how do you move on from disappointment?

I am feeling much better today.

After yesterday’s news of our failed IUI I felt like a hockey puck getting slammed against every difficult emotion I’ve ever experienced in the last 18 months. I was reeling in pain, sadness, frustration and feelings of loss. But the prevailing emotion, more than anything, was just complete disappointment. And when I say disappointment, I don’t mean my favorite TV show is being canceled kind of disappointment. Or finding out your husband ate the last of the ice cream when you thought there was still some left kind of disappointment.  Or even the flight for my vacation got canceled kind of disappointment.

I mean shatter your heart and knock you to the ground kind of disappointment.

And so I thought a lot about disappointment yesterday. What it feels like, what it does to you. How it makes your heart feel, what it does to your head and to your thoughts. How it crushes you because of how badly you want a different outcome, how much your heart screams for it, but there is nothing you can do about it.

I thought about the effect it had on me yesterday. Disappointment made me feel like my heart was breaking into a million pieces. It made me feel like I got the wind knocked out me. It made me feel like my strength had dissolved, and I no longer had any stamina left.

Disappointment made me feel helpless.

And after experiencing too many disappointments, I was starting to feel bitter, jaded, cynical and hopeless.

As I felt each one of these things while crying over our negative result, I thought to myself, I know it’s in these moments you are supposed to show what you are made out of. It’s that cliche: it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. I know this is my moment and I have a choice of how to react. But was I capable of reacting with strength, positivity, and faith? Was I able to take it in stride, dust myself off, and know that this is just part of the process? I really didn’t know. And at many points yesterday, absolutely not.

But oh, it feels so bad to be in that place. I knew I was suffering from the crushing blow of disappointment and all the accompanying emotions, but I was so tired of it. I needed to be out of it. And although the thought of throwing in the towel and letting go of all this briefly fluttered through my mind, I knew I couldn’t. So I started to wonder, how do you recover from disappointment?

I could try ignoring the bad feelings. I could try going on about my day, with that chronic ache, and hope that eventually the feelings would fade. I could continue to cry and try to process my emotions and schedule an extra session with my therapist. I could keep writing, and connect with the other amazing bloggers that I knew would understand painfully well. I could try and find comfort in their sweet empathetic swaddle of support.

And I did try a little of all of these things. And a lot of it helped. But what I found the most helpful, after I acknowledged all the complex emotions I was feeling and the trauma that surrounds it, was to think about the next cycle. To discuss our next plan. To accept that we may not have a May 2015 baby, but maybe we’ll have a June 2015 baby?

I spent a long time talking to my doctor, reflecting on this past cycle and discussing what we could do differently next time. We discussed the pros and cons of different options. I called our new insurance company to inquire about every little detail of our infertility coverage. My husband and I talked about what do next, and whether we should try a natural cycle or proceed to IUI #2.

Doing this helped me to cut down on some of the helplessness that the disappointment left me with.

It helped heal my heart a little because I started to focus on hope again.

It gave me back a little bit of my strength and stamina that the disappointment ripped away.

I still have the achey pain, but my energy is turned towards next month. I actually felt grateful for the chance to try again. So many of the same emotions I felt after my miscarriages surfaced yesterday that I almost was tricked into thinking that’s what I was going through. But that’s not what this is. We don’t need to discuss termination options, or sit out a cycle while my body recovers from the loss. We don’t have to wait endlessly while the miscarriage passes. Sometimes I even think, maybe this cycle would have resulted in loss, and I was just spared? 

It still hurts, and I’m still disappointed. But I’m hoping. Maybe next month.

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22 thoughts on “how do you move on from disappointment?

  1. This is such a wonderful telling of thw emotional process of loss, hurt, disappointment and return to hope for next month. I totally get these feelings – I know my TWW is coming to an end next week and I’m already bracing myself for another disappointment and all the emotions you describe. While I expect a similar emotional response to what you just described, I am still trying to remain hopeful….


  2. Thinking of you.. I know how badly a BFN hurts when you’ve already had so many disappointments. I totally get what you are saying about sparing you from another loss when you get a BFN. I’m in the ‘waiting for my miscarriage to be over’ right now and it’s been 39 days since I got a BFP this cycle and at this point I just wish I would have gotten another negative in July. 😦 None of this is fair and all of this is so challenging to cope with. I’ll be thinking of you and hoping that your next cycle leads to so much joy and happiness. You don’t deserve any of this.


    • Thank you so much, and likewise. I’ve been thinking of you and you REALLY don’t deserve any of this either. As hard as they are to cope with, I really pray for BFNs until the sticky one, but I really have no idea what’s in store. Hugs to you during this crappy, crappy time ❤


  3. I needed this today so much. It’s been a hard week, with BFNs for both of us, but we are going to move on, stay strong, and think about June babies! And if that doesn’t work we will just keep trying! I’m going to try and not stare at my calendar so much 😉 Take care of yourself ❤


  4. This was very beautifully written. This was pretty much how I felt after each failed cycle. Time and a plan to keep your mind busy is the way to move forward.
    Sending you big hugs!


  5. Praying for you! I completely understand… every failed cycle hurts more than the one before, if that’s even possible. Hang in there, our times will come!
    Also, side note, my husband ALWAYS eats the last of the ice cream and I get really pissed when I’m craving it and find out its all gone! 😉


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