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Long-term TTC'ing - how do you keep going?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi ladies:

 

I am on my third year of TTC. We have basically tried it all - acupuncture, wheat grass, tons and tons of supplements, IVF, IUI, standing on my head, positive affirmations, taking a break from TTC, taking a break from MDC obsessing, etc... We have had one loss, but other than that, no success.

 

How do all of you long-term TTCers keep going? I am mentally and physically exhausted from it all. I am sick of gaining weight, dealing with trips to the doctor, thinking about it, googling it, injecting needles into myself, taking pills, wishing and hoping, thinking positive thoughts, taking my temp., looking at that damn chart on FF, paying doctors... just sick of it. Yet, I want a baby so bad I just keep doing it.

 

I am sure we all feel this way at some point, I guess I am looking for tips on how to push through it and keep going. Not that stopping TTC is an option for me right now, I suppose. I know there are plenty of people out there who have been TTC a lot longer than me  - how do you all keep at it without some kind of breakdown?

post #2 of 17

 

hug2.gif

 

So frustrating, huh!  We're coming up on 3 years as well... although I've just used acupuncture/herbs and metformin for PCOS, so I haven't had all the doctor trips, etc.  I also have had the opportunity to see progress - from no sort of "cycle" to my menstrual cycle to a fairly predictable cycle that appears to include ovulation!  That said, no amount of progress seems to make up for a BFN at  the end of the day, or another visit from Auntie F.  

 

I used to work with a wonderful woman who TTC'd for over 20 years (including multiple forms and runs at "assistive reproductive technology") and has a wonderfully precocious little one now.  When I'm really down, I think of her experience - she basically spent 1/2 her life trying for her little one - that's four times the length of my marriage (at this point, anyway).  I also have myself anchored in my faith; I trust that if/when I hold my babe in arms that it will be the perfect time in my life for that, which eludes to the other point - after all this *trying*, what if I never do carry the babe that is 1/2 me and 1/2 my husband, what if I never feel the movement of life inside me, what if I am the end of my family's line (I'm an only)... my faith helps me answer these questions and be at peace with the answers... And then, there are times like now... I'm explaining how I "stay strong" on this journey... and tears are running down my face.  It hurts to cry about it, to wallow in my own sorrow... but when the tears dry, there's a moment that seems to instantly recharge me... it's like someone says, "Alright, you had your grief, now pick yourself up, dust yourself off, we have life to get on with!"  And at that moment, that is what I need to hear (although if someone said that to me now, I may just smack them :-P).  

 

Probably not the answer(s) you're looking for... I can only hope and pray that none of us reading this are in this situation much longer!  

 

--Rainy

post #3 of 17

We are on year 7 =(, I can't say that it ever gets easier but at some point I became numb to it all. My DH has been great and right there with me through it all, my fmaily- not so much. But yes I am sick to death of getting shots, bloodwork, clomid, charting... you name it. Hang in there!

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your replies. Rainy, your comment about having faith was very helpful. I have often thought that I need to find some kind of peace or faith with the whole process of IF.

post #5 of 17

We have been trying for 2 years and a few months. Right now I try to focus on different projects, plan our next vacation, finishing uni classes and looking for a job, reading unrelated books and not renting any movies with babies. Usually I am very bitter though and have cried right before my very good friends with their newborn son arrived at our place, so I am not a good role-model. I will think of what exactly makes me keep on going and return tonight, this has just become a negative post!

 

post #6 of 17
wave.gif Hi rcr
I'm coming up on 3 years too. After 3 mc's and a chemical in the space of a little over a year, now I can't even seem to get pregnant at all despite at least a million cycles of perfectly timed bd. All tests, including hormone and thyroid say I'm at the top of my game....NOT!
I recently saw a post about how happy the woman's husband was that she got a BFN, because that meant they got to keep trying. yay irked.gif Funny my husband thought that after our first few months too, now I feel guilty if I have to hit him up for BD at the proper time.
I just went thorugh about a year of acupuncture which immediately regulated my cycles. They had been a mess after my first mc.eally thought the weird cycles were the problem, but now that they are normal, I don't even get pregnant. I have taken more vitamins than anyone should ever have to take. The smell of maca makes me want to vomit, but I bought some more.
Since I have a son, I get all the time "When are you going to make a little brother for him?" ...and he asks me the same thing.
My cousin has had 2 children and is pregnant again in the same space that we have been trying for #2.

