Tag Archives: infertility

The Yearning for Hope

Published / by Kim / 2 Comments on The Yearning for Hope

This is the second re-post for National Infertility Awareness Week. The first one was yesterday.


Negative

I wrote this a few days after this cycle’s transfer. It was sort of stream of consciousness, but if I got a positive, I was going to clean it up a little and use it as my first post in a new category entitled “Fertile & Hopeful.” The counter to the current category of “Barren & Bitter.”

I got the call from the clinic about half an hour ago, and the result was negative. I don’t have much to say right now, but I thought I’d post this to get it out of my drafts. It shows how high my hopes were for this cycle, which should give you an idea of how far down at the bottom I am right now.


You were transferred back into my body on the coldest day of winter. As I dressed to leave the house, to go receive you back into my care, I wrapped myself up as carefully as I could. I chose the most comfortable clothing I had that was still fit for public viewing. (Left to my own devices at home, I’m most likely to choose something like a t-shirt and yoga pants. If you stick around, you’ll learn this.) I wanted to drape myself in softness and comfort, to pamper my outer body as I hoped my inner body would pamper and nurture you.

When I reached the doctor’s office, I waited and waited in the waiting room for it to be my turn. Papa arrived and we waited together. When we were finally called back to the procedure room, he stood by my head and tightly held my hand while the doctor did his work. When the doctor was done, we were left alone for a while, so you could adjust to your new environment. Papa and I talked and talked while we waited, holding hands and laughing softly as we discussed our dreams and hopes for you.

As I write this, I don’t know if you’re still in there. I hope you are. I hope you’re tucked safely into position, getting ready to start growing, getting ready to eventually accept the life of a new soul entering you and quickening you. I still won’t know for a week whether or not you’re still there.

I hope you are.

The Pain of Hope

Published / by Kim / 1 Comment on The Pain of Hope

When I moved my old archives to a separate part of the site, it was partly because I wanted to leave the wounded, infertile part of this blog in the past. It’s still a part of who I am, though, even if it’s not the part that defines me anymore. April 21-27, 2013 is National Infertility Awareness Week. Chances are very good you know someone dealing with infertility, whether you know they are or not. Maybe it’s you. For the last two days of NIAW, I’m re-posting two old posts of mine that are sharp and painful for me to read even now. I hope that reading some of my inner turmoil will help others dealing with this know they’re not alone, and also help non-infertiles understand how raw and hurt their infertile friends may be. That is, after all, why I started blogging 11 years ago.


The Thing Is…

Infertility takes all your hopes and wishes and dreams and dashes them to little bits upon the rocks of harsh reality. After enough of this abuse, hope doesn’t just wither; it’s crushed, smothered, and, finally, thoroughly extinguished.

It’s at that point that you either break under the pressure or become a jaded cynic who manages to avoid being hurt anymore by employing a vicious black humor tempered with a breezy pessimism. I chose the latter. I don’t break.

The thing about IVF is that it requires you to rekindle that hope, over and over and over and over again. And each time it doesn’t work, you’re tossed out into the storm once again and tumbled around till you’re battered and cut and bleeding and raw. Every time you start an IVF cycle, you have to be willing to let that happen to you again.

Sometimes, I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier, less painful, to just make a choice to live child-free than it is to have that tiny flame snuffed so many times. I know I’m not ready for that, and Scott seems horrified by the idea whenever I bring it up, but I wonder if it wouldn’t hurt less.

Why I’m Not More Upset

Published / by Kim / 2 Comments on Why I’m Not More Upset

Something strange happened recently: a possible newborn adoption just fell into my lap like a gift from the gods. My brother called to tell me that a friend of his was pregnant and didn’t want to parent. She had my number and was going to call. It turned out that she changed her mind about adoption within a few days, so nothing ever came of it. That part isn’t really so odd. I’m sure suddenly pregnant women find themselves considering and discarding adoption on a regular basis. The really strange part was that, when it turned out to be something that wouldn’t happen, I wasn’t upset.

I think there are several reasons I was able to take it so easily. One is that it all happened so fast. From the moment Alex called to when he called to let me know she didn’t want to pursue it, not even a week passed. I was still standing in line for the emotional roller coaster instead of riding it in full swing. Another reason is that I knew it was highly unlikely that it would proceed. It sounded to me like the friend wanted to pursue a different choice and I’m glad she’s going to do what’s right for her.

