Empty Arms, Empty Heart?

clomid      ivi      ivf      iui    tests      more tests     blocked tubes     abnormal sperm

unexplained infertility

you won’t understand, you don’t have children

you don’t know what you’re missing

how many children do you have

when are you going to start a family

time’s ticking hey

These are the words you never want to hear again. Ever. 

How do I know? Because although we have been married for a bit more than 21 years, we don’t have children.

Our choice? NO!!!

We tried Clomid for six months, the longest six months of our lives, I might add. Why? Try getting pregnant while have hot flushes, mood swings and not knowing yourself at all, all at the same time. That was my experience on Clomid. Did we fall pregnant? Not even once. It did almost ruin us emotionally.

Next stop, endless tests. No conclusive results ‘Unexplained Infertility’. Just a fancy why of saying we have no idea what’s wrong with you.

Then the grueling round of IVF. In Vitro Fertilization is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) commonly referred to as IVF. IVF is the process of fertilization by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryo(s) is then transferred to the uterus. Three in our case.

First they put you in menopause – great way to start this journey, hey!

Some side effects of fertility medications may include:

  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hot flashes
  • Abdominal bloating

So in between hot flushes and mood swings (again), you need to inject yourself every day. Now you have to go for frequent blood test as well as ultra sounds to determine when these precious eggs will be ready for harvesting.

Then the exciting day! Harvesting the eggs, if you are lucky enough to have any. At the same time poor hubby needs to provide them with sperm, again.

Now you wait. Meanwhile somewhere in a lab your ‘baby’ is being created through a process called ICSI. Three to five days later you get the call – you need to come to the hospital for the transfer of the embryos to the uterus. Super excited! Theoretically you are now pregnant. But a million things can still go wrong.

So you wait. Six to ten days they say it takes for the embryo to implant. Ten days go by, the excitement is tangible in the air. You are pregnant! Nothing went wrong. Until day fourteen.

Day fourteen you wake up to cramps. Cramps you know all too well. You dread going to the bathroom, because you know what you will find. Blood. Too much of it. Dream shattered. Again. 

You pick yourself up, because you still need to go tell hubby. Together you cry. And vow to try again. And again. And again.

What are the risks associated with in vitro fertilization?

  • Nausea or vomiting 
  • Decreased urinary frequency
  • Shortness of breath
  • Faintness
  • Severe stomach pains and bloating
  • Ten-pound weight gain within three to five days

So instead of being pregnant, you are now ten pounds over weight (true story, it is ten years later and I’m still trying to shed it). And have to endure everyone’s questions. And pity. Depression. Anxiety. Trauma. 

Did we try again? Not through IVF, although we still had embryos. I could not go through the emotional roller-coaster again. So we kept on trying naturally, praying for a miracle.

Then I turned 40. And got off the roller-coaster once and for all. We stopped trying. I went back on ‘the pill’ to try and get myself back to normal. There comes a point where you have to make a decision for your own sanity. I made mine. Hubby made his, although it took him a bit longer to get there.

Do we still ache inside? Some days more than others. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Most days however, we are fine. More than fine. 

To some people’s disgust we have embraced the fact that we don’t have children. We live selfishly, focus on ourselves. Without feeling guilty.

After all, we did not choose this, it chose us!


how to cope with empty arms:

  • talk to someone who had to walk that path. no one who has children will understand
  • embrace your partner, don’t let distance grow
  • find something you love doing to fill your time and mind
  • don’t overthink it, it will only make the heartache worse
  • find ways to celebrate your freedom – yes freedom (you may or may not understand this in a few years time – it certainly took me quite a few years to get there)
  • decide with your partner when you will stop trying, having a date (in my case an age), helped a lot BUT don’t let anyone decide for you when that time is
  • if you are not ready to make peace with it yet, remember, there are natural alternatives to clomid and ivf


If ever you need to talk to someone, I’m here for you, whoever you are. Send me an email and we’ll set up a date. Online if you live far away. Coffee if you are close by. 

PS – here are the links for two websites/blogs I found really helpful

(brutally honest) Status Updates Women With Infertility Want To Post On Social Media, But Don’t.







2 thoughts on “Empty Arms, Empty Heart?”

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