Today my husband and I were supposed to be having two little embryos transferred in me.  With a 65% chance, we would soon be the parents of a little life (or lives) forming in my body and I would proudly and finally be known as “mom”.  Instead, I sit in bed, wondering how many more close calls we are going to have before we feel baby soft skin and tiny fingers wrapped around ours, and the joyous agony, of sleepless nights.  For many that agony is not joyous, but for us, the harrowing infertility journey that contains no direct routes, will make every night without sleep, tiring, but joyful.

Now, as I lay here, wondering why it did not work, why we felt the peace of being on the right path, and how many more “wrong turns” we will face, I also wonder, when will the empty and fearful feeling go away.  So, I take my own advice when it comes to climbing out of the “dark hole” deep disappointment brings on, and I embrace my sadness, my anger, and my confusion.  I talk about things with my friends and family that make them scared for my well being, and me so grateful that I have people I can be so honest with.  I question God, I stop being an attentive wife, and instead become a leach to Michael's side, not wanting to leave his protectiveness as we make it through yet another let down, together.   I intensely repeat encouraging scripture as well as the mantra “take action, the feelings will follow” to motivate me back into “normal” life.

Along the way, I realize that though it feels like this emptiness is never going to go away, and that I may never understand why I have been given this desire to have a child so strongly, and why the means to fulfill it is such a torturous one, I also realize that I am not alone in this. Others are going through this and have gone through this before, and though battered and bruised, they endured.....and grew.   And in a way more powerful than I could imagine, the genuine stories of others who endured this battle before me, started healing my wounds, making me less fearful of the road that remains, and reminding me, that eventually, I will be a mother.

How other women endured failed IVF/IUI"s and pregnancy/child loss:

 “I guess what kept me going was my need for answers to why I couldn't get pregnant and how to fix each issue as it came up. I had multiple issues to overcome; blocked tubes, endometriosis, scar tissue, LPD, weak/late ovulator. And the nagging thought that if I quit now, I'd never know what would have happened if I'd kept trying; what if my BFP (big fat positive (pregnancy test)) was just around the corner? So after 23 cycles, I had not reached a point where I felt like I wanted to stop TTC, but it was the hardest, longest project I've ever taken on or should I say, fell into. Most people with infertility don't know they will end up down that path until they start TTC.” - Tanya

My IVF cycle was cancelled 5 months in a row, and I still have no idea how I got through it. All I can say for sure is you have to let yourself feel what you feel. I was pissed! I cursed everyone especially myself and at times God but I was able to get over it each and every time. I felt terrible for the way I felt but I realized that I am only human and anger is part of the grieving process, and that is essentially what you are doing is grieving. Another thing that helped us, don't laugh, was lots of sex. It’s a great way to stay connected with your husband and it’s a wonderful stress reliever. Then finally you have to talk about it to anyone who will listen. Those who support you want to know how you are doing and want to help. Like my mom said, she was completely helpless because there was nothing she could do but listen and that was the best thing anyone could have done for me” - Erin

“Chris and I went through IVF in April and ended with a negative test. Actually worse than that, they know I conceived and had implantation, but my estrogen levels couldn't sustain the pregnancy and the doctor didn't find it out until it was too late to start estrogen supplements. So now we had a month off before starting our 2nd IVF which will now include estrogen supplements.

Anyhow, Chris and I were bummed. But I needed to put this behind me. So we went into the backyard and buried our babies. We started by clearing out an old ivy patch, which was very therapeutic. My neighbors probably thought I was crazy digging and crying as I ripped out every last piece of ivy. Then we built this little stone wall with two angels. Planted a pretty garden bush and added some fertility statues and metal sayings. Under the Gardenia bush I buried the picture of the embryos. Chris and I were able to have our moment of silence and cry into each other’s arms. It is closure yet it allows their memory to be with us forever. Here is a picture of my garden (the blog picture). We still want to put a stone border around it entirely, but a nice start for now...” - Lona

“Honestly I just took it one moment at a time, and then one day at a time after both my losses. Soon it had been one month, then six and so on. I also prayed.” - Kiera

Everyone gets through the deep disappointment and pain that only failed IUI’s/IVF, pregnancy/child loss can bring in their own unique way.  What I have learned on my search for "what to do?" is that though this journey can feel so lonely and overwhelming, it is not.  There are many others going through it, and through each other’s journeys, strength can be gained.   So, how long until Michael and I are ready to embark on another infertility clinic driven ride? I don’t know. How long until I stop looking at the many activities we are now planning for the summer as consolation prizes to the biggest prize of them all? I am not sure.  What I do know is that eventually my climb to the top of the infertility peak will be complete, and my parenting journey will begin. Like the many others all too familiar with this journey, I will get there….the only way possible…..one peak and one valley at a time.