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"No Baby This Month" and the Disappointment of Losing What You Never Had

By Aela Mass |

Sara and I are into the third month of our fertility journey, and today we found out that June won’t be the month we get pregnant. There’s a slew of medical reasons and mumbo-jumbo behind the whys of our inability to move forward this month.

But all I can can hear are the doctor’s words, “No baby this month.”

My wife is amazingly supportive, as always. She was right there to take my hand as we walked out of the doctor’s office today, and pulled me close as soon as we got outside because she knew I was going to start crying. And I did.

I’ve never had an issue living in and enjoying the present moment. Sure, I’ve reflected on the past and at certain times in my life, I even longed for the past. But when life is good and happy and whole, it’s very easy to “be in the moment” and appreciate all it has to offer. This fertility journey is testing my ability to be thankful for the now.

I’m disappointed and I don’t want to pick my disappointment up off the floor just yet. I want to live in the moment of missing the baby I will not create this month.

When you want so badly to have a baby, every day becomes about making that happen. You do things that you normally wouldn’t do, like inject synthetic hormones into your gut every night. I’ve been holding off getting a dress for my cousin’s October wedding because I didn’t know if I’d need a different size by then. Today’s news changes that.

There is so much planning that goes into the planning of a pregnancy, especially an IVF pregnancy, that I wonder how others enjoy the here and now and don’t let thoughts of the future consume them. They say stress and worry don’t help the situation any, but it is so dang hard not to worry. And it’s even harder not to get stressed out by it all.

My friends immediately came forward with all the good and right words: everything in its time; it often takes women six months to get pregnant the old-fashioned way; take this time to gear your fertility plan more to your wishes; the little person you’re meant to have just isn’t hanging out in your ovaries this month, but soon. And my wife: Patience, Aela. Patience.

Not my strongest virtue.

But staying positive is, which is all the more reason this is so trying. My initial reaction is not, “Oh, goody. Let’s wait until July!” No. I’m disappointed and I don’t want to pick my disappointment up off the floor just yet. I want to live in the moment of missing the baby I will not create this month. It’s hard not to look at this month as a complete waste. I know how anti- “staying positive” that sounds. But it’s only the 4th, and I dread the next three weeks.

So, what’s the low-down on why we can’t try this month? After 15 days on Lupron — the hormone that was supposed to “quiet” my ovaries and slow down my ovulation process — my ovaries are doing what they want to do anyway: getting ready to produce eggs. For a while, I couldn’t understand why that was a bad thing for this journey. I mean, we want eggs, right? The “problem” with my ovaries (and it’s solely a problem for IVF purposes), is that they drop my eggs early (totally not a technical term), which means that my eggs have the potential to be “immature.” Immature eggs are not ideal for IVF, and the doctors want ideal eggs to fertilize.

Perhaps it’s so frustrating because I know my body is doing what it’s supposed to do; it’s just not doing what it’s supposed to do for IVF.

Lupron has given me night sweats and nightmares, anxiety and edginess, and a period that has been heavy and long — on my eighth day now, never in my life. But it has not calmed my ovaries down. The one thing it was intended to do. So, the doctors will reassess my plan, and created a new one that more strictly addresses my early ovulation and un-calmable ovaries. Which means: No baby this month.

Sure, I’ll get a good night’s sleep and pick that disappointment up tomorrow morning and get on with it all, knowing that the words of my friends are, indeed, true. Our little baby will make her or his way into this world at another time. Just not June.

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About Aela Mass

aelahmass

Aela Mass

Aela Mass is a lesbian writer and editor living the dream on Martha's Vineyard with her wife, Sara, and their dog, Darla. She miscarried her twins at 17 weeks and has undergone numerous IVF, FET, and IUI cycles. Her writing has appeared in The Huffington Post among other publications. For more of her work, visit her blog Two Moms Make a Right. Read bio and latest posts → Read Aela's latest posts →

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11 thoughts on “"No Baby This Month" and the Disappointment of Losing What You Never Had

  1. Britt says:

    I’m so sorry, and I think you are absolutely right to just let yourself be disappointed for a bit. It took me a long time to get pregnant with this baby, and I remember the pain and frustration so acutely. The one silver lining I can give you is that all that waiting really changed who I am for the better. (This doesn’t mean I want you to have to wait any longer, though! :) ) Up until that point, I had been able to just force the world to work the way that I wanted it to. I would get what I wanted in life, and immediately be on to getting the next thing. Because I couldn’t get the one thing I really wanted, I had to learn how to appreciate all of the other good things that were going on for me. It sounds cheesy and probably obnoxious to you right now, but my life is truly better because of the waiting.

    Wow, this got a lot deeper than I had planned! I just wish I could give you a big hug, and let you know that you are not alone in this disappointment, and that your feelings are totally okay.

