Infertility Grief Stage 4: Depression

The other night I had a dream I was pregnant and we found the heartbeat at 6 weeks and it was too slow to be viable. The doctor in my dream told me that the heart rate too low, and I felt this sad resignation like, “Yeah I knew this would happen again.” It was not unlike when I got pregnant one year ago and we saw the heartbeat, except in real life the doctor tried to be optimistic about it being too slow, and I had to research miscarriage studies myself to confirm my suspicions that I was going to miscarry. In real life, we went back a week later and the fetus had no more heartbeats. One day I will be able to write about that miscarriage and what really happened.

When we found out I have low AMH, it was already .04 (and <.03 a month later.) I devoured information online, sitting up in bed that Saturday morning when I got the results, and quickly realized exactly what it meant. I remember spinning around in my quilt and slamming my face down in the pillow and scream sobbing. My husband took to the internet himself, and bless his heart, decided I need to “take Lupron” which neither of us understood but I assured him it would be more complicated than that.

“But, low AMH doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant!” Yeah well, what does having pretty much no eggs left mean? My AMH isn’t just low. It’s almost gone and I am 34 years old.

Some days I feel filled with anger, doom, gloom, resentment. I keep trying to blame someone else. The doctors who didn’t do any testing while I had loss after loss. The medical community as a whole who doesn’t treat infertility seriously, or test AMH routinely. But there is no one to blame. I have a gene polymorphism that makes my eggs not want to grow.

I focus a lot on people who have children easily and thoughtlessly. My thoughts dwell on my cousin, whom I truly believe to be a genuinely Bad Person. Not evil like a killer or anything. Just a rotten, selfish, bad person for a myriad of reasons not worth mentioning here. She stopped trying/stopped preventing and got pregnant with her daughter two months later. She decided she wanted her second to be two years younger, so poof! He is two years younger. She smugly told me that she would not divulge the horrors of childbirth to me until I’d gone through it myself. “It’s just a thing. You never tell your birth story to someone who hasn’t given birth. It will scare them.” I told her, “I’m not scared of anything about childbirth except for losing the baby.” “Why?” she asked. She couldn’t believe that some of us would do anything to have a hard labor and get our baby.

I focus on the What-Ifs. What if I never get to have a baby? I see my future wiped out, an empty gaping void in front of me. The holiday traditions I have started for myself and my husband, to be passed on to our children, now pointless. I grew up with no traditions and very few positive childhood memories so I yearn to create these. I had imagined our children growing up making Christmas cookies (something I always wanted to do as a kid) and putting up lights outside (another childhood wish.) I imagined Easter egg hunts and movie nights and all of that gets deleted in an instant. I imagined them fighting over who gets the bigger bedroom,  I imagined my children as teenagers, rolling their eyes at my over the top holiday décor and my son who looks just like my husband and the only one in the family who can perfectly imitate his father’s hybrid British Indian accent as we all laugh at the uncanny resemblance. Then as adults, they come back home for the holidays and they miss us and they love that I decorate two trees or that I have a chest full of blankets to pull out on movie nights, and they bring their spouses if they have them, and everyone is welcome in our home. I focus on this and I feel so stupid for ever having hope. Of course things wouldn’t turn out the way I wanted them to.

I haven’t even attempted IVF yet and I’m already having a pity party. I just have no hope. I fully expect IVF to not work already. Sometimes I think is that if it’s not successful I could become one of those women who gets miracle natural pregnancy with a healthy baby.

Most of the time I blank out. My mind swirls around and around shit sh*t soup of clinics and stats and studies and success stories and I keep plugging away with all of my ridiculous alternative therapies and exercise and my mind diverts itself away from the ugly. My doomsday fears are maybe insulting to a woman who has been through this already and actually had IVF fail her and here I am, naysaying before I even start, but I don’t have hope. I can’t imagine a scenario where all this actually works out. I think my dream the other night made very clear to me that I have no expectations of IVF working for me.

So that’s where my brain is. Spinning out and crashing repeatedly. Sixteen days until my IVF weight check and then I get to the really hard part.

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8 thoughts on “Infertility Grief Stage 4: Depression”

  1. It’s totally acceptable and ok to feel all these feelings. This is devastating and not knowing how or when or if you will find your baby is absolute pure torture. My AMH was .5 when I had my miracle IVF now toddler. My AMH went up to .7 when I determined after many rounds I needed donor eggs. I guess what I am trying to point out is it is really hard to predict exactly how or when it will work. I personally think if the desire for kids is still so deep and so real, taking any action you can afford and handle towards that goal is all you can do. Sometimes how we get that ‘happy ending’ and get to live our fantasy of a family looks different than we thought. The one thing that sticks out to me is if we can claw our way to a child, to a family- the immense gratitude makes those scenes you describe far more amazing than you can imagine. That knowledge can either motivate you or depress you and probably both depending on the day. Just know we are here. We get it. We care. Wishing you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is such a sweet thing to say! You always know just the right thing to say, a very admirable quality to me. Thank you. I bet you are the best friend that all of your friends have.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Do you know your CD3 FSH? Some practitioners think AMH is not the end-all-be-all. Your cousin’s reaction is just so cringeworthy. The fertiles do not get it all! I’m sorry you feel like your dreams are dashed. Like MamaJo said, just know that we are here and ready to listen. So vent away. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My FSH is 7 – it’s actually good! My doctor has given me a 40% estimated chance of success with IVF and PGS. I’ve seen women with better AMH and AFC than mine get told they have a 2% chance, so it makes me have faith that my doctor isn’t giving up. In truth, I know I may get to have one child, but I doubt much more that I’ll have two (with my own eggs.) Some days I have no hope, some days I am more optimistic.

      Liked by 1 person

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