The black dog that keeps on biting me

Churchill called his bouts of depression, the black dog . I think of it like a heavy oppressive cloud which descends and blocks out all the light. Everything turns dark and meaningless. Whichever metaphor you use to describe it, depression seems to dog my footsteps each month that I try and fail to get pregnant.

This past month, the cloud that descended hasn’t lifted. It was the month that my baby boy was due and as the date came and went, the cloud seemed to settle itself more permanently around me. This was also the month that I made the decision not to continue with fertility treatment. After the last failed attempt, I found that I couldn’t face another month of injections, scans, procedures, waiting, hoping, and then, nothing.

I’ve had it said to me that you will know when you are ready to make the decision to stop treatment. I’ve had two years of TTC and three miscarriages in that time and I thought perhaps this decision might bring with it some acceptance, an end to the turmoil each month. Instead I am left with an aching emptiness and overwhelming grief and sadness. I don’t feel any certainty either that I have made the right decision. But I do know that I can’t keep riding this rollercoaster of emotions each month, so it is time to step off the ride.

My husband doesn’t agree with any of this. He thinks I am making a mistake and that I will regret my decision. We can’t seem to talk about it anymore without it ending in an argument and tears, so we’ve stopped talking about it.  

I feel like such a  failure – a failure for the months I haven’t been able to conceive, a failure for not being able to carry my babies full-term, and now a failure for giving up on my fertility treatment.

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane G
    Mar 26, 2011 @ 21:24:05

    I really wish I could offer you words of comfort. If you need to talk I’m here.

    Reply

  2. Marcia Banta
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 04:02:41

    Please remember you are not a failure…and neither were your babies. For reasons I (we?) cannot fathom life’s outcomes can be cruel, hurtful and the cause of unending grief. There are no answers except the ones that feel right to you. Trust yourself…and give yourself a deep breath with a dose of kindness.

    Reply

  3. iamstacey
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 02:19:14

    I’m so sorry. It’s horrible that IF affects us each individually, and as a couple. It even affects our extended family. It’s gotta be so hard that you and hubby aren’t on the same page right now. I hope he will understand and give you the time you need. You’re both still trying to find a peace with IF. I can’t imagine how hard it is.

    Reply

    • JBBC
      Apr 09, 2011 @ 15:50:37

      You are always so wonderfully kind and supportive Stacey and I want you to know how very much I appreciate you reaching out to me xxxx

      Reply

  4. Terri Wingham
    Apr 06, 2011 @ 15:55:22

    Marie,
    I just read this now and my heart breaks for you. Life is so F***ing hard sometimes, isn’t it? I won’t pretend that I have anything to say that might make you feel better, but I am only an email away if you ever need to vent.
    Terri

    Reply

  5. closetdepressionista
    Apr 18, 2011 @ 13:42:05

    Marie! I don’t know what to say…I just read this and felt so sad, for you and all us women out there struggling with such heartbreaking blues. I think there comes a time when we know we either can’t do the TTC thing anymore or we need a good long break to recoup. So, there’s nothing wrong about your decision. I hope as I write this your husband and you have been able to come to an understanding about this. If not, it is ok too. Sometimes we just have to do what it takes to take care of “us” so we don’t collapse from sheer depletion and heartbreak. Take care of you…

    Reply

  6. Martine Brennan
    Apr 27, 2011 @ 12:15:42

    You are in my thoughts constantly x

    Reply

  7. Elaine Rogers
    May 02, 2011 @ 12:10:08

    There is absolutely no possibility that you are a failure. You know this deep down because you have huge self awareness, and the “failures” are lessons of some kind.
    I have no idea what we are supposed to learn and really they are happening to probably the person who deserves it the least, but on the plus side, you are reaching out to people who may have no other outlet for their sorrows, grief and experiences.

    But who inspires you? Who looks out for you and cradles you in times of need? Who wipes your tears, who absorbs your pain? Are you allowing the universe in?

    May the universe be kinder to you Marie, you are in my thoughts and I am honoured that you have touched me and reached out to those women, men and children whom you inspire.

    Reply

  8. Luann
    May 04, 2011 @ 22:14:22

    Marie,
    I am just reading this for the first time. First of all a baby does not make a women or a failure. You my dear have far, far surpassed the defination of success. And you know that my faith believes all things are possible. I have heard of plenty of stories of folks that once they stopped “trying” things have just happened.

    I say that because I respect your decision. Just like when I was going through chemo I didn’t do things exactly so and called enough enough you know your body.

    But my dear you have won the marathon in my eyes. And who does know what will happen!!!! Only God. One day we will meet my dear friend.

    Long distant hugs from North Carolina!!!!

    Reply

  9. nancyspoint
    May 08, 2011 @ 16:11:00

    Marie, I’m just wondering how you’re doing. I hope you and your husband are communicating about this painful subject again if you are able. It makes me so angry because I know what a great mom you would be, Marie. Anyway, thinking of you today on Mother’s Day. My best to you.

    Reply

  10. JBBC
    May 09, 2011 @ 08:27:35

    Nancy, how kind of you to think of me today and indeed all of you for your supportive comments, which truly do help me more than you can ever know!

    Reply

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  12. Anon
    Oct 09, 2012 @ 22:08:01

    I have just finished a book by Nerida walker, you can find her on YouTube. I have lost 3 babies in the last 2.5 years of TTC. And have not stopped crying for the last year, I read her book (on pregnancy) and have not cried for a week. I’m dealing with my grief and looking forward to the future.

    Reply

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