Today’s Topic: What Will Happen if Our IVF Doesn’t Work…

A few have worried that if the IVF doesn’t work, that it will be incredibly devastating to us.

Here are my thoughts…

I feel I’ll be ok. Each consistent month of the last 9 years, things have not turned out the way I had hoped. I’ve learned so much about disappointment during that time (not to mention the daily disappointments I felt from living with an unloving husband for 7 years, before my divorce.)  I know disappointment very, very well. It took me awhile to learn this, but eventually I learned that nothing – NOTHING – is the end of the world.  Because I always have the chance to choose how to live. Learning that has been one of the greatest blessings of my life…it’s truly LIBERATING in every way!!! In the past, I used to not live that way. I did live with fears, doubts, worries, anxieties. These things just swirled around in my life, depending on what the next big, stressful thing was. But now? I just don’t live that way anymore as it’s just an awful, awful way to live. I have found that it’s just not worth it – I know that with my life. I am now grateful every moment that I learned how to make a shift.

So what goes through my head?  How do I live this way?

I guess I just don’t expect my life to fit in a mold. (That mold broke a long time ago, thankfully! πŸ™‚ So now, there is nothing that is trying to fit a mold, because I don’t have one. It’s like I’m at peace just moving from one experience to another – and trying to see the good in each experience, trying to learn from each experience, and trying to be the person I aspire to be, no matter what I face. It’s been amazing (and oh so liberating) to live this way!!! I love it!

But isn’t IVF a big deal?  Does it not fit in a different category?

Well, I see it all as just part of a journey – just like every other experience. I don’t see it as an end point of any kind (in fact, I would see pregnancy/miscarriage/motherhood in the same way.) If I get my period instead of a positive pregnancy test, it won’t be a whole lot different than all the other periods I have had each month, when I hoped to not see one. We’ll carry on and we’ll be ok. Though we will likely go for sushi that night.  πŸ™‚

So what will we do if it doesn’t work?

-We’ll be happy to stop the meds.

-We’ll call it a good excuse to go to the sushi restaurant known as the best in New York. (Why did I not eat it a ton in the weeks leading up to the transfer? oops.)

-I don’t think we’ll do IVF again.

-We would research adoption. I have not taken that plunge yet. But we’ll gear up and learn the ropes.  I’m so thankful for so many who advocate adoption and share their experiences.

-We will consider some traveling around the world. I’m dying to go to India, Africa, China, Thailand, Iceland (for starters. ha! πŸ™‚ I’ve already got some plans cooking, just in case. Danny just smiles. But he loves it. Perhaps we could even figure out how to do an international adoption.

See? Wouldn’t that all be exciting?

I know life will still be as wonderful as we choose to make it. I know it.

And if I’m pregnant? Scratch most of this. We might be shopping for double strollers.

Thanks from the bottom of our hearts for all the support and love you guys have shared with us during this journey. It has meant so much.

Love to all,


P.S. Just curious…do you believe us?  πŸ™‚ Do you think this kind of peace is possible (or attainable)? Do you think peace is just something that some people can have, but not others? I think many don’t think this peace is real.  Just curious what you think.

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  1. Anonymous June 13, 2013 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Dear Mara,
    You are so inspiring.
    Lots of love!

  2. Rose June 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    I completely believe that peace is real. Thank you for sharing your journey that got you there, it has been so provoking, in a good way. I'm hoping for kiddos for you & Danny, one way or another. πŸ™‚

  3. CountryMouse June 13, 2013 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    I think it is not just peace but acceptance of what is to come no matter what is brings and a belief that what is meant to happen will happen …it is admirable. If things don't go as you plan I am sure you will experience disappointment but you will accept it and recover and prepare for the next step, or whatever comes next. I wish you both luck and hope you get what you want so very much.

  4. Meredith June 13, 2013 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Your positive outlook on life is extremely inspiring and quite refreshing. I love that you and Danny are content with life and everything that comes along. I do hope all goes well with your IVF.

