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Complicated Emotions



This week we received a call from the Professor’s mother. It was the kind of tearful call that you never, ever want to receive. Out of respect for the family, I will be vague. There is some concern over his aging father’s health. Something is not right, be it depression caused from an aging/failing body, outbursts because of a life-time of chronic pain or worse.

We are heading to Arizona to see them on Tuesday, which means we can better assess the situation with his health and their home. My in-laws are quirky and eccentric people and I like that about them! I come from an odd lot, too, so it feels homey when we visit. My in-laws are also the most generous people I have ever met. Long-time readers know that we call them “The Investors” when talking about Sabine and our IVF cycles, as they paid every ridiculous cent of it.

They helped us get setup in New York and continue to help us make ends meet so their son can get the awesome experience that comes from a post-doc at a prestigious university. I love my in-laws, complicated as our relationship may sometimes be. I do not wish this kind of ailing on them, or anyone.

Christmas is usually my holiday. I wait all year for Christmas and don’t get much sleep the nights heading up to it out of excitement for the big day, even though I know Santa does not exist! Now that I have a kiddo to infect with my abundance of Christmas cheer it is even more exciting. Having to deal with a potentially sick parent over Christmas just does not feel very jolly.

But it is absolutely necessary.

And not optional.

Because the Professor is an only child. There is no one else.

And that, dear readers, opens up a can of very complicated, very ugly and very dark worms.

I thought for sure I ovulated a little over three weeks ago. I was senselessly randy and then came a disgusting wad of egg white cervical mucus. I was dead certain I had ovulated. The next few weeks passed with much day dreaming about how I would tell the Professor I was pregnant. I thought about how we could rearrange our tiny apartment to fit two. I was walking on air.

Nearly four weeks later and the pee stick is still stark white with no period is in sight. I silently cry in the bathroom regularly now, mourning what could have been and what was not. Mourning the fleeting peace I had felt with an only child just a month ago.

I do want another baby. I want Sabine to have a sibling bond with someone she shares genetics with (crappy as they may be). I want her to have someone to invade her space on car trips. To play board games with when it rains. To have a secret code to keep parents from knowing what they are up to. To have someone by her side if or when one of us starts to falter, especially when dementia runs strong on both sides.

But the professor and I are both solidly in the “no more treatment camp.” I can’t stomach the thought of more needles. Of more bad news. Of more ultrasounds. Of more anguish and negative tests. Of embryos that fail to thrive. Of… you know the list.

Ultimately, I’m sitting here like an idiot waiting for the fabled “surprise” pregnancy that so many IVFers find themselves with after their miracle baby. Every month that my cycle fails to return, though, promises otherwise.

I’m not sure the point of this post. I’m not looking for encouraging stories of so-in-so who got knocked up after 8 million IVFs. I guess I’m just publicly acknowledging that sometimes one and done does not feel like enough.




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  1. December 19, 2014

    I’m so sorry for all that you’re going through. I hope you and your family somehow get the miracle surprise sibling.

  2. December 19, 2014

    Just wanted to say that I’ll be keeping you and your family in my thoughts as we go into Christmas and beyond. xo

  3. December 19, 2014

    Hugs. I hope it will happen for you. I get these feels. I’d like to have already tried again at this point, but the reality is that it’s not going to be very soon, with me starting a new job in the new year…and how long before it becomes too late is anyone’s guess. It sucks for the question to be IF and not WHEN, knowing that you can’t really answer either way.

  4. APE #
    December 19, 2014

    I completely understand. I was hoping for that surprise-after-miracle-baby too, and all I got was an ectopic pregnancy and two more miscarriages after that. I have two embryo’s left (out of an original 8) and every time we ramp up for an FET, some other kind of trouble pops up (like a recent bout of polyps). We are also dealing with bad health in our family. My dad is fighting cancer, has had multiple strokes, and just got out of the hospital because of an infection. So, I feel ya babe. You are not alone. I am going to send lots of love and light your way, and hope you find some peace this holiday season. ❤

  5. December 19, 2014

    Oh, Belle. I’m sorry. I *do* know a number of women who have conceived naturally, and unexpectedly, after multiple IVFs, so you just never know. That’s the sucky thing about IF: the whole thing is totally out of your control.

