Monday, September 17, 2007

Fertility Is A Mind-Fuck

I think for a lot of women, our timeline goes something like this:

Childhood: Boys have cooties!

The High School Years: I can't get a date to save my life! And to those who would want to date me, I still do have a shred of pride left. Thanks, but no thanks.

The College Years: I've got a boyfriend.! I'm finally having sex!! Please, dear God!! Don't let me be pregnant!!

The End of Our Twenties: Now I'm married, and I can't get pregnant! I don't know what I was worried about at 16--I can't get knocked up to save my life.

Early Thirties: Various and sundry fertility treatments.

Sound familiar?

My husband and I talked about a million different things before we got married. How many kids we wanted, how we would raise them, how we would discipline them. We talked about the types of schools we wanted them to go to. The types of education we wanted them to have.

It never occurred to either one of us that we may not be able to get pregnant. It never even crossed our minds.

When faced with fertility issues, many women feel like failures. Their bodies have failed them in some way, and it feels very, very personal.

For many, it is a spiritual crisis. Maybe God doesn't want me to have children? Maybe I would be a horrible, unfit parent and this is the universe's way of telling me not to procreate.

And for many of us, we have to have the conversation with our spouse: Do you still want to stay married to me if I cannot have children?

See, for some men, not having kids is a deal breaker. Some men do not want to adopt. They want their own kids, or no kids.

So not only do we women feel as if our bodies have rejected us, we have to face the fact that maybe our husbands no longer want us, either. That the dream of having children is greater than the newly formed marriage. That suddenly you may no longer fit that dream.

I was extremely lucky. The man I married is a phenomenal man. He has seen me through physical illness and crushing heartbreak. When he said "for better or for worse" he meant it. And it we have had times where it really has been "for worse." We wanted to build a life together, and he has been at my side on this crazy adventure that has been our marriage.

No one prepared us for this. We were totally oblivious to the complete mental mind fuck that trying to start a family turned out to be. It was hard enough to decide that we were ready for the responsibility of a family--to begin such a huge new chapter in our lives. To then be thrown into the the nefarious world of infertility. Of surgeries. Of medications. Of therapy. Of trying to believe that you are still a woman.

My heart goes out to all of you who find yourselves dealing with any type of infertility. I hope you have a support system around you to hold you up when you cannot find the strength to even breathe. When the ache in your heart and in your stomach feels so hollow that you cannot bear to lift yourself off of the floor. I hope you have someone to wipe your tears and tell you they love you no matter what your body can do. No matter what it cannot.


louann said...

I was also thinking about this for quite some time. With the many many blogs on infertility, I have been so affected by them. Just thinking how 'desperate' you can really feel.
We are blessed to have children.

Blue Momma said...

Speaking as one of those suffering with infertility, I have to agree with the title of your post. It is a mind fuck!

The worst part is the wait and see. The build up to that day 28 pregnancy test and just one little line every time. The let down is just awful.

And don't get me started on miscarriages.

Thanks for the post! Hopefully in about seven day's I'll have some happy news.....

Not Afraid to Use It said...

We are keeping our fingers crossed for your BFP!!

Heather said...

My sweet Lord. I could have written this post. I, too, went through fertility treatments to have my sweet ones. All of the emotions you described are exactly how I felt! I wish I had found blogging back then because I felt so very alone. I wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemy, it's so devastating on the feminine psyche. I'm here with you, hon, I know how you feel, and I'm a shoulder if you need it!

Heather (aka Coal Miner's Granddaughter)