  5. B. June 13, 2013 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    I wish I'd had a friend like you when we were struggling to get pregnant…you are helping a lot of people right now by sharing you outlook.

  6. Anonymous June 13, 2013 at 11:41 pm - Reply

    While I believe you, and know you currently believe this, I also think it would be a little more disappointing than you believe. This wouldn't be just like every other period because so much has gone into it. I am so grateful you have that peace and perseverance but grief is a very important part of life as well. Give yourself a little time to be sad IF it doesn't happen. I will continue to pray it does πŸ™‚

    • danny June 14, 2013 at 4:58 am - Reply

      Thanks anon. I gave a more detailed reply to something you bring up about grief in my response to Miggy below.

  7. Sarah N June 13, 2013 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    Yeah I'm with anon at 7.41pm. You can be a little sad if this one doesn't work out. I'm not sure if I believe you or not, but I think if I was in your shoes, I'd have already been scooping out adoption too (given I know you guys are so pro children!)

    • danny June 14, 2013 at 5:02 am - Reply

      We actually did scope it out right when we first married, when we were deciding which route to go first. We ultimately realized that because we were newly married, we might have difficulty with some adoption agencies (there were a couple we looked at that had some requirements that we hadn't yet met.)

      But, we put off digging further in when we decided to follow this path. Fortunately, if this IVF doesn't work, being married for 3 years looks a lot better than 6 months on an adoption form. πŸ™‚ That should make that process a little easier.

  8. Sarah June 14, 2013 at 12:08 am - Reply

    Love to you both. πŸ™‚

  9. Rik June 14, 2013 at 1:48 am - Reply

    I am so inspired by you both. I haven't commented much in the past, well, long time, but I think of you guys often and try to implement this blog's message in my life. I think you are two very special people to have been given the chance to see your life in such a way that is inspiring to others – and that you're able to share this message of hope and happiness to others. Thank you both for that!

  10. Miggy June 14, 2013 at 4:09 am - Reply

    I DO believe that peace is possible, even the kind of no-matter-what-we'll-be-OK kind of peace. I believe in the power of our thoughts and minds in determining our happiness despite our circumstances.

    BUT I also believe in pain and sadness and that it's OK–and not just OK, but acceptable and good even–to have those feelings now and then. I really love the message of hope and love that you spread, I can honestly say I've learned a lot from you guys. However, I sometimes worry that if people (myself even) feel sadness or pain about a certain situation that they might think they're doing something wrong, like they haven't quite figured out the Danny and Mara way yet. If you cry and feel genuine sorrow because this pregnancy doesn't work out, I don't think it means you don't believe what you teach or that you somehow failed at this happiness thing. I think it means you're human and it's a part of life to feel that way now and again. To me, moving on and finding the joy after grieving is part of the making the choice to be happy…but not skipping the pain entirely.

    Does that make sense?

    • danny June 14, 2013 at 4:57 am - Reply

      I understand the point that you and other commenters have made. This is a point we often need to clarify, and I'm happy to do so here.

      Mara and I don't in any way shape or form think that pain and grief and sorrow and disappointment are bad. In fact, I think they are neutral. It is what you do with them that matters. If you let sorrow and grief over loss and disappointment push you in the direction of bitterness, anger, fear (fear over trying again and being disappointed), etc…then that is something that I would always say we should try to work AWAY from.

      However, grief and sorrow and loss can also direct you, if you choose, towards gratitude, towards love, towards hope and trust, towards peace.

      The grief and sorrow aren't bad. But I have experienced the what I do with them when they come can become either good or bad.

      As for this particular moment with this particular situation….the pain wasn't skipped. Mara dealt with it for years. In some ways, I've dealt with it too before I ever met Mara. The loss of a marriage and the consequent loss of being able to have children was something I had to learn to experience. Then I met Mara and from the beginning knew there was a good chance it would never happen. Knowing that let's me accept what is, instead of mourning what isn't. Most of the disappointments that can be experienced with this particular trial…Mara and I have dealt with for years now. And we don't experience them the same way we once might have.

