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The Seven Stages of TTC……The grief of losing the idea of your own child

My TTC journey over many years has led me to a place where I need to consider at what point I will call it a day and accept the fact that it may not be in the plan.


In looking for some assistance (without having to pour my heart out to a therapist- which is probably what I should be doing ), I realized that there are very few articles on how to come to terms with infertility….it seems the hope never dies. There is no closure.


In a devastated state recently I found myself telling my DH that what I was feeling was worse than the loss of both my parents with whom I was very close and from their death I’ve never truly recovered.  Reading a friend’s blog where she described her journey as one long bereavement I realized just how much grief I had felt in my TTC journey….and I decided to revisit the 7 stages of grief.


1-                 Shock and Denial-  “This can’t be – I’m sure I will conceive- just a matter of time”

2-                 Pain and Guilt- “God is punishing me for that mistake I made-  he thinks I wouldn’t make a good parent”

3-                 Anger and Bargaining- “Why are others blessed with children when they don’t deserve it-  I promise I will be better if you bless me with a child”

4-                 Depression, Reflection and Loneliness-  “I don’t want to go –  to much baby talk, too many kids around, not another baby shower. Nobody understands, not even my DH”

5-                 The upward turn

6-                 Reconstruction and working through

7-                 Acceptance and Hope


I can’t comment on 5- 7 because I sometimes feel that I’m at 5 and find myself dipping to four again.


So how do we proceed to steps 5,6 and 7???  Is it even possible?  At what point can or do we accept?


This quote said it all for me:


“We find a place for what we lose.  Although we know that after such a loss the acute stage of mourning will subside, we also know that we shall remain inconsolable and will never find a substitute.  No matter what may fill the gap, even if it be filled completely, it nevertheless remains something else.”  Sigmund Freud.



I have looked for ways of consoling myself and have now resorted to reading parenting help sites where parents are finding their children’s behaviour difficult or just finding themselves in really difficult circumstances.  Not because misery loves company but just to dispel some of the romantic notions I do have about parenting.


Although none of us seem to lose hope- is there anybody out there who has successfully accepted IF and moved on to a happy child-free life?  I would really love to hear from you to give me hope that I may find acceptance.


I’ll end with another quote:-


“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair”


February 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A letter to my fertile friends

To prevent this…..

Hope I don’t sound bitter but here is a letter I will probably never send….

Dear fertile friends,

Do you believe cancer exists? Do you believe HIV to be a real health issue? Pneumonia? Cholestrol? Appendicitis? If you were facing any of these issues do you believe that they would disappear if you ignored them and simply tried to relax?
No? Obviously not- they are a function of your body “misfiring” biologically and only good medical treatment can assist, right?

So what is it about blocked fallopian tubes, fibroids, poor egg quality or sperm motility that makes you think that infertility is any different?

I am not infertile because I want a baby too much. I am not infertile because I can’t switch off and I just need to relax . I am probably not better off for not having a child. The reason that a blessing of a child has not been bestowed upon me is not that I would be a bad parent- if children were born only into perfect families to perfect parents babies would not be abandoned in bins or sold off to prostitution.

I know you mean well, but your endeavours to sympathise or help sometime do more harm than good, so forgive me for writing so candidly but I though you should know what helps and what doesn’t…..

I am sensitive. Think before you speak.

Your child is not my child. Sending me pictures of every insignificant moment in your child’s life does not fill a void in me and forgive me but I do not find them as cute or interesting as you do. I only see reminders of the emptiness in my life that I am trying to ignore. I know your child is your life but it doesn’t have to be the sole topic of conversation everytime we meet.

Tell me that you are there to listen when I need you, but don’t force me to talk when I don’t want to.

You will never understand what I have been through. Don’t offer advice- I am already seeing an expert. Just show you care by being sensitive and a source of positive energy in my life.

I don’t do baby showers. Deal with it. This also goes for 1 and 2 year old birthday parties. This does not mean that I am not happy for you, it just means that it hurts me. Simple as that.

I am sometimes on hormonal medication that may turn me into a hermit, bitch from hell or emotional mess. I am truly sorry about this and thank you for bearing with me.


Don’t make jokes about my situation, don’t tell me how expensive/ badly behaved your children are. I know how much you love them. It just makes me feel like you are pitying me.

