"The day I found out I wasn't pregnant after the sixth failed intrauterine insemination (IUI) I collapsed to the ground in tears. My husband had to help me to the car. I laid on the floor for hours just sobbing while my mother sat on the phone with me, feeling impossibly helpless."
This is paraphrased from my cousin's new blog that deals with her journey through infertility. Her journey has a happy ending, with gorgeous twin girls through IVF, but the journey is what blows my mind. Six IUIs, laparoscopic surgery, heavy fertility drugs, two specialists and, finally, the IVF that brought her twins, over the course of four years. I can not imagine wanting anything that much.
The times when I waver are when I think about my cousin and other friends who've struggled with infertility. They sob each month when they get their periods, mourning each month of failure. Their lives fall apart after a miscarriage, or a failed fertility treatment, and it breaks my heart. But is also makes me realize that my twinge of "gee, I hope I'm making the right decision" that is always followed by a glaring realization that I *AM* making the right decision pales in comparison.
I can't imagine wanting it that badly. Or truly wanting at all, really. I remember the years before my IUD where a late month sent me into a state of panic, and when talking to mommy friends about my scare would land me an "I'm sorry." No, I'm *glad* I'm not pregnant, I'd say, and they'd respond with something akin to "well, when it's your time it'll happen," still consoling me as if I'd said nothing.
And then there are the "friends" who have made me feel guilty, including the bitter one a decade ago who said she felt more comfortable with my childfree choice because I had PCOS, which meant I wasn't "wasting a perfectly good uterus." And I do feel a bit guilty. It's hard not to.
There are times I wish I wanted a child. Usually these are the kodak moments with my friends' kids who I adore so completely, or the moments when they're so filled with love and pride. I'm missing out and that sucks. But watching these people who are close to me makes me realize a wistful moment is not the same thing as wanting to raise a child. It's heartbreaking, but also refreshing. "If you want a child, you'll know," one mom told me when I told her I was wavering. "You'll know, and you so don't know right now." I laughed, but she was right.