Friday, September 21, 2012


"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.


Elizabeth said...

I absolutely understand everything you just said. I see these women going through SO MUCH to have a baby, and all I can think is how I would never do that to myself. So I guess it validates that I really don't want children.

I know this might sound silly, but I always knew I wanted cats - my mind never wavered from that fact. Now I have two of them, and I dote on them and love them so so much. I feel like if I wanted a baby, I'd have similar feelings - but I just…don't. Is that horrible?

Nicole said...

I am infertile, and i read several infertility blogs, but I can't relate at all to women who want it so bad they are willing to go through ALL that. It impresses me and I figure If I do decide I want to adopt one day, I will know. I didn't know what I wanted before I became infertile... so I am just living w/my situation.

I don't think you are "wasting" your uterus or you should feel guilty. You didn't cause these other women's infertility and they shouldn't make you feel guilty at all about it. You are choosing what is best for you. It IS sad when women want children terribly bad and can never have them. But what is sadder to me is women who stay bitter because they never got the children they wanted, instead of enjoying what they can have.

Anonymous said...

As someone currently pregnant, I still totally get where you are coming from.
One of my friends is mourning her second IVF loss, and its heartbreaking for her.
But I would NEVER do IVF. This baby will be loved, but its certainly not something I dreamed of and craved for years. DH and I decided years ago that when the time was right, we would "stop trying not to for a while" and see if we could get pregnant naturally, and if it didnt happen after a certain period, stop trying, put me on an IUD and move on with life. We are both of the opinion (one I cant voice to friends who are struggling with infertility) that PERHAPS if you are unable to get pregnant naturally there might just be a reason.

And trust me, there is a whole NEW kind of guilt when (as someone who got pregnant the first month not trying not to) you are pregnant with a baby you want but dont crave and you watch your friends much wanted, desired and struggled for pregnancy terminate itself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you everyone for your comments. At 46 my husband and I have truly come to terms with our infertility and are enjoying our 'alternative' lifestyle. Making the most of our opportunities. We truly adore children but I have come to realise that there really is life beyond iinfertility. I am adopted and only recently faced the impact and loneliness of not knowing anything of your origins. I could not go through the emotional turmoil of this again, if we had adopted. I have finally found both my birth patents so ghosts are being laid to rest. I was abused by my adoptive grandfather, but my adoptive mother chose not to believe this. All these experiences have made me realise that parenthood is not the golden goose. Not to my birth mother, my adoptive mother and her father. The reality is that all three of them chose their needs above those of a child in their care. How do I know I would not do the same?

Anonymous said...

Last week, my friend, who lives alone, called me from Walmart.

A cart full of cat supplies, she said, "I'm having second thoughts about getting this cat. I should be excited about this, right?"

"Yes. Absolutely. If you're not looking forward to getting the cat, you shouldn't do it."

So, she called the shelter and told them she changed her mind.

Lack of enthusiasm about a new role in life is a very telling sign.

In more ways than one.