The Emotional Body Slam – and Being.


It’s over. Even with the ERA, even with the perfect thyroid, even with two supposedly perfect embryos, it’s over. After two IUIs, six donor egg IVFs, and a devastating miscarriage during cycle four as we approached 9 weeks, we are taking the summer off to determine if and when there will be next steps towards family building.

“If I kept going, it would be sort of like gambling–the odds were stacked against me. I had the profound sense that I would be really hurting myself if I continued, and to no good end.”

I saw this quote in different interviews and while intellectually this is where we are, emotionally there is a depth of grief I never thought possible.

All day yesterday when I knew deep down that it was over, I kept thinking of my father. He’s been dead 8 1/2 years now, but for some reason I kept thinking of him. I thought of the others in my DNA family who have treated my struggle like it’s nothing, from my 75 year old mother who chose her new boyfriend (3 months after her husband of 35 years passed) over being by my side as I bled from miscarriage. I thought of my older brother who texted a “thoughts and prayers” message after our miscarriage and, after emailing him about preparing for our 6th and final cycle and our difficulties with losing the baby last summer, how he said nothing, just the dates he’d be in town next. I thought of my cousin who got pregnant after a miscarriage but said nothing about my struggles, or the other cousin who had nothing to say about what we’ve been going through but would continue to ask for career advice. I thought of this very blog, where yesterday I wrote about the devastation of the suspension of the Ethiopia adoption, which was just as painful as our IVF failures if not worse, and how not a single person commented on that, but rather focused on the results of this last transfer.  And how others in our personal circle also avoided saying anything about the adoption and focused as well on hoping we were pregnant. As if becoming a parent through adoption hasn’t been equally excruciating in its own way.

And even with all that, I thought about two people who have shown incredible kindness and empathy and support.

One is my friend K who I’ve bonded with through not only our unique but shared infertility struggles (and even a shared RE for a time) but also through our mutual obsessions with the natural world, homesteading, snarky humor and a definite penchant for cursing and telling it like it is. I am grateful for your friendship in words that I cannot quite express today, and I thank you so much for the difference you’ve made.

The other – of course – is my husband. Today he took the day off work so we could be together. We got a crate out and filled it with the stuffed animals, baby clothes, and other things that overtly scream PREGNANCY in our dining room/office that had turned into a nursery last summer. It’s not tossed, just put out of view. Not time to think about this. After the blood test we picked up some croissants from Petite Provence and came home and drank hot chocolate and didn’t think. Then we got up, went to the plant nursery, picked out a bunch of new beauties for the garden, played around at the woodworking store to grab supplies for the kitchen table he’s building us, then ended up at the Bye and Bye for noneother than Scotch. Two glasses of Glenmorangie scotch, neat, and I was happily three sheets to the wind. Relaxed, no back pain, and happy to have the love of my life next to my side, holding my hand, kissing me, and telling me the greatest thing a woman could hear – “you’re the best woman I’ve ever known”. We came home, enjoyed the buzz while watching the ducks and planting the new poppies and columbines and such, and will spend the rest of the night chilling out, he rubbing my feet and us snuggled up on the sofa, letting what happened happen and dealing with it…later.

The loss of nine embryos to my body, and the loss of the adoption of a little girl we’d dreamed so long about meeting? They are too much to even comprehend.

So we’ll deal with it later. I’ll write later. But in the meantime? I’m unfollowing all of the IVF blogs as I don’t want to read about it for a while. It doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally check in, but for the summer, I don’t want to think about broken reproductive systems and fertility clinics. I want to get my back healed so that I can get back on my bike, drop the weight these struggles have brought on, and just BE with the man I love so very, very much. I want to feel the sun on my face and not write every week or even every day about the attempts to build a family that since 2015 have crashed and burned over and over. And over.

I’ll write about other things. Wonderful things like the ciabatta that is rising on the counter in a bed of olive oil as my fingers type this, or the daikon radish that have come up from last fall’s seeds to give us these lovely small white flowers, or the discussion of how we discovered today that the last scene in Point Break, that they pretended was in my husband’s native land of Australia, was actually filmed right here on the Oregon Coast near Cannon Beach.

