Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Life After Infertility

I've been thinking a lot lately about what will happen if after we get pregnant. Over the last year, my wife and I have aligned everything in our lives to achieve a single goal: GET PREGNANT. I switched jobs to increase my earning power, taking on the burden of long hours and frequent travel so I could financially support our infertility treatments at the fastest pace possible without having to save money in between successive rounds or bury ourselves in debt. Our home is on the market so we can move closer to my wife's parents so they can help with our parenting duties, and so I can live closer to my new employer. We keep a minimum balance in our bank accounts to cover the costs of IVF, in the even that we need to do it again, deferring car purchases and other luxuries. My wife has put blinders on to every other part of life outside of parenthood - her focus and determination are that strong. We have made absolutely no plans for what will happen afterwards - we don't talk about it. It's taboo. We don't want to jinx ourselves, get our hopes up, etc. We will be like the dog who finally catches the car and doesn't know what to do next (not that I would mind ... I would love to have that problem, and my wife would love it even more)

Life is a big string of "what's next". I can't wait to turn 16 so I can drive, turn 18 so I can buy cigarettes / chewing tobacco (Kodiak), graduate high school so I can go to college, turn 21 so I can buy booze, graduate college so I can start earning money and start my career, finish grad school so I can be completely done with school, get married, buy a house, pay off student loans, pay off cars, start a family.

Of all those things, getting pregnant has been the biggest for us because of the difficulty we've had in achieving it. It was easy to look past each of the other milestones, because they weren't that difficult. I'm trying to remind myself, and my wife that we have a lot to be grateful for, and that we live very enjoyable, fortunate lives. Putting happiness on hold until the next milestone arrives is no way to live life. This should be most relevant to anyone on the brink of the parenthood milestone as it will change their lives, values and priorities to the core, forever. I can't wait to start thinking about things after pregnancy ... I envision a sunny day, with a tall glass of beer, a happy wife and anticipation of parenthood. But at this point, I feel a little guilty, and uncomfortable considering how nice it will be ...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joe.
I am so glad you write from the husband's point of view, because I am so into my own pain, my own barreness, that I forget how he must feel. It is like the more we are struggling to get pregnant the more I avoid him and spend my time in front of the computer studying ivf and all things that can help me fall pregnant.

Shawn said...

So true! The hardest thing I think I have had to deal with through this is patience I guess you could say or maybe not having control. Me personally if there was something I wanted or needed I would go out and get it or at least find a way to make it happen. Like you said all of the other stuff like marriage, buying a house, college was easy but not having any control over starting a family is by far the toughest obstacle. I hope you all are successful and you can enjoy that much deserved day.

still waiting said...

I so totally agree with this post. I've always been the type of person who said that if I work hard enough, I will achieve what I want. This is completely not true with Infertility and it's infuriating, heartbreaking and depressing.

I've also had these thoughts about trying to enjoy life because if this does happen our lives will change forever. The question is... How do we do that?

Charne Trollip said...

i can realte to what you are saying! i often feel our lives are on hold until our little one arrives... have been fighting this infertility battle for so long now its difficult to imagine what life would be like without it! though i am more than willing to find out what its like and face it head on!