Friday, January 23, 2015

The Blame Game

It's my fault that we can't conceive. It's not that I'm doing anything to prevent it; far from it, as I have done everything our doctors have asked. But medically, biologically, I am the only one with medical problems that are interfering with our ability to conceive. 

Husbandido doesn't see it that way. In his mind, fault implies deliberate action, conscious choice; since I am not trying to prevent us from having children, I am not at fault. In his mind, it is no one's fault; it's just the way it is. 

Much as I might wish to, I can't see it the way he does. Our ways of looking at the world are too different. I can understand his way of looking at it, but it isn't mine. I don't think he can quite wrap his head around my way of looking at it; it makes no sense to him. Granted, I've always had an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. (If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it was due to a combination of perfectionism and people-pleasing, with being first-born part of the mix.)

Each new diagnosis has felt like a new link added to the chain weighing me down. Poor quality ovulation, Hashimoto's syndrome, type III luteal phase defect, endometriosis, uterine polyps... I'm starting to feel  like Marley's ghost! As we come closer and closer to stopping, the weight of the chain grows. And now that surgery has not corrected the abnormal bleeding, I suspect there are more links that we do not yet know about.

I can't say for certain what will happen to this chain of guilt when we stop. I can only hope and pray that in time, as we move on with whatever comes next in our lives, that its weight fades. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Need to Flee: A Secret Garden

I've gotten very good at figuring out when other women are pregnant; I suppose it's only natural after spending so much time learning about all the classic early pregnancy symptoms (and experiencing far too many of them courtesy of Clomid and HCG). Yesterday I found out that my cousin's (second) wife is pregnant. My mother says she thought she told me after my grandmother told her, but yesterday was the first I heard anything about it. My guess was based solely on her recent Facebook posts, which haven't said anything directly. Until now, it had been a while since I had to deal with a rush of pregnancies. I had even wondered if I was past that point in my life, especially with so many of the children of family and friends growing up quickly. There was the obligatory pregnancy announcement in a Christmas newsletter. (I don't know why, but there so often seems to be at least one. Fortunately I received the letter from his parents before the card. Getting the majority of the anger and frustration out of the way in advance at least let me appreciate the cuteness of their Christmas card.) Of course the couple in question has been married barely a year. 

As we approach our previously determined time to stop TTC, the last thing I want or need to is to be surrounded (even virtually) by pregnant women, some of whom seemed to conceive effortlessly and some of whom have struggled. Surveying those who are pregnant, I cannot deny that most of them are a good 5 to 10 years younger than I am. From a fertility perspective, I am decidedly past my prime. I keep trying to convince Husbandido that if he wants children as badly as he seems to, he should divorce me and find a younger, healthier wife. (And no, I would not claim that trying to convince your husband to divorce you is the most reasonable of behaviors. Would you believe it's the Clomid talking?) Mixed into those arguments are my protests that I really don't want to raise someone else's children and that I have no desire to spend the rest of my life being second best in the eyes of society and the children we are raising. As we are being reminded by the children of third-party assisted reproduction, children hunger to know and be raised by their biological parents. I would not argue that children whose biological parents cannot raise them do not deserve parents; they deserve parents as much as any other child. I'm just not sure that I have it in me to handle the inevitable comparisons to idealized "real" parents or protests that they don't have to listen to me because I'm not their real mother. 

Is it any wonder I want to flee? Granted, the looming 90th birthday bash for my grandmother is feeding my desire to flee. (The great-grands and coming baby will undoubtedly be the center of attention and talk of the weekend.)

My Secret Garden
My own private paradise,
Where no one may reach me,
My own secret garden,
Sealed without lock or key,
Where flowers bloom in rainbow splendor,
Perfuming the air vibrantly,
Where birdsong is heard a plenty,
No sign of a stereo box,
And bees hum their work song,
Drinking their nectar sweet.
Hidden from prying eyes,
From those who cannot see;
My secret garden,
Only for me. 5/4/1997

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Need to Flee: Stolen Child

"Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild,
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than ye can understand."

I have loved this setting of W.B. Yeats poem since first I heard it. Who would not want to come away, to leave behind the weeping of the world?

I Too Well Understand

Only a child can answer,
Untouched by the world's weeping, 
Unweighted by those cares.

"Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild,
With a faerie, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than ye can understand."

I hear their song
And try to follow.
Blinded by my weeping,
I wander through the night,
Lonely and scared.
Lost in my tears,
I wander the woods.
I wander the dark,
Trying to heed their call.

But for naught.
For I am full of the world's weeping,
And I too well understand. - 11/2/98, revised 3/4/14

I have so much to say right now, so many half-started posts, but right now all I can do is weep and dream of fleeing. Yet when your troubles are contained within your own body, to where can you flee?