Waiting Room

Southern Arizona Honeymoon


I’ve written a bit about our attempts at trying to have a baby. Status update: no luck yet.

There is something profoundly lonely about infertility. Granted, there is the waiting room at the clinic, full of other hopeful souls. There are the online chat groups, which use acronyms I’ll never master. And of course, there is the trove of advice and love from friends and family. At times there is so much of this last category that one piece of wisdom cancels out the next.

Chart everything. Stand on your head!

Forget you’re trying. Go on vacation. 

Don’t eat gluten! 

Eat everything you want. (More my speed.)

Stay positive!

Let yourself feel what you feel. 

Kids are the best!

Do you want one of mine? 

And God bless the one friend and mother of three who said in all seriousness, “Don’t stop drinking. I didn’t stop drinking until I found out I was pregnant and look!” pointing to a bubbly, happy 3-year-old, “She’s fine!”

The side effects of fertility medications are no joke. To push my body to create a child, I am taking a medication that makes me deeply, miserably depressed. It is a common side effect, yet not one mentioned by my doctor or the pharmacist.  I woke up one day and didn’t want to shower, go to work, eat—I knew something was not right. The other cruel aspect of this process is that signs of early pregnancy are easily confused for signs of menstruation. You think you’re pregnant one moment and you are most definitely not the next.

There is nothing more maddening than realizing what you thought was a child was actually just your imagination. And in that moment, rather than having a good cry, you have to immediately phone the doctor because menstruation starts the clock. Again. You’re now “day 1” and things start all over on “day 3.” You’ve got about 48 hours to mourn and beat yourself up for being so optimistic before you start all over with the drugs that make you feel like you’re pulling your (heavy, mean, emotional) shadow around with you everywhere you go.

But don’t forget to be happy! Be optimistic! Maybe it’s your attitude? 

I’m struggling. I’m writing this because I want to remember this time of life. If it works, I’ll look back and think, “We did this. We pushed forward.” And if it doesn’t, I hope with time, I’ll look back on these words and see that we did everything we could. The money, the time, the countless doctor’s visits. The barrage of strangers who poked and prodded me like a science experiment.

I’d say none of this has been easy, but that isn’t true. My husband has been nothing but wonderful and kind in just the right dose. He knows when to come home with flowers and when to leave me alone. I’ve never been more thankful that he’s my partner.



24 Replies to “Waiting Room”

  1. I love you to the moon and back and am walking this journey alongside you, Wifey.
    And I have endless amounts of hope coming your way too. ❤️ You are brave, beautiful, and amazing. And I love you.

  2. Thank you for sharing. You remain one of the best and bravest people I know. Thinking of you during your journey. As you know, there really is no finish line when it comes to worrying about, loving and growing your family. The ups and downs, the falling and picking yourself up before you’re ready I can totally empathize with.

  3. Wrapping you in love. My work wife went through this- and is now the mother of one year old twins. Fingers crossed!

  4. What an incredible journey you’ve had! I didn’t know you were going through this but I want you to know I’m here to talk anytime! We struggled with infertility and the roller coaster of meds and waiting. Omg the waiting!!!!! More pills, more cycles…more needles, more deflated moments. It’s so hard. Also, all that stuff about HPA axis and stress hormones and having a good attutude is well-and-good, but completely unrealistic. We had a huge fight the morning of our transfer and I was SURE it was going to make the baby not stick. Biggest fight ever(tensions are high!). And we have a son now. One embryo. One baby. Anyway, it sucks so horribly. I’m here for you anytime. Hang in there. It’s worth it, as you say, no matter what happens.

  5. I am sorry you are undergoing this journey that no one signs up for. I have watched so many friends and family experience this; you are not alone. Some became pregnant a year after stopping the fertility meds. Others experienced miscarriage and stillbirth repeatedly. Others never reached that point. Each situation was unique. No one had an experience remotely like another’s. But each struggled with grief, sadness, resentment, longing, and guilt. I hope you know that you have friends who support you no matter what treatments you try or what outcome they give. I wish you the best: support, results, kindness, medical advice, and the return of joy in whatever shape it takes.

  6. I can’t even begin to understand the roller coaster you and your family have been on. Please know I’m sending you only positive thoughts and a virtual hug.

  7. So spot on about the cruelty of how similar symptoms are for pregnancy and menstruation—I remember the devastation I felt and the fear as I would write scripts for our entire lives based on a single day.

    I have no advice. Just want to say you are not alone, and this desire in your heart to mother will lead you, even if none of us can predict how, where, when or in what form.


  8. “In times of unrest and fear, it is perhaps the writer’s duty to celebrate, to single out some of the values we can cherish, to talk about some of the few warn things we know in a cold world.” –Phyliis McGinley


  9. Somewhere, there is a little soul who would be so lucky to call you Mama. Sing songs, read stories, and be kind to yourself. When you are at peace and content, you attract positive energy. Often, wonderful things happen when you least expect them. Here’s hoping you soon discover a sweet surprise!

  10. I have no words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing your journey, even when it’s hard and sad and emotional!

    Hugs and know there are many out there that love you!

  11. Thanks for sharing something so deeply private and emotional. Sorry for being late to sending big hugs and very good vibes you way. I’ll keep you and your husband in my prayers. Love xxx

  12. More hugs to you Kelli. Adding this to the list of my prayers for you. Lots of love to you and your husband.

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