Monday, October 10, 2016

When Plan B is a Disappointment

After my last fertility treatment did not result in pregnancy, I had no idea what to do. I was a shell of my former self. I had no energy, no enthusiasm, and definitely no inspiration. All I knew was that I couldn't go on living the way I was because I wasn't really living; I was walking death.

So I took a week to cry and stare at the wall.

One week later I decided to move.

I told my husband, "We're moving. We're selling this house and we are going to live somewhere else." Fortunately, he was on board.

We bought that gorgeous 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house with two-story ceilings, lots of windows, and natural lighting for our children. It was close to his work so he could spend more time with me and the kids instead of having a long commute. It had an upstairs loft that would have made a great family room/play area. It was nearly perfect.

But our children never came. And I could no longer live there.

So we thought about where to go and what to do.

And then I got the idea to change careers and go back to school. After spending the last several years putting all of my energy into trying to conceive, going to doctor's appointments, getting acupuncture, refilling prescriptions, buying supplements, getting injections, having ultrasounds, and undergoing procedures, I threw my whole being into Going Back To School. It was The Thing that was going to save me.

I researched programs, found one I liked, realized I had a short window of time to get everything done for the application, and charged forward.  I took prerequisite courses during summer school. I cried every night while I studied. I knew that I was supposed to be taking care of my baby, not studying for classes where my classmates were half my age. But I kept moving forward. I took 14 credit hours in 15 weeks. I took the GRE.  I found people to write letters of recommendation. I agonized over my one-page essay. I completed the application. I mailed it off.

And I waited... But I was used to waiting.

So I started packing. I didn't know where I was going, but I knew I wasn't staying there.

I started with the nursery. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Maybe it was weird that I had started collecting onesies and kids' books, but, hey, I thought I was like everyone else and I was going to get pregnant and have a baby. It took me a week to clean out the nursery/storage room.

Then I tackled the rest of the house. Just as I was about finished cleaning out, getting rid of stuff, and boxing up what we were keeping, I got my acceptance letter. And I. Was. Elated.

This was My Next Thing! I was Going Back to School!

We found a place to rent next to school, moved in, put our house on the market, and sold it, all of which I will probably elaborate on in future posts. I just said it all in one sentence but it was HARD. Every stage brought unexpected feelings, and not many of them felt very good. I was glad to be moving on, but I was sad for the circumstances which brought it all on.

So. Fast forward to this fall when I started school. Here it was, what I'd been waiting for, what I'd poured my heart and soul into for the last year, what I'd completely transformed my life for.

And it was horrible. Absolutely awful.

The class content was not what I was expecting. The work load seemed impossible. I was overwhelmed with being so behind with technology. School had changed A LOT since the last time I went, which was a very long time ago. My new plan was a big disappointment.

I tried to share my disappointment with other people and, of course, my feelings were dismissed. I was told, "That's how school is." And, "What did you expect?" And, "You can't expect everything to be easy." It was crushing. It was another let down, another experience where I felt unsupported and misunderstood.

And then I realized it was all a part of infertility. Well, school DID suck, that part was true. But the reason it was so disappointing was all connected to infertility. I thought if I couldn't have children, then I at least was going to have a fulfilling career. Then school was not fulfilling or meaningful at all. Plus, I was going from a deep depression coupled with low activity to all of a sudden having a lot of work and deadlines. I mean, I hadn't even been around people much in the last couple of years. It was exhausting. And intimidating.

I came home the first day and told my husband I was quitting. I told my parents I was quitting. I told anyone I talked to I was quitting. And everyone knew better than to argue with me. But then I thought, well then what am I going to do? Go back to how I was living? It was an extremely tough couple of weeks.

I decided to do it. Just go for it. I decided I'd rather fail out than quit. And I'm giving it my all.

It has gotten a little better. Not the workload. That still seems impossible. But my classmates are nice. And whatever happens, I'm reaping some side benefits of being productive again. I have a routine again. I'm eating better. I'm drinking more water. I'm interacting with the world around me.

And I might even pass this semester.

So, it's not what I hoped it would be, but I'm doing it. And, of course, in the middle of all this I thought, I think I'll start a blog. It's a really good study break.  :)

Speaking of... I better get back to the books.

'Til next time... Sometimes Plan B doesn't go how we want either. It's okay. Everything is temporary. My husband and I have a long-term plan that we're working toward. New career or not, we will make our new dreams happen.


  1. Going back to school is hard! I'm glad to hear that you are sticking with it!

    I completely understand the feeling of NEEDING to get out of a house. We did sort of the opposite (went from renting to buying) but we have really thrived in our new space.

  2. Thank you. It is so nice to get validation.

    Yeah, we needed to get out of that house. It was not helping. Our rental is half the size of our old place and we really like it. Well... The rental has its own share of problems hahaha, but we are still very thankful to be here.

    I'm happy to hear you are thriving in your new place! :)

  3. Dear Infertile Phoenix, welcome to the blogosphere!

    I am sorry you had to join us, but at the same time I am glad that you are writing, since it has proved so healing for me.

    I went back to school this fall, too. And yes, it is hard in some ways. I am older than most of the other students as well. But I don't regret it so far. Meeting new people feels good. Getting out and having a new focus in life is beneficial, too. Even if I am often tired :-).

    Sending my very best wishes to you from Switzerland,

  4. Thank you Elaine. A fellow infertility survivor who has also gone back to school- how cool! :)

  5. Reading your post I felt like you are my long lost sister :)My story was very similar, the house, the move, going back to school, feeling weird, rusty and out of place, looking for a job and fitting into working environment. It's tough but it can be done and I am so happy to hear you are not quitting!!

    1. Thank you Obie. I am happy to have a long lost cyber-sister. :) :) :)

  6. You are very brave, changing your life so dramatically! I can relate to your story about moving. If you read back through my blog over the past year, my husband got it into his head that he wanted to move -- from the house we'd lived in for 26 years to a condo, and to a community closer to where his brother lived. I was pretty happy where we were, and leaving the house where we had hoped to raise a family was hard. He basically dragged me here kicking and screaming. I'm still not enthralled by the community where we're now living (although it is nice to be living closer to family!), but we found a really nice condo and I have to admit I am loving it. I don't miss our house at all, which has been a real surprise. I get sad when I think about what it represented -- the family we wanted -- but I'll admit this condo better suits the life we are living now (& hope to live in the future). So it helps to try to keep an open mind! ;)

    1. Haha, Hi Loribeth! I was actually reading your blog about moving while I was moving. Unbeknownst to you, you were very helpful to me! Moving out of a house you bought for your children when you didn't get to raise your children there brings up a lot of feelings, none of them easy. I am happy for us both that our new homes are working out for us.

  7. Keeping my fingers crossed for your new school. I have the feeling you will make it!

    1. Haha time will tell... I'm so up and down. One day I think I want to quit and the next day I can imagine myself graduating. Thankfully, my classmates are nice and that is very helpful. :)

  8. I can totally relate to moving out of the house. We did the same thing. We sold our house and now we live in an apartment. The house represented the years we were trying. The whole time we lived in the house we were trying. We now live in an apartment and we love it. I'm glad the move was a positive change for you. And I'm glad you decided to stick with school. -S from