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Living in Infertility Limbo

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a blog by S.I.F., January 25, 2011

There is a moment, a moment when fertility treatments cease, and you find yourself in a holding pattern. Unsure of what come next, unsure of where you fit in now.

Limbo. Baby-making limbo.

Where You Fit in the Infertility World

It's the point in time when you have essentially gotten off the trying to conceive train, but haven’t yet left the station. You're dazed and confused because it wasn’t supposed to conclude like this. You weren’t supposed to find yourself having run through all the options with no baby in hand. There was supposed to be a happy ending to this story.

But here you are, stuck in limbo. Left watching the friends you’ve made as they proceed along the tracks and wondering: How do you walk away? How do you give up? How do you move forward?

And can you do any of it while still maintaining those ties you’ve made?

I am in limbo. Wondering how I fit into the infertility world now. I am not trying to conceive. I am not saving up money for the next time I’ll be trying to conceive. I am fairly sure I will never be trying to conceive again.

Yet here I am. Still entangled in this world. Talking infertility. Writing about infertility. Bemoaning my infertility. While not actively doing a single thing to eradicate that infertility.

I am in limbo. Stuck between the two worlds. Between doing everything in my power to make my dream come true and moving on.

And I know I’m not the only one here. The only one still questioning her place in this world from here on out. Still watching patiently as others are able to leave the station. Knowing that it will likely never be me.

It's Hard to Leave Limbo

But something funny happens when you’re in limbo. You don’t want to acknowledge it. Don’t want to admit that you no longer really belong here. So, you keep talking as though nothing has changed. Keep commenting on the IVF cycles of others and throwing out advice whenever you have something relevant to share. You continue on as though you belong here, even though you know deep down that you don’t.

One can only assume that the others in limbo are still doing the same. Clinging to those friendships that were formed while trying to conceive, even while knowing that the unifying bond is no longer the same. There will be no more breathless two-week waits. No more analyzing and over-analyzing every non symptom. No more comparisons of medical protocols and fertility doctor recommendations.

While in limbo, you become a quiet observer. With less and less of your own material to add. Unable to walk away, but equally unable to continue contributing.

The infertility world has a way of sucking us all in and linking us to those who have walked this same path. But once the moment hits where you realize that you no longer belong, the path to exit is far less clear than the one that brought you here. And the departure time seems even more unsure.

And so you wait, stuck in limbo. One foot in and one foot out. Unsure of where you belong, and how to get there. Knowing only that you never pictured leaving this world empty handed.

Comments (2)

Wow! That is so exactly dead on, in fact it brought me to tears. I have been in limbo for quite a long time now, just have never had it put into words before. You are exactly right.

My husband and I have a daughter who is now 13 and we have tried to conceive for the last 11 years, although we haven't really actively been trying for the last 4 years. We did the whole Clomid treatment and went to the fertility doctor and nothing could be found to why we can't conceive another child. Everything was fine with our daughter, but no body has an answer as to why we can't have another child. It is very frustrating. I think maybe if I had a reason why we couldn't conceive again, I might be able to come to terms with it and move one, but as of now, we are "perfectly healthy and should be able to conceive." Not much comfort after 11 years of trying and getting nothing. So, here I sit in limbo, like you, along with many others, I'm sure, wondering what to do now.

I could never ever say this better! I'm finding myself in limbo now and although I have made some peace with the outcome... I cannot leave the friends I have made.

There was nothing in this article that I am not currently feeling right now.

Thank you for letting me know I am not alone!

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