      Buddhism defines attachment as the route of all suffering. Isn't it possible that if you aren't attached to an outcome (meaning both of us know full well that our future happiness isn't connected to having this IVF succeed), that there just might not be suffering as it is generally experienced? That has been my experience. It was something I learned during the pain of divorce, it was something I've applied a hundred times since.

      I know that is difficult to accept sometimes, but it has proven true for me over and over and over, in things related to infertility, and things having nothing to do with it. Having your happiness attached to an outcome (or a behavior of a partner) is like volunteering for an emotional roller coaster ride that follows every unpredictable up and down of life. I say no thank you.

      That doesn't mean Mara or I succeed in every trial or difficulty we face. But it is how we ultimately try to process all difficulties great and small. When pain comes in areas we aren't as well practiced in, we embrace it and let it inspire us to head on the path we know well from previous trials. Pain and sorrow when embraced can lead to the greatest joys I've ever known.

    • Miggy June 16, 2013 at 12:07 am - Reply

      Thanks for the clarification Danny. I agree with pain either moving you forward or backward–and using it properly. I think that is really the essence of 'enduring well.' What do we do with the pain and sorrow we're given? I like what you had to say about not being attached to an outcome as well…the devil's advocate in me has many questions I could pose on that front (debating is one way I process information and find answers) but I'll meditate on that one myself. πŸ™‚

      IVF, adoption, or something else I'm excited to see what the future holds in store for you and Mara.

    • danny June 16, 2013 at 5:37 am - Reply

      Well…it turns out that debating is one of the ways I process info as well. So if you have objections or want to play devil's advocate, feel free. I'm curious about your thoughts/questions. Who knows…they may provide fuel for a future post.

  11. Sarah StΓ€bler June 14, 2013 at 5:51 am - Reply

    It's amazing how you reframe things in such a positive light. I have a lot to learn in that department. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

  12. Laura June 14, 2013 at 6:09 am - Reply

    Thanks for your clarifications, Danny! Although I am opposed to IVF, I cannot pass judgement on people struggling with infertility who chose to try it. I'm only 19 and I have a lot of life left to live. What you say about attachment is very true. Having moved away (unwillingly) from my home a year ago, I have found that attachment is very painful. Being unwilling to accept a situation is harmful to both yourself and your loved ones. Reading this blog has been such an inspiration for me in the past several months because you two are some of the most positive influences out there on the web. So much of our culture is consumed in negativity, often for very good reasons. But it's lovely to know that somewhere in New York are two people who believe in good and the power of positivity. Thank you!

  13. Kim June 14, 2013 at 6:25 am - Reply

    I came across this talk by Elder Bednar. "That we might not shrink". It has been a real strength to me in times of trials. It reminds me a lot of the perspective you have on your journey with infertility. Best wishes and hope you littles are soon arriving here. What blessed children they are for having parents who will teach them the best things this life has to offer, especially by example. Much love!

  14. June 14, 2013 at 7:22 am - Reply

    I really think this conversation is so valuable. It is so honorable that you are both putting yourselves out there for people to discuss and, ultimately, some may judge. I have so much respect for your love and I am honored to somehow be invited into your journey.

    I believe in peace and I also believe that there are ebbs and flows to it. I know you two will thrive because of your love, regardless of this latest venture. Your love is what matters. I too am lucky to be in a relationship where the foundation is healthy love. After all, that is what life is all about. Learning to appreciate these things and also remembering them in grief and sadness, which are also part of the whole life package. I have no doubt that you two will move forward regardless of this outcome.

    Thank you for sharing your hearts.


