I had a realization today – and one that was so unexpected that it’s hard for me to even write it. But here it is. After 2 years of miscarriages and repeated failed IUIs and now failed IVF, I am not only agonizingly depressed that the end of our fertility journey is in sight, but I am also somewhat relieved. For two solid years, we’ve been climbing an uphill battle. I’ve put both my body and my psyche through so much. So much. Our lives have been on hold. No vacations. No home improvements. No new technology. No spending money on anything. Every penny had to be spent on fertility treatments and medications. We’ve loaned against our retirement plans and maxed out credit cards to try to get pregnant. We’ll be paying for this journey long after it’s over even if we don’t end up with a baby. We pushed ourselves to the brink financially, mentally, and in my case, physically.
Twice in the past two years I have lost upwards of 40 pounds. The first time I gained most of it back. It was after my miscarriage that was near the end of the first trimester. I was too depressed to do anything at all. And I just ate whatever felt good because everything else felt so damn bad. And currently I am in the process of gaining some of it back from my second round of pseudo-anorexic weight loss. Emotional eating again. I’d like to get it under control, but these days it seems like it takes every ounce of energy and focus I can muster to wake up, do my job and be a good parent to my kid. I don’t have anything left after that. After that, this is all that is left of me:
(Image from http://www.hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com)
And this is why, I think, there’s a part of me relieved that limited resources are forcing this journey to an end. I don’t want to be the woman in that picture for the rest of my life. I want lap band surgery. I want to start going to conferences and business engagements again. I’ve had to cancel all of my trips because you never know in advance when you are going to need to be available to be in the RE office for a cycle. I want to think about next steps in my career – that’s been on hold, too, because I don’t want to start a new job and immediately go on maternity leave. Which clearly has not been an issue, but you also miss SO much work going through fertility treatments, how would that look in a new job? Plus, my next step is hopefully into a CEO position. Can I really lead a company when I am going through all of this? When I am the woman in that picture?
So, I feel like a traitor to myself and to all that I have put myself through when I say it, but there is a part of me that will be relieved. There’s still a chance that this may end with a baby in my arms. But it may not. And I’m starting the process of learning to accept the latter possibility.