I didn't intend to step away from here for almost a month...In fact, this was a month during which I probably should have written more often. But it's been busy, and I've been stressed, and finding the time to put my thoughts and feelings on screen, as it were, seemed an insurmountable difficulty.
I had a fantastic time visiting family and friends during my trip back East. With...one exception. I will probably write a whole 'nother post talking about how my college roommate completely flaked out on me and went to visit a family member, thereby scuttling my plans to visit her and her family (including a new baby). I was, and still am, very upset about that. But that's fodder for a different post.
Visiting my family was also difficult because it was the first time I'd seen some of these friends since we decided not to go any further down the IVF/infertility route. And, as luck would have it, two of them have new babies. One has twins. I know that those twins were conceived with the help of some ovulation stimulation and IUI...but it still doesn't make it any easier for me, for some reason.
We've made a point of not telling very many people much about our difficulties...and several of those that we told about our problems (mostly around the time of my surgery last year), we have not gone on to tell about our decision to step off infertility road. That, to me, is a more personal decision than the whole "we're having difficulty but we're trying different things". I mean, you can be vague about that. It's difficult to be vague about "we've decided to stop all of the interventions". And even then? I hedge. I hedge a lot.
I'm rambling. Anyway. Two of three friends know nothing of our issues. The third (sister to one of the other two; I know, confusing) I told of our problems on this visit. I had not told her anything, despite the fact that I have known her so long that I can't remember NOT knowing her. She's that kind of long-term friend. Part of my difficulty was that she has managed to get pregnant - and stay pregnant - at the drop of a hat. They have three children and are pondering #4. It's not that I begrudge her her ability to conceive...it's just that it's really hard to talk about this sort of thing with someone who has no idea where you are coming from. She and my sister in law are pretty similar - people who decided (with their husbands, of course) "Okay, time to have a baby!"; went off birth control; and got pregnant the next month. I'm not even kidding. It happened to my SIL for both of her pregnancies.
She was shocked, I think, to hear of all we had been through. She brought it up , too. I guess it shows how connected we are. Just as I was thinking (on the way back to her house from visiting one of the other friends) that I needed to bring this up (it was a goal of mine for this trip), she asked whether we had thought any more about having kids. (I had told her, hm, maybe 2 years ago? that it was something we were talking about...that was, of course, before we found out that I'm defective in some unknown way.) Anyway, she was shocked, and being a physician, and the daughter of an OB/Gyn, she tried to think of all sorts of alternatives that maybe we hadn't considered. Except, of course, we had considered them. Then we got into the adoption/foster care debate, so I told her my feelings on that. It was a long and draining conversation. I was glad I told her, but after that? I really needed time alone. And I didn't really get it. It was psychologically exhausting for me.
Later in the week I met up for dinner with a friend who is pregnant after 1 IVF (covered entirely by insurance...lucky duck) and another friend who also got pregnant the first month she tried. They know that we have stopped all intervention...but they are convinced that "someday" we will be parents. So as good as it was to see them, it was ALSO exhausting for me.
I find that I don't want to say "NO, we're DONE. This is IT." In part, maybe, because I'm not ready to go there in my own head. But I think the other part of it is not wanting to hurt the person I am talking to. So I spent a lot of the week hedging; answering questions with "Well, we'll see" and "I guess we might feel differently at some point in the future". But really? I think we're past that. As much as I have wanted a child - it's not going to happen for us. We deal with that every.single.day. Every birth announcement on g-d FB. Every picture of every kid that is posted. Every time someone posts that you never know *real* happiness until you're a parent. Every time someone says that you never know *real* fatigue until you have a child. Every.single.day. In so many different ways. These friends? It's not staring them in the face all.the.time. They go back to their normal lives - to their families. We come home to a house that will never have children. As sad and bitter as I am about that, we live with it every day. That blunts - or numbs - the pain, at least for me. But it doesn't mean that I'm not sad when I get my period. It doesn't mean that I'm not torn up that I can't get pregnant - that I'm not mad when my mother tells me about a 22 year old having her third baby. But for us? It's an ongoing thing. For my friends? It's something they think about when I am there with them, and when I talk about it.
I was going to talk about our career decisions, but this post has turned into a longer rant than planned. More on that in another post.