  15. amy June 14, 2013 at 9:01 am - Reply

    dear mara + danny. you are very blessed and lucky to have found each other and will make amazing parents…if IVF doesnt work please try adoption – there are too many orphans in this world! i am a 46 (nearly 47) year old who is single and too old to have a baby and in holland i am even too old to adopt which breaks my heart because i always knew (or thought i knew) i would be a mom and would love to be…but as you say, life happens differently and the univerise sometimes has other lessons for us. xx amy

  16. Amanda Blair June 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Hey you two…We met up right at the beginning of your blog. We went to this little place in Brooklyn and you guys talked to me about love, forgiveness and finding myself. I was in a very dark time of my life, just out of control and doing thing to numb the pain, versus deal with it because I just wasn't sure where/how to start. Meeting and speaking with you guys was a burst of light right when I needed it. You both have so much passion, love and goodness radiating out of you and it pushed me to find that for myself. I did a yoga teacher training, one I had been dying to try and completely changed my life. I of course follow this blog consistently and always think fondly of our brief but powerful meeting. It was the start, a new step in the direction my life is going now. And all of this stuff you're teaching us…I try to teach in my yoga class because I found it too. Things really do have a way of coming full circle. I sent this post to a friend who is going through a hard time and feels there will only ever be hard times. She feels defeated and alone. I have tried to teach her what I have learned but I really feel this post from you might hit it home. So, thank you. Thank you for meeting with me and inspiring me to find my true self and live a life of my dreams (i quit my job, teach yoga full time and am the assistant manager of my studio!) and for always spreading this message of love. You are truly doing God's/the Universe's work. I hope that you do have your own little kiddos and I hope you adopt too, because little people raised by you two would definitely be brining some serious good power into this world. But, if for some reason that doesn't happen, know that you still have children out here in the world….just like me. You helped mold and shape in one meeting, so you guys are already parents on a really grand scale, and that my friends is kind of cool!

    • danny June 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm - Reply

      Totally just made our day! Thanks for sharing that with us. I remember you may have been the first or second person that took Mara up on "the offer". What a delight it was then, and even better to now have the update.

      Thank you! And thank you for trying to aid others in their time of need. Paying it forward makes for a happier world.

  17. Anonymous June 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    It is interesting that no one has mentioned one of the subjects I found most striking about the post. This blog is all about love and finding the happy side to life. Mara, your statement about your ex-husband seems to imply some heavy emotions, lack of forgiveness, and no acknowledgement of fault on your side to staying in such a unproductive relationship. The exact phrase was "not to mention the daily disappointments I felt from living with an unloving husband for 7 years, before my divorce." I know it is much more complicated than that, but there definitely seems to be some baggage there. I've worked through plenty of my own relationship baggage and I've learned that you can throw other people under the bus just by saying little statements like this. It only keeps the negative baggage around rather than holding yourself accountable for staying in that toxic relationship and enabling the bad behavior, etc. I guess my main point is there is a difference between talking about a past failed marriage vs pointing the finger at the other person and continuing to lay the blame on them.

    Miggy already wonderfully worded the other concern I had and Danny responded. Danny, like you I find a lot of wisdom in many Buddhist ideas. The whole attachment theory really works, but that is not to say that there is no hope in the process. Hope is what makes most days enjoyable. Mourning the loss of fertility is a process that every couple and even individual has to do on their own. Mara and Danny sharing this experience so publicly takes a lot of courage and helps those of us who prefer to be more private see what possibilities are out there.I love that you tend to be so positive, but I think sometimes things are worded as if you don't feel sadness or pain. In fact, as Danny mentioned above, you have both been processing through it and deciding to not let it consume your life in a negative way.

    Finally, in my own experience I have discovered that if you are searching for peace the best place to look is within. You can be on a crowded, noisy street and carry your own peace inside. Or you can be alone in a quiet garden and still be filled with inner turmoil. Acknowledging emotions, understanding why you felt them, and processing through them is so important. Only then you can make a fully informed decision on how to let them guide you into a productive or non-productive way of life.

    • mara June 14, 2013 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      Anon – I forgave my ex husband a long time ago. I don't ever mean to throw him under the bus. He was very open with me and others that he was not in love with me. It was just the way of life.

