Since starting our infertility journey I have felt and dealt with an enormous amount of guilt. This isn’t just guilt over the fact that we are going through all of this because of my blocked tubes, but guilt over everyday life, over normal everyday activities. Now I find myself thinking twice or three times before coming to a decision that normally, I would have made in split second if we weren’t on this road. I want to share a few with you to give you a glimmer of life on this road.
Food, Caffeine & Alcoholic Beverages
This is my biggest guilt. Sushi is one of my favorite foods. After a long day, a nice cold beer sounds great. I almost always need a coffee in the morning or a soda/tea for a pick me up in the afternoons. Watching the Bachelorette on Monday nights, a glass of wine will almost always be accompanying me through the show. When we had our consult for IVF, I cut out all adult beverages almost completely, I started trying to eat like I was already pregnant and I cut out caffeine almost completely. I had a glass of wine here or there and one drink a couple nights before I started stimming, but I never indulged in more than one or even having one beverage more than once per week. I had coffee every so often in the mornings but mostly tried to stay away from it. A few weekends ago, I definitely had a little too much fun at a wedding and guilt flooded me for the next few days. I talked with one of my IVF friends about this and we discussed how it is so unfair that we have to worry about such little things like this. One night of indulging in too much fun isn’t going to ruin my chances. Having two cups of coffee one morning isn’t going to make or break the deal. Having a cold turkey sandwich for lunch isn’t going to ruin my chances of success. If I were ‘normal’ and could conceive on my own, I wouldn’t have thought twice about any of this. People conceive babies after drinking all too often and people drink in their early pregnancies, before they know they are pregnant, every single day (I’m not condoning this, but it does happen), people eat crap day in and day out and still conceive on their own, people who are addicted to energy drinks don’t have any issues either. Since I know when our transfers will be, these types of things create SO much guilt.
Doing Too Much
After we found out that our transfer failed last time, I immediately was consumed with guilt. Guilt that this was entirely my fault. Guilt that I went on with life after our transfer as I normally would. There are many studies out there, some say you should do bed rest after your transfer and some say to take it easy the day of but to go back to normal life the next day. The day of our transfer, I took it easy, but I was definitely on my feet for most of the day and went back to work the following. I didn’t slow down during our two-week window. I carried things that I probably shouldn’t have and worked my body too much. I kept wondering, did our transfer fail because I carried that lawn chair? Did our transfer fail because I didn’t go home and take a nap? Did our transfer fail because I’m stubborn and feel the need to carry every grocery sack into the house at once? Did our transfer fail because I like hot showers? But truth be told, if those embryos were meant to be our babies, they would have cozied up regardless of how I chose to go about the day of our transfer (even though this time, I plan to do the opposite of everything I did last time J ). I knew that to be true, but still the guilt came.
I am overwhelmed and praying that Ranger will be our baby but at the same time I am so worried about having survivor’s guilt. I don’t know how I can face everyone and be SO happy that we are finally successful in our journey while there are still others out there who are on this road, just starting this road, or their road has had more detours than ours. I know what it’s like to tell you that our transfer failed but I don’t know what it’ll be like or how I’ll feel coming out and telling you all that we are pregnant, God willingly. We haven’t had our next transfer yet and just the thought of becoming pregnant almost makes me feel guilty. I don’t want to ever forget about this journey we are on and I don’t want others to think that I’ve moved on and forgot how hard it was, because I won’t ever forget these moments & the heartbreak we have faced during this journey.
Being a ‘lucky one’
I’ve touched on this before, but while scrolling through an IVF page I’m a part of, I can’t help but feel guilt that we have it so ‘easy’ with the coverage we have received from our insurance. There are a lot of couples out there who find out they need IVF and have to put the dream of having a family on hold for a couple years before they are able to afford to have children. We were so lucky that our insurance covered so much and we could start the following month after our consult. I feel so guilty (and thankful/blessed) reading other people’s financial burdens in this process while we have had smooth sailing in that department.
Sometimes I find myself feeling a little bit of jealousy over others being able to conceive so easily. How is it that all it takes for some people is for their husband to look at them and boom, they are pregnant. Why is it that my husband and I are not that lucky? Why is it that we have to live with the burden of infertility? After the jealousy and the questioning comes the guilt. Guilt that I felt jealous over someone else making another life and guilt that I questioned our journey at all. Truth is, I’m not jealous but sometimes when you’re working this hard for something, every once and awhile you just get those feelings of wanting what others have and can have so easily.
When you are trying everything you can to have a baby and knowing that this is your only way to conceive, it really consumes your life and your mind. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t lay down at night and question some of the things I did that day and whether it will affect our chances at having a successful cycle. I feel as if I carry so much responsibility with this situation, I’ve told my husband multiple times that I wish he could take a turn at trying to carry a baby. I know that our time will come one way or another and the control is in God’s hands but sometimes you just can’t help but feel the guilt when you are putting your all into having a baby but also trying to live your life until that time comes. It all becomes a balancing act that you feel you can’t ever get just right.