Monday, August 2, 2010

let go

Joey and I made a big decision this weekend. It is a decision that may or may not change the rest of our lives forever.

We are not going to pursue IVF, at least not in the near future.

As difficult as this is to write, I need to put down my thoughts. I need to find some way to spew all of the emotions that I've been trying to sort through and put them into coherent sentences.

The truth is, I've been feeling less and less excited about the possibility of IVF over the last few weeks. This weekend I finally admitted to Joey that I just don't know if I'm ready for this. IVF is a huge gamble. By gamble, I don't necessarily mean financially. I mean with my heart. My heart is broken.

After more than two years and four IUIs, I (as a person) am broken. 

This break has given me the chance to sort out these feelings and begin to accept the fact that I may never be a mom. It hurts so much, but I think going through IVF and possibly coming out on the other side with no baby would hurt ten times worse. At this point, I fear that a failed IVF might push me to the point of no return. I can't handle that now or anytime soon. Infertility has already changed me in so many ways. It's taken a long time and a lot of work to get to the point I am at now: where I am not angry every single day, where I can attend a baby shower or event every once in a while without having a complete mental breakdown, where I can genuinely smile as a person talks about their pregnancy or baby. I think about what I would be like if we did this and it didn't work, and it's impossible to bear. Recovery from that would take a long, long time.

It might sound selfish, but I need to put my health first--mental and physical. It's not just about my emotions. It's about my body. Physically, I'm exhausted, and I'm not well. Acupuncture is helping, but I think it's going to take time for me to feel normal again. My body is not a good place for a baby right now, which is probably part of the reason why we can't get pregnant. Deep in the back of my mind, I keep thinking, "What if this new lump in my breast just doesn't go away and I need another surgery? Is it really smart to keep going through fertility treatments when this keeps happening?" I know the risks. I know they are low, but they are still there. And with my family history and what's gone on in my own body over the past two years, I fear that I might be pushing my limits right now. Spending the last few months without hormones or drugs in my body has felt incredibly liberating. I want to keep feeling this way.

And we need time as a couple. Our marriage is not in trouble by any means, but I miss being just us: a couple who does not have to save every penny and stress every detail about baby-making procedures that, time after time, leave us disappointed. We need to live for a while. It doesn't mean we won't try naturally, and I'll continue to see my acupuncturist. But it just means that IVF is off the table at this point in our journey. As for adoption, that's really not on our radar right now, either. It may never be. I don't know. My goal is to take things one at a time.

I hurt. Like hell, I hurt. The pain that I feel at this very moment is impossible to put into words. I feel as if something died, and in a way something did. I would be lying if I said that this didn't kill a part of me, if I said that admitting this made everything better. But I would also be lying if I didn't admit to myself and everyone else that I can't do this right now.

"Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go."

58 comments:

Fertility Chick said...

Hugs to you for being brave and honest. Thank you for this post. We are kind of at the same point right now - IVF is on our minds but not in the near future.

Know that you will remain in my thoughts.

Marci said...

It sounds like a healing time of mind and body is absolutely required. Focusing on you as a person and a couple is not a bad idea or a selfish one.

Kakunaa said...

That is ana mazingly difficlt choice...and I am proud of you. I know what you mean. I hope you are able to take some time to heal...thinking of you.

serenity said...

I think only you know when you're ready, if ever, for IVF and/or adoption. If you're not, and the alternatives - living child free, focusing on your marriage and the things you DO have - makes you feel more relieved than doing IVF? Then it's the right choice, for you.

Give it some time. You may find that in a few months you have built up the emotional reserves again that you and Joey feel like you can take that gamble and be okay if it doesn't work out.

But then again, maybe not.

Writing things down about treatments and where you are in terms of willingness to do them is sort of like drawing lines in the sand. Once you accept that you have no control over when and if you might build your family, there's an ebb and flow of emotional reserves, and you may feel more willing to try something different at some point in the future.

Either way, though? I think you're an amazing that you can admit this and take some time for YOU.

Love and hugs and peace to you, hon.

xxx

AL said...

Huge, huge, hugs Katie.

This is such a difficult decision and I think it's fantastic that you're taking the time to heal and be good to yourself. It's not selfish, it's smart, honest, and healthy. You need to take care of yourself first.

I've been pondering the same thing recently - can I emotionally handle IVF? I still don't know the answer, I really don't. I don't know if I could handle it not working, or it working and losing another pregnancy. I don't know if I can get back up after that.

Thinking of you. <3

Waiting Lisa said...

A lot of the things in this post are the reasons we moved on to adoption. I hope that you can eventually heal and make a decision that is right for you-whatever it is.

I'm always here for you if you want to talk...or vent...or just have someone listen.