Don’t pity me- I have proven how strong I am. Be strong with me.

Visit me in hospital. Wish me the best. Say that you’ll pray for me. That’s all you need to do…..

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments


On Thursday I was confused as to whether to POAS or to go for a blood test and I had so much hope. So I took the HPT as soon as I got home.

And there it was- a VERY feint second line! That had never happened before. I took it outside to check it in daylight. I checked it under the lamp and yup…definite feint second line. I went to bed thinking…this is it…its actually happening.
I am not good at tempering myself or holding back my thoughts or emotions. When I fell in love I always gave all of myself right from the start. I am a “all or nothing” type of person. And I am a dreamer. I tossed and turned the whole night, already making plans for this child, deciding how I needed to save for his/her schooling. It hadn’t been confirmed by a blood test but I didn’t know how to stop myself from being excited.

On Friday morning I took the trip to Vitalab and took the blood test. An hour later I got the phonecall to say that it was negative.

How could this be??? Damn HPT’s. I’ll never use one again.

What surprised me was how scared I got when I thought I was pregnant. All this time that I have spent hoping so hard for a miracle and when I thought I was pregnant suddenly I started having doubts as to whether I was going to be a good mother, whether I was going to cope, whether my relationship with my DH would change. I started questioning whether I wanted this so much only because I’ve been told that I can’t have it.

How weird is that?

On Saturday I was surrounded by children everywhere I went. And with a lump in my throat all day, watching those kids, I was reaffirmed of my absolute need for a child of my own.

I’m feeling quite defeated at this point. And I feel like my head is running away from me. I have so much hope and happiness and then suddenly I’m in a pool of hopelessness and despair. Its never been like me to be so changeable – I’m usually quite consistent.
More than anything I just feel weak.

Ah crap.

I’m going on holiday and maybe a short break from the IF site, internet, and friends will help me to switch off (as much as I don’t know how I would cope without them on a daily basis!)

Will return to Vitalab when I return from leave…for another round…

May 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

I found my voice!

First an update. The last cycle was a BFN (as expected) but I still shed some tears when AF arrived a day late (instilling that extra bit of hope in me). So I was back at Vitalab to do the timed cycles thing again. Got my Ovidrel injection, did my homework and went back the next morning for my post-coital test. Was very disappointed to see DH’s boytjies dead …not even one little tail wiggling. So had to do a bicarb douche with my “turkey baster” (hilarious thing!) , did my homework again and was back at Vitalab the next cold morning for a second post coital test. To my relief they survived and were swimming vigorously!! Yay!!!

So I am officially 2ww again. And time has slowed down again.

It occurred to me how I have changed in the last 4 TTC years. I was always so scared to ask doctors questions, so afraid to show my DH my true feelings (didn’t want him to feel the pressure), so afraid to share my stories with others as I had been hurt that way. I remember wrapping negative HPT’s in toilet paper before putting it in the bin, so as to hide them from my DH. I would go to the FS on my own to shield my DH from any negative news, thinking that he would tell me, “lets just give this up now”. Never realising that maybe I was isolating myself and feeling more and more alone. I would get upset at Doctors for not telling me everything I needed to know, get angry at DH for not understanding my feelings, cut friends off for being insensitive.

But then something snapped in me and I realize now that I have found my voice.

I challenge Dr J (which has just improved our relationship …he was actually singing to me the other day…was very funny!) I complain, cry and rejoice with my DH. He now fully understands why I am crying and doesn’t just think that I am a pathetic emotional mess. He has proven to be such a support and blessing in this. I don’t bore my friends with constant talk of IF but I share my experiences with them. They now feel that they can ask me questions and it has stopped the strange looks of pity that would make me feel so much worse.

I took me ages to realize that I am not alone.

But I am crossing my fingers now …I am going on holiday next month and won’t be able to get the injection etc. so I am hoping it happens this cycle.

May 5, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

I’m Russian…I mean I’m rushing..(sigh)



Been crazy at work – don’t know if I’m Arthur or Martha, don’t know my ass from my elbow and don’t know where the heck I saved that report that I worked on till midnight.  Grrr…

But I do know that its officially 4 days to go in my 2ww but I’m waiting one more day because I don’t want a repeat of the “AF arrives while I POAS” episode.  Also decided not to POAS this time around.  If you gonna do it do it right. Heard too many stories about the stick being evil…I’m developing a supertitiousness (is that a word?) about the stick.

