life, love, and maybe babies

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

'til infertility do us part

We all took vows when we married our sweethearts. We promised to love each other, no matter what.







What amazes me as I look back on those vows, is how little I really knew about them. I really wasn't even paying attention to them. After all, I was fit, happy, healthy, employed and marrying a super hot dude that I loved more than life. The only vows that I related to at that time were health, better, and rich. I planned to have them all in spades.

The vow that I paid the least attention to was "sickness." I mean, c'mon. My husband and I were 27 years old when we got married. We weren't going to get sick anytime soon. "Sick" was for other people. People with a history of cancer and allergies and all that stuff I never paid any attention to.

I didn't even know infertility fell under a category of "sickness." But it does. Infertility is a disease. And while it isn't terminal (thanking my lucky stars on that one), it is a disease. It plagues the heart, the mind and the soul. It sneaks up on you very, very slowly. It sneaks up on your marriage even slower.

I remember the first time I met with my infertility specialist. She rattled off a list of the ways infertility was likely going to affect me if I moved forward with treatment.

Financially (rich/poor) Emotionally (better/worse) Physically (health/sickness)

Little did I know every single one of those wedding vows I spoke 7 years ago would be tested by being infertile. But they are. Every single day.

I'm luck to have an incredibly supportive husband. He's in it all the way. He knows about my treatments, he knows about the hormones, and he does his best to empathize with me. But at the end of the day? He will never fully understand.

He will never understand the conversations I have with myself when I'm peeing on that stupid stick for the 349th time, at 2:37 in the morning because I had a dream that the IUI worked.

"Okay, Kim. It's probably negative. It's not a big deal, no one gets a positive on the first try. Just be prepared for the negative. Be ready. But also, be optimistic! No wait, optimism is a gateway drug. It leads to thoughts about baby announcements and strollers and showers and epidurals shots. Don't be optimistic, but don't be a pessimist. I wonder what Hubs will think when I show him the test and it's POSITIVE! But it isn't going to be positive, and I've got to accept that. BUT WHAT IF IT'S POSITIVE!!!!"

He will never understand waking up at 3:00 in the morning experiencing hot flashes like a 53 year old menopausal woman because the stupid Clomid is fecking with my hormones. He doesn't know that every Facebook post with a baby announcement is like 100 daggers in my heart. Even though I smile and say, "Aw, good for them. No really, it's okay. I'm okay, Hubs. I'm happy for them." 

He will never understand how much a negative pregnancy test hurts me, even though I knew it was coming. He doesn't understand that it IS a big deal, because somewhere, in the back of my mind, I really did think this was the month. After all, he's the one who encourages optimistic thought. What he doesn't understand, is that when I do force myself to be optimistic and the result isn't positive, it hurts that. much. more. And the fact that he's so calm about it, so positive, makes me want to slap him across the face and scream, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?! It's NEVER going to be okay!" Even though it probably will be...eventually.

Most importantly, Hubs doesn't know that I'm so mentally and emotionally exhausted from all of this that sometimes I don't even know if I WANT a baby anymore. Maybe it's too much. Maybe if I do finally get pregnant, I won't be able to handle it. I mean, is the universe giving me an infertile stamp because it inherently knows I'm not able to be a mother? Am I forcing nature to do something it's programmed not to do for a reason? Should my amazing stepdaughters be enough for me?

Infertility has been hard on my marriage. We argue about silly things, ridiculous things. He wants me to be more positive, I want him to be more realistic. He wants to be left alone, I need hugs and warmth and kisses. After an argument, we always find our way back to each other and that's how it should be. But each fight makes the next month just a little harder. We lose a piece of ourselves every time that damn stick says "not pregnant." And we can't get those pieces back. 

We're both fighting the same fight. I might be the one who is infertile, but he's suffering just as much as me. And in those moments when we're each hurting the most, in a strange twist of irony, that's when we hurt each other. For no reason. For no reason at all.

That sickness/health vow is such a big part of our lives right now, it's hard to imagine that at one time, it was at the bottom of my list. But here we are, and we're in it - for better for worse. We're a little less rich and a little more poor, but we're here. Fighting.

And better is coming. I know it.

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