Nearly three weeks ago I went through my first insemination and have waited anxiously since to learn if a little babe was growing inside me or not. Unfortunately, the insemination was not successful.
I knew embarking on this journey could be a long one filled with disappointment. In all my counseling sessions and fertility specialist appointments, we talked at length about how to prepare myself for the possibility that the first, second, or even third attempt may not work given the low success rates for intrauterine insemination.
With fertility drugs, the chances of success are only 20% while insemination without fertility drugs is 14%. I opted not to use fertility drugs since it is so much more expensive and because it dramatically increases your chances of having twins or multiples. Plus, I’m 28. I should be fertile myrtle right now, right?
Knowing the realities and success rates of insemination, I was relentless in charting my cycle for months beforehand. I knew my peak fertility days. I knew when I ovulated. I knew the precise time I needed to have the insemination done to maximize the chances of the sperm meeting the egg.
I did everything right. And yet, it did not work.
Why? I don’t know but I have faith it will happen when it is supposed to.
That being said, I’m acutely aware that when I feel disappointment, I feel it deeply. Therefore, I want to give myself the time and space to work through this disappointment and lean into the worst feelings of confusion, frustration and heartache. If living with a mental illness has taught me anything, it’s that being honest and genuine in my sadness is a way to show compassion towards myself and practice self-care.
Many months ago, my psychiatrist and I made a plan on the steps I would take to manage disappointment if the procedure was not successful. It was a simple one. Cry it out. Take a break from ovulation kits and charting and doctors appointments for at least one complete cycle before trying again. And travel somewhere new because the world waits to delight in you.
I cried. I put away my ovulation kits and chart. And I booked a trip to Paris (I will be soaking in Parisian food, art and culture in just a few short weeks!).
My desire to be a mom is so strong and while I’m certainly disappointed, I’m still optimistic.
Fingers crossed for round 2!