Sunday, February 10, 2019
Collateral Damage- Part 2
It was a beautiful wedding. A warm perfect summer evening in June. A small group of beloved family and friends. A heartfelt exchange of vows framed by rolling hills and a small lake. A hopeful start to a wonderful life. Happily ever after.
Fast forward 3 1/2 years, and we're fighting again. This time about a new car he wants us to buy. I want to hold off for a few months. Donor egg is on the horizon-a huge cost. The car would eventually become my main car, so I want to be involved in picking it out, but I’m overwhelmed at the thought of making several big decisions at once. We have to pick a clinic, a program, and a donor. I have to process through the pain of letting go of my own egg. There is no bandwidth in my mind for anything else right now. I want to wait until summer when the big decisions will have already been made, and we'll be moving forward with DE treatment. Our original argument about the car eventually and predictably circles back to the real cause of our discord. He’s upset that we‘re always stuck in a holding pattern. That we can’t make plans or big decisions. That we spend all available cash on treatments that never work. He feels that we are trapped by this quest of ours. He questions if we should stop. I don't disagree with anything he says, but every cell in my body knows that I can't stop until my baby is in my arms. We are at a stalemate.
This is just one of the many many fights we find ourselves in with fertility at its core. We have fought about everything from how undesirable sex has started to feel, to work time that he has to miss for our many appointments. We have fought about family visits that we haven’t been able to make because we need to stay near our clinic, about opportunities we have had to pass up to continue treatments, about general restrictions on our time, money, and we even argue about the stress than a new baby would bring since we have no family here and would have no money left to hire help.
It didn't start out this way. At the beginning I was sad, he was supportive, and we were hopeful. But this is a long journey, and we didn't train for a marathon. We have been on the fertility roller coaster since one month after our wedding in 2015. We started right away with the appointments, tests, grim news, stress, treatments. Not exactly the lighthearted romantic kickoff to married life I would have liked. Our son was conceived via IUI, and just when we were starting to find our stride as parents and reconnect as a couple we started treatments again. What followed has been two years or living by my cycle, spending our cash on treatments, timed fertility sex, and lots and lots of changes to plans. This fertility journey never goes the way we thought it would, so we’re always readjusting plans and expectations. We handle the stress in different ways and have different supports. Our feelings of loss are different. Our moments of crisis don’t align. Sometimes it is hard to connect, even as we are both hurting. Perhaps the worst part is that there's no end it sight, so we don't even know how long we have to hold on for and when we can hope for relief. It’s eating away at us day by day, month by month, year by year- a slow corrosion of what we brought to the alter on our wedding day.
My husband is a wonderful man, and I hope we’ll be ok, but I’ve seen the statistics on divorce and infertility, and they scare me. I don’t know what his breaking point it, what mine is, or what ours is as a couple. We are in uncharted territory here, and as hard as it is to navigate survival individually, it’s seems even harder to navigate survival as a couple. These were supposed to be our first blissful years of marriage-our honeymoon period. Infertility took that from us, but I am hopeful that walking through the fire like this will forge an even deeper and more loving lifetime bond. I dream of how it will be in the other side of this. I will never be the same person I was before, and I know we can never be the same couple we were before, but hopefully we can transform into something better, richer, and deeper than we ever imagined.