I cannot live a day in my life without thinking about my infertility.

And just when I think that I can:

I cannot live a day in my life without thinking about my infertility.

And just when I think that I can:

  • I hear a pregnancy announcement
  • A friend shares a story about their baby and motherhood
  • I suddenly remember where I am in my cycle
  • An Instagram ad promotes a diaper subscription service on my feed
  • I take a prenatal vitamin for the 1460th day in a row and wonder … for what?

My infertility story doesn’t have a happy ending. In fact, it doesn’t have an ending at all. After years of trying naturally, my partner and I were referred to a fertility clinic and diagnosed with unexplained infertility. It was a diagnosis that at first came with relief (phew, nothing is wrong!), and then was followed by years of frustration and disappointment.

When IUIs failed us, we turned to IVF. It wasn’t a guarantee, but I couldn’t imagine it not working for us. We were young, we were healthy, and doctors had no reason to believe that we couldn’t get pregnant. For the first time on this lonely journey, I truly felt hopeful.

IVF returned five embryos. Five! Only wanting one or two children, in my head, I already started planning how the rest of our embryos could help others. We could put them up for embryo adoption! Donate them to science!

I’m sorry, honey.

The first embryo transfer failure was a pain I have never experienced. It’s gone? But I just saw the embryo two weeks ago before you put it inside of me. It was alive. Where did it go? Did it die? Is it dead inside of me right now?

At the same time that I was processing this news, I also had to decide if I was ready to go again. “I am.

I wasn’t. During the second embryo transfer I inconsolably cried throughout the procedure. I had never felt more out of control and couldn’t imagine living through that same pain all over again.

I’m so sorry.

Numb. I knew it, didn’t I? Hope. But I really thought this time it would work.

Biopsy. Blood work. Medication change.

Steph. I’m sorry.

Here we go again…

I don’t have good news, I’m sorry.

Tears.

I’m sorry.

Nothing.

Here in the nothingness, I plan, I pray, and I wait. I add a potential baby name to my ongoing memo to myself. I take prenatal vitamins. I force myself to be happy for others. (I hate how it doesn’t come naturally, like it used to). I hug my partner a little tighter.

It’s the nothingness that really gets you, because even in the nothingness, there is hope. It won’t listen to my whispers to go away. It tells me to buy the house with the extra bedroom. It escorts me into a baby store.

Hope is stubborn. And hope is the reason why my infertility story doesn’t have an ending.

Steph K.