Status

Thirty-Three

Howdy, friends!

I know it’s been quiet around here (all of my recent posts seem to begin with some incarnation of those same words, I knooooow…), but I honestly just don’t have a whole heck of a lot going on right now!

Well, that’s not entirely true.

Since the last time I posted, there’s been a development.

I’ve AGED.

GAH!

Another year older, another year wiser smart-assier, I guess.  The thing about birthdays is that they used to be fun for me, a reason to celebrate.

Recently though, each birthday inches me closer to our wedding anniversary later in the month, which just reminds me that it’s getting closer and closer to that FIVE YEAR mark of trying, and failing, to build a family.

I want to point out that while I am feeling physically great lately, and have so much faith in the TCM treatments I’m receiving, there’s only so much confidence can handle before it starts to falter under the crushing weight of statistics and odds…

I guess I wouldn’t really care about getting older if it were just gray hairs and wrinkles I had to deal with, but each birthday I think about my poor, sad, aging eggs, and I wish on whatever birthday cake, pie, cupcake, or plate of bacon that they can just hang in there for ONE MORE YEAR.

Honestly, I just need them to feel all rejuvenated like they’ve been at the egg spa for the past few months, which is how I justify spending out of pocket for acupuncture treatments and gobs of Chinese herbs…  Those pampered bitches probably feel like some desperate housewives up in here, but it’s time for them to earn their keep!

Anyway, I know that thirty-three is not the end of the reproductive road, and as Doctor McStabby keeps telling me, I have time on my side.  At least part of me believes him, but the other, darker side of my subconscious thinks that I started this journey at age twenty-eight, basically on the later end of the average woman’s reproductive prime.  Now I’ve reached the final stretch…

Thirty-five is the point at which you start dipping your toes into the “advanced maternal age” pool.  If we’re looking at odds here, they get lower and lower with each year that goes by, and the more I age, the less chance I have at a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Sometimes it feels pretty bleak to think about the uphill battle I feel I’m fighting.  Sometimes it all feels like too much, as I see childless friends of ours living their lives to the fullest.  Sometimes that seems like maybe not such a bad life…

And then other times I see my friends who had kids when they planned to, friends whose reproductive capacities haven’t dictated the terms of every month of their life, and those friends are seeing their offspring off to school every day, working on their careers and their social lives, and generally just living a whole, full family life.

This is what I see all around me, and I feel like I’m in such a rut.  The worst part is that I feel like I’ve taken people down with me.  The poor husband, our families, all of our friends.  We’re in that awkward married couple tween phase where we’re not quite newlyweds but we’re not quite parents either.

And we’ve been in that awkward place for almost five years.

That shit gets old real fast, yo.  And not just for us, I’m sure.

Some days I wonder what we would even be talking about if we weren’t on this rabid pursuit of parenthood.  What if we had decided that we didn’t need to have kids?  What would we be doing now?  Traveling?  Climbing corporate ladders?  Spending every last dime on making sure our house is outfitted with the very newest of every Apple product on the market?

Maybe.  Except the Apple part… We’re Droid folks.

And what if we had managed to have a family right away?  Would we too be shuffling a kindergartener off to soccer and ballet and whatever else it is that the kids practice today?  Would we be potty-training and watching Yo Gabba Gabba and child-proofing our cabinets?  Would we spend that precious after-work time helping with homework and making a family dinner rather than cooking meals for two whilst watching Jeopardy in our sweatpants?

Maybe.  Probably.

But that’s the wicked What If’s leaking in… There’s no sense in going there, as it only leads to heartache and regret, neither of which are conducive to fat, happy, relaxed, and mature (but not too mature) eggs.

I suppose the best I can do is try to be happy with the life we’ve made for ourselves while living day to day on this seemingly never-ending path.

And by day to day, I obviously mean in two week increments.

*****

If you’ve been trying, failing, and living with infertility for some time, what are some of the “infertility milestones” you’ve reached? 

How have you dealt with them?  And have they caused you to reconsider your path?

At what point do you just say “Stop.  This is far enough.  It’s time to go back…”?

I’m not there yet, but I can see it in the distance. 

There’s light at the end of this tunnel, but these days I’m not entirely sure it’s the light of a resolved infertility journey, or the light of accepting a childless life.

Where are you in your journey?

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15 comments on “Thirty-Three

  1. damelapin
    December 4, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Hi, I still want to wish you a happy birthday! My milestone journey will be if we need a third IVF. We still have 2 frozen blasto to transfer, at the begining of next year. But if it fails, it will means that we’re halfway in the treatment (in France, you get 4 IVF). I’ve learned so far that I can take “only” 2 negatives at a time, then I need at least 2 months, or 3 with a big holiday in it, to get enough strenght to continue. 2 negative IVF, holiday. 2 negative FET, holiday.

    Like

  2. hopefulandhungry
    December 4, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Happy Birthday!!! I’m 34 and it’s not so much that 34 bothers me, but just thought I would have at least 2 kids by now. Hang in there!!! Enjoy your day!

    Like

  3. Kendra Grubinski
    December 4, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Hey there! Happy birthday!! Praying for you!!

    Like

  4. Rose
    December 4, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    Happy birthday!!! Go spoil yourself a little. You deserve it!

    On another note, to combat complete misery, I like to imagine “what-if’s” in a darker light. What if we had a baby but the stress caused us to get a divorce…. that sort of thing.

    In a weird, twisted way, it helps. It reminds me that everything happens for a reason and that God has a plan for all of us. Just because it’s not happening when I want it to, doesn’t mean it won’t eventually.

    As far as my milestone, I had a laproscopy two months ago. My RE is giving me 2 more months of trying naturally and then we’re going to have to look at stepping up our game medically. I know to many who are ttc, we’re still in the very early stages of everything but I live in fear of the financial stress that medical treatments will cause. I’ve also recently tried to start noticing the difference between wanting a child and wanting a pregnancy. It helps give perspective to what it is you’re really after I think.

    Like

  5. cassiedash
    December 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    Oh, friend. I feel for you. I ache for you. It’s times like this that I wish we could all own a magic ball that would allow us to see into the future so that we could just know how it ends, once and for all, and move forward without the wondering and worrying we’re making the wrong decisions. But I admire your resolve to keep trying and to make the best of this moment. I still believe your little miracle will come to you in time. Wishing you a happy birthday! May you see your dreams fulfilled in the next year.

    Like

  6. Heather
    December 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    I tried for five years and got pregnant when I was 38. I still want a second baby. I guess I’m hopeful. Lol.

    Like

  7. lucy50
    December 4, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    First of all, happy birthday!
    My milestone? I turned 35 almost six months ago. I was supposed to have at least one kid by now. I think the bigger milestone is seeking treatment. That was a long, hard call to make. You just believe it will happen then it doesn’t and it’s so sad and confusing.
    I enjoy reading all your updates and even though this one has a tinge of the pessimism, I always look forward to your energy.

    Like

  8. Tyger
    December 4, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    I haven’t commented here in ages, but I stop in frequently to read/stalk:) I don’t really know how I knew but this past summer we had our last ditch treatment cycle. I knew IVF was something I wouldn’t be able to make happen financially for a few years and would be over 35 by then. I guess we weren’t giving up but in a very real way it felt that way. Miraculously we got pregnant with twins during this last treatment cycle. I’m thrilled, and sad at the same time it took so much to get here. I also know with age (34), and the general abuse of hormone treatments this is it for us, so I guess that is a milestone as well.

    Like

  9. A Morning Grouch
    December 4, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    Five years is a long haul. Hopefully you’re nearing the end of it. You seem to be managing the stress, which can be crippling for some. You’re strong. Enjoy your birthday.

    Like

  10. Alexis
    December 5, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

    I turned 33 myself just this Tuesday. Thank you for writing all of the things that I am unable to say, even to myself.
    The part that resonated most with me is the part about wondering what you’d be talking about if you weren’t talking about this. The in-between is hard: no longer care-free, but not yet with a baby to care for.
    PS We are not just birthday twins. Like you, I recently stepped away from Western medicine in favor of TCM. I am also seeing a Chiropractor and receiving Maya Abdominal Therapy. I also just consumed the Firefly series.

    Like

  11. KDaleyMosier
    December 9, 2013 at 11:19 am #

    Persevering towards our desires when they seem impossible is either brave or stupid, and we can’t know which until much later. I hope that on the days when it feels stupid to keep trying, your friends and family are nearby reminding you what courage it takes to dream and desire. This blog shows quite a bit of courage, especially for those of us who cannot be more open about the struggle. When insightful, wonderful friends can only say it might still happen, and doctors say all systems are normal, I am thankful for your voice.

    Birthdays are rough. I didn’t want to acknowledge my 38th this October, but we had take out and watched a movie. It has ‘only’ been a year and a half of waiting for us, but because of my age we are quickly coming up against questions of when to stop trying. (Your blog and resources with Resolve are really helpful, especially for understanding medical treatments.)

    Thank you. Take courage. Happy belated birthday.

    Like

  12. Ceeceeohplaymate
    December 20, 2013 at 12:48 am #

    Hi, Happy Birthday! I used to really enjoy my Birthday, but infertility puts a damper on it for sure.
    There are many milestones for me. I think the saddest ones are when I notice that I stop looking forward to something. I used to look forward to making a cute pregnancy announcement that are clever and witty and will knock the socks off my surprised family and friends and receive 50+ likes on facebook… Now, I find myself almost not wanting to announce at all. An, “oh, by the way, we’re pregnant.” might suffice. It might be because I’m rather sick of letting total medical professional strangers in to my private parts and hormones invade my body. I crave quiet and calm, not attention and hoopla.
    I’m also now all too aware of all those suffering, I would hate to be the pain someone feels when they hear my news.
    I know, I think too much.
    I’m doing my first IVF cycle.
    I love your blog. It helps me feel not alone. Keep it up.

    Like

    • Tracy
      December 31, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      Thank you for your kind words, friend. I agree that infertility really brings down the party… And I am so totally with you on what you said about not looking forward to things anymore. I feel the same about pregnancy announcements. I had so many plans, but now I feel like I’m grieving the loss of the Facebook-official post, and so many things that come along with the naivete of a normal conception and pregnancy. I too feel the hesitation in even announcing a pregnancy in the face of hurting those who have been trying so long… There’s no winning without hurting other participants. And no, you don’t think too much… you’re a caring soul, and it shows. Thank you so much for stopping by, and I will be thinking of you through your IVF! XOXO

      Like

  13. jj
    December 30, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    Thank you for your courage and for your words. I am going to be 38 in 2 weeks, and I currently working on letting go of my last year’s birthday wish, that I would – at the very least – be pregnant by my next birthday. I did two months of Western fertility treatments (for ovulation stimulation), and then switched to TCM. We have been trying for a little over a year, but it is only since I started TCM about 4 months ago that I knew when and if I was ovulating. My Milestone? That in the last 3 months I have had near-perfect cycles (predictable ovulation, good BBT temps and 14 day luteal phases), which means that my body is back to normal. Small victories :).

    Like

    • Tracy
      December 31, 2013 at 11:11 am #

      Thank YOU, JJ! I wished the same for my last birthday. And the one before that. And that time last month that I saw a shooting star… And every 11:11 that I manage to catch. Including riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight… NOW.

      I wished for both of us just then. 🙂 Keep on fighting the good fight, sister. 2014 has GOT to be our year!!

      Like

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