One day at a time

I wish I knew the secret to fixing a broken heart… But I don’t. Instead, I’m here with my heart shattered all over, trying to collect all of the pieces and put them back together; trying to make sense of this mess around me and the uncertainty of my future; trying to keep functioning, despite feeling broken, confused, and lost.

The embryo transfer after our IVF cycle did not result in a pregnancy. The grief resulting from this disappointment has been overwhelming, and I have had some really, really hard days since my negative pregnancy test last week. I knew going into IVF that I wasn’t guaranteed a pregnancy, but our odds were good and I was so hopeful… so ending up not pregnant has been a major blow.

IVF is such a huge undertaking. It’s an enormous and risky investment — emotionally and financially — and it’s very physically demanding. And standing on the other side of IVF, not pregnant, is… well… devastating.

In between episodes of intense grief, I feel numb. I go through the motions of my day, without real awareness or any enthusiasm I might normally have. I make jokes with my clients and try to smile… then I come home and stare at the wall. Friends offer to talk, and I decline. At this point in time, I simply have nothing to say and making small talk is unbearable. (Bear with me, loved ones; I won’t feel like this forever.) Matt does his best to accommodate me, asking what I need and how he can help. I’m so lost in my own grief, I rarely even think to ask how I might help him.

It’s almost easy to forget how hard bad days can be once they are over… I’ve had a lot of ups and downs during infertility (and in life…), and now that I’m having really, really hard days again I’m amazed that I’ve made it through days like this before. I look back at previous dark days and I wonder how the hell I got through them?

The only answer I can come up with is: one day at a time.

I don’t know the secret to getting through bad days. I don’t know the secret to fixing a broken heart. I don’t know the secret for surviving grief. But I know that all of these are experiences I must work through. There’s no detour for getting around this stuff. There are things I can do to help myself along the way… but in the end, the only way out of a hard experience is through it — one day at a time.

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