One Side Effect of Fertility Treatment: The Feeling of Failure
Do you ever feel like a failure?
Because I sure do. And it’s amazing how this whole infertility rollercoaster drags that feeling into every single aspect of my life. This feeling is all too familiar these days, it’s like an unwanted zit that just won't go away...
I feel like my body has failed me. No punches pulled- my cycles are all over the place, I don’t know when or if I’m ovulating, and then I have to play the waiting game just to get (more) bad news. And of course, the biggest unanswered question of all- will I ever get pregnant?
Counting The Ways I’m Failing…
I feel like I have failed my husband because I can’t “give” him a child the “traditional” way. We will never just have sex and POOF, we’re pregnant. It will always be that we will have to come in for blood work, ultrasounds, semen drop off, inseminations, etc. So not the romantic way I’ve always dreamt about. Does this make sense? Of course not! But no one ever said that feelings have to make sense.
I feel like I’m failing at my job. Again, is this true? I don't know, but it sure feels that way.
I feel like I’m failing at creating the home I want.
And finally, I feel like I’m failing with my marriage.
I mean, my mind is in a million places lately. No matter what I’m doing, I just can’t seem to focus on any one thing, no matter how important or simple. I can’t seem to begin and then complete a task all the way through to the end. I can’t even remember the simple everyday tasks, like watering our Christmas tree.
And I’m tired. So very tired. I wish the wheels in my mind would stop spinning so fast because I can’t keep up. I wish the thoughts would just slow down. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have any thoughts at all- that I could shut them off completely. I wish my hopes didn’t keep rising up just to get let down time and time again. Most of all, I wish we weren’t having to go through all this to have our baby.
The #HotMess Express
Add in the stress of the holidays and I truly feel like a #HotMess. I usually LOVE this time of year- the special kind of magic that’s in the air; the hope and romanticism of the season. But this year, well, it’s a bit different. I just feel empty and not excited about the holidays at all. I kind of want to press the fast-forward button to be through with them. I don’t want to receive one more Christmas card of my friends and their kids. I don’t want to hear about all the shopping they have to do and all the toys they have to buy because well, it’s just another reminder of what I don’t have. It’s what I would give anything to have to do! And it hurts because this is another year that I’m not celebrating with my baby.
My Inner Dialogue, Out Loud
Plus, while there’s so much to do this time of year, you still have to remember to take your medications, your prenatal vitamins or have sex within a certain time so that your husband has a tip-top semen sample in time for your next IUI procedure- it’s all just too much. I haven’t even had to undergo the more sophisticated and involved fertility treatment cycles like IVF - we’re only in our second IUI cycle -but I’m tired, kind of bone-weary tired. And maybe you see me as an infertility novice and you think I’m being a bit dramatic or maybe you might even be thinking, “Geesh, if she can’t handle this, how the heck is she going to handle a child?”
And you know what, if that’s what you’re thinking, maybe you're right. Maybe I won’t be able to handle a child. I mean, as a parent, I know I’ll have my off days, because, don’t we all? But I want the chance to be in the game at least enough to say whether or not I can handle it. We want to experience being parents- the good, the bad and even the ugly side of parenting. But we need to get to that place first and we just can’t seem to make our way there. It’s like trying to run in quicksand- you do everything in your power to try and move, but you just can’t seem to get out of the thick of it…and, in fact, sometimes it just feels like you’re getting sucked down even further.
My Holiday Wish
More than anything, I wish Mr. Claus would bring us a child, and that seems to be the one thing he can’t (or won’t) do. But when you’ve been a good girl all year and that’s all you ask for, is it really too much to ask for?
Maybe one day I’ll feel like a success. And perhaps that’s my second wish for the holiday season.
I just know one thing for sure; I hope it’s soon.
About Justine Houle- "Where’s the F%&$#!ing Stork?!"
Justine Houle loves a great pair of shoes, and her boys Dan (husband) and Ralph (a very handsome pup hailing from Tennessee which must be where he gets his southern charm). She began her career in childcare and then joined the RMA of CT team in 2011 as a Patient Coordinator. She's served several roles in the organization since then but most recently as the Marketing Operations Coordinator. She is well known for her impeccable style - and recently became an independent stylist for Stella and Dot. On the weekends, she can be found tooling around with her boys in Fairfield, CT where she grew up and currently resides.