Maybe you just keep on keeping on until one day it sticks.....greensad.gif

Funny I will say that the first two times I got pregnant in this journey I felt like, well what do I do now? I don't have TTC to obsess about!
post #7 of 17

It took us 2 1/5 years to conceive #2.  We charted, took supplements, tinctures, acupuncture, IUI, IUI with Clomid, and even went through the year long process taking classes and completing paperwork in order to adopt.  Those 2 1/2 years were brutal.  I can honestly say it was the roughest thing my DH and I have gone through.  I was so fixated on growing our family and he just didn't get why I was so stressed.  BD became a chore and we both began to resent it (it took years for our sex life to return to normal).  Each month was a roller coaster and I couldn't move beyond wanting another child.  When we finally conceived #2 it was a shock.  I had been so caught up in the process that I hadn't realized just how much time and energy I had been focusing on ttc.

 

So here we are today, 3 kids (#3 was conceived when #2 was just 6 months old.  I have no idea how it happened.  My fertility is very unpredictable) and ttc (or adopt) #4.  We've been trying for almost 2 years.  But this is what I know for sure, I would never go back to the stressful days of ttc #2.  I really regret how fixated I was on it.  I missed so many joyful moments with my DH and DD because I was obsessed.  I could have spent that time pouring into my family and instead I way obsessing about the family that wasn't.  At this point we will either have another child or we won't, but obsessing about it won't change anything.  I choose to focus on the blessings I do have because if we never have a fourth I don't want to look back and realized I missed out on time with my actual kids in pursuit of a mythical fourth.  That being said, I do think we will be ttc in one way or another until menopause (we both want a largish family).  We are intentional about timing, both take supplements, and are hopeful each month.  But I choose to not obsess.  I don't temp, analyze each twinge, take tests each month, etc.  Its just not fair to myself, my DH or my children.

 

And I realize my situation is different because I have 3 children.  If I had been ttc #1 for years I'm sure I would feel different.  So if my post is hurtful or insensitive in any way, please forgive me.

post #8 of 17

Hi rcr - Also at the three year mark. The only thing saving me from a breakdown is taking it day by day. I don't ask for test result numbers (they just tell me good or bad), I don't POAS, I don't pass on the extra valium when offered, I stopped looking up statistics, etc. Basically I marginalize it. Subconsciously it festers, but I am not letting it take over my life anymore. I still want another, but the longer that it takes, the more I am starting to be at peace with just my daughter. She is pretty awesome. And I doing everything I can to have another.

 

However the weight gain is depressing me. I am a naturally thin person, but my response to pregnancy hormones is to pack on the fat. I gained 70 pounds with my daughter. I did lose it all with no effort after she weaned. But right now, carrying around all this "baby fat" with no baby to show for it is depressing. I have gained 20 pounds in the two years I have been slogging through ART. It sucks.

 

But not enough to stop. Yet.

post #9 of 17

I really like this thread that you started rcr and it is kinda refreshing (in an odd way) to read other responses knowing that we are all in this together.  I also LOVE Lucy Alden's response and totally agree with it.  I think it is very important to remember to be so thankful for what we do have and not obsess over what we don't have (in my case, no living children what so ever).  It has taken me awhile to come to being able to accept this, but I do have to remind myself of it daily and this helps me to get through it all, I think.  We are going on 5 yrs now TTC and I have kinda come to this agreement in my head that I'm going to try and not worry about it anymore.  I totally believe it is out of my hands and I really can't do anything to make it actually happen for us.  Hello... we have done it all and it hasn't officially worked, but for some odd reason, my head keeps telling myself that it will happen one of these days. ( I know this sounds even crazier, but for some reason my head also tells me that we will get pregnant on our own... that must be the crazy part of my head nut.gif, who knows).  I have also kinda figured that if it doesn't happen, then we may just have to go down the adoption path and it's not the end of the world (it may be the end of the bank account and more debt, but heck, it WILL be all worth it).  The adoption fact kinda has given me some peace now that both DH and I seem to be on board with the idea more and more.   I've kinda given up all that temping and over analysing every little thing (as much as possible) b/c I don't want to miss out on life b/c I'm obsessing and not enjoying life.  I truly believe that stress plays a huge part in IF and in my mind, obsessing has only caused me more stress.  We all have our bad days, don't get me wrong, but after 5yrs this is how I'm trying to make it all work.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

I really liked Lucy Alden's response too, Blue. I wish I could learn how to obsess less. I did stop temping years ago, but there is no point with the treatments that I am doing now. I have also stopped being on MDC so much and obsessing (mostly the BSL thread, which I found fueled the obsession for me), and I don't do FB anymore because I got sick of seeing pregnant "friends." However, I am having a hard time getting it out of my head, but I know I need to find a way. How do you stop thinking about something that you always think about?

 

Like Julie - the weight gain has really hit me hard too.

post #11 of 17

rcr, I'm not sure if I'm the best person to reply to this, since I don't think I was obsessed with babies as many people I know are, including my SIL. Part of that was because I left my husband when I was around 33, so I had to make peace then with the idea that I might never have kids.

