How Did They Keep Going?

We’ve all heard the stories about that one couple who went through four rounds of IVF or had five miscarriages, and then finally gave birth to a healthy baby. I used to love those stories. They used to fill me with hope. But right now all I can think is, How did they keep going?

After almost two years, four IUIs, 1 IVF and two miscarriages, I am tired.

Like, bone tired.

My heart is broken. My body feels like someone else’s. I don’t remember what it’s like to have my body belong just to me, without internal ultrasounds, pills, injections or surgical procedures. Without timed intercourse, supplements, acupuncture or special diets.

How did those other people, the ones that triumphed after so many years or so many tries, keep going?

I suppose the simple answer is faith. They had faith that their baby was waiting for them, faith that what they longed for would come to be. That faith must have given them energy, that extra push to keep going.

But me? My faith is seriously depleted. I am pretty much held together by some kind of figurative masking tape right now and if someone shook me hard enough I’d fall apart.

Despite my intense exhaustion, though, I’m somehow still going. With eyelids drooping, I’m plotting out my next step. Because to stop would mean giving up the dream — the deepest, widest, sweetest dream that I have. And I can’t do that. Not yet.

And maybe that’s how those people kept going: they lived from one Not Yet to the next. Not yet today, but maybe tomorrow. Not yet this minute, but maybe the next.

Not yet.

Not yet.

Not yet.

37 thoughts on “How Did They Keep Going?

  1. We keep going because the alternative is so much worse. Giving up is so much more painful ( I think). I hope there are just a few more step to lead you to your dream. Xo

    1. You are right, the alternative is so much worse. As much as I think sometimes about how much it would be nice to throw in the towel and just not think about this anymore, I know I can’t because that would mean no sweet baby in my arms. I hope you’re doing well. I’ve been thinking about you, as I remembered that you said you were doing a mini IVF this month.

      1. Thank you for remembering. We are mid cycle. So far not a terrible bust like all the other ones but I am trying to stay even keeled and hope for a few good eggs so we have a shot 🙂

  2. As you know, we reach our end – the medical prognosis was dismal at best, and my physical and mental health simply couldn’t take it any more.
    But yet, as we are trudging through the adoption stuff, I am still holding on the mantra of not yet. For us, it is simply a matter of when we have children, not if. So, while it’s not today and it wont be through our own pregnancy, we know that our day will come eventually. One day, but not yet.

    1. You are right, and I am so glad that you guys are finally at the point of “when” and not “if.” I know getting to that point has cost you a lot emotionally (and still is), but I’m glad you’re there. Thinking about you — I hope you have a better week this week.

  3. What is it with the exhaustion? For me that’s such a curious element of this process. I suppose it’s a depression of sorts but it’s really hard to feel like you’re 100 when you’re apparently in good health. I wish I could offer advice but you’ll have to settle for my assurance that you’re not alone and we will all move through this. 🙂

    1. I think you are dead-on with the depression thing. It definitely is some form of depression, I think. But I’m already seeing a therapist, visualizing, exercising (sometimes) and eating healthy, so I’m not even sure what else I can be doing to kick it, short of taking meds (which you’re not supposed to be taking if you get pregnant anyway). I suppose I’m stuck with it for as long as I keep going on this path. I’m sorry you can relate, but glad I’m not alone.

  4. I’m so sorry you are feeling like this and I recognise it all so well, especially the exhaustion. It is so, so exhausting going through treatment after treatment when you have no idea where the end is. It took us about 4.5 years, many operations, 4 full cycles of ivf, 2 cancelled cycles and one miscarriage and my faith was most definitely waning. In the end I stopped thinking too much about the future and tried to live only in the present. I also found planning lots of little treats helped to get through the worst patches – weekends away, nice meals, fancy cocktails. It’s a very tough road though and I wish there was more I could do than say I understand x

    1. Ok, you are officially my hero. 4.5 years and 4 IVFs — that is an amazing show of stamina. I’m so sorry it took that long, but I am incredibly happy that you are finally on the other side. Thanks for sharing that!

  5. I find it comes and goes. There’ll be months of utter despair, full of tears. And then some months of hope that are more upbeat. It’s a cycle of up and down. I dearly wish I could leave it behind, but giving up on a dream… some things are too hard to walk away from willingly. It has affected my whole life though. Almost three years I’ve been in a holding pattern, watching others move on, start new jobs, move house, take up new hobbies. I just plod along, my energy directed at one thing only. I’m so tired too. So tired of it all. x

  6. I read this last year and it really helped me, so i wanted to share with you.. In order to be happy now, you can’t hang all of your happiness on something in the future. The only thing you can control is today/ right now. If you are obsessed with this something in the future being the answer to your happiness, you will never be happy. Because once you get that thing, there will always be something else. We have to learn to be happy in the now. What if, God forbid, something kept you from even having a tomorrow? You would regret not having just lived today not worrying about tomorrow. It’s ok to have dreams and desires, but when they control every waking moment of your today’s, what kind of life is that?

    Anyway, once I relinquished the thought that I had any control over my tomorrow’s, I found it so freeing, and was able to allow myself to just be. Just be happy. Just be thankful. Just be present today, because you can’t control the past, and you can’t control the future, no matter how hard you try.

    Good luck T. Much love coming your way 🙂

  7. Wish I could offer you some uplifting words, but all I can say is you are not alone feeling like this. I relate to all you say. I feel exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally wiped. I feel like giving in but at the same time can’t. I no longer feel like I am living my life, this has totally took over. Sending hugs your way. x

    1. Ugh, I know you understand, but I wish you didn’t. I wish none of us did. I went to an infertility support group last night and everyone there was talking about how they feel like prisoners to this process. As much as I hate that other people are going through this, it is comforting to feel like I’m not alone.

      1. I really am comforted that I am not alone, but yes would not wish it on anyone. Feeling a prisoner is a perfect description. Knowing that people feel the same makes me feel less crazy at least!

  8. I understand where you are coming from and how you feel. I haven’t been through the IVF part of it, but after my second loss I was ready to just quit, I would come home from work and just go right to bed. The grief and sadness exhausted me, it was a huge weight on me. Now I am almost five months later, and the grief is still there but more manageable. I am glad to read you are planning your next steps. It feels daunting at times but I so hope your dreams come true. Hugs.

    1. You are right and that is something that I don’t give enough credit to — grief, by it’s very nature, is exhausting. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m in the thick of grieving and that process is not easy. I’m glad you feel like your grief is starting to feel more manageable. We’ll never get over it, but we’ll somehow all get through it. Sending love to you.

  9. Sister you are speaking to me, I feel the exact same way… Im not even sure how to keep going … Infact lately i question am i going? What exactly am i doing? IVF is the pits, its the most horrible process ive ever endured. With no chance of getting pregnanr naturally unfortunately its our only option. I suppose thats why we keep going & keep hoping. Its rough… Im sorry your feeling this way, if it makes you feel any better im right here beside you feeling the same. Sending love your way xx

    1. Although I am very sad that you are experiencing similar feelings, it does bring me comfort to know that I’m not alone. I’m sending so much hope to you and you two Wonder Embryos.

  10. I don’t know honey. It sucks, this ttc part of our lives. I keep sitting here, willing myself to believe that I’m ok with all the waiting, all the $, all the disappointment, and focus on other things rather than putting every ounce of me into this. Then I notice my unmistakable AF cramps creeping in… Today is 11 DPIUI, so either tomorrow or Monday she’ll arrive, I’m certain. The clouds never seem to fully part. Hang in there. Thinking of you. Xx

    1. Right, like there are better days, better weeks, and sometimes even better months, but it always seems to be there in the back of your head. It’s so much work to stay upbeat and positive. I feel like I’m fighting all the time. I hope you’re wrong and your AF stays the hell away!

  11. Oh hon I so know what you mean right now. I think we shared the same roll of defective masking tape as I am a fragile little button these past few days. Thinking of you xxx

    1. Ah, friend, I know you know. I’ve been thinking about you every day and hoping you’re feeling ok. I’ll see if I can dig up some duct tape — maybe that will hold us together a little better. 🙂

  12. Yep, I understand what you mean – We’re 2.5 years and 3 miscarriages in. I don’t know how we keep going sometimes, I really don’t. Like everyone’s said, the desire for a baby is so strong that it takes so much to decide to stop. It’s crossed my mind before, but I’ve never really thought of it as an option, however tough it’s been.

    I won’t offer cliches, we’re all tired of those, but hope is our best friend and our worst enemy on this journey. I just keep plodding on and hoping for the best. We’re all in this together and I find these blogs amazing for support and understanding. Sending lots of love xxx

    1. No idea how I missed this comment before. Derp.
      “Hope is our best friend and our worst enemy on this journey.” Ain’t that the truth.
      I agree on the blogs being a great source of support. I don’t know how I’d keep going without you guys!

  13. Oh girl!!! Hoping you let the Lord carry you – His burden is light and His yoke is easy!!! I think the reason I keep going is because when we don’t give up we WILL REAP the harvest! That is a promise from the Lord! Galatians 6:9

  14. Yes. After my 4th miscarriage I was crying and yelling, “That’s it! Never again!” In many ways, it would have been so much easier to just give it up, to have our lives back, to be able to plan long vacations, purchase the most expensive hearing aid and overall just be happy. But we are not ready for it. It’s like you said – it’s a dream and we can’t let it go.

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