Thursday, May 29, 2014

Age and the Infertile Gal

Age can be looked at in a couple of different ways when you're dealing with infertility. The first is the inexorable passing of time, like sands through the hourglass or the ticking of the 60 Minutes clock; that aspect of age was on my mind at the start of the month as I turned 37. Realistically I have, at most, four or five years of potential fertility left. Especially as someone who feels very strongly about not having an only child, that can be tough to accept. The chances that we will be able to have more than one child are low and diminishing with each passing month. But it is the other way of viewing age that has been more on my mind recently.

There were five us there, with 16 years separating the oldest from the youngest. Sixteen years is quite a difference, and in many circles there wouldn't be that much to talk about. Yet somehow running out of things to talk about was far from a problem. (N.B. 37 is far too old to be staying up until 4 a.m.) In a group of adults with children, most often people gravitate towards others whose children are the same age. Certainly there are divisions between "young" parents and "older" parents, but they often find common ground if their children are of similar age. They have that stage of life in common, whether it be infants, toddlers, school age children, paying for college, or being empty nesters. Being Catholic women without children, we didn't have the barriers of age or number of children dividing us. There was no separation between small families and large families, just us, each of us with our own experiences. Though there were differences in where each of us is in our IF journey, the knowledge of that shared journey brought us together. It was such a joy to not let age be a barrier, but to simply appreciate the varied experiences that each of us brought to our gathering.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Moments like These

I don't remember which year we started hosting a Mother's Day brunch, though I think we've held it 3 or 4 years now (maybe it's 5; I can't be sure). The original idea was that we would host it until we had little ones of our own, then we would reevaluate. At that point, we'd probably more towards having everyone go out. (It's a lot of work hosting that many! This year there were 17, including us.) 

Of course CD1 was the Friday before Mother's Day, after my hopes been taken sky high by good blood work for the first time. At that point, I couldn't help but feel like we would be hosting this brunch forever (because, of course, nothing was ever going to change). (Who me, prone to melodrama? Especially on day 1?) Husbandido kept trying to tell me that we could reevaluate at any time; we weren't locked into doing the some thing forever after. Though once something has become a 'tradition'... look out. (I never claimed to be an optimist.) It didn't help that Husbandido twisted his ankle while running out for eggs and lunch the day on Saturday. So you had me feeling like crap and him needing to stay off his feet, but with a house that desperately needed cleaning and a lot of prep cooking to do. It also didn't help that in my fatigue, I managed to make 2 minutes less than 30 minutes into 18 minutes. Our 2 layer cake ended up needing 3 layers. (The layer that was replaced looks a bit like a donut.)

Despite all that, brunch went pretty well... except for two moments.

This was one of them. I can't begin to tell you how much my heart broke seeing Husbandido happily covered in kids, reading to them. If it were up to him, this would be an every day occurrence. I'm not quite sure how I kept it together. The guilt... oh, the guilt... (The kids in the picture are [from R to L] our step-great niece and nephew, and our SIL's sister's daughter, M.)

The second moment was later, while I was up in the blue room with the kids. One of them, M, I think, asked if it was someone's room. (To give you some perspective, this room is fully furnished with bed, dresser, nightstand, desk and book case. All but the book case are painted white with flowers. It's also the room full of stuffed sheep.) I struggled with how to answer. In the end, I settled for something along the lines of "Not yet. It's supposed to be, but not yet." A four year old doesn't know anything of IF or that not everyone who wants kids can have them. All she knew was that it looked like someone's room, but it didn't seem to have a person. I couldn't blame her for asking, no matter how it hurt.

Most of the time, I can convince myself that I'm okay not having kids. Then there are moments like these...