“That was a waste of time.”
Have you ever said that to yourself after a failed cycle? I have.
There was a point in our infertility journey that I believed we were wasting time on all of the cycles that didn’t result in pregnancies. I would think about the time spent traveling to the fertility center, attending appointments, and taking extra good care of my body while on medications, resting, meditating, reading about early pregnancy symptoms and obsessing over those that I thought I had.
Each cycle when it became clear that I was not pregnant, my mind wandered down the road of trying to calculate how many hours that month I had invested in this pursuit of motherhood. I never had a number but I always had the thought, too many for no success.
I was so scared of wasting time because I wanted to succeed so badly. I put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to have it all work. It had to work. In my mind there was no other option.
But if I didn’t want to feel like I was wasting time I had to figure out how to save it instead. Not knowing how long we would need to do treatments before our baby arrived, I had to come up with a way to not feel like every failed cycle was a waste of time.
What is time, anyway? A measurement people created to keep track of things. You can’t physically hold it in your hand, it is something that exists purely in your mind. The only way to have enough, too much, or not enough of it is how you think about it.
Every time I would see a negative pregnancy test after a treatment cycle, I would check in with myself. Instead letting myself think it was a waste of time I focused on what I accomplished with that cycle. Ultimately every cycle taught me something about what wasn’t working within my body to carry a successful pregnancy. Every cycle came with the possibility of getting pregnant.
I learned that one of the best ways to save time is to fail. When we fail we learn what didn’t work. It gives us information to make decisions and move on. If we have put everything we had into a cycle – meds, time, money, love and prayers – and it didn’t work we now know that it wasn’t the right combination to bring us to motherhood. Knowing that you can keep moving forward.
When you keep moving forward you keep learning. If you are afraid to fail, what happens? You stop. The learning ceases and you don’t move closer to your goal. Motherhood becomes that much more out of reach. Even if this cycle didn’t result in you seeing two pink lines on that pregnancy test, it moved you closer to your dream. You’re not wasting time if you are constantly learning and moving forward toward your goals and dreams.
Are you frustrated because you feel like you are wasting time on your infertility journey? Talk to me about it.