When I stopped trying to get pregnant, and when, in fact, my husband said he didn't want to have any more kids in any way shape or form, I tried to move away from talking about infertility on this blog. I tried to expand my horizons. And yet, after all this time, I still find that the majority of my posts relate to infertility or adoption in some way.
I don't write as often. And I certainly talk about that part of my life much less in my daily life. But the after effects of infertility, and the desire to have another child through adoption are still the issues that I most often need to get off my chest. And sometimes I hate that. I hate that it is still on my chest like a big, black bowling ball. A weight that I can't quite get out from under. Most of the time I have adapted to the extra weight, but every once in a while I feel like it sucks the breath right out of me again; constricting my lungs and chest and making me feel panicky.
I hate that of the twenty or thirty blogs that I read regularly when I started writing my own, are mostly blogs that now contain babies. I hated being in the less than 3% of women under forty that have had three or more miscarriages in a row. But even then, I never thought I would be in the minority of infertiles that do not go to having a child after infertility, either by birth or adoption. Lest anyone misunderstand, I do not hate those women in the tiniest bit, I still read many of their blogs. I just hate being a poster child for the not so happy ending. Or at least the ending that is wrapped up in a neat little story line.
Get up Grrrl, Julie, Tertia, Brooklyn Girl, Bindweed Heights, Cecily, Lost and Finding, Beaver Girl, Dead Bug, Menita, Barely Tenured, Horkin Ramblings, the Rabbit Lived, Missed Conceptions, Bermuda Triangle of Embryos, Marla, Just another Jen, Fertility Now!, the Infertile Gourmet, Uterine Wars (Soper), Pazel and of course Karen at the Naked Ovary are all new or not so new mothers. These are all blogs that I started reading a little over three years ago, or in several cases, some time later. (For fuck's sake, when I write it all out like that, it makes me feel even more pathetic.) There are several more bloggers that are currently pregnant, even some hard timers whom I shall not name so as to not call attention to them (and therefore affect their luck?), but they know who they are. Only Danae, Emily, Barren Mare, Donna and Julianna come to mind as co-bloggers that I read regularly that have not had a child since I've been around. Danae and Emily weren't really interested in being on the sad side of the statistics any more, and left the blog world, or at least this little corner of the blog world.
There is one thing that separates me from the latter women. I am a mother. And don't think there is a day that goes by that I am grateful for that. There is one other detail that separates me from a couple of them: It was not my choice to stop. (Barren Mare had similar but different issues.) I could have kept trying to get pregnant. It doesn't mean I ever would have carried a goddamn pregnancy to term, but maybe. Right? In my case, it was as a part of marital negotiations that I agreed to stop. I know many of you felt that was unfair. I certainly did at the time. How dare he?
But here's the thing about my husband: I knew when I met him that he was not going to bend to my will. He is independent. He does not like to be manipulated. He is opinionated. He is strong-willed. I made an intentional decision to not marry someone who would let me control him. I do not buy his clothes, I do not arrange our social agenda. I do not clean up after him (most of the time.) I am not his "mommy," in any way, shape or form. While there is lots of upside to that kind of personality, The downside is that I don't always get what I want, no matter how badly I want it.
And think about reversing the situation. If I had said to my husband, after the fourth (possibly fifth) miscarriage, "I cannot take this anymore, I'm tired, I'm depressed, I am insane, I do not want to try anymore," would anyone have judged me? One can always say, "Well the woman is the one that needs to deal with the pregnancy." Well, yeah...physically, that's true. But anyone that thinks that men don't get beaten up mentally by miscarriage and infertility are just plain fooling themselves. Yes, my husband didn't experience the losses in the same; he was not as attached. He doesn't remember any of their due dates. But trying so many times and failing again and again was inexpressibly taxing for him. He is a "can do" kind of guy. After the first miscarriage he got right back on the frequent fornication babymaking bandwagon. He thought he could fix it. If you can get pregnant, you can have a baby, right? The other thing that was even worse for him is that he lost his wife. Where did she go? Even though I experienced it, I can't even describe it, In my mind, It is just a black place, and it sucked the life blood out of me and anyone else that joined me there. It was filled with mean nurses, disappointing ultrasounds, condescending advice, and very, very dark moods. I didn't really have the stamina for infertility, and my husband even less so.
I don't really know where I am going with this post. I wanted to say that I feel like a loser sometimes. I wanted to say that I understand more every day where my husband was coming from. And I also wanted to say something else that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it's that something has to give here. I've got to be okay with one kid, or move towards "getting" another one. I can't seem to accomplish either task.
Sometimes I wonder if I am just innately an dissatisfied person. If one child is "not enough," will anything ever be enough? Will I always think that the grass is greener? But I don't think the question is whether it's enough. I hover between the two worlds of accepting one child and the desire to adopt because my heart was so clearly broken by infertility. That broken heart is having a really, really extended and arduous recovery period. I never knew that healing could take so long.