the grief cycle.

I am so sorry, Chelsea, to leave this message over voicemail, but your blood work results came back negative. Wait a few days and come back in for a baseline ultrasound and we will try again. Thank you.”

The voicemail results this week didn’t come back as a surprise. While we had such hopeful spirits that this was It, the further along the 2WW it got, the more my body began to give me simple signs that this month was not Different. Of course I wish the message surprised me with a positive result, but I am grateful that God gave me the heads up, really, on Sunday, that the message would be what it was. I felt prepared.

The end of another cycle overwhelms me with emotions. I am realizing those emotions are very similar to the stages of grief, which makes sense. We grieve the ending of another month and the child that could have been. We grieve for those around us, who are grieving with us (if that makes sense). We grieve the disappointment. We grieve for the empty room that should be a nursery. The feelings are inevitable.


I am lucky that I didn’t spend too much time, if any in the stage of Shock/Denial.  However, I would say my first stage was replaced with the feeling of exhausted frustration. My heart felt weary and I felt more annoyed than angry. “Really!? Again? Now what?”  (I am thankful the Bachelorette finale was on (yahoooooo Jef!) because that 3 hour distraction was nice.) I didn’t feel the feeling of devastation, which others would have likely expected. I just felt disappointed.

I saw Dark Knight Rises (great movie by the way) on Sunday and a line Bane said fit my emotions perfectly. It went something like “You can’t feel total devastation unless you have complete hope.”  I don’t think this cycle, I allowed myself to feel complete hope to protect myself from the potential feeling of total devastation. So I was just frustrated.

Monday (early morning):

Monday ushered in a completely different set of emotions. Gone was the annoyance and disappointment. It was replaced with anger and guilt. Driving to and from the blood work appointment was the worst. I had yet to have the blood work confirmation results but I just knew. And I was MAD.  I have no anger towards God. I have a peace with my Father and know this is all for a reason. My anger was rooted in the simple WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO US?? WHY IS THIS PART OF YOUR PLAN? WHY DO WE HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THESE FEELINGS? At one point driving down I-94, I felt like the anger was so deep it was choking me. Sitting in the waiting room, I felt anger for those sitting around me that were smiling. I felt pissed off at the phlebotomist I was assigned because she sucks and never sticks me less than 4 times. I was angry that every other time I go to the CRM (my clinic), it’s such great news, then next appointment, horrible news. I hated the tea selections I was given and was angry that they only offered herbals teas. GIVE ME CAFFEINE! I CAN DRINK IT RIGHT NOW! I AM NOT PREGNANT.

Then driving home, the guilt set in. “What am I not doing right? Is this because of something I have done in my past? Something I have not yet done? Is this a punishment? Is this because there is a lack of faith in God? Did I not have enough hope that He didn’t think I was trusting Him? Is this because I am too self-focused? Is this because I haven’t spent enough time with family? Is this because I won’t be a good mom? Logic has no place in this phase. The tears and self-beat up came. I had crazy conversations in my head.

Monday (late evening):

I was able to cover up my emotions for a work event (during which I received the lovely voicemail) and when I got home at 7-something, I sunk into the depression/despair phase. This phase is a fairly obvious one to go through. I felt down. Like nothing would ever work out. Withdrawn from everyone – not wanting to go on with a normal night. I wanted to stay in bed for a week. I felt miserable. I didn’t want to text people back. I didn’t want to make phone calls. I didn’t want to cook dinner. I wanted to sleep – so I did.


Ahhh, bring in the phase of acceptance. The morning was more of a numb feeling, but the acceptance came. I accept that this is my cross to carry. That I can either stew in the feelings of Monday or I can pick myself up, brush off my shoulders, take a deep breath and say “Alright, I deal with infertility. I am equipped with every strength I need to deal with this.” I have an incredible husband and partner through this and we are fighting the good fight. We all have our crosses that we have to carry – this is mine, but you have yours too. Single and looking for your prince? Dealing with a more serious illness, like cancer? Struggling in a marriage? Sending out resume after resume to find a job? These struggles are evidence that we will face trials of many kinds. God reminds me “I have carefully mapped out every inch of your journey…expect to find trouble in this day. At the same time, trust the My way is perfect, even in the midst of such messy imperfection…Let the Holy Spirit guide you step by step, protecting you from unnecessary trials and equipping you to get through whatever must be endured.” (Jesus Calling)

Wednesday and Thursday:

My hope is back. Josh and I have a plan in place that we feel very comfortable about and a lot of God-given peace with. We will head back to the doctor on Friday and share more details next week. However, through the ups and downs of this week, I am thankful for the love and support of those close to me that knew what was going on. I am grateful I was able to claim and experience each stage of my grief. It’s tough – each monthly attempt and cycle brings a mini grief cycle with it. It’s hard to move completely away from each stage because it’s constantly repeating. I can see why people give up. The pain is tough. The overlap of emotions is tough to deal with. I am exhausted. But the stages get shorter. And I serve a God who is far greater than any of this.

A wise man named Dr. Seuss once said “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” Our answer is simple. He is all we need.

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