event”; this morning- it all came crashing down on me, like a brick house tumbling down with force.

My body has betrayed me again. My heart is breaking, and this road is turning too arduous for me to push fourth on. Don’t know if I can take much more of this.

It never ceases to astonish me that no matter how many sophisticated defenses are employed by my psyche to prepare me for another infertile month, when the moment of truth finally arrives they all dissipate into thin air, nowhere to be found, betraying me just as my body has.

This morning’s arrival of my period left me standing all alone in the battlefield. And scanning all around me did not reveal even the most primitive defense. Even a good past friend- Denial, was nowhere to be found. I stood there, staring at myself in the mirror- Me: exactly two weeks away from my 30 year- infertile- crushed- scared shitless that the implications of never having a child will rob me of a life I have always dreamed of.

The tears are now flowing like rivers and the knot in my stomach is tied up in tiny bits of emotions; Anger, sadness, disgust, guilt and most of all FEAR come over me in waves, wrecking my insides. It is month 19 of my journey. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

I had one of the most vivid dreams I have had in a long time last night. In it, I was sitting by an empty baby carriage in broad daylight. The sun was beaming down on me and a smile engulfed my face. In my hand I was holding a home pregnancy test revealing two pink lines. I was pregnant. Finally.
I am awake now- Staring down the barrel of reality. The stroller is gone. The sun is long gone. It is just me and my pain now.

Starting In Vitro Fertilization IVF:

I turned 30 exactly 10 days ago, and as I kissed my 20’s goodbye and blew out my birthday candle, I sent a little prayer out into the world. Dear God, thank you for giving me my 20’s, a time for adventure, accomplishment and love. Please God may the next decade bring with it my one wish these days: to bear a child. As I stared at the ticking clock at almost midnight on the last day of my 29 year, I couldn’t help but pray to conceive in my 30’s, a dream I could not live without, a need I will die inside without.

This weekend, the dreaded period had arrived, relentless and destructive as ever. I will never conceive in my 20’s. As the tears flowed down like a river, and this awful dejavu moment was stabbing daggers in my heart, I vowed to battle till the bitter end in my 30 year.
No more primitive inseminations and once daily injectible synthetics. A new sheriff is in town and it’s time for the big guns! From here on it will be nothing but surgical fertilizations and embryo transfers even under the most aggressive procedural methods. My 30’s are here and this God forsaken biological clock is ticking away.. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock..

My 20’s are gone and with them is my innocence. Until now, my hope had room to float.
Endometrial surgery and then I’ll get pregnant! Outcome: negative.
Injectible medications for sure will due the trick! Outcome: negative.
Intrauterine insemination 1 and then 2 are bound to succeed! Outcome: negative + negative.

Fear is taking over me like a venomous solution. What If? I ask myself… will IVF be a failure like the rest? And if so, what will become of my dreams, my hopes? It’s surreal to think that I cannot be even slightly responsible for bringing my child into this world, and with this, my fear that IVF too will fail is gut wrenching.

I push these thoughts out of my mind; they now sit in a dark hollow place in my subconscious. I cannot let them defeat me; THE BIG GUNS ARE COMING. And with this thought I breathe a sigh of relief. In the next 4 months I will do my best to defer the fact that my moment of truth may be near. I fill my lungs with air and try to exert certainty over a sea of unknown..

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8 Responses to “A New York City Tale of Infertility”

  1. Audry April 18, 2013 4:39 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing these entries Karin. After 4 failed IVF cycles, I have been feeling so alone in this battle, and the thoughts expressed in the entries make me realize that many of us out there are struggling with fertility. While I am not sure what our next steps will be toward achieving a pregnancy, I am hopeful to know of other women’s experiences.

  2. Kimberly April 26, 2013 2:02 pm #

    Great blog. I really connect to the experience of the “unknown”. My partner and I have been struggling to conceive for 21 months now, and have had 2 failed IVF cycles. We have needed to become more comfortable with the idea of uncertainty being a key part of this process to build our family. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Suzie May 24, 2013 7:43 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing these real entries, Karin. I too have been living in this “fertile metropolis” and feeling like one of the only women out there struggling to have a baby. My partner and I are now waiting for results (in the middle of our two week wait) after a 3rd IVF cycle. My heart goes out to all impacted by infertility and yearning for a family.

  4. Rebecca June 12, 2013 3:20 pm #

    I appreciated reading these posts. IVF is a real challenge, and it took me a while to finally accept that I will need to compromise my physical and mental health to take it on. I am now in the two week wait period after our IVF cycle and it is really really hard. The emotional experience is probably the most difficult. Sending lots of positive wishes to any woman reading this, and struggling to build a family.

  5. Josh H. June 12, 2013 4:12 pm #

    Therapy has been a really great tool for my wife and I, struggling with recurring miscarriages and infertility. This blog and ones like is empowers men, (we tend to suffer silently) and helps folks recognize that they are not alone in this. Hoping to see you share the entry on “male perspective on miscarriage” soon. Thanks.

  6. Leslie June 26, 2013 7:54 pm #

    Karin, thank you so much for posting these entries. Infertility forces us to be anonymous women at times, and I value so much the courage of these entries to share the hardships and joys. I am almost 34 and have been trying to conceive for 4.5 years. It has been the MOST difficult experience of my indivdual and married life. We will most likely move to select an egg donor in the coming weeks, and I hope to hold a baby in my arms this year.
    Much love and luck to the ladies and partners struggling out there, who are reading this blog.

  7. Sharon July 23, 2013 2:01 pm #

    reading your entry about the “uncertainties” associated with fertility challenge was like reading my own narrated etry. I too feel like my body has “betrayed me” after just learning of my 4th failed IUI cycle. My partner and I cannot afford an In Vitro cycle, even though we know that it may increase our chances of conceiving significantly. The road for us has been so arduous, sad and all-consuming. I am prepared to take on 2 more cycles before saving up for IVF and really want to learn to cope with the uncertainties about ever being a mother.
    I would like to contact you about individual counseling around coping. Thanks for a great set of entries.

  8. Lea July 24, 2013 6:45 pm #

    IVF is a huge undertaking, and I agree with Rebecca’s comment about accepting the toll it takes on body and mind. I am now preparing for my 3rd IVF cycle, and pray this time it will take. My history:
    ectopic (natural) pregnancy destroyed my left tube;
    IVF cycle #1- failed
    IVF cycle #2- succesful pregnancy, miscarriage at 6 weeks
    I would really appreciate any postings you can share about the ideal ways to cope with this experience. I am really struggling to stay positive given all the trials I have been through. Keep at it, ladies. Stay strong. Sending lots of wishful thoughts your way.
    -Lea

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