The Value of Zero Expectations With Infertility

Expectations used to get me in trouble.

I remember as an infertility newbie expecting that each cycle would actually get us pregnant.

The first IUI I expected we’d be the ones to hit the mark right in time for Lisa’s birthday.

She got her period just as we were breaking out the Monopoly board after she’d picked the thimble as her game piece.

The second IUI I expected to be giving thanks at Thanksgiving for the pending birth of a child.

Lisa ended up changing pads instead of changing the colors of our intended baby room.

The third IUI I expected to celebrate the birth of Christ with the announcement of the pending arrival of our miracle child.

Instead, I held Lisa on Christmas Eve as she cried about the unwelcome arrival of Aunt Flo.

That was around the time I realized the value of “zero expectations.”

I stopped expecting the protocol to go exactly as planned.

Fertility drug effectiveness, number of viable eggs, thickness of uterine lining, total usable sperm count…all things that we’d know when we knew.

What the hell point was there in trying to predict any of it, when it was all so unpredictable?

There there was the benefit of zero expectations with our social circle.

I stopped expecting people to say anything comforting.  I stopped expecting them not to ogle over a pregnant friend, family member or acquaintance just because we’d endured loss after loss.

The beauty of this was the times when someone was genuinely empathetic to our situation, they said  the most amazingly thoughtful and comforting things.

I was pleasantly surprised because I’d expected nothing.

And I didn’t expect those pleasant surprises to continue.

I’m not sure if the positive motivational dudes I grew up listening to would agree with a zero expectations philosophy.

A Tony Robbins CD I have says you have to picture yourself in the life you want, even acting out how you’ll react to that moment when you get to the top of that mountain you’re wanting to climb.

Zero expectations will still get you there, because it still involves taking action towards a goal.

We never stopped changing it up, taking new action, going down new paths to get to our soul baby.

Notice I don’t use the word try.

That’s because ‘try’–as Lisa has always told me–gives you an out.

Well, I tried, but I didn’t do it.

Try and quit feel like the same word.

We kept doing, until we got to where we wanted to be.

Zero expectations helped soften the impact of the times that what we did just didn’t work.

Helped me to assess what we’d done, what information we’d gotten from the failure, and adjust the plan for the next cycle.

The first fresh IVF in New Jersey was devastating, because I abandoned zero expectations in favor of “this has got to f-ing work”.

I think the cosmos felt the pressure, and pushed back.

When we flew back to New Jersey a couple of months later, I had absolutely NO expectations.

Except that we would keep doing cycles until we finally succeeded, one way or another.

Of course, I get sucked back into expectations all the time.

Like when Elliana was born.

I expected a smooth, easy, natural childbirth.

Instead, we got an emergency C-section, a very tough recovery, lots of trouble breast feeding for Lisa, astronomically high blood pressure that kept Lisa in the hospital an extra six days, and then the added bonus of a pituitary tumor scare.

All stuff that wouldn’t have been any problem, if I hadn’t allowed myself to have expectations of how it would all go.

So if you’re tired of having your expectations dashed, try zero expectations out.

If you truly embrace it, then you truly have nothing to lose!









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