      When I refer to those days…all of it (except the last year of my marriage) was BEFORE I learned the some of life's greatest lessons. So of course that was a very painful time for me…full of lots of disappointments that I did not react well to. I mention it to show that change is possible…and to maybe give someone some hope. Also, I was accountable very much for being with him at all. And I have written about how I was very much accountable for my own pain and my own lack of self-worth and disappointments. That was all on me. We cannot blame another for our own pain. For the last 6 years, I have known that and have not blamed him at all…Because I finally learned full well that circumstances do not determine our happiness/wellness/peace. If it's real, it ALWAYS has to come from within. I love what you said in your last paragraph…that so perfectly depicts the theme of this blog. thank you for those beautifully said words.

    • mara June 14, 2013 at 5:14 pm - Reply

      Also…regarding whether or not we feel sadness or pain…if it sounds like we don't, it is because we really don't experience a lot of pain with THIS particular experience. THIS one is well practiced for us. It's been a long journey. But the fruit of it has led to so much peace.

      Other experiences here and there may come up…maybe ones that we are not so well practiced with. And we certainly do experience pain, frustration, negativity, annoyance, etc. But you know what – we have found that the process of healing and re-aligning and pursuing virtues in our trials works in ALL circumstances…not just infertility. So when we feel pain, we're better practiced at applying these principles sooner than later. Sometimes things may take longer than others (if we're stubborn) – but we appreciate the pain as it is a REMINDER to us – to start of the amazing path of redemption – no matter how big or small the moment is. And ultimately, if healing and pursuing virtues starts sooner…there is simply less pain.

    • Anonymous June 14, 2013 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      My parents always taught me to think carefully before speaking of other people because it is really a reflection of yourself. I'm sure that if I had a blog I would be putting my foot in my mouth all the time trying to phrase my thought into what the exact words I really want to get across. I know that your past relationship was very complicated but the way you speak of your ex-husband now could be worded more kindly and still reflect to your readers the pain that relationship caused and the ray big ray of sunshine your blog gives them to help move on. Just because he wasn't in love with you doesn't mean he didn't love you. I think that you are an easy gal to like and can see how many guys would be attracted to such a beautiful gal inside and out.
      I myself have been on both sides of that fence. Loved someone but not been IN LOVE with them and vice versa. I think those relationships tend to be the hardest to untangle yourself from but once you find the right person it is almost like being struck by lightening. You just know and recognize how actually being in love makes your life easier in general.
      And I am so happy for you and Danny that your marriage has such a solid foundation to get you through experiences like this knowing that no matter the outcome you are still a family and can expand other ways if you choose. And that you are willing to share your adventures with others hoping to make their journeys less painful and more of a learning experience. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you this week and hoping that journey to children comes soon. Best wishes.

    • Anonymous June 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      See, already put my foot in my mouth and tried to do two things at once. The result….lots of grammatical errors. πŸ˜‰

    • Anonymous June 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      I have to say I have read your blog from the beginning and have never felt like you did not forgive your ex. I think if anything it helps readers who are in a similar bad relationship think about it and give hope. So please keep writing the way you do! πŸ™‚ you could maybe write what kind of communication y'all have had after your divorce and how that's played out.

  18. KAM June 14, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    Mara and Danny…The past weeks, months, are just part of your journey together…is that not something to celebrate? Having the love to share, the learning to share, the growing to share? All simply beautiful. Whatever tomorrow hold, well that is the unknown and if we focus on imagining, writing the story ourselves, thinking about how it might be, could be…or whatever…takes away from having the fullness and delight in each moment that you share together. Thank you for modeling for so many this truth of living fully in the now. This truth of living without fear. This truth of appreciating each piece of our journey and being grateful for all we can learn a s we travel the roads ahead of us. What is behind is behind…there are lessons that give us more stones to step on in the river of life….may each day open, unfold and bring to your beautiful marriage just exactly what it is you both need for this dance on the stage of your life together. Always, I send blessings and my positive thoughts for all to just be what it must be for you both.

