If you do not wish to buy from Amazon, you may purchase directly from the publisher by clicking the button below:

Special: $ 5.00, free shipping
(U.S. only, email if not U.S.)



Send us email!

Janet L. Lazo-Davis

Dan T. Davis



Second Star Creations

Infertility’s Anguish

Everyone Else Is Pregnant, Why Not Us?

Exploring the Emotions of Infertility

by Jan & Dan Davis

Going Up to Hope

We’ve been using a “road of infertility” metaphor to explore how it feels to be infertile. It’s a nice, calming way to examine the issues associated with infertility, but, in reality, dealing with infertility on a day-to-day basis is more like a roller coaster.

Roller coasters are fun, right? It’s exciting climbing that hill, and even though it’s scary and you lose your breath as you drop into the depths, you call that exciting as well because the ride will be over soon.

But, on the infertility roller coaster, the end of the ride flashes by, but the roller coaster just keeps on going. You can’t seem to get off. Up the hill again, and down into the depths again. Those otherwise exciting dives into the depths are now dreaded; you even get queasy as you go toward the top. You feel as if you are in a never-ending episode of The Twilight Zone.

Other people get on the roller coaster, take one trip, and get off — with their new baby — saying “isn’t this fun?” as they leave. You may tell them how sick you are feeling and how depressed you are getting. Going up and down over and over is not fun! In fact, you don’t have time to take all the other rides or see the other fun things in the carnival because all you seem to be doing is riding this roller coaster. You lament your lost time. You lament the fact that you can’t seem to have a baby. Each month you try again, but your hopes are dashed when you go down into the depths once more.

During this tumultuous process you don’t get much sympathy. Roller coasters are supposed to be fun. You wanted to do this. You are just continuing to have fun riding the roller coaster.

It’s not like a death. A death of someone close to us is more like falling off of a cliff. You land; you suffer grievous emotional injury. It takes a long time to recover from that emotional injury. But the death happened to you, you didn’t choose to walk off the cliff. Once you hit the bottom after a death, you do have the ability to get up and begin to recover from your emotional injuries. The fall, though extremely severe, is over. There is an ending, one that you cannot change.

As for you on the infertility roller coaster, there is no apparent emotional injury. Your stomach is queasy and your mind is screaming “Why won’t this end?” But friends at the fairground wave happily as the coaster zooms by, saying, “Just relax. Have fun! You’ll get there!” as you continue to go round and round and round. No one sees the emotional injuries you are suffering from being continually jostled around. They don’t see how you are out of control. It is not like you were at the bottom of a cliff, needing to be picked up and tended to.

You go up again. You no longer look forward to it, even though it might yield that long-awaited child. You know what is probably beyond the rise — another long drop into despair and depression.

So why stay on the roller coaster? It does stop. People do get off. Although you say you can’t get off, in reality you could at each stop – but it would be without the child you so desperately want. You stay because to get off is even worse than the ride itself. The rest of the fairgrounds of life pale because you have no child to share in the fun. Everyone else got their child on this ride, why were you the one to fail?

You stay on because of hope. You hope that the next ride will be different. Instead of the drop being the pain of loss and emptiness, the drop will be the pain of labor, delivery, and success. You hope that this will be the last ride, and that you won’t have to stay on any longer.

Hope is your driving force to continue. Hope makes it all seem worthwhile.

As long as hope remains greater than the effort, work, loss, despair, and depression, you will continue to stay on the roller coaster. Hope keeps you going.



Copyright © 1998 - 2004 All rights reserved.

Updated: October 24, 2003