Rita said...

You're a smart, brave, incredibly strong woman and you know what's best for you and Joey.

Thinking of you today... *hugs*

AplusB said...

Oh Katie, I'm so sorry you're faced with this decision. I think you are absolutely right to put yourself first and make sure your body is healed from all your previous treatments and heartbreak. IVF is a HUGE step and you are wise to not jump into something you're not 100% sure about. Take all the time you need. (((hugs)))

Keiko said...

A brave and difficult choice indeed. I hope this time brings you the healing you need, the clarity you seek, and peace with your decision now and for decisions in the future. *hug*

Littlest True Blue said...

You are a brave woman and I am so proud of you for recognizing your pain and realizing that a healthy you is what is MOST important. Take care of yourself and love yourself because you ROCK!
LTB

Stephanie said...

Katie, you have to do whats best for you and your situation. Grieve and mourn. Reconnect with Joey. Let your body heal. Your quote sums it up perfectly!!! Hugs & Prayers!!

Alex said...

I'm so proud of you for realizing that you need a break. This is a really healthy decision. If and when you decide to go forward with IVF or adoption, you need to be healthy, both in body and in mind. Take all the time you need.

Kim said...

I think you are so brave to honor what you know is best for you, even if that means (partially) sacrificing your wants right now.

I respect and admire your decision and I know it must be so hard, so I hope that with time the pain subsides. I have to agree that sometimes when there's unexplained infertility,it's our bodies way of letting us know somthing else might be going on. Stepping back or down or away or whatever you want to call it, just might be what the doctor ordered.

Enjoy all the good times that are to be had with the freedom that goes along with your decision.xoxoxoxoxox

Josey said...

Oh Katie, it's so hard to read posts like this when the hurt & pain you have gone through these past 2 years are so evident. I've been thinking about this same thing lately... as much as I'm dying to be a Mom, I don't know if I could handle a failed IVF. I hate that any of us have to make decisions like this. :( Hang in there...give your heart & soul time to heal... you'll make the choices that are best for you and for Joey. ((HUGS))

Brave IVF Girl said...

Brave, honest post. I think being selfish is important, and feeling whole and well is important for you whichever path you eventually take. *hugs*

Jen said...

I think the choice to put you and your marriage back into focus is absolutely the right thing to do. I'm so proud of you. I often wonder if I'm even in a good place to become a mother, given the mental hell I'm going through - and I'm still at the very beginning of this process. This is such a hard decision, but you have to be honest with yourself. Take time to grieve if you need to. Hugs and prayers for you and DH.

Amanda said...

This post makes me sad. In the back of my mind I think....yes...but what if it DID work! However, you have to heal yourself first, and you know what is best for you. I pray for you that you get back to where you need to be physically and mentally. You are such a sweet person and deserve the best! *hugs*

waiting for baby said...

Many happy thoughts and prayers your way! :) I know how bad it must hurt, but sometimes it's better to be honest and real.

Rach said...

A failed IVF is very very tough. If you are not totally ready then I think it's wonderful that you are waiting. Praying for you and Joey.

Dawn said...

I don't think this is a selfish choice, I think it is an incredibly brave one. You need to do what is best for you and your marriage. Taking the time to heal and reconnect sounds like a wise, but difficult choice.

Thinking of you and sending you many hugs!

Arlyne said...

you're definitely the bravest woman I know, & also one of the smartest! I commend you for putting yourself & Joey first & for having the strength to let go, even just for a little while.

you're always in my thoughts!!!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Jessica said...

I think you are very brave for making this very difficult decision. You deserve to take a break from TTC and focus on your well-being. ((HUGS))

Jem said...

What a difficult decision. IVF failure is a big deal. We put so much hopes and prayer and energy into an IVF cycle, it's staggering. I do understand you wanting to take a break to heal and take care of yourself.

BTW, there are other ways to make a difference in a child's life than to be their mom!

My So-Called (TTC) Life said...

This is such an incredibly difficult decision. I often think about having to make this decision myself. You are so strong to be able to make this decision and stand by it. Stay strong.

Noelle said...

I am so sorry that you are hurting so badly. I think that making this decision is so brave of you. You know what is best for you and for your heart, and you are doing it.

Madeline said...

I think you are so brave Katie. I think it's really important that you put yourself first. Find other things to spend time (and money on). That's kind of like what Ryan and I decided awhile back. So we've started planning and going on vacations instead and taking weekend trips places. We figure, if nothing else, traveling and doing all those fun things now is good for us, especially if we are ever lucky enough to have kids, we won't be able to now. It's kind of funny at work, all the people we work with that have kids are always jealous of us for doing fun stuff all the time, and the whole time we're jealous of them for having kids! I'll have to find out from you some more about acupuncture, it sounds interesting!

