Patience has never really been my thing. When I want something, I want it now. I obsess over it. I live and breathe for it. I talk about it night and day, pace in the night plotting how I will get it. That “thing” I have been obsessing about is bringing a child into this world and this, is the story of my life, as I’ve fought to become a mom for the past four years.

After two years of marriage, I decided it was time for us to go from a family of two to a family of three. Just like that, as if I could magically make it happen. Like everything else in my life, I planned it down to a tee. We would begin January 1st; we would track everything on an app and boom, the pregnancy test would show positive a few short weeks later.

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“We’ll be pregnant at the same time!” I naively exclaimed to my best friend who was pregnant at the time. When my period came shortly after, I cried on the couch questioning, “What did we do wrong?” When my husband told me this process could take years, I thought angrily, “Years?! Not us.”

In September of 2018, I knew in my heart that something was not right. While others may have felt defeated or worried about having to go see a specialist, I was oddly excited. He was the “best of the best,” and he would fix me. This was our answer. And from that day on and still to this day, I continue to follow his words with blind faith, trust, and most importantly, hope that somehow, someway he was brought into our lives to lead us on a path to our baby.

When I started IVF, I was relieved, to finally find an answer to my sleepless nights. It became my religion. Every day that I wasn’t going through it, was another day without our baby. I had developed a sense of comfort in doing IVF because I was doing everything I could to have our baby. In two years, I had undergone eight rounds of IVF, a major surgery, two egg retrievals, two implants, an ERA biopsy, many canceled cycles, a miscarriage followed by a D&C, and three hysteroscopies.

I would often find myself teetering between wondering when is enough followed by a lingering sense of guilt that I could not “quit” on our baby. Each round came with higher doses, longer needles, more medications, and each time I showed up more eager than the last, ready to fight another round.

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I lived with blinders on during those two years, each cycle a blur. Just trying to make it to the next step. But the one thing I do remember with complete clarity is the shifting response from my closest loved ones. Round after round the words of encouragement slowly turned to words of concern, words of worry. “I hate seeing you like this” and “We miss your smile.” I had no idea that my unwavering faith and focus in this process was causing such heartbreak to my closest loved ones.

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I say this not to discourage anyone from stepping away from the process. God knows I had to come to this on my own terms, and there are still times I wish I could be injecting myself daily just to have that sense of comfort back in my heart. I say this because, after many rounds of therapy and tears, I can now reflect that this process took over my world and at times, to the detriment of my physical and mental health.

Today, I am gradually finding peace in stepping away from IVF, understanding now that the words of concern from my loved ones were what I needed to hear and that maybe IVF is not the way I am meant to bring a baby into this world. Walking away from IVF does not mean that I have walked away from my fight. If anything, it has made that fight in me blaze even stronger, revealing a resilience within me that I never knew existed.

So, here I am, unsure of what the future holds, unsure of how or when we are going to bring a baby into our home. But after the two years of everything we have been through, I walk away knowing that I’m a fighter who won’t leave this world without knowing what it is like to become a Mama.

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Kelly Clancy has been trying to have a baby since January 1, 2018. Since being on this rollercoaster from hell, she has slowly come to terms with the fact that perhaps she was brought on this journey to help others not feel so alone. You can follow Kelly on Instagram at @keclancy88.