Every time I open the refrigerator, I see it.
Tucked away behind a pane of foggy transparent plastic as the warm air of the kitchen rushes against the cold shelf. The very thing that defined expensive, consecutive, heartbreaking rounds of treatment that led us into our 4th year of trying to conceive. The thing that I was sure would be the result of another baby. The thing that now holds a vial of unusable medication because it has been punctured for 10 months and counting…
The Follistim pen.
It’s still there… and every time I see it, I look past it, grab what I need, and move about my day. I guess I shouldn’t say “every time”, because there are moments where I stop and stare at it until the refrigerator starts beeping at me, as if to say “get it together, woman, you have a life to live.”
10 months. It’s seriously been 10 months since I cried out, “I just need a break. I can’t do this anymore.” Ten months since I thought “we’ll start again in the summer.” Ten months since we entered into the 4th year of trying… and now we’re creeping up on Year 5.
When people know you’re battling infertility and walking every month in hope for more babies, they fully expect you to have some kind of plan. I’m frequently asked, “so what are you doing now?” or “what’s next?” And when I say “nothing”… I’m sometimes looked at like I’m wasting my time by not trying.
Not pursuing infertility treatment doesn’t mean that I’ve given up hope. It doesn’t mean that I’m wasting my time or pursuing adoption. It simply means I’m resting in the peace of not trying. Sometimes when you’re in the midst of infertility, you need this time of not trying. Sometimes it may only mean 3 months… sometimes it means a year. Sometimes it means you never pursue treatment again because you’re fully trusting God to perform a great miracle.
As for me? I can’t say when we’ll do treatment again, if ever. What I do know is that I finally have peace in not trying. Sure, every month that goes by, I wonder if this could be the one for the miracle… the longing is still there. And sure, sometimes I find myself looking up information on birth, pinning articles about cloth diapering, and staring at other people’s babies. When someone says “did you hear so-and-so is pregnant?”, it stings a little, but only when “so-and-so” wasn’t even trying. Those “oops” babies get me every time. But there is also this sense of numbness… a level of peace that I’m so incredibly thankful for.
Do I still feel like someone is missing from the dinner table? Absolutely. Do I feel foolish for keeping a tight hold on the crib and changing table that once held my Zoey Liz? Sometimes. Do I have hope for a miracle? Absolutely.
Sometimes in infertility, we need the not trying stage. Although not trying is kind of in the eye of the beholder… the definition is kind of loose. But sometimes we need to set ourselves aside and just ask God to work. That’s where I am. I have hope. I still hurt sometimes. And I still keep a Follistim pen tucked away in my refrigerator because I can’t bring myself to throw it away.
But I’m so happy and grateful… and aside from the occasional PCOS pains and inconsistent cycles, I’m healthy. I have a great husband. I have a hilarious, free-spirited, 6.5-year-old daughter who has a song in her heart and a skip in her step. I have a job that I absolutely love and could do forever, if God will allow it. I have soul sisters that I can turn to for anything, whether laughing, crying, or to keep me in check. I can afford to set aside money every month so we can take vacations (although sometimes it takes a year to save, like going back to Disney next October!).
I have a lot to be thankful for. So for now, that is my focus.
My name is Jessi, and I’m in the not trying stage of infertility. I’m fully believing God will perform a miracle someday, somehow, and I am choosing to trust in that.