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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heart vs. Brain: Or How I Soldiered on After Losing All Hope

I put hopeful in the name of my blog because when we started this journey that's how I felt. Or, possibly, that's how I wanted to feel. Either way, hope and I were still on speaking terms back then. But, somewhere along the way, we had a falling out. Hope and I became estranged, and I convinced myself that I couldn't become pregnant. I even began to tell myself that it was silly for me to have ever even thought that it was a possibility.

Partially this was because when we began TTC back in November 2008 I already had convinced myself that it was not going to happen quickly for us. This was because a) I felt I was already past my fertile prime at 33 (I know, HA!); b) I had been tentatively diagnosed with endometriosis by my OB/GYN and told that getting pregnant might be difficult for me; and c) I had had stomach discomfort for going on 2 years which may have been endo or could have been something else, but either way made me feel broken.

July 2009 we first saw an RE and quickly were assigned to the "unexplained" category, confirming my fears that whatever was wrong with me was so intrinsically wrong that it defied explanation. I quickly came to believe that although IUIs were the proper step to take before IVF, that they would only be a step to cross off our list and would not actually do anything for us. I was right, and this solidified my belief: we were super broken.

I believed that if we were to have any chance at pregnancy, it would be through IVF. I reminded myself over and over again that the majority of women will need more than one IVF to get pregnant, and that if we didn't get pregnant after the first one I should not freak out. But when our first IVF failed, I seriously freaked out. We had pulled out the big guns, and they had done nothing for us.

And that is when my heart broke and all my remaining hope abandoned ship.

I became like a zombie, a shell, a walking talking Jane doll with my heart in a million little pieces inside my chest. And yet, I still had a brain. And my brain was somehow still functioning. And what it was saying to me was,"Most women will need more than one IVF to get pregnant. In fact, for your age group, 80% of women will be pregnant after 3 IVFs. The odds are in your favor. You have to keep trying. Do not give up."

And so, like an automaton, I pushed forward. Not because I thought my second IVF would work (because I didn't) but because my brain was patiently instructing me that, logically, I did in fact still have a chance.

And then it did work. And now I am experiencing some extreme cognitive dissonance. And my heart is only slowly mending.

So, in conclusion, IF is a big fat f-ing bitch.

And to all you out there still battling her, you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I believe in you, even if you are having a hard time believing in yourself. Some of you may still have hope, but some of you may be in the same boat as I was: a sinking one. Don't give up. This may be the hardest thing you have to do in your life. I hope it is. Be strong. There are plenty of happy endings in the IF world, and there is one out there waiting for you, I know this with all my (still a little bit broken but slowly mending) heart.


  1. Love this post and LOVE that this saga has a happy ending!!

  2. It is a strange place to be pregnant after IF. I remember even the day before I found out I was pregnant just feeling so hopeless. It's difficult to recover from that feeling when your dreams finally come true.

  3. Thanks for this Jane. I am definitely in the "giving up hope" phase. Partly because we've been stuck on hold for a while and I'm restless. I just keep going because I dont know what else to do, I think. But it is good to see that there can be another side!

  4. Thanks for this post Jane...sometimes feels like we are hanging not hope with a single thread. It's hard, it's scary..it is a bitch...but then we read success stories and see all the survivors and know it's possible....that's all we need to keep going.

  5. It IS a big fat f-ing bitch. Well said.

  6. Congrats! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for that link.

  7. I wish you a happy and safe pregnancy! I bet you still cannot believe it! I think that we do what we have to, to get us through each cycle. But there is always hope, always xo

  8. Wow, I check in after not reading a post from you in a long time and find this GREAT news! Congratulations!

  9. just checking in. haven't heard from you in a while!