The thin line between pessimism and self-preservation

How did couples survive before GChat?  Mr. But IF and I certainly aren’t ones to hold anything back when talking face-to-face, but the problem with that whole face-to-face thing is that it really cuts into the trashy TV viewing/computer game playing/Internet comment making/ element of our infertility battle.  GChatting?  Well, when the alternative is working, then, why, sure, let’s have a meaningful conversation right here and now!

him: oh, random anecdote for your blog that I forgot to tell you about yesterday
Dentist (to me): “You and your wife has such straight teeth – you’re so lucky, when you have kids there’s no way they’ll need braces!”
that was rough
don’t know why, but definitely a gut punch
Sent at 9:24 AM on Tuesday
me:  ouch
Sent at 9:25 AM on Tuesday
him:  yeah
those are the ones that get to me…when it’s just an abstract, “we’re infertile”, no problem
when it’s imagining the kids that aren’t, not so much
me:  sorry… don’t even know what to say
For whatever reason, those comments don’t bother me anymore
none of them
i put on my hard crusty armor
and evil laugh because I have no hope left that we will actually have children

So, umm, yea.  Apparently I don’t have any hope left?  The things that flow stream of conscious-like from your fingertips, eh?

Commence tailspin of introspection.  If I don’t really have any hope left, why the injections, why the expense, why the emotion, why the blog?  Am I just a masochist?  An attention whore?  An idiot?

While the answers to those questions could most certainly be yes (I mean, I did kinda enjoy those PIO shots in a “Oh, yea Mr. But IF, stick it to me!” kind of way), I think the bigger answer is that self-preservation mode kicked in a looong time ago.  Probably sometime around our ectopic in 2011.  Walking into maternity triage, requesting chemotherapy to kill a hard fought for implanted embryo, and getting two quick jabs in the bottom after 15 months of trying to conceive, it desensitized me.  Two losses and two years hasn’t returned my optimism.

I can’t even imagine a baby with my crooked toes, his baby blues, and our straight teeth.  I can visualize future conversations I’ll have with my RE, I can recall the physical pain of a miscarriage, and I can even ramble on about a future in which we have found a resolution; but, I find it totally impossible to open myself up to imagining our biological progeny.  It feels so far away and so unreachable.  An effort as insurmountable as understanding the vastness of space, the speed of light, or, for that matter, why I’m infertile.

If there’s one thing way too many years in the academy has taught me, it’s that just because a question is impossible to fully answer, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth asking.  (If you’re in the humanities it may mean you’ll be getting no grant funding to answer said question, but 1. I guess that’s not really the point here, and 2. that actually resonates pretty well with infertility seeing as we’re not often deemed worth of external funding either.  Hey, look, I’m both worthless professionally and personally!)

So, what would our ever-so-hoped-for child look like, be like, live like?  I guess straight teeth are a given.  The rest?  I really hope I get to find out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *