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Plan C



While getting ready this morning my mind drifted somewhere it has not been in ages – buying my own car.

The husband and I live a financially minimal life by most people’s standards and, realistically, will continue to do so for many years to come. I am a writer and he is a mathematics professor at the local college. This does not make for a huge bank account and life in the lap of luxury. We choose to live minimally in some areas so we can be debt free while still having cash for some of the finer things in life – high-end electronics, cameras and my never-ending shoe and cosmetic addiction.

Unlike the bulk of our society, we only have one used, non-glamorous car that we share. We choose to live in an area of town where we can walk, bike or take the bus to all our daily necessities. We do not own our home but instead live in one owned by his parents and pay “rent” by doing renovations so they make a handsome profit when we move on. When traveling we opt to visit places where we have a free place to stay or to travel with another couple and split as many costs as possible. We pack our own lunches. We shop carefully and compare prices. We live with slip-covered Ikea furniture.

We make these “sacrifices” today in preparation for when our family expands from two to three. We are very aware that adding a child to our household would make our finances even more tight. This is a sacrifice we are absolutely willing to make if it means having the joy of a young person in our lives for years to come. I could even live with drug store makeup instead of my high-end department store cosmetics if need be!

But what if we didn’t have children? What if this does not work? After 21 months, 1 failed Clomid cycle, 2 failed IUIs, 1 failed FET and 1 miscarriage our chances at a charmed life with even one child are dwindling. We have three more embryos in the freezer. After that I’m not sure we’ll pursue this life any more. What then, though?

We could loosen our purse strings. Without a college fund to plan for we could consider buying our own home where I could paint the walls whatever bold colors I dared.  We could take that long talked about bicycle tour through Scotland. We could look at jobs abroad. I could go back to school. I could buy my own car. We could invest in more permanent furnishings that’s covers are not loaded into the washing machine with my husband’s white socks and underwear.

Not that these things can’t be done with children – they can – but they take more planning and require an attention to school schedules, dance recitals and football practice that can make planning a weekend away challenging, let along a month abroad.  Having children means slip covers for years to come and responsible, four door vehicles. Having children means likely never owning our own home.

Even more importantly than the material aspects of life without children is getting to actually reclaim our lives. No longer would activities revolve around my cycle. Never again would my sensitive husband have to blink back tears as he prepares to inject me with progesterone. I could reclaim my body and my emotions. We could plan a trip home to Arizona or Alabama without worry that we might have to cancel due to pregnancy or, worse, miscarriage. We could be intimate again without feeling the weight of infertility.

As these thoughts tumbled through my mind I saw something in my reflection that I have not seen in a very long time. I saw a little, tiny bit of hope. Hope that maybe there is life after infertility.

I’m not ready to give up this fight yet: that glimmer of hope is still soaked in tears. I still get a giant lump in my throat every time a stark single line stares back at me. While I’m not ready to quit today, the thought it is crossing my mind more and more when I’m alone and occasionally when a sleek sports car zips by.  I could have my own car. A crappy consolation prize? Maybe. But it is the most symbolic way I could embrace a childless life. That and new furniture.


The HPT this morning was also negative. I’ll test again tomorrow and Saturday. If it’s still BFN I’m done peeing on things.



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  1. September 13, 2012

    I love the paragraph about reclaiming your lives. It points out so perfectly how life gets lost among all the fertility treatments…but at the same time, it’s so important to keep going. How, though? Of course, really good things have happened for you. Mr. Husband graduated and has a job! That’s huge. Really. But all the other stuff? Friends. Travel. Work. That stuff is important too.

    I just wish this was an easier journey.

  2. SM #
    September 13, 2012

    K and I have been thinking a lot about this too. We have decided to move on after one more cycle (BFN again this morning for me too). We will eventually start moving towards adoption, but we’re going to take a while off and do some things for ourselves. We live a lot like you and your husband. We rent, we have slipcovers, we have old cars. If we took a little while off from saving and instead put that money towards ourselves we could travel which is something we’ve always wanted to do.

