In an effort to not lose my mind, I came up with a list of positives and a list of negatives of our current situation. Actually, a list of negatives and a list of positives. Ever the freaking optimist I like to end on a high note, even though I certainly don't feel much in the way of positivity right now. I kind of feel like all the "positive thinking" crap can take a flying leap at the moment, but that's because I am raw and on the verge of tears and slightly hungover from my experience yesterday of "Screw you body, you're going to fuck me over? Well take this! Five Guys burgers and fries, a martini, several cans of champagne (yes! they make champagne in a can with a little bendy sippy straw! Where was this when I was in college???), some wine and some port!" (Of course responsibly spread over a 10 hour period.) Sometimes it does make you feel better to punish that uncooperative body and add to the numbness. But sometimes you just end up sitting around a firepit, listening to the 80's Genre Station on Pandora with your husband and sobbing uncontrollably because a) life is not fair and b) holy cow we are getting OLD and we are STILL not parents yet. Thank you, nostalgic music from my long-ago youth.
Here are the negatives:
- No baby in 2012. We are definitely looking at 2013 if we are lucky someday in the near future.
- No baby on the Christmas card. You can look forward to more self-indulgent pictures of us, alone, or possibly pictures that don't include us because it is getting very sad to have a collection of just-us pictures where I am chubbier and chubbier thanks to all these drugs. And our eyes are crinklier and crinklier. I promise, though--no cats dressed up in baby clothes. For now.
- I get to celebrate my 36th birthday NOT pregnant. Another year where I get older and have not managed to reproduce. We march towards 40, unsuccessful in the family department. Not depressing at all.
- Oh boy oh boy oh boy! ANOTHER Mother's Day that I am not even remotely a mother, expectant or otherwise. Unless I bring out the pictures of all 13 of our embryos that we've created and eat cake while admiring them. Which is creepy and sad, so instead I will hide in the house and probably enjoy some champagne cocktails while watching movies that have nothing to do with motherhood and/or dancing poorly to Britney Spears.
- Countless congratulations to other people whose life trajectories continue to move as Bryce and I are stuck, yet again stationary while everyone else whizzes past.
- Realizing that the older we get, the more likely it is that our friends' kids will be our kids' babysitters, not their playmates. (This may be slightly dramatic but I think I'm allowed that right now.)
- Having to have conversations with people who are very well-meaning but who will ask us if we have considered alternatives at this point, because what kind of people beat a seemingly dead horse for this long? The inevitable donor material/surrogacy/adoption conversations, some of which have already taken place. We understand where these thoughts are coming from. And actually we have had all of these very personal conversations and researched all kinds of alternatives. We just don't have a reason yet to call it quits on this front. We have hope. We have evidence that we are better off for now continuing to pursue our current pathway, as hopeless and probably futile-seeming as it may look from outside viewpoints. We appreciate when people have thoughts on what we could do differently. But quite frankly, we have already thought of, discussed, and/or tried so many things that there's not much left to consider short of choosing another pathway. And that is not our choice given our variables, which are not always apparent to those not in our specific painful shoes. But this is what happens when you are totally open about your journey--you invite input to some extent. We just have to politely manage that input or decide to close the door on our journey to others.
- We are still stuck. Still can't make any long-term plans, still have to weigh any decisions involving money (home improvement! vacations! visiting out of town family!) against how much money we need to have for future treatment or alternatives. Because everything is more expensive in the alternatives category, and our current path, however it may be tweaked to try to increase our chances, is not exactly cheap either. We are in Infertility Purgatory. Seemingly forever. We are Prometheus, getting our uterus pecked out by an eagle every day only to wake up and have it grow back for a fresh pecking. And I'm not sure what we've done to deserve it. (Nothing. The answer is nothing.)
- We slept in today. Because we can. Because I no longer have to get up at around the same early time to receive a giant 1.5 inch intramuscular needle injection in my ass anymore. There is no pregnancy to sustain with progesterone in oil, so I am so lucky to be able to sleep in.
- I don't have to have a 1.5 inch needle violate my tender tissue anymore. That is actually quite nice.
- I can have a drink. My Screw You Stupid Body bender is over, so now I can once again responsibly enjoy the pleasures of a nice bottle of wine with my husband.
- I can have caffeine again. I am not a huge coffee drinker, but it is nice to drink a hot morning beverage that does not taste like wet cardboard. I hate decaf.
- I can take a nice hot soaky bath again without fear of parboiling my potential progeny.
- I can exercise again and try to fit a little better into my pants so that I can stay in the pants I have had for years now because I refuse to buy new clothes until my clothes are falling apart in some way because I want to save my wardrobe money for supercute maternity clothes. Crap, that's a negative, no supercute maternity clothes.
- But, I don't have to buy a maternity bathing suit. I just have to buy a retro one-piece number, but I won't have to spend money on a pregnant person bathing suit. Which is sort of a positive.
- We are free to continue going out to dinner and doing fun couple things unfettered by small humans that need babysitters.
- Now for a real, not-even-remotely-sarcastic positive. We are still a happy couple. We are unhappy about our situation and our apparent inability at the moment to conceive and sustain a pregnancy, but we are happy with each other. We are lucky. We have a great relationship that is standing the test of this hideous hurdle. We are on the same page. We are supportive of each other. We still have fun even though there is this massive dark shadow casting dinge on our lives. We pick ourselves up and manage to piece our hope and strength back together and keep trying to extend our family past the two of us. We can find things to laugh about. We can cry together. We have such a great foundation for this elusive family we seek to expand. Infertility has not broken us (just roughed us up a bit).