Right now, I’m gonna just be. I’m just gonna be all the rest of me that is not defined by my ovaries and my fucked up uterus. Today is Earth Day, and I’m going to feel the fertile soil in my hands and embrace the amazing life that I’ve been given that I’ve at times taken for granted. Tomorrow I will think about everything else.

Tonight? I will just be.


34 thoughts on “The Emotional Body Slam – and Being.

  1. Oh crap, I’m so sorry that you’re not pregnant, and that your adoption plans have had more than a spanner thrown in the works. My experience is that reaching this point is a whole different type of grief/pain to any other I’ve dealt with, its almost indescribable.
    Dealing with it later is definitely a legit option, sometimes we need a bit of space from the actual moment in order to be able to deal with it. Be gentle with each other, I hope you find your way to be – and really hope your back starts healing quicker, so you can do more things that bring peace & pleasure. Much love to you both xo


  2. My heart breaks for your struggles and your grief. We gave up last Xmas and took a similar route: unfollowing, packing, finding peace with the now. I wish you many moments of clarity, peace, joy and appreciating your side of the green grass today. Enjoy your summer 🙂
    Ps. I wish my husband was as compassionate and kind as yours 😉


  3. So much love to you. I am crying for all this loss but have a deep sense of peace for your future. I know you and your husband will find your way. Your own path. Xo


  4. My heart aches for you and your husband. I can’t begin to imagine how you both are feeling. Sending you endless love and light as you grieve.


  5. I am so so fucking sorry. You’ve been through so much and to get two major bits of awful news this week is horrendous. I was really hoping that this would be it for you, and if not – the adoption process wouldn’t be too far behind.
    Good for you for taking the time and distance you need this summer to heal and re-center yourself. Let the beautiful sunshine warm your skin and those little duckies warm your heart.
    Sending love your way. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well shit. I checked your blog a lot today to see an update. I’m really really sorry this is the update it ended up being. My heart breaks for you. This has all been overwhelmingly unfair and the layers of grief are all very very real. There really is no way of explaining it to someone who hasn’t been in your shoes.
    Yet the one thing you have always had- more than so many other bloggers I follow- and more so than myself- is a strong sense of identity and a clear idea of a path. Of your own path, beholden to no one. You know what is right for you and your body, for your family, for your finances. And I know you are walking the path that is right for you and your lovely husband, no matter how many disappointments and how much grief there has been.
    Whether you try domestic adoption, another international option or- if by a miracle Ethiopia opens up again- or if you decide enough is enough all together- I know it will be the right thing.
    Take some time for just you, beautiful soul. And whether we talk again very soon or in a while, I will be thinking of you often.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you. We would not try international adoption again as we are now beyond the maximum age allowable (combined age has to be 90 or below, my husband is turning 50 this year and I’m 43) plus we just don’t trust the system there anymore. We’re still honestly in a lot of shock so right now I’m not able to fully think about it, and had a meltdown hearing about another child endangerment situation on the news tonight. It’s a hard thing having lost these last couple of years – and financially coming up with $35-40K for a domestic adoption is going to be really difficult since we’ve already paid almost twice that in IVF and adoption fees already and have almost no retirement saved. At our age it’s a lot to think about…

      Thank you for the support.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That is devastating to receive so much bad news in one week. I do not know what to say except that I want to give you a giant hug and maybe steal some of that ciabatta bread.
    It takes guts to admit when you need to step back, when to take time to just be. Having no support from family makes everything harder than it has to be. I hope your summer showers you with sunshine and lazy summer days in the garden.