Erin said...

I just want to give you a huge hug right now. Good for you for doing what's best for you. I can only imagine what an incredibly difficult decision this must have been for you to make. I hope that you are able to continue healing, and that the right path will come to you from that healing.

Tillie said...

I wish I could take away your hurt...your pain. I'm sorry. I am glad you can be honest with yourself and us on what is best for you. Take care of you. You are what is important. I hope that time can heal your pain and your wounds. You are very strong and I have no doubt you will bounce back. *huge hugs*

Jin said...

I really wish I was closer than, what 8 hours or so away, to give you a big hug.

Dont start with the "I'm never going to be a mom" comment right now, because that's counteractive to the healing you want and need to do, and could probably lead to other thoughts that would stop your healing.

I'm serious. In the six (seven?) months of meditating, that's just the thought process that would derail weeks, months, or years of change. Dont let yourself get into that. Please change that to "I may not be a mom RIGHT NOW, but I am preparing myself for the day when I become one" or something similar. Stick it on post-it notes everywhere if you have to and say it to yourself at least once everyday. It'll make a difference.

Healing your mind and body and making your relationship with Joey even stronger is important. Without one of those, it makes everything harder, especially since IF is an unfeeling bitch, and we all need as many things working for us as possible than against us.

Is there a word count limit on this thing? I think I wrote too much :)

You rock Katie!

Secret Sloper said...

You are incredibly brave, Katie, to listen to what is *right* for you even when it goes against what your heart wants so very much. If you are not excited about ivf, then I think it's completely understandable that you would back away from it right now, to get yourself and your marriage and your heart in order.

I will not stop hoping for you to have your children, however they come to you.

Carrie said...

Huge, huge ((((HUGS)))))!!! I think you are such a strong person for making a decision that is ultimately best for you and your hubby right now. As always, I will be thinking of you!

S said...

FWIW, I think you're making a smart decision. Like you, I don't know that I could take the devastation of a failed IVF cycle, knowing I'd pinned all my hopes on it and shelled out tens of thousands of dollars. I can't imagine ever undertaking anything so emotional which has more chance of failure than success.

This is the time to be selfish. You should be putting yourself, and your marriage, first.

T said...

I do not think you are being selfish by any means! You are smart for listening to your body and your mind.

I pray that this time will help you regain the strength in yourself and let you and your hubs reconnect and get back to a happier time.

Marla said...

I know how hard it is to make a decision like this. But, don't feel bad bc you feel you need a break. You're being honest with yourself, and that's all that you can ask for in yourself. *hugs*

erika said...

You know I will be always here for you! it's an incredibly tough situation, and whatever path you choose to take it's never easy to make those first steps on it. I am sure the two of you make the right choice together. Hope you will feel better soon.
P&PT's and lot's of love to you.

Ashley said...

Sending you lots of hugs! You are so brave and I really admire you. And you are right, you need to take care of youself first. Sending you lots of peace right now!!

Rebecca said...

Sending you so much love and so many hugs. I know this must have been a very difficult place to come to. Yu have to do what is right for you and this is it. I don't think it is selfish, i think it is a brave, honest step to take. Please know that we'll be here for you wherever you go.

Nola Darling said...

Since Fall 2007, I've had two myomectomies (w/ a canceled engagement in between), a couple of bouts with ovarian cysts, two "suspicious" mammograms and a biopsy and four failed IUIs, so I completely understand how you feel. Spent the holidays in a very depressed state, and used that time to reassess things. As a consequence I made some very crucial decisions that have put me on my current path, and I feel optimistic that things are going to work out in my favor. Wishing you the best, and confident that you and Joey will continue to be happy regardless of where this decision leads you.

Crossed Fingers said...

I am sending so many hugs and good thoughts your way. I'm so sorry that you're hurting so much. It breaks my heart to read your pain.

I think you are listening to your heart right now and taking care of you. I hope that the lumps go away and that your health stays wonderful.

I know this is out of left field, I thought so too - but I had a dream about you the other night. I know...so strange. But I had a dream that I came to your blog and you were posting you were pregnant. I'm holding out hope for you that my dream comes true.

womb for improvement said...

It isn't a selfish decision at all. Better to take your time and make the right decisions than rush into the wrong ones.

Browniris said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I know what you mean about feeling like something has died, because right now I feel the same way. Big hugs to you!!!

Melissa G said...

Very powerful post.

And I get it, I really get it.

About needing a break. About feeling broken. About what a HUGE gamble it all is - and not just financially...

I get it, and I'm sorry you do too.

Hugs.

Danielle said...