  19. Anonymous June 14, 2013 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    I believe that peace is real. When I first started reading your blog in the fall, I was envious and thought it only happened for some people – like you lucky lovebirds! I prayed and hoped that I could increase my awareness and find joy in the crummy situation I'm in. I really wanted that so I could LIVE while it felt like the world was ending and so I could still be a light to those around me. I wasn't really sure it would work (or work on my timetable so I'd be strong when I needed it most!;), but I had bigger things to worry about than not growing fast enough! Eventually, I started to grow and it's been like a snowball. I'm 200 x stronger, more resilient and peaceful than I was 6 months ago and I CAN'T WAIT to see where I'll be in another 6 months!

    Thank you guys so much for all your words. Aside from religious teachings, your blog has been my #1 touchpoint and helper in lifting me up and out of the rubble of worries and fears. πŸ™‚

    Best wishes and I'll be following your journey,

  20. Emma D June 15, 2013 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Dear Mara and Danny,
    I literally have just finished reading aloud from this as my dear sweet husband mixes the drugs for my injections tonight, as we too are in the middle of IVF. I just want to thank you so very much for your perspective — I started reading several months ago, as we were going through the testing and waiting before actually starting the shots, and your positive, grateful outlook has shaped our entire experience. We already felt lucky to even have the opportunity to try, but thanks to you we treat appointments like dates, and talk constantly about our gratitude. I rarely, if ever, comment on blogs, but your words have actually helped us chart our own, positive and happy path, and I'm so grateful for your influence.

    • danny June 15, 2013 at 2:39 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing! Mara and I just loved this.

  21. Emma D June 15, 2013 at 12:45 am - Reply

    And oh gosh I can't believe I forgot to say this, but good luck!

  22. Unknown June 15, 2013 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Hi Mara (and Danny!),
    I've been reading your blog for one month now. I started at the beginning and just got to the present last week. My sister sent me an article you wrote for Mother's Day this past Mother's Day because my husband and I have been trying to start our family for the last four years. The past year and a half we've been doing IVF. I'm thoroughly enjoying reading about your journey and especially your perspective on everything. (I'm LDS too, on the other side of the country in LA.)

    I do believe you when you say you'll be "okay" if IVF doesn't work. πŸ™‚ I've been there and I did feel "okay." One thing I've done that's helped me through the process is telling myself it's okay to be disappointed, sad, frustrated, etc. I accept those hard feelings and let myself feel them completely so I can heal after I've been hurt. This is what I consider feeling "okay" and it's helped me work through the process.

    I'm doing my last embryo transfer in July and I'm happy to close this chapter of my life whether it's through a pregnancy or not. My husband and I look forward to adopting as soon as possible if the transfer doesn't work, and will probably adopt down the road if it does work. (I refuse to have only one child!)

    I look forward to hearing about the rest of your journey. Thank you for sharing your it all with us!

  23. Elizabeth June 15, 2013 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    I love this perspective!! BUT, I DO think it helps that you are financially able to pursue IVF and then adoption if the IVF doesn't work (and I truly hope and pray it does!). In our case, if we did IVF we would have had NO money to pursue adoption because they are obviously both SO expensive! (Which is just part of the reason we chose to pursue adoption instead of IVF). And I think there are a lot of people in the same position that we are/were. And I think that feeling totally financially strapped to build your family adds to the stress and disappointment when treatments or adoptions don't work.

    I think it's such a blessing that if it doesn't work out that you'll still be able to travel and enjoy such fun and special things together. Not that money should change our outlook on life or our attitudes, but I do think that if someone can hardly afford IVF and it doesn't work, then they don't have the money to adopt, or to pursue the fun adventures you mentioned here, that that would certainly make the disappointment more heartbreaking.

