My husband and I fought hard to have our daughter with a year of fertility treatments and then a successful IVF. We were then hopeful after IVF that the four frozen embryos would provide a sibling for her.
Unfortunately, four frozen embryo transfers were failures, with the last embryo not even surviving the thaw. My first question, to no one in particular was, "what now?" None of the blogs or books really covered this for me as I simply could not connect. I needed support and did not know where to go.
This is what it has felt like since I received the phone call, "I am so sorry but your embryo did not survive the thaw."
Denial: I seriously thought I would get a call saying, "So sorry, we made a mistake, your embryo looks great and we are ready to go!"
Anger: I was angry at my body, angry at the world.
Bargaining: If I am a really good person then G-d will make it so that my "denial" wish would come true.
Depression: I ended up with clinical depression (I have a history). I am still in it now and things are slightly improving. What has not helped is being invalidated time after time by women. For example, if I share my experiences with infertility and those I share with validate these experiences by saying they, too, had their own experiences, does that then invalidate my experience? I feel lucky that since going public with my struggle, many women have shared their own experiences... my fear is that infertility will become so common that individuals will get lost in the process of sharing. I don't want women to feel the need to "one up" one other (I have heard countless times from other women that I should just be thankful that at least I have my daughter). Of course I am thankful but please don't invalidate my sadness of not being able to have another. Why can't women just listen to each other... really hear one another and just provide open support? Why must it always be so hostile even when it comes to something so personal as fertility treatment?
Honestly, and personally speaking... I don't want to be lost.
Acceptance: I think I am just getting to this stage now. I still get weepy when I see babies but I can acknowledge that the treatments did not work and I need to move forward with my husband and our daughter. I think this stage takes time and I just need to remain patient while I wade through this trench.