 

For me, when my boyfriend and I started trying to have a baby, what kept me from obsessing was simply not thinking or doing so much about it. That's easier said than done, I'm sure. But for some reason, this kept my hopes up. I did go through testing to see if there were any physical causes for our problems, but nothing came up. We also did two rounds of IUI, and it was during those two rounds that I felt the most despondent about the whole process. 

 

I think it also helped that I never really dreamed about a life in which a baby was essential. Again, this might be a difference in personality. But I think part of it was self-preservation, because like I said earlier, I knew I might never have kids. For me, I felt like there was the possibility of happiness and fulfillment without children. We tried for two+ years, knew that adoption was always an option, and eventually lucked out in conceiving our first child naturally. 

 

My SIL has gone through two partially successful vasectomy reversals and two failed IVF attempts. She's currently in therapy because her personality has changed and she is likely depressed as well. The counselor told her that she had to work on her issues of control and understand that we don't always get what we want. That sounds a bit harsh and insensitive, but in her case, I think it was what she needed to hear because it had become so destructive in her life (threatening to divorce after the second IVF, refusing the support of all her family and friends, going deeply into debt even though they already have two kids who will be college age in a few years). There's a lot that you can't control with IF, even if you chart everything and follow all the numbers. 

post #12 of 17


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beautifulmoon View Post

I think it also helped that I never really dreamed about a life in which a baby was essential. Again, this might be a difference in personality. But I think part of it was self-preservation, because like I said earlier, I knew I might never have kids. For me, I felt like there was the possibility of happiness and fulfillment without children. We tried for two+ years, knew that adoption was always an option, and eventually lucked out in conceiving our first child naturally. 

 

 

I've been thinking about this thread a lot.  Specifically, how to move on.  I think beautifulmoon has hit on something.  I have goals and dreams for myself and my family that do not include an infant and would be difficult and/or impossible with one.  I keep waiting for my youngest to be about 4 so we can make the big trip to Disney Land.  The thought of going there with a baby or toddler makes me shudder.  For myself, I plan to take up pottery again and train for one of those mini-triathlons.  If my DH and I didn't have children then world travel would be first on our list.  We traveled a fair bit before kids and completely love it.  Having goals and dreams gives a hope for the future.  I know during the 2 1/2 years of trying my future plans were ALL about a new baby.  What maternity clothes I would buy, what gear we would need, what season I would be pregnant and how that would affect the holidays, how we could shuffle the rooms around to accommodate a new person, what baby classes we would take, etc.  Yeah, that will get to you after awhile.  I don't think "moving on" is easy and its certainly not the same for everyone, but I do think it is possible.  Not that you give up the hope for a child but that you see a future full of joy and possibility regardless of whether you conceive/adopt a child or not.
 

 

post #13 of 17

I've been lurking when able on these threads as we are getting ready to TTC#2.  I'm a horrible example of how to get through it, It took us 4 years to concieve our DD, and to be honest we almost lost our marriage over it.  We both got some counseling and came to terms with our losses and those things that we couldn't control.  We started going to church, and really started talking more.  Like PP's said, I think trying to allow your focus to be on other things may help, but I'm not sure.  I am glad for this post, as I think it may just help me out as we try to prepare ourselves for this IF journey a secon time around!!

post #14 of 17

One more thing from me. After my unsuccessful FET last week, we reached a critical decision point: start over or give up. We are having a clean slate summer. We are giving all of our baby stuff to my husband's brother whose wife is expecting their first child. We are fixing up the "baby's room" to a guest room. We are both going to lose 20 pounds. We are not just taking a break, we are changing our focus. In September, after my daughter starts 5K, we will decide if we want to give IVF/ICSI another shot (this time with PGD). I think we will. We both still want another.

post #15 of 17

We were TTC #2 for me #1 for DH for 9 1/2 years. My entire adult life. I would like to say that I wish I could go back and not stress so much but the fact is I couldn't imagine my life without another child. We are pregnant after IUI and I'm still in shock. DH had very poor numbers and motility, we were told to move to IVF. I very adamantly said that won't happen (We can't afford it) and low and behold we didn't need it. Good luck to you. 

post #16 of 17

We have been TTC for two years. I have been diagnosed with high prolactin with possibly prolactinoma and also PCOS. I'm takin my meds but, quite frankly, I have no longer interest in having a child. It's been quite a trip to get so far and after two years, it is starting to take its toll on me - more than my husband.

 

So, at this point, I ask: is all this worth the while? I'm ready to give up and I don't give up just yet only because I don't want to have regrets later on in life.

 

I'm sorry for negativity - I'm just very down about it all. 

post #17 of 17

It is difficult. Mainly we'll try for a while and stop trying, then when we feel the inspiration we'll try again. Straight through for as many years as I've been trying would be torture.

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