But the biggest reason I’m not more upset is that I don’t think I want a newborn anymore. Oh, sure. If something happened and I suddenly found myself in the position that a newborn adoption was happening, I’d welcome it, but it’s no longer something I think I care to pursue. The more I think about adopting an older child, the more I want it. I’m not foolish enough to believe any adoption is easy, let alone one that brings me to mother a child with already developed interests and a personality and a history that probably contains some form of abuse. Even so, I feel ready to take all that on in a way I don’t feel ready to take on the realities of a newborn.

I still have pangs of heartache when I see babies, especially now when it seems everyone I know has just had or is having one. But I find that I’m not really barren and bitter anymore. It’s more of a barren and melancholy now, and I see the melancholy lifting over time because I see the possibility of parenting coming soon.

In Which I Begin Planning For My Future

Published / by Kim / 2 Comments on In Which I Begin Planning For My Future

A couple of months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend who never had children. It was probably rude of me to ask*, but I asked him whether he and his wife were childfree by choice or childless by nature. The reason I asked is that I’m trying to begin to see what a life without children will look like. While we do still plan to adopt an older child once we buy a home later this year, we all know how well my plans for parenthood have worked out thus far. So I need a backup plan.

This friend of mine replied that he and his wife were childfree by choice. As soon as he said it, I started, in my head, to dismiss the conversation. After all, the experiences of the childfree aren’t the same as the experiences of the childless. The childfree are happy with not having children, while those of us who are childless aren’t. Right?

Well, no, not exactly. Because as soon as I started thinking of moving on to other topics, he said, “But I’ll tell you, we’re really regretting the hell out of it now.” I’d found a kindred spirit after all. Having found some common ground, we started talking about things people with children probably never think about. Things like “When we die, what will happen to our mementos? Who will remember the life we built together?” and also, inevitably, “Who’s going to wipe my ass when I’m old?”

My friend’s solution to this problem is to bribe his nieces and nephews. He told them all that whichever one of them wipes his ass when he’s old will get his entire estate. That’s a pretty good deal, because, as I understand it, his estate isn’t insignificant. I’m sure he could pay someone to perform such functions for him, but it’s nice to know family has your back. Or at least that they have your backside.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to think my friend is on to something. So on my recent visit to my mother’s in Georgia, I decided to spring the concept on my 11-year-old nephew, Miles. We don’t get to see each other very often, so I didn’t think it was appropriate to open with ass-wiping, but when the talk turned to what we’d like done with us after we die**, it seemed like a natural opening.

“Well,” I told him, “When I die, I want to be cremated and then have the ashes turned into a diamond. They can do that, you know.”

He was suitably impressed.

“Yeah, a diamond. And then I want them to make me into an engagement ring and you can give it to your fiancée when you decide to get married.”

This took him aback a little. He asked, understandably, why he would want to give his fiancée a ring made out of me instead of out of his own mother.

“Because,” I said. “Because, I’ll put it in my will that if you do that, you’ll get everything. My money, cars, jewelry, house, all of it.”

Not to be left out, Scott added that he wanted to be made into pencils. They can do that, you know. And he wanted Miles to use him to take his SAT if Uncle Scott died before it was time to take the exam. We eventually decided this plan wouldn’t work, because we’re pretty sure you can’t have your ashes made into number 2 pencils. We wouldn’t want the kid to fail just because Uncle Scott turned into the wrong kind of pencil.

But back to the engagement ring, Miles jumped on board once I brought up the will, so I think we’re good to go on that. He did express one tiny reservation, however. What would happen, he wanted to know, if he and his wife ever broke up? I told him he’d have to insist she take his Aunt Kim off her finger and give me back. He decided it would have to be in the pre-nup.

Maybe next time we can talk about how he and his wife are going to have to take care of me in my dotage in order to get that diamond.

*But if you can’t speak to your friends about this stuff, who can you speak to about it?

**It may sound a weird thing to have come up with an 11-year-old, but my family is nothing if not weird. In most families, such topics might seem grisly, but we’re talking about a kid who, along with his sister Marley, was in a low-budget zombie movie. This is a kid who sees movies like this with his dad. Topics like this are the norm.