Something I’ve Lost.May 1, 2012 at 8:18 am | Posted in Crazy Talk (aka: Therapy) | 9 Comments
The more years go by, the harder it gets for me to try and correct people’s misconceptions about infertility.
(Ha. Pun totally unintended. But made me giggle anyway.)
Not only am I nearly fully depleted by the emotional requirements of processing through our IF – I mean, really, we’ve been running this ART marathon for 6 years now – but I also don’t see the POINT.
People believe what they believe and it’s just not the best use of my energy trying to change their mind.
So I don’t spend a lot of time talking about our infertility in my therapy sessions. Partly because I think I’ve come to acceptance, partly because I know that when I am struck with grief I’ll work my way out of it, and partly because it’s a LOT of work to explain to my therapist how hard IF is on me.
But yesterday I was talking about marriage, and how hard it is on me lately to be intimate with Charlie, because honestly, what’s the POINT of it? I was never really INTO the whole sex thing for fun to begin with, and it’s not like we can create a baby from it or anything anyway.
And she challenged me.
Didn’t you already create Lucky between you two?
No, we didn’t create Lucky. A bunch of scientists created Lucky. It had nothing to DO with Charlie and I or our love.
It was science. They took my egg, took a sperm that looked okay, and injected it into my egg. They watched the embryos develop in a petri dish, and then put them in a catheter and transferred them into my uterus.
And most of the embryos died, but Lucky, well, he didn’t die.
She kept pushing it, though. Well, didn’t they take parts of you? You and Charlie committed to being parents, just like anyone else has done. Your challenge was just the getting pregnant part, whereas other people have challenges in staying pregnant, or carrying a pregnancy to term, or BEING parents when the baby gets here.
And I didn’t really say anything, because honestly, what’s the POINT?
It’s not like I feel any less of a parent because we used IVF.
I’m not really any MORE of a parent, either.
But in order to conceive, we need a phalanx of people to make that happen. Doctors. Nurses. Embryologists.
And even worse, those embryos HAD to be looked at as statistical chances. Because otherwise, I have to deal with the fact that 13 out of the 14 embryos we transferred didn’t make it.
Getting – and staying – pregnant has NOTHING to do with how much I love an embryo, I want a baby, or how much I love Charlie Brown.
And yes, it maybe never actually WORKS that way for everyone, either.
But so many people get to PRETEND that it works that way. They can take their love for their husband and their desire to expand their family and make a baby together.
And no matter how much you can explain away, oh, we have a medical issue which makes it challenging for us to get pregnant, it doesn’t take away the simple fact.
We cannot make a baby together, Charlie and I. It doesn’t matter how much we love each other, or how transcendent the sex is, or how much we wish for it. Babies, for us, are made by other people, and then we roll the dice and rely on statistics to see if those embryos will take in my uterus or die.
I’m not saying this to be a martyr, or allow myself to wallow in the Suck, or whatnot. It’s just our reality, and I’ve (mostly) accepted it.
But just because I’ve accepted it?
Doesn’t mean I haven’t lost something in these years of dealing with doctors and failed cycles.
And I just don’t have the ENERGY to explain this to my therapist. She gets to believe that it’s as simple as the fact that we have challenges in getting pregnant, and Charlie and I committed to being parents and we somehow made it happen.
We DIDN’T make it happen though. At best, it was statistics. At worst, it was blind luck.
And it’s like saying that we committed to being parents is taking responsibility for only PART of the equation. If we have a part of being active in becoming parents, then we are also responsible for the embryos which didn’t make it.
Which isn’t true, either.
I grieve the idea that Charlie and I cannot create a child ourselves. I hate that we’ve opened up something that SHOULD be transcendent and intimate and just between us to medical professionals AND statistics.
I’ve lost something deep and spiritual – the creation of life – to science.
How do you explain that to someone who explains infertility as “a challenge” so that they understand?
It’s too much work to even think about sometimes.