This is an amazing and courageous post. I wish this could be even one iota easier than it is. Lots of good thoughts to you and your husband for healing and happiness!

JC said...

((Hugs)) Katie. I'm so sorry you had to make a difficult choice, and that you're hurting. I think you're making the right decision right now for you and your health. Even though it may be a really hard one. I think I can honestly say I get it too. I know for me, I could not handle such a big let down (if it didn't work) right now either. I'll pray you guys have peace about your decision right now and who knows what the future holds. Hopefully a huge happy ending. =)

someday-soon said...

You are so strong (and wise) to do what is best for your health! Some people aren't as honest with themselves or their DH's. I wish you peace and healing with your decision {{{HUGS}}}

jensays (what would jen do) said...

it's a big decision to make. and as someone who has been thru 5 failed IUI's and one failed IVF, i know what you are feeling. if you ever want to talk about it, let me know.

Jackie said...

Making this decision is a very big step, and you know better than anyone else what the best thing for you to do is. I'm sure it took a lot of soul-searching and sleepless nights, and I do hope that this time off from treatments will be a positive experience for you and your husband. Your well-being is the most important thing, and there's nothing selfish about knowing that.
Best of luck!

Sara said...

You are such a strong person for being this honest with your feelings. Sometimes it is easier to keep pushing feelings aside but you are very courageous for facing them head on no matter how hard it hurts.
Thinking of you...

Stefanie Blakely said...

Oh, Katie... what a huge decision...

I know that you and Joey have come to this decision together, and that's what's important-- growing together and deciding what's right. You certainly don't have to make all decisions about what the future might bring, you just have to do what's best for you right now, and it sounds like you have.

Much, much love to you.

S.I.F. said...

This hits so close to home right now... Everyone keeps telling me to jump right back in and transfer those frozen embryos, but I can't. I'm too afraid. I'm terrified that if it doesn't work, I will never recover.

I hope you can find that healing Katie... I hope I can too.

Adele said...

I think you are absolutely right: you need to take care of yourself. And - as others have said - only you know what is right for you, and you have to honor that rather than fight against it. Hugs to you.

Amaprincess said...

Your post gave me chills! I hope that you and your husband find great comfort in each other. Plan to do things that you guys have never done before. Whatever you decide will be the right decision for you guys! HUGS!!!!

Trisha said...

Good for you for following what you both feel is best for your lives. Our IVF treatments were some of the hardest things we went through. I don't regret doing it but knowing what I know now, I couldn't do it again. Many prayers for you that God will direct your path and show you what He has in store for you!

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I can completely relate to this post. It's where I was after year 2 of TTC. About 2007ish. We took about a year off. I wasn't ready for IVF, for the same reasons you described. And now, having had a failed IVF, I can tell you it does suck royally. I think it's smart for you and hubby to take the time to focus on yourselves. You do have some time to figure this stuff out. And to also just live your life. One step at a time is all we can do anyways.

DC Running Mama said...

IVF is a big gamble, but there is 60% success rate for someone in your age category. That is WAY better than IUIs. Give your body a break, try to find the joy in your life and in your relationship again, and come back to it in a few months when you are ready. I can tell you this, being on the other side of infertility, and having dealt with a failed expensive procedure, that a failure is PAINFUL. But, you find your way out again. For me, it took about 6 weeks of crying numerous times every day, of sometimes wishing I was dead rather than having to go through this, to get back to feeling like I could smile, that life would be OK. Sometimes you don't think you have hope any more and you somehow manage to keep living and you realize in doing so that you had hope all along.

Astrid said...

I've probably said this before but you are an inspiration. No matter what happens in life you know exactly what to do to be true to yourself and to give yourself the best chance at happiness whatever the circumstance. I really admire your ability to realize how far you've come even if you haven't achieved everything you want - most people (all people) don't have everything they want but it's rare to be as graceful as you are about enjoying the journey anyway. I admire your unwillingness to gamble your happiness and sanity and marriage and your ability to realize the good in life in the face of pain. I feel like i've acted out of desperation and insecurity throughout my journey and as a result I live with constant anxiety, depression, and a feeling that nothing is enough and I am so lucky to have you to learn from. Thank you for being so strong, so smart, and so articulate. And of course I hope nothing but the best for your future together whatever that may bring. Just know that you are a success story already. You will always have that.

terrid614 said...

awww BIG hugs to you....my heart goes out to you and your hubby~i can feel your pain in your post~i know exactly how you feel. we have been struggling with infertility issues for 5 years now and we are not pursuing IVF. i keep praying that a little bean will miraculously appear in the uterus! best wishes. i hope the best for you~xo

The Domestic Princess said...

I just wanted to say ((hugs)). That has to be the hardest choice to make.