Stopping Point.February 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Posted in Infertility, Moving On. | 17 Comments
This has been in draft form all weekend; some of what’s in here is the hardest stuff I’ve written since I started this blog. I’m posting it despite my desire to revise and make more PC. Please be gentle in the comments.
By our last IVF cycle, I was trolling on IVF Connections – the Vets board. These ladies had suffered cycle failure after failure after failure. Some of them had 8 or 9 failed cycles. And the majority of them were bitter, and didn’t tolerate stupid questions, or hope, or baby dust. Much of anything really.
And I always wondered: Why don’t they just STOP? Most of them had so much trouble in their marriages – they were dragging their husbands along to RE to RE, doing treatment after treatment. They were beaten down and angry, but so defiant. Eventually a cycle would work, goddammitall. From my objective view, it was like they were fighting for the sake of WINNING the war with infertility. It wasn’t about being a mom anymore – it was about beating IF.
It was one of my worst fears when we were trying for our first child. That I’d end up bitter and jaded and doing cycle after cycle without seeing the signs. I wanted to make sure that I was AWARE. Because maybe I just wasn’t meant to be a mom; there was something else I was supposed to do.
But I got pregnant. And now, I can say that, you know, I actually AM deserving of being O’s mom. I’ve earned my motherhood with sleepless nights, low grade worry over fevers and coughs. I didn’t know I had the capability to love someone so unconditionally, so deeply, so widely that my heart aches in pain when I watch him sleeping most nights.
So here I am now.
I thought it would be easy to get pregnant the second time. We figured out the issue, right? All we had to do was do it again.
Except we didn’t. We didn’t at ALL replicate the cycle that got us pregnant. We went for blasts first in a cycle where I overstimulated so badly our embryos were crap. And then, in May, we TRIED to replicate the cycle – with the exception of the assisted hatching and antibiotic use.
And that’s part of why I’m having such a hard time stopping treatments. Why I keep drawing lines in the sand, announcing I’M DONE! I MEAN IT! And then renegging because I have this niggling doubt. We haven’t tried everything.
But, too. I don’t know how NOT to fight. It’s just how I grew up – I took on my mother’s stupid irrational rules and argued them until I was blue in the face. I was SURE that eventually I’d win an argument against her – just ONCE. I never did. Our last argument, when I was home for the summer from college, culminated in me very nearly punching her when she got physical with me. Because she manipulated facts and I called her out on it; I was disrespectful.
This is ME. I fight losing battles.
Infertility, right now, is a losing battle.
New RE gave me some measure of hope. And I came home and wanted to talk with Charlie Brown about whether or not that hope was enough to outweigh the distaste of doing another cycle. And Charlie Brown didn’t want to talk. Because, well, he was DONE last year, when we did our last fresh cycle. And arguing about whether we do another cycle now or quitting didn’t seem like a good use of his energy.
And I confess: I’m so fucking angry with him I can’t even breathe sometimes. Because if we didn’t have male factor, we wouldn’t even need to DO fertility treatments in the first fucking place. And it must be NICE to be in a place where you can just decide, hey, I’m done with treatments, end of story. Because he thinks he’s being all generous by saying, Well, if you feel strongly about it, we can do another cycle. Except I don’t have a partner to bounce ideas off of here. It’s all up to me, and I think it’s cowardly and passive aggressive and I’m floundering.
So yes, IF is hell on marriage. I don’t care what anyone else says. IF has the potential to really fuck things up between Charlie Brown and I. And I am working on being more generous and, you know, trying to move past the “blame game.” Because it’s stupid.
Where I am right now? I don’t KNOW what I want to do. I am strongly ambivalent. I want another baby so badly sometimes that it’s a physical blow to my gut, where I want to curl up and weep. I am so jealous of the people who get to do it again that I’ve lost perspective on how hard those early days are. I am bitter and envious and jaded.
But I am SO done with cycling, too. The doctors, the dildocams, the shots, the retrievals, the wondering if we’ll be able to take vacation next year because I’ll be pregnant or have a newborn. I’ve spent nearly 7 years thinking, in one form or another, about getting and being pregnant. This has been a long, drawn out battle, and I have the sense that I NEED to put an end to the madness.
While I’m being honest? I’m ambivalent about having another baby, too. Lucky is at a point where he’s largely independent. To go back to the sleepless nights, the nursing, the diapers, the trying to decipher what’s wrong when the baby’s crying… scares the shit out of me, too.
I just DON’T KNOW. I don’t KNOW what the right decision is. For me, for Lucky, for my marriage, for our life. If I walk away now, there will always be questions and the sense that we DIDN’T actually do everything we could to get pregnant.
Except there will ALWAYS be more that we could have done. And if we never end up with a baby, I will grieve. I expect over the years the grief won’t be as raw, but I will always wish it ended differently.
I don’t know where to draw the line. I don’t know when to stop.
I don’t know what to do.