Tuesday, March 27, 2012


When people ask me about how infertility has changed my life, I tend to have a pretty standard variety of answers. Off the top of my head? Learning about patience, frustration, and disappointment top the list. But, sometimes it takes me a while to notice more subtle changes.

I was talking to a friend the other night. She recounted the previous evening, when she went out until the wee hours to a bunch of amazing Boston bars with some friends. For half a second, I wished I went with her. But pretty quickly, I realized how unlikely that was. Not because I don't enjoy a fabulous cocktail or her company, but because I am physically unable to sustain that kind of energy these days.

In the not too distant past, I worked out 3-5 days per week. I went directly from a full day of teaching to a spin class or personal training session. Often, I would even go to a friend's house to hang out for a bit after the gym. I also socialized a lot - especially on weekends. In fact, KG was usually the one who was more likely to stay home, happy as a clam. But me? I went places. I did stuff. I was one of the cool kids.

Lately? Not so much. And by lately, I mean the last 9 months or so. These days it is literally all I can do to get myself through the school day, pour myself back into my car, cook some dinner order in, catch up on DVR, and go to sleep. Seriously, my couch and I have an intimate relationship. When I think back, I can not remember how I managed to be such a productive and busy person. Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, it's surreal. I look the same. I sound the same. But I feel like a completely different person - wiser? more cynical? More exhausted.

The level of fatigue I feel goes beyond the usual cures.  Sleeping in, cat naps, or some extreme cleanse aren't going to cut it.  I don't know how to describe this kind of tired. It's more than my body. My whole being is tired.

So when did it all change? I can track it back almost to the minute we decided to pull out the big guns with IF treatment. It seems like within days of starting my first serious treatment cycle, my ability to multi-task began to wane. Any extra energy I had went directly to adjusting to the idea that any baby of ours was not going to come from nature. It took me much longer than expected to get past the initial shock of that fact. A lot longer.

Although we have now completely accepted our relationship with the petri dish, I still feel like I can only put my emotional energy into this pursuit right now. Granted, I have a whole lot of Lupron flowing through my veins right now, which definitely amplifies all of this. But, even when I am not in a treatment cycle, the same is often true. I just don't have it in me to sit on that spin bike or make it to the third bar on a pub crawl. I have no capacity to push myself when I am being pushed to my limit as it is.

Are some weeks better than others? Yes. Do I sometimes leave the house and make the effort to see my friends? Yes. Does it take a lot more motivation and effort than it did a year ago?

You bet your ass it does.

The level of lameness I feel about this is considerable. I am 31 years old and some days I feel much older. I don't want much more time to go by like this. At some point, I have to turn things around and get some of my life force back. The question is: how?

Everyone, including my therapist, tells me to be forgiving of myself and that someday my old self will return. I just hope I'll recognize her when she makes her appearance.

Recently, I realized Mo and I have something in common - a deep love of Faith No More. Don't even get me started on how jealous I am of her planned trip to see them at a live festival.

This song, "Last Cup of Sorrow" is probably my favorite. The chorus speaks to me on days like these.

So raise it up and lets propose a toast. 
To the thing that hurts you most. 
It's your last cup of sorrow. 
What can you say? 
Finish it today. 


  1. One of the things that pisses me off the most is this idea that because IFers dont' have children that we are somehow living a carefree lifestyle. The fact that infertility is draining (physically, emotionally and mentally) doesn't register. I also have an intimate relationship with my couch. Healthy? Probably not. But neither is infertility and there are days where sleep is much more tolerable.

    Hang in there, my friend. I'm hoping this cycle brings good news.

  2. I am with you ever step of the way. Or lack of steps, as my butt and my couch also see way too much of each other...I'm hoping that it gets better as the warm weather returns. Then maybe I can put of coming home, because once I do, it's all over.

    I think it's okay to give yourself a break though. You'll find your normal self again someday.

  3. I'm with you about Intertilty teaching me all about patience and disappointment. I went through a stage like this and then pulled myself out somehow. Its scary to think how dark of a place I'll go to if our 1 little IVF doesn't work. Sorry to hear you're struggling and hope this cycle works for you.

