Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Treatment Diaries: 10 years later

So endeth The Treatment Diaries. When I first kicked off this project back in May, several of you wanted to know how going back in time like this made me feel, and how my perspective has changed over 10 years.

It wasn't easy to take this particular trip down memory lane. In some respects, my "1998 memories" series of posts (about my pregnancy with Katie & her stillbirth) was easier to relive. It was stressful writing about that stressful time in my life too -- but there is a part of me that loves to write/talk about my pregnancy & my daughter. She is still (& always will be) a part of my life and, on a certain level, it brings me a wistful pleasure to think about her, even if her story is ultimately a sad one. There's no real pleasure in reliving the details of my failed fertility treatments (except maybe the fact that I survived & am still here to tell the tale). Writing about the onset of anxiety, I could feel the tension in my body rising all over again, even though it all happened 10 years ago.

There were so many little details that I had forgotten, or hadn't thought about in years. When I look back now at all the little daily ups & downs, the 4 a.m. wakeup calls (5 a.m. on weekends!) to get to the clinic in time to join the lineup for ultrasounds, all the running around from train staion to ultrasound clinic to RE's office, and then the mad dash to MY office to put in a full day of work (sneaking in the side door & hoping my tardiness wouldn't be noticed)... I get exhausted just reading about it. How did we do it? And we only did it for a handful of IUI cycles over 1-1.5 years. How do other people do it for so many more cycles, of IVF, even, over many years??

I also found myself getting annoyed with Dr. RE all over again -- how he'd be hot about our prospects at one visit, cold the next. I realize the doctors aren't gods and they just call it like they see it from one visit to the next (and don't always read their own files or remember what they've told you at previous visits) -- but a little more consistency would have been appreciated.

As I read through the ups & downs (many, many downs) of each cycle, I found myself thinking that, really, the writing really was on the wall, almost from the very beginning, if we'd cared to see it. But we didn't. We (at least I -- dh was always a little more skeptical) didn't WANT to see it, at least not until I was forced to -- blinded by hope (& desperation) as I was. I'm really highly doubtful that IVF, in addition to the treatments we did, or instead of them, would have ultimately led to a different outcome. It confirms my belief that we did the right thing in getting off the merry-go-round when we did.

I'm not sorry we tried, even though the odds were stacked against us -- we gave it a good shot. And I'm not sorry that I've written about now at this level of detail, or revisited this time in my life at the 10-years-later mark. If you don't look back now & then, you sometimes forget just how far you've come.

But I'm glad it's all over and I don't have to do it all again. Once is definitely enough.


  1. Thank you for sharing. It can't have been easy. Reading it made me think back to what I went through after my miscarriage. (I technically had 2, but the first one I was only pregnant for a weekend, handled it way better than the 2nd). The emotions, the hormones - it all does such a number on us. At some point, even though medically we could go on, emotionally and maybe physically, it's better to stop.

  2. I've read all the diaries you posted and I know I would have found it tough to go back and relive it all. So I applaud you for doing so and admire you for your tenacity. When I think that I did 27+ IUIs (I stopped adding them up after I hit 27) before we even reached the IVF stage... over 6 years of back and forth to the RE's office, I wonder how I did it too. How ANY of us do it. But we do. We did. And we move on.

    Hugs to you. And thank you for sharing your diaries.

  3. I was wondering how it was for you, reliving and remembering such an emotional time. Thank you for sharing with us. Sending love.

  4. I've appreciated this series. I've been doing something similar on No Kidding, documenting my ectopic pregnancies. It was prompted by a question posed on Life without Baby - "how did we know we were at the end?"

    Eight and nine years on, it does help to see how far I've come though.

  5. What a lot you and dh have gone through. Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and continuing to blog about life after IF.

  6. Condensed like that, your journey appears simply unbearable. How on earth did you make it through?

    You did bear it though and you did make it through.

  7. Thank you for sharing. I'm starting my infertility journey following a miscarriage in December and a recent diagnosis of diminished ovarian reserve at age 35.. It is an emotional and devastating journey that I hope has a happy ending either with a baby in my arms to take home and/or one of peace that you seem to have reached.

    Thank you. Thank you for sharing your diaries.