    It’s hard balancing life and TTC. I think your Plan C sounds pretty darn awesome. Is it a consolation prize? Yes. But it has to be better than these endless cycles of failure.

  3. September 13, 2012

    There is absolutely life after infertility! Obviously I hope that it doesn’t end up that way, but there are upsides to it.

    Crossing my fingers that you get better news tomorrow or Saturday!

  4. September 13, 2012


  5. Amanda #
    September 13, 2012

    I definitely feel your pain. I have had 3 losses, MANY failed IUI’s, IVF that resulted in a Triploidy…and no money. 🙂 We filed bankruptcy last year and are living in a house that is about to go to the bank. DON’T GIVE UP. I was lucky enough to have one child and he is the light of my life…it is so worth it to go through all of this! I am trying for #2 with minimal success and have had to have this same talk with myself…no sibling for my child, etc.

  6. September 13, 2012

    I went through many of the same thoughts when we were struggling so badly. I think it’s healthy to wonder what’s next if something doesn’t work out. I am a planner and I always need something to be planning, or looking forward to planning, so it was natural for me to wonder what we’d do if we didn’t get our IF treatments to work. I was ready to give up much sooner than my husband.

    I’m glad you still have some fight left in you, because I think you still have some good options, but I’m equally glad that you’re freeing your mind to think of what could be next if “next” means a life you never envisioned.

    PS – I really like your new blog layout!

  7. September 13, 2012

    I completely see where you are coming from. Infertility is so hard. I wish more people understood how painful it is. It takes so much from us and it changes who we are. There are days when I wish I could go back to the innocent girl I was the first time I got pregnant. I’m cheering in your corner that those other frozen em-babies are the ones that take!!!

  8. September 13, 2012

    I have nothing helpful to say, but I don’t blame you, and I’m thinking of you.

  9. Jen #
    September 13, 2012

    These same kinds of thoughts have been creeping into my mind as well. I think about travelling and leading an adventurous life and getting a new career that is less “responsible” but more fun. It’s simultaneously sad and hopeful. I’m not there, either, but maybe someday I could be!

    Sorry about the BFN. 😦

  10. September 13, 2012

    That’s how my husband and I live, too. I call it “living for someday.” I hope one day soon you and I can both enjoy a little living in the now.

  11. Juno #
    September 13, 2012

    I also ponder our “what if this never works” after life. Hugs Belle.

  12. September 14, 2012

    I’m sorry that you even have to think about this…..I was way too stubborn to even go there. But this baby was our 4th embryo transfer and 2 nd fresh cycle…. I know many would have given up. I hate to think how insane I would have let myself become before I ever would have given up. I hope you never have to move on to plan c.

  13. September 14, 2012

    so important and I think good to contemplate all this. we talk about this as well – no kids maybe means more time trying to work abroad, travelling, flexibility. I went to a conference last year where a woman talked about how if she didn’t have children she would want to manage an olive grove in greece – and how each treatment that didn’t work she’d just say ‘Greece.’ Actually they ended up adopting but somehow it was really helpful for her to imagine all kinds of nice lives that didn’t depend on hormone shots and treatments.

  14. September 14, 2012

    These thoughts are very much on my mind lately as well. To see a glimmer of it, a possible life after infertility despite the heartache is a tiny step towards acceptance. That doesn’t mean it will hurt if it would come to it. I truly hope it won’t, for neither of us.

  15. infertilitycansuckit #
    September 14, 2012

    Thinking of you as this week goes on. I’m glad you’re thinking about things that bring you joy in life since that’s what it’s all about. I’m on board with making plans that have a concrete and positive solution, where effort in equals fabulous things out. You deserve some fabulous things 🙂

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Consolation Prize « Unexplained Rantings
  2. Where hope and my realistic thoughts meet (during a Sunday outing) « marwil

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