  4. When you get tired mentally and emotionally, your body does, too. You'll be your old self again, don't worry! Give yourself time and space. Friends understand and aren't going anywhere. I just wish I was there to hang out (or not!) with you. I hope to see you this summer. :)

  5. I think weary is the perfect word used to describe how I felt in the months after my miscarriage and during IF treatments. Weary and lonely. I felt like I didn't fit it with my friends who had kids or were pregnant and my other friends who weren't trying had no idea what I was going through and it was very isolating. Hang in there. I think this is just part of the story and someday we'll be able to look back and see how far we've come.

  6. This post felt so familiar to me. IF is exhausting, in a way that is indescribable to people not going through it. I used to go to sleep at 9 pm. Now I can get by going to bed at midnight. The energy will return one day.

  7. Wow, thank you for saying so. I thought it was just me! I feel sooo much better. It sounds like from the comments on your post, everyone feels this way.

    I also find it super hard to multitask and concentrate at work. It's like I've had to choose the top 5 things that matter to me and ONLY concentrate on those things in my life. Work, family, the friends that get it, fertility, and working out. By the end of all those, it's 9:30 pm and I'm wiped.

    I also agree with Cristy. A lot of people think I can have a rockstar lifestyle until I get pregnant - just enjoy it they say. I was so over that lifestyle when I decided to have kids at 31 - two years ago. My neighbor invited me to a club! A club for dancing! Can you imagine? I'm just at home waiting for Guilianna and Bill to start their next season and find a few more good recipes.

    Dude, sorry for the long comment. This post just really resonated with me :). xo

  8. Here from Stirrup Queens.

    This is so true, in so many ways. It took a long time for the energy to come back, but it does. Mine isn't in the form of staying up later and socializing and partying, though. I run now. Real marathons, since clearly I can manage the emotional ones.

    Hang in there.


  9. Found your blog from Stirrup Queens. I just wanted to say you're not alone. I feel the same way so much of the time. I used to be so productive--the more on my plate, the better. Now I can barely get through half of my to-do lists. I used to WANT to work out all the time...and now it's so hard to do it, much less be motivated to do so. Maybe if we collectively keep our chins up, it will get better.

  10. This is a wonderful and very truth-filled post. You are completely right about being so very tired and worn down. I feel the same way. There has been nothing more taxing in my life than infertility and loss. The level of weariness is amazing. You would THINK we had children at home.

    I have a gym membership and every night I feel so bad that I once again didn't have the energy or mental capacity to go work out. I need to...but for whatever reason I can't make it happen.

    I got enough sleep last night, but still woke up incredibly tired.

  11. Life loves to throw us a curve ball now and then. Hang in there the game isn't over yet. You'll find the energy will return.

  12. I cannot tell you HOW MUCH this resonates with me. I moved to a new city about two months before pulling out the big IF guns. I had a blast here! New people! New activities! Fun! The last year of my 20's! Then injectables, IVF, and FETs took over, and all that energy and enthusiasm has slowly but surely drifted away.

    I hate that. I'm afraid that it will NEVER come back, because aren't you supposed to be permanently tired once a pregnancy/baby are achieved? I ache for the relatively carefree 20-something I used to be but never appreciated. I also ache for the child we're trying so desperately for.

    I think, right now, I just ache.

    About the lupron- as awful as it is, I've heard that vigorous exercise really helps with the depressive symptoms. If only it were easy to extricate one's self from the couch!

  13. There is such a deep connection between our mind and body. When you are physically exhausted, it can be hard to think straight. And when you are emotionally exhausted, your body follows that (or at least mne does). Be gentle with yourself and know you aren't alone.

  14. I think weary is a perfect adjective to describe dealing with infertility treatments. After riding the emotional roller coaster, I am finding that I just do not have the energy to be my former self. I too, trust that friends and family understand and will welcome back the old me with open arms. I'd also add that this process has made me feel weathered. Be good to yourself, Lupron is the devil. I'm sure of it.

  15. So very true. IF really drags you down and weary is the perfect word to describe it. Mental exhaustion is the worst. I can totally handle being physically exhausted, I can get through it, mental exhaustion and I'm just done. Hang in there. Hugz!


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