When You can’t Resolve Infertility: How to Cope with the Thought and the Guilt

After numerous attempts, exams, injections and treatments, we’ve finally come to realize that it may be impossible for us to resolve infertility. More specifically, it may be impossible to resolve my female infertility.

Following our third IVF attempt, I’ve been told it’s an egg quality issue. We took out 23 eggs but only two medium-quality blastocysts made it to day five. For anyone who has been through infertility treatment, you know that two out of 23 is ridiculously low. Unfortunately, these two little embies didn’t make it and there was no pregnancy.

The finality of the infertility diagnosis can be crushing. It can make you question your existence, your relationship and your goals in life. As a person who’s been through it and who knows it may be impossible to resolve infertility, I’d like to share a few things with you.

Have you been told that your infertility is final and even reproductive medicine can no longer help? You’ll go through multiple stages of grieving and being mad at fate or God. There’s no universal healing formula but here’s how I managed to get through it.

Talk to Your Partner

Knowing that you’re infertility is linked to immense sense of guilt. The guilt stems from the fact that you can’t give your partner something that they truly desire.

While irrational, this guilt is completely normal in my opinion.

It’s very important to talk to your partner about it and understand their feelings.

The one thing I did following IVF failure number three was telling hubby that I wouldn’t be mad if they pursued somebody else for the purpose of having a child. Ridiculous, right? I realized it was ridiculous the moment I said it. I realized it was ridiculous even before. Still, loving someone is all about making their dreams come true.

Obviously, hubby told me that I’d lost my mind and that I should probably find something a bit more productive to think about than such nonsense.

Talking about it, even if the conversation is a ridiculous one, will help you cope better with the pent-up emotions and the guilt. If your partner’s response is a positive one (and it should be because you’re in this together for better or for worse, right?), you will feel infinitely better.

Talking about it with my mother-in-law also helped for a bit of enlightenment.

She asked to look at an imaginary scenario. She said “what about him having a reproductive problem, would you ever leave?”. The answer is an obvious and reassuring NO! By putting myself in the reverse situation, I found it easier to understand his point of view and to cope with the ridiculous guilt.

Think of a Plan B

Getting pregnant naturally or through IVF aren’t the only two options as far as becoming a parent is concerned.

After our third IVF failure, we sat down to think about the future and the options ahead of us.

We’re now exploring two possibilities – egg donation and adoption.

My husband is still a bit uncomfortable with adoption (due to eventual health problems a kid may have and due to the very long waiting period). And since I don’t really have a preference – hey, for me it’s all about becoming a mommy – we think that egg donation may be just the option that we’re looking for.

There are numerous clinics across the world that have excellent and cost-efficient egg donation programs. Once I complete my research and learn a bit more about it, I’ll definitely share the information here.

Having a plan B isn’t a way to resolve infertility but it gives you a hope for the future.

By knowing that I could become a mom, I get motivated and willing to move forward. Knowing there are options out there we could try is essential. Having this peace of mind right know allows us to focus on our relationship and collecting the funds required to pursue that next step.

And who knows – this peacefulness could be eventually conductive of a natural miracle? I haven’t ruled this one out yet.

If You can, Try Again!

A serious infertility diagnosis doesn’t mean it would be 100 percent impossible to get pregnant. It simply means that getting the desired outcome is going to be very hard.

My fertility doctor said that the situation is very serious but not hopeless. The number of quality eggs that I have is seriously limited, regardless of my age. Still, another try could produce a different outcome.

This is the main reason why we’ve decided to go for one more IVF procedure using my own eggs.

It would be our last one. We view this IVF procedure as a last resort option and a confirmation of the fact that things aren’t going to happen this way.

To increase our chances of success, we’re currently following a rigorous supplementation program. It may be ineffective but hey – at least we know that we’ve tried everything.

My advice is to try it one last time, if you have the will and the finances to do so.

IVF is emotionally and physically draining. After failure number three, I was perfectly confident that I was never ever going to go through the same process again.

Still, I owe it to myself and I owe it to my partner. The expectations are low. I’m a realist and I know that we’ve done just about everything to make things happen. Our final IVF will give me the peace of mind needed to move forward with the other possibilities.

Seek Professional Help

If you’ve just been given the devastating news and you simply can’t cope with infertility on your own, I suggest getting some professional health.

Depression is very common among men and women combating fertility problems. Don’t suffer through the emotional turmoil on your own. See a therapist, even if you feel embarrassed by the nature of your problem.

For many, infertility is overwhelming. They can’t accept the thought and they can’t move forward. They feel like their life’s meaning is completely lost. Trust me, I’ve been there!

Is your head filled with such thought? Are you considering something stupid? Before taking that leap and eventually ruining your life (and the life of the person that you love), see a mental health professional.

A girl I know and that I went through the IVF procedures with finally decided to talk to a therapist. She’s currently on a mild antidepressant treatment and she has finally regained her will to live.

The fact that you’re infertile isn’t the end of the world. You can still become a parent. You can have a meaningful impact on the lives of people around you. All that it takes is channeling your positive energy into something worthy that makes you feel good and that benefits others.

It may be impossible to resolve infertility and that’s ok. Sometimes, the cards will be stacked against us and there’ll be nothing we can do. Take some time to grieve and to be angry. You have the right to feel these emotions. The most important thing is to refrain from excluding your partner from the process. If the two of you are holding on to each other, you will find a way out.

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