Sunday, December 5, 2010

What if...

It is no secret that I hate infertility. Am I growing as a person because of my experiences, am I learning things about my capacity to deal with a crap hand, am I meeting a new community of women I wouldn't have otherwise? Yes. But it doesn't change the fact that I HATE INFERTILITY. One major reason why I hate it (other than not being able to perform a basic human function, having it take over my life, the sheer expense of it...) is because of the guilt factor. I'm sure that the "reproductively-typical" people out there have their share of guilt throughout a pregnancy and into rearing kids. However, when you are among the infertile, the guilt starts way, way earlier. And lasts into the pregnancy and beyond. You are lost in a sea of What-Ifs.

  • What if all the joking I did in my first marriage about how "I can't have kids, I'm barren" when faced with the inevitable "When are you having kids? You should really have kids" questions was a self-fulfilling prophecy? 
  • What if I hadn't been on the Pill for so long and could have figured out the PCOS piece earlier? 
  • What if I hadn't gone to pick up our new greyhound on the same day as transfer instead of chaining myself to the bed? Would I be pregnant now? 
  • What if I hadn't accidentally gotten into wheat a few days after transfer? 
  • What if I hadn't moved tables around in my classroom before the first day of school, even though I wasn't supposed to lift things over 15 pounds for a week or two after transfer? Did I dislodge implanting embryos? 
  • What if it wasn't a true negative in September, but that I had started implanting and something I did interrupted the process? 
  • What if I haven't been eating enough leafy greens, buckwheat, superfruits, and organic whole milk to get ready for the next go-round? 
  • What if in wishing for twins I doom our children to complications that will affect them their whole lives? 
  • What if putting all of these hormones in my body at high levels makes it more likely that I will die in my 40s of ovarian cancer, leaving my husband and precious children behind? 
  • What if we experience a loss after everything we're doing to just get pregnant? Will I be able to forgive myself for not being able to hang on to that little whisp of life?
  • What if I do everything right this time: I eat all the right things, I lay in bed for days after transfer, I have my superpositive outlook...and it still doesn't work? 

The list goes on and on. Do I know that rationally, it's unlikely that everything about my infertility is my fault? Yes. Does it stop me from thinking about every possible cause for something that doesn't necessarily have a clear cut-and-dry answer? No. I envy people who go away for a weekend and get drunk and go dancing and get pregnant and stay that way. I envy people who go to the gym every day or lift heavy things or have a glass of wine and don't realize they're pregnant and it has absolutely no impact on whether an embryo implants and grows.

I try to let go of the guilt and worry that surrounds infertility, but sometimes it is just not possible. I just have to let these nasty little thoughts come into my consciousness and then try to stomp them flat or put them away in little jars or light them on fire so that they transform into ash. But I don't think I can ever truly stop those thoughts from coming back. It's all part of the process.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Jess, please don't "beat yourself up" so. Love yourself for the grand effort you are making.

    Love Nancy