After my most recent post, I wasn’t sure what to say.

Thank you to everyone who left kind comments.

I didn’t mean to sound like a drama queen.

I am still finding it difficult to tell my own story.

We have a small number of embryos, now frozen. The quality on day 3 was described to me as “not bad,” but they are not top-grade. More than that, I’m leaving unmentioned (yeah, it’s part of that whole conversation again) – this time it’s because the only thing for it is to move forward, whether the outlook is good or bad.

Yes, it is true that as long as we have any number of embryos in this world, we still have a chance. At the same time, I appreciate the friends who have acknowledged that we are facing poor odds, who are willing to consider that sometimes you don’t get the happy ending. I think it takes courage to sit with someone as they face bad news.

I had lunch with a friend (S.) today, someone with whom I went to school. I told her about our IVF attempts thus far, and I confessed some of my despair. I told her, after I got married, I revamped my professional life away from my onetime dreams of being an actor and writer in order to move to a profession with greater stability and earning potential.* I did this so we could start a family. Now that dream appears to be fading. To say that I feel adrift and purposeless is an understatement.

*It’s not quite as simple as, “You can always go back to writing and acting!” It takes a lot of time, effort, and energy to build up the skills and contacts to gain any measure of success in any field, including the arts.

My friend S. is a few years older than I am and single; I didn’t ask if she wanted or planned to try and have children. She told me about a time in her life when she felt similarly adrift, and she shared that it took her a few years to sort through those feelings and establish a new direction. S. encouraged me to allow myself the time to work through those questions, because the answers won’t come quickly.

I think other people have been trying to tell me the same thing, but something about the way she said it – to say nothing of this being a week with no medication for me – made her words more palatable. Perhaps it helped that she doesn’t and may never have children herself; it’s hard to accept that sort of advice from a woman who is a mother.

For this week, and perhaps this week only, I am allowing myself to feel as frozen as our embryos. I am working hard to avoid thoughts of the future. I am trying to experience this short time with no medicine just as it is: a day at a time, with no immense burden of grief. Our embryos and I are in suspended animation; at some point, we will try to thaw them, and I will have to wake up once more to the reality that not every dream comes true.

That part of me which insists on interpreting every life event as a deliberate action meted out upon me by some external force (God, the Universe, some Jungian coincidental entity, whatever) fears that this brief period, while the embryos remain frozen, is one final gift before a time of long, long sadness.

Time doesn’t remain frozen forever, however. As someone who has been brought low in the mental health department by all these IVF shenanigans, I honestly don’t know if or how I’ll be able to continue blogging as we deal with the thaw and (knock on wood) transfer and (no avoiding it) the time after that.

What I can say is, again, how much I appreciate and how much I have been touched by those in similar boats who have not flinched when I’ve expressed my despair. You are all amazing. May we all be delivered from this ugliness soon, soon.

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