For so long now life has been happening around me. I’ve been vaguely aware of the passing holidays, the changing seasons, the endless snow and cold, but all of it has remained firmly in my periphery. I know that during this process I have often become distant, even absent. I’ve let relationships stagnate and have failed to meet all of my responsibilities. I’ve struggled to stay focused and missed opportunities to be there for others.
I have been surviving, but I have not been living.
Every time I scroll through our ‘Surrogacy Timeline’ page I marvel at all of the days, weeks, and months it represents since we made our first consultation appointment. Most people would have been able to get pregnant naturally in the time since we started this process; in fact, we know many who have. But for us, our lives have been completely consumed by trying to accomplish this seemingly simple act. It has been our main focus for these many months and for the years we struggled on our own beyond them.
Every time I think that I’ve come to accept that this is the path we have to take in order to try to have a child, I am again reminded of how much better this experience could be and how much easier everything is when you are healthy and normal. Obviously, nothing good can ever come from playing the comparison game, but it’s really hard not to sometimes question why we can’t walk the easy road too…?
We were so close to getting to the other side a month ago. But here we are, still trapped in this purgatory, and the waiting is torturous. There is no end in sight.
Receiving the news that our embryo transfer was unsuccessful did not come as a shock to us. These failures and setbacks have colored our lives for well over three years now. But, for most of our family and friends, anything other than a positive result was truly unimaginable. They didn’t know then what we did: that this is infertility. That IVF is not a cure-all. That no one– including us– is guaranteed a child. That often the answer is simply “no.” That there isn’t always a reason.
It was easier than I thought it would be to slip back into the kind of half-life we’ve grown so used to living. Again we’re forced to watch as everyone moves on around us and we drift further away. For us, there is no moving forward and there is no moving back. Only waiting; always waiting. It’s the hardest part of each round of treatment. Two weeks from now we will go through another embryo transfer (assuming our frozen embryo survives the thaw), but what will come after that is blank: completely unknown and entirely uncertain.
There is never anything to do but wait and wait and wait and watch our lives slip away by the day, the month, the year. That is infertility.