    I hope you are able to enjoy Christmas in spite of your FIL’s health concerns and your very understandable feelings of sadness about your IF. You deserve that.

  6. Amber #
    December 19, 2014

    You probably don’t want these types of comments either but here I go. Aging parents are just one of the million reasons I feel so lucky to have my little guy in our life. It is so painful and hard to watch your loved ones age and it gets so damn depressing when all you hear are aches and pains and concerns. But having a little person around adds such life. The stage of aging THEY are in is just so beautiful- the things they are learning and seeing for the first time.
    We were really on the fence about whether we even wanted kids considering how much my body seemed to resist it. I have lots of littles on my side of the family but none on my husband’s (his sister is disabled… which haunts our one and done philosophy). But the ways he has added light to their lives has been absolutely amazing.
    So while your trip will be hard and it may not be how you imagined Christmas, I think Sabine will brighten it up so much for everyone.

  7. December 19, 2014


  8. December 19, 2014

    Oh, Belle… I almost cried reading this. It is so hard when EVERYONE gets pregnant naturally after treatments and baby #1 and you don’t. I daydreamed just like you. I swore once that I was pregnant, and of course was not. I cried every time I read a surprise pregnancy post from a fellow IFer. Happy for them (sort of), devastated for me (big time). I’m sorry you aren’t an urban legend. I wasn’t either. Honestly, there are few of us out there in my circle, and it was really hard. Even my closest IRL IF friend who needed heaps of IVF to get her kids fell pregnant, and it hurt me so much… So much.

    Hugs. Lots of hugs.

  9. December 19, 2014

    I’m sorry Belle – about the sick father in law, and the no baby cycle. The when to stop trying thing is so hard….I wonder sometimes how being able to make that decision ourselves (without infertility) would change it….if that decision would come easily – when to be done – if it was our choice. If you could have as many children as you wanted – would you still want more, or would one be enough? I guess we will never know.

  10. December 19, 2014

    I know neither of us are huggy people… but I wish I could transport there right now and share a long, crying hug with you. I really wish that.

  11. December 20, 2014

    I know how you feel and my heart aches for both of us. We are so lucky to have the one but it would be amazing and wonderful to have another (or3,4 or whatever we wanted to have). I know what out mean about the failures dictating the decisions as well. I keep thinking after 6 years of TTC and a gazillion ivf’s why do I possibly think I could ever fall naturally? But I do, and continue to hope. Hugs to the professor and hugs to his family I hope they’ll be ok.

  12. December 21, 2014

    I’m struggling with a similar feeling myself. My husband would like more (and yes, I realize that with two the struggle is not the same as yours – I’m just talking about wanting more in general) but I have no interest in any more treatments, either. IF sucks.

  13. CK #
    December 21, 2014

    Lots of love and light to you and the Professor and the Professor’s family AND the Bean. I am so sorry waters are rough right now, and I wish you perseverance.

  14. Romy #
    December 22, 2014

    Is there any chance specialists can do more testing to figure out why you aren’t ovulating? Please forgive me if you did find out and posted about it at some point and I missed it.
    I do recognize your thought process and the feelings on no more treatment, but I did go through another round of IVF and got pregnant with twins (26 weeks now). And that new round of IVF with my sweet little guy here already was night and day with the treatments for my first pregnancy. I went into it thinking that I wanted to try having a sibling for Sawyer and that if that didn’t work, Sawyer would be more than enough. It is hard to say how I would have felt if IVF had failed (we were only willing to do it once) but I did feel very confident about this during the whole IVF cycle including when the embryologist called to say that out of 16 embryos only 1 was doing well on day 3, and I really didn’t think we had much chance of success. Or an hour before the transfer when the RE said the embryos looked poor to reasonable but since they wouldn’t survive a freeze and thaw they would let me transfer despite having OHSS. All this to say that maybe down the road you will feel ok about pursuing some form of treatment if only to give yourself closure to know that you tried.

  15. jak #
    January 5, 2015

    best wishes to your husband’s folks. we’re only an hour from my in-laws, and declining health is hard at that distance. it must be much more of a challenge from ny. thinking of everyone, and hoping you managed to capture some happiness this season with your awesome and personality-packed kiddo.

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