  2. Katie G. says:

    My sympathies… I know it’s hard to wait when you’re SO ready and everything seems aligned. But on the plus side, now the doctors know you a bit better and can tailor-make a plan that will be a perfect fit. When I was waiting (and waiting and waiting) to become pregnant, it helped me to set little goals for myself outside of becoming pregnant–mine was running longer and faster–so I had something to work at and a feeling of accomplishment to look forward to outside of the realm of fertility. It’s wonderful you have such an amazing wife to weather the storm with!
    A little rambly, but this hit home! Sending you both happy thoughts.

  3. Christy says:

    I am so sorry about your disappointment. The one thing that helped me through a miscarriage was the knowledge that I will have the baby that I was meant to have. She was born 14 weeks ago, and I can’t imagine not knowing her. You will have your baby too, and this will all become a distant memory. Good luck!!

  4. Michelle says:

    You’ve very eloquently described how every woman who is trying to conceive feels like when it just doesn’t happen that month. The waiting, the worrying, and the disappointment and everything in between. You are going to be an amazing mother!

  5. EastCoastRose says:

    It is hard when people are just doing exactly what you would do for them – trying to cheer you up – and you just want to be sad. A coworker recently said to me that even though a bad situation was beyond my control and not my fault, it didn’t mean that it didn’t still suck and I could feel bad about it for a while. Having gone through two years of infertility before doing IVF, those words of seemingly unrelated advice are somehow relevant. Nearly 14 weeks into my first pregnancy, I can assure you that already the awfulness of the journey is fading and being replaced with happiness.

    As for the stress, it sounds like you have a great medical plan – does it offer massage benefits? If so, I found them really helpful during active IVF treatment in turning my type A brain off for a while and relieving very real physical tension. I went every week once I started the supresssion phase.

    Thinking of you!

  6. Ashley says:

    I am just a spectator of my sister-in-law’s IVF journey, and it is incredibly hard to go through the ups and downs of the whole process; waiting, watching, wishing & hoping, so I can only imagine what she (and any woman actually going through the process, including you) is feeling on the day-to-day, month-to-month. She has had two failed IVF procedures and one cancelled cycle, so the disappointment has been plentiful in her situation! I never know quite what to say to her, especially when the bad news keeps coming, but reading through your journey has given me some perspective from a woman actually going through it. I think you have an amazing attitude, and hopefully in time, your journey will end in success. I think positive thinking and expression can help immensely in this process, and you seem be on track in that regard. Wishing you all the best.

  7. Debra Eileen Lewis says:

    Sending love!

  8. Sarah says:

    Your post helped me because I haven’t been able to explain to my husband why it is that it makes me upset that when we come to our “no baby this month” moment he just says,”Don’t be upset. It’ll happen next time.” And I just want to scream at him, “Why can’t I be upset? And…You don’t know that!” (in fact I’m sure I did yell that at him last time) I just wanted to wallow, and for him to accept that I needed to mourn that missed chance and he just can’t do that because he’s a man, he just wants to FIX it and tell me that I’m wrong for feeing like it’s never going to happen. So when you said, “I’m disappointed and I don’t want to pick my disappointment up off the floor just yet. I want to live in the moment of missing the baby I will not create this month.” it was right on and it’s going to help me talk to my husband about it.

  9. Jeanette says:

    After three years, five IVF cycles, forty eggs, a miscarriage and only a 10% chance of carrying the second embryo that ever made it to blast to term – I got a healthy baby girl. I wallowed in my despair, hated everyone at some point in time and when I held Olivia I realized she was the one I was waiting for. She is perfect. It is miserable while you’re in it, no words make you feel better, but the one thing my husband and I realized after we had Olivia was that the journey made us closer, more appreciative of our relationship and our miracle. I wish you and your wife the very best in your journey and wish I could put into words the relief you will feel the day you hold your child… and the overwhelming fear that comes with being a parent! :-)

  10. AOR says:

    I went through 2 years of a grueling IVF process. We tried something every month….IUI, IVF, “on our own” when we were rejected from an IVF cycle due to lots of reasons. One month it was high estrogen, then it was a high FSH, then it was a cyst….we had them all. I felt the same sense of disappointment with every failed attempt. We tried all the different cocktails: with Lupron, with microdose Lupron, with no lupron, with Menopur, without Menopure, with birth control pills, without birth control pills and the list goes on. I tried fertility yoga, acupuncture, chinese herbs before IVF, and massage. I also tried to stay positive and with every month with no baby, I felt more and more discouraged.
    My friends all had wonderful stories about scores of people who “forgot about it” and suddenly got pregnant, but I am not one to forget about it!
    The good news is that I didn’t “forget about it”, or stay positive, or do any of the other things that my friends (mostly with lots of healthy, beautiful children) told me to and I finally got pregnant. FINALLY. When your body is ready, it will happen. Sometimes persistence pays, and this is one of those cases.

  11. Amanda R. says:

    Thank you for writing this, it encompasses my feelings exactly. After not ovulating for 3 months, I couldn’t believe it when I finally did and I was *so sure* I got pregnant this time but nope I got my period this morning. I cried, and my husband held me. He said it will work out in time but who knows when? The frustration and disappointment is all-consuming. I just wanted to tell you that I know just how you feel right now.

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