Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The other side of it

It was a wonderful Christmas celebration with my family, and overall we had a very good fortnight. But...

When my brother and sister-in-law, who were seeing my sister for the first time since she announced her pregnancy, were exclaiming over her in excitement and trying to work out whether the baby had been conceived in Spain when we were there for their wedding, I was reminded that I ovulated on their wedding day. We were having our last-ditch attempt before going for our first appointment at the clinic, and we had high hopes for a little Spanish baby - before we got home and Mr No Nonsense shattered our dreams with his blunt assertion that DH's sperm were so bad that we would never be successful on our own.

When Niece #1 was chattering away to DH on the way back from setting off the Chinese lanterns, she said, "I'm going to get married before #2 and #3, because I'm the oldest. And then I'm going to be a mummy before them as well." He reported this to me as a cute thing that she'd said. And I said, "I'm seven years older than her mother."

When I was waiting for DH to meet me at the supermarket and help me carry the shopping home, I overheard a conversation between an expectant father and a middle-aged woman. He was saying that he wasn't really excited about the impending birth, and they launched into a long conversation about sleepless nights, dirty nappies and what hard work parenthood is. Before I accidentally told them a few home truths about people who don't appreciate how lucky they are, I picked up my heavy shopping bags and started to trudge home without waiting any longer for DH.

These are just three examples among so many. Reminders of what we're missing crop up in both expected and unexpected places, and often seem to hit me just when I'm feeling at my most vulnerable.

I had another long talk with DH about this about Monday. I said I knew we could have a generally happy life without children. But I also knew that for as long as I'm not a mother, I'm going to feel incomplete, and I'm going to be wounded day after day by little comments and incidents which remind me of what I'm missing out on.

He's not doing so well either. He was completely knocked back by our first IVF failure, because as soon as I'd had the embryo transfer he was absolutely convinced that I was pregnant, and that our problems were over. In his mind, he made no allowance and no preparation for the possibility of failure, and he's been struggling ever since.

It all came to a head on New Year's Eve, when he refused to come out with me - because he just wanted to close his eyes and forget that 2009 had ever happened. I'm glad I now understand that, and we've done a lot of talking since then and hopefully understood each other a bit better.

But when will this ever get easier? If we don't have children, will the little incidents, comments and overheard conversations ever lose their sting? And will I ever manage to go more than an hour without thinking about this?


  1. I wish I had an answer for when it gets easier. I am not sure there is an answer. It is especially hard because there are reminders everywhere of children. It can be absolutely maddening. I am hopeful that your plans to try a new diet/lifestyle will not only help you conceive but also help you feel happier/more content day to day. I think that is something I struggle with, and I have heard that a big change in lifestyle that improves health is such a boost emotionally.

    Still praying daily for you.

  2. Before I comment, I have to admit, I feel so compelled to share my thoughts, but am then torn because the truth is, I suffer from secondary infertility, and while I may or may not ever have a child with my husband (true love of my life), I am already and will always be a mother. So, while I know some of your pain, I know that urge to create and carry a life, to want to have a child and raise a child with the love of your life (something I have not yet done), I also know that our pains are different because our situations are different.

    What I can say, is that I hope you don't have to ask yourself these questions much longer. I hope that through whatever means works for you, you find your way to motherhood.

    If, curses, it doesn't work out as you wish (and as I wish for you!), I hope you find the strength and peace to move forward with the ability to still find joy in every day life, just as you do now (whether you realize it or not).

    No matter the outcome, the sting of this journey isn't likely to just disappear when a resolution is reached. It's a journey that changes you and you will carry it with you forever. But, at some point, hopefully it won't be such a painful burden.

    Always thinking of you and wishing you the best. :)

  3. I find it weirdly comforting that you are always mirroring my thoughts. Quite often i'll be thinking about something, or I'll post about a topic then I come to your blog to find you going through the same thought process. I am constantly wondering if my bitterness and senstiveness to these subjects will go away or fade at some point, and I agree its scary to think if we end up with no children that the journey we've travelled so far might taint our future. I don't know what the answer is, I wish I did. I hope we both find peace and happiness with this dreaded illness soon. Its so debilitating and exhausting. Can you imagine a life (or even just a day) where IF does not play a major role? Imagine that. Bliss. xxx

  4. Sonja, as always, thank you for the prayers - I really appreciate them.

    Myndi, great to see you back. Please don't ever think you need to hold back from sharing your thoughts because you already have a child. I've never been through what you're going through at the moment, so I can't fully understand that either, but believe me, if wordpress would allow me to comment, I would have commented on every post that you've written recently. And it goes without saying that I appreciate all of your comments here.

    Egghunt, I feel the same when I visit your blog - we're going through such similar thought processes. I've been frustrated beyond belief by my inability to leave comments on your blog - as soon as I press 'submit', they disappear altogether, so I have to type the whole thing out again before trying to resubmit. A day where IF doesn't rear its ugly head would be great - yesterday wasn't it, since I heard about two more people who are pregnant, both with their second, and both with exactly the gap they wanted between their first and second. Oh well, maybe tomorrow... xx