    Anyway, just my "two cents." I've been following your blog for about 1.5 years now and I love hearing about all your adventures! πŸ™‚

    • danny June 15, 2013 at 10:52 pm - Reply

      Elizabeth, I understand where you're coming from, but I'm going to play devil's advocate for a minute.

      The question isn't whether one thing is harder than another because of certain circumstances. Doing so starts a game of comparison that has no end, and will always result in greater personal suffering. If what you are addressing truly mattered, then the couples that live on Park Avenue with millions at their disposal should have an easier time with infertility than us. And yet money seems to have very little to do with whether or not people come to experience happiness. The expectation that monetary means will significantly change one's ability to experience peace just doesn't pan out. (That was one lesson that became crystal clear to me when I lived and served in Brazil for two years in some of the poorest neighborhoods in the city…happiness still abounded there, if not more so than amongst the relative wealth I grew up with).

      The problem with connecting peace to a certain set of more favorable circumstances, is by connecting it to circumstance AT ALL you've already limited your ability to experience it. You've placed it as something that is perhaps out of your reach and just not meant for you…and when we do that we often create a self fulfilling prophecy.

      The same could be said of those who experience divorce. Is one kind of destruction of marriage better than another and easier to obtain peace in? Is it better when a spouse cheats on you, or when they just leave? Is it easier to experience peace if they were physically abusive or only verbally? Is it easier to move on when you have assets to split or when your house is under water and there are no assets to split, only liabilities?

      Is peace truly easier to experience in one case and not another? Perhaps. My experience (from my own life, those I know, and all the books I've devoured over the years that cover this topic) is that finding true, deep, and meaningful peace is always based on the same principles…one of those is realizing that the circumstances are irrelevant. If they had significant value, then peace would almost be impossible for any of us. (I think this is why I get so much out of reading the stories of those who had to experience the concentration camps…because truly everything was stripped away from them, everything down to their very name…and yet some of them still learned how to experience meaning and peace…there is so much to learn from those who've had it ALL taken away from them and still learned the nature of peace)

      That doesn't mean that you finding peace doesn't require coming to terms with a slightly different set of circumstances than me and Mara. Your financial situation may require something different for you than it does for us. But our situation most likely requires something else that yours didn't (like perhaps divorce or whatever else), and someone else has combinations of the two and then something in addition. And each must follow a slightly different journey in order to discover the SAME peace.

      That peace IS possible, but it requires us to distance ourselves from the ideas of "if only" and accept exactly what is before us as our unique challenge, and realize it is a challenge that we are inherently capable of rising to meet.

      I hope you don't take offense to what I've written, I'm not trying to downplay your situation and tell you your feelings are less valid. They aren't. I'm just trying to demonstrate that this is a game (comparison) which can never be one and always distances us from what we ultimately seek.

      I'm delighted you and your husband found a path that was right for you (adoption), and I imagine there have been many wonderful lessons learned along that path. I hope they continue for you and your family, and truly wish you the best in your unique journey.

      With Love,

    • Elizabeth June 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      No offense taken. I totally agree with you. Everyone MUST make peace with where they are and their particular situation and trust that God will take care of them no matter the pain along the way. We don't regret our decision and our sweet son is proof that God's plan is BEST! If we HAD pursued IVF we wouldn't have him and we can't imagine life without him. πŸ™‚

      I think my response partially came from how Mara formatted the post. Not that there's anything wrong with how she did it, but it ended a bit like "IF this IVF doesn't work, then we'll do THESE things instead." And my heart went out to those who are unable to have those options. Not even thinking about myself, but I think that not only having to deal with infertility, but also the financial burdens that it brings can be so disheartening and my heart breaks for those people. I actually feel incredibly blessed that we WERE able to afford adoption and are 100% confident we will go that route again to build our family.