  8. I’m so very sorry to read this and totally understand the need to take some time out to re-evaluate and just be. I will be doing the same if this next transfer fails.
    The reason I didn’t comment on your sad adoption news yesterday, and just on the embryos is because I have no experience of the adoption process whereas I truly understand IVF and all the pain in entails. It wasn’t because I didn’t care, but rather because I didn’t know what to say. I am very sorry that you’ve had to deal with the double whammy of bad news. I really hope that you can pursue adoption in the US, you have so much to give.
    I enjoy your writing and I hope that at some point in the future you’ll be back.
    For now I wish you all the best and healing thoughts. Take care. X


  9. I’m so very very sorry. The double loss of the Ethiopian adoption dream and pregnancy and childbirth dream is too devastating for words and will take much time to heal from. Wishing you and your husband safety and comfort in one anotherxxx


  10. I’m so terribly sorry. I just read your news now. As others have already commented, this isn’t in any way fair as you guys have been through so much both on IVF and adoption. I agree that time out to recover emotionally and physically is the best thing. You look/sound like you have a great partner/relationship and that’s so critical. Take strength from each other and you’ll find your way, I am sure of that. Sending hugs. XXX


  11. Well shit. I’m sorry. I thought for sure with the nausea the other day I would be reading different news. I’m so sorry. I’m glad you’re taking time for yourself. I hope you find some peace digging in the dirt. It is a good place to find it.


  12. Aimee I’m sorry. This is a double whammy nightmare. I don’t know what to say except I won’t say the bs about not giving up hope. You’ve been on my mind all week and I’m going to keep following and sending invisible support from the east coast.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so very sorry that all of this is happening to you. I’ve been trying to find the words to say so since I first read your post, but I couldn’t. I hope you find the peace, comfort and healing that you need.


  14. I’m so sorry. It’s all hard and it’s all unfair and I was so hoping to see great news for you today. I can only begin to imagine how heartbreaking it is to have Ethiopia no longer a choice. I imagine it’s a bit like a failed adoption but the knowledge that you can’t just go back into the book is definitely a body slam as you described it. I hope you find peace and I hope your back heals up so you can be out enjoying the things that will help you take your mind off infertility and adoption for awhile. xoxo


  15. Words aren’t enough, I am so so sorry to hear this news, like everyone on here I was desperately hoping you and your husband would be pregnant. No one deserves this, let alone with the blow about the adoption – that is beyond cruel 😥 I am crying for you, I am crying for everything you both have been through. I am so sorry… your words on these blogs have given me strength in times when I have felt like I have had none, yet no matter what I write I know it’s not enough. I am so so sorry 😦 Love to you both!


  16. I’m so sorry and I’m sending ya’ll nothing but love. I don’t know what quite to say. I definitely can relate to an IVF cycle not working out. But with an adoption loss compounded to it? I cannot even fathom the depth of your suffering. Holding you, hubby, Ruby, late embryos, the Ethiopian child, and ducklings in my heart.


  17. Aimee. I honor your struggle with all of my love. I am so sorry. I’d like to be your friend again and I’m sorry I went MIA with my own stuff, but I will do better to virtually hold your hand whilst you heal. I’ve no idea the depth of your sorrows, but I will hold you in my heart (like everyone else here, and of course, your dear, dear husband) as you find your way forward. All of my love, dearest. ❤


  18. I haven’t written for ages but wanted to emerge from the ether to send you some love. I’m so sorry things haven’t worked out for you – with the IVF or with the adoption. It’s terrible news and you and your lovely husband deserve better. You’ve been on my mind a lot. Sending you all the best from London x

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “Just be”… good for you. I hope you can “just be” over the summer. It’s important to ones’ soul. The rest of it, it’s a crappy situation to say the least, but you already know this. So while my sorrow for these unfortunate things will not bring you solace, just know I am proud of you for picking up moving forward in the manner you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hugs and hugs to you. Sending support for you and your husband. Devastating losses, long grueling struggle, difficult choices. It’s hard to know what to say. There’s no real consolation for some of these losses. I really like your plan to take time to recover and get healthy, spend quality time on your marriage, garden, things you enjoy, bring more light and joy back into life again while still allowing for the grief that’s there. It’s so hard with the uncertainties ahead, but one step at a time I think the path becomes clear and good things are ahead. It’s not plan a or b or c or… Maybe it’s plan r or q, but you’ll make that a great one. And after the standard alphabet, we still have Roman numerals! Plan XXVI. That’s where I’m at!


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