I don’t really know how to write about this, infertility. I’ve been on the fence about sharing this and if it’s too much for you, feel free to skip these entries. But this blog, Closer to Core, is about being real. It’s about finding the inner parts of myself, and this certainly is a very inner part. A raw, personal part that is scary to share. But it’s part of my path, whether I want it to be or not, whether I like it or not. It’s my life and that’s what I’m exploring here. And what I’m sharing.
We have one amazing child who I love beyond measure. We have been trying to have another for two and a half years now with no success. Here are the harder parts:
I know in my head this is something beyond my control. Yet, as a woman, I feel like a failure. My body is not able to do its most basic function: procreate. In a different time, my genes would not be passed on very well. In this day and age, it’s something I can choose to “treat”, to deal with as a medical condition.
I never thought this would be me. I always saw myself having children, easily. This blindsided me. Jacob did not (thankfully) prepare me for this. Nor have any other aspects of my health. I have always cherished my body and felt respectful toward it and this is how it repays me.
Am I meant to have more children? Is this situation telling me to stop and focus more on me? Or is it here to teach me something I can only guess at because it’s something that I have yet to go through and learn? Is this part of my path, something that has always awaited me in my future? These are questions that do not have concrete answers.
What if we go through all the fertility treatments and still can’t have more kids?
I watch life go by, measuring my own infertility by others’ fertility: one friend has had one miscarriage and two babies since I’ve been trying to get pregnant, the moms in my group have all had seconds and almost all of them are over a year now, a stranger at the gym on her third child, facebook friends announcing their excitement at expecting a child. I want to be happy for these people, especially the ones I love. I do not wish infertility on anyone and yet, watching people have babies so easily hurts, making it hard to be the friend I always want to be. Life events come and go and before each one, I think, I’ll be pregnant by that time, but it doesn’t happen.
I am in a limbo of trying and hoping and of disappointment and failure. Jacob keeps getting older, the distance between him and any other siblings he might have keeps growing. The farther I get from the baby stage, I start doubting my own desires: do I want another baby? Do I want to start again? It breaks my heart to even hear those words in my head, but they come.
The idea of babies no longer holds the same kind of excitement for me that it did before Jacob. Too many intrauterine wands, too many catheters, too many sticks to pee on, shots to give myself and cups for Fraser to fill. I cannot get excited about the idea of being pregnant, feeling the hope and joy of expecting to be pregnant and to have a baby growing within. That feeling has been replaced by sadness, disappointment, anxiety at the anticipation of another negative result.
People try to be helpful but if you haven’t been through it, you don’t know what you’re talking about. No offense, but you cannot know what to say and chances are, you won’t say all the right things. I’ve been there, saying things like, “It’ll happen when it’s supposed to” or “You have to stop trying so hard, then it will happen”. Thankfully, people in my life have been very supportive and kind, and I also understand that most people don’t know what they’re saying. The best thing to do is give a person space to say what she wants or doesn’t want, to let her go through the process of grieving and to share what and when she wants to.
Making a decision of whether or not to do IVF. To have my eggs taken out, inseminated in a petri dish and chosen by doctors and put back in me. How sterile. How weird. How utterly unromantic. And yet, I have to be thankful that this option even exists because it could be my only option.
We are at the edge of making decisions I never thought I'd have to make. We will make them. We will choose one path over another, changing our lives one way or another. With so many unknowns, the only part to listen to when making decisions like this is the heart. It knows my path better than my brain and will guide me as I go.