      All that to say, I agree with everything you wrote. There's no possible way to put pain and struggle on some kind of scale. It's like that scene in "Crazy Stupid Love" where Steve Carrell's character is a total mess at work because he just found out his wife wants a divorce. And his boss says "Oh thank goodness! It's JUST a divorce! I thought it was cancer!" We can't tell people in pain that cancer is worse than divorce! Pain is pain and no matter our situation or trial life throws difficult situations in our path that we have to find peace with.

      Your response has actually made me re-think my original comment. And even though my heart still hurts with those going through trials with financial burdens on top of it, I do agree with you that no matter what it comes down to contentment. I truly believe that no matter how hard life is, we will only find true contentment and peace if our fulfillment is in Christ. And no other blessings from life will ever make up for that, not children, spouses, money or ANYTHING else!

    • danny June 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      Great thoughts, I'm so glad you wrote back in with those insights. And by the way, I could tell from your original comment that you were in a place I was talking about with your own child and your circumstances. It was great to hear more detail on that.

  24. Denise June 15, 2013 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    Dear Mara and Danny, Yes, we can face what life has in store for us and create, even in the face of grief and sorrow, a life of meaning and joy. And I believe both of you will be able to do this, from what I am learning about both of you as I read more and more of your blog. The journey of "making peace with our pain" is heartbreaking, but once the heart is broken, there is room for so much love, compassion and more to enter into it. When I see my daughter again (who died in her twenties) I don't want her to be sad that me and my husband spent the rest of our lives in sorrow and grief. I want her to be proud of us that we continued in her path of Tikklum Olam (healing the world) through Mitzvah's (worthy deeds) as she so lived her short life doing in NYC, Louisiana and Israel. I hold you in my hearts, Denise

    • danny June 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      I love this! Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  25. Anonymous June 15, 2013 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    I believe you can have real peace about this. I did 2 IUIs and 4 IVF cycles. None of them worked. But after each one I didn't feel despondent. I really wanted them to work, obviously. They were difficult, incredibly expensive and I had a lot of hope for each one. But I just knew in my heart that this wasn't the thing that was going to "make" or "ruin" my life. I just felt that it was going to be okay either way. And I must stress that I'm NOT usually good at this sort of thing. I'm not and wasn't in the place Mara and Danny are with respect to all the things that happen in life.

    But with respect to this issue, even though I tried very hard and did many cycles, each failure actually really was like getting my period every other month. Yes, I could have done without all the needle sticks, but it wasn't different in degree or kind – it was the same disappointment, just like Mara wrote. That's truly how I felt. I didn't cry. It was definitely disappointing, but I was expecting it given my history. The only time I got more down was when I got a positive result but then a couple days later got my period. That felt more sad. So,from then on I never tested again. That helped a lot. I mean, you're going to know when way or another eventually so I stopped that part and eliminated that particular disappointment.

    I'm glad you both feel peaceful. If for some reason it doesn't work and you don't feel peaceful at that moment, I know you'll process your grief with each other and get through that, too. I wish you the very best of luck!!

  26. Anonymous June 16, 2013 at 12:23 am - Reply

    I hope what you say is true, but one thing I have learned is that you never really truly know how you will react to a set of circumstances unless and until you are faced with that exact set of circumstances.

    We are into our 8th year trying to adopt (initially from OS, but this is becoming increasingly difficult) so I would advise that if the IVF doesn't work out (fingers crossed this is not the case) please don't take too long on the adoption journey as it too can be long and difficult process.

    I am hoping the IVF is successful, and if not that you truly are at peace with that. Just remember you are still allowed to feel disappointment no matter how many times you've experienced it.

  27. kh June 16, 2013 at 3:49 am - Reply

    I totally believe you! I believe you because I feel the same way about my life. Your words–that mold broke long ago–are such a true way of explaining it. As I near 40, my life is entirely different than I ever imagined or dreamed. But because I've learned to accept that broken mold–embrace it, really–I've come to realize that my life, though completely different than I imagined, is also better than I imagined. I'm thankful each day for the life I've been given. What a wonderful surprise!
    Whatever comes your way is going to be incredible!

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