Another annoyance is that I can’t get that stupid Tom Jones song out of my head- ( “Its not unusual to be loved ….) Been singing it all day. Again…Grrrr  …

And now that I’ve got you singing it… I don’t feel so alone…(evil hehehe)

Not really over my disappointment with my friend but not so emotional anymore. Just sad and feel like I’ve lost a part of me. 

I’m really praying that a BFP will come soon…I’m positive but tired and really scared that I’m putting too much hope on what my new FS has to say.  Every now and then I swear that I feel AF pains and than I seem to convince myself that I don’t feel anything so I’m not sure what I feel anymore. Maybe it’s a blessing to be really busy at work.

Gotta dash…but if you reading this and you praying for a miracle, I really hope that the power of our combined hopes will turn into a lot of BFP’s all around!

April 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I am feeling very sad today.Very disappointed with someone that I considered to be a good friend but this person has let me down.  When you wish nothing but the best for someone and you come to realise that they don’t really care about you it really hurts…or mabe its just extra sensitive me…but I have a physical pain in my heart because I care so much for this person.

My “self-inflicted 2ww” as I call it is also driving me nuts.  I move from fantasising about good news to keeping myself in check and reminding myself of just how big a miracle it would be.  One week down and one to go.  You’d think I’d be used to this by now.

I’m not very chirpy…so gonna sign off…coz the tears are on the way.

April 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Hope, Hope, Hope…what a powerful emotion…

Ok so the abridged version of my story is such:-

After 4 years TTC and different docs, diagnosis and procedures I saw Dr J and he finally convinced me to have a laparotomy. It took major convincing as I run at the word “surgery”, especially when its going to be performed on me. (However, when its coming out of McDreamy’s mouth on a Monday night Grey’s, it doesn’t sound so bad…hmmmm McDreamy hmmmm..)
But I digress…

They did the surgery (after Dr V had to hold my hand and try to console me through my sobbing in the theatre while they tried to put me out)…removed more fibroids than I ever knew I had and now we are back at square one…circling dates on calenders…counting…going for scans.
The amazing thing is that during my follow-up hysteroscopy and scan, Dr J mentioned that I was about to ovulate and that although he couldn’t trigger me I should go home and do some “homework”.

My DH (an absolute sweetheart by the way) didn’t take much convincing, after being out of action for a month he was just about to burst! It was fun, a good weekend and now even though I know the chances of it happening naturally are so minimal, I am filled with HOPE.

Sometimes I think that if I didn’t raise my hopes I wouldn’t hurt so much but I realized a long time ago during my Mom’ cancer that sometimes hope is all you have and if you lose that, you lose everything.

In this journey I have not yet lost hope. I’ve been angry, bitter, depressed…I’ve even told myself that I have given up but I have never really lost hope. If I am a day late the fantasies begin and so does the cycle of hurt when my AF arrives.

Be that as it may, I have never been more positive in this journey. And it’s the strangest thing…in my circle of closest friends I am the only childless one left…everybody has had their bundle of joy. For a while I felt really alone in this….and then a strange calm came over me. I realized that a friend can be there for me, can sympathise with me but can’t feel my pain. I have always done that for myself. Nothing changes.

I’ve also always known that there is no race to motherhood and I believe that God knows when its right.

Having said that I do hear my biological clock go off every now and then (I’ve decided it’s a Cuckoo clock!) …I’m approaching 36 in 2 months and that officially takes me over the big clinical 35…but it will happen this year…at least I HOPE….

April 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Allow me to introduce myself….

My name is MMCC and I am an IF.   Ie. Infertile…for the non- TTC community.  Those two letters have changed the last four years of my life- and it got me thinking…”IF” is a actually a BIG word…and one I use way too often..

If…I had started trying earlier..

If…I had picked the right doctor…

If…I was a better person ….

If, If,If, If only I could hold my own child in my arms ….

I’ve also used the word when bartering with God…”if you bless me with a child I will never sin again!” …yes …I know its wrong!!!

I know I am not alone in this journey but there have been some desperately lonely moments on this road and I decided that this year everything is going to change because I am going to change my mind about the way I see it. 

I am finally feeling strong..I am far from defeated! 

So world…hope you are ready!!!

March 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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March 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment