The last several days I have been talking with some friends who were going through IVF cycles (some for the first time and some for their 2nd and 3rd). During my conversations with them over the course of their two week waits, I began to recognize so many familiar emotions. Their waits began with all the excitement, hope and anticipation that come with being PUPO (Pregnant until proven otherwise). As the days ticked down I saw those emotions begin to shift into anxiety and sadness; sure that the cycle had failed. As the official test day arrived, they began to dread their BETAs (blood pregnancy test) for fear of receiving confirmation of that failure. Of the four couples going through IVF only one of them got that news that they had been praying for; only one had a positive BETA.
Having been the recipient of both the positive and negative calls from my RE I could empathize with all of them. I know the elation and joy of hearing the voice on the other end of the phone telling me I was pregnant. I also know the anger, sadness and disappointment of hearing that same voice telling me that the cycle was unsuccessful. There are so many questions that come with failed cycles. Why did this cycle fail? Why didn’t the embryos stick? Why would God allow this to keep happening to me? What did I do to deserve this? What is wrong with me? We begin to try and reconcile the reasons for our infertility and miscarriages. We want answers. The problem for so many is that there are no answers. Often there are no medical reasons for cycles being unsuccessful or losses.
I spent the last several years of my life asking “why?” I wanted reasons for my pain and losses. I spent many a night crying in G’s arms asking “why?” Sometimes I think it was more difficult for me not having a reason for my infertility. It played havoc with my emotions and caused me to continuously question my self-worth. I had allowed my infertility to define me. I began to believe that because I could not carry a baby to term that I was worthless. We as humans want to know there are reasons or purposes for our trials. We want to know that our suffering isn’t for nothing.
After talking with my friend and hearing those same “whys?” come out of her mouth I began to reflect on my own journey. Now that we have changed our direction how do I feel about my infertility? Do I still need to know why? I realized that after five years in infertility/cancer “hell” I finally don’t need to know why. I began to understand what G was trying to explain to me all these years. “You will never know the “why” of your trials but one day you will have peace and acceptance.” Though I still have moments where I struggle with acceptance I feel more at peace now than I have at any time during my infertility journey. I know that G is right. The first time I hold my newborn baby the “whys?” will no longer matter.