I’ve hinted and alluded to this and figure that given the state of affairs at Casa NotSoClean today is a good day to tell this tale.
DH and I have been unsuccessfully trying to have a child for nearly two years now. Without getting into too many TMI-type details, we know that there is an issue with him. It’s not treatable but it’s not entirely insurmountable either.
And yes, we’ve seen a fertility doctor. I personally don’t believe in medically assisted pregnancy for myself. If you do, or you have done it/will do/want to do it/are doing it that’s fine. It’s not based on religious thought or anything, it’s just not something I want to do.
Our doctor suggested a course of action that was not something I felt comfortable with. As I’m contraindicated for Clomid, the drugs they wanted to put me on are still in clinical trials and are developed for and used to treat breast cancer . Apparently an unexpected side effect happened to cause ovulation. Doctors THINK these drugs are safe. I don’t want to play Russian roulette with my body or the body of any child I conceive. Thalidomide anyone? Doctors thought that was safe too.
The testing (for me anyway) was arduous, painful and unpleasant. The “monitoring” was daily until they were sure I had ovulated. Then the turkey baster would come out and woo hoo….oh wait, they couldn’t guarantee anything. And they expected us to keep trying the old fashioned way while all of this is going on.
Because let’s face it, while I’m having an ultrasound wand shoved up my hoo-ha by a perfect stranger every morning for a week or so AND THEN GOING ON TO WORK AFTERWARDS, I know I’ll be feeling frisky and ready for some sexy time once DH walks in the door every night. Ummm no.
The rate of success for us was predicted to be very low. And we were told that we should continue this “treatment” for at least six months before they’d tweak the drugs. The rest of the procedures wouldn’t change.
Given my long-standing (and well vocalised) opinions on medically assisted pregnancy, the course of action that was recommended to us, the fact that DH doesn’t even live at home for much of the week now, the pushiness of the clinic to start “treatment” and let’s not discount the fact that my outlaws are off-the-charts nuts in all kinds of ways, I had a meltdown. I cried for two days, embarrassed myself at work by not having my act even remotely together and worked myself up into a big hot mess and finally told DH I couldn’t go through with it.
I (sort of) joke about it now, but this whole medically assisted pregnancy business upset me on a deep and visceral level. It infuriated me by the unfairness of the whole situation. For something that isn’t my issue I’m the one who would have to be “treated”. There is no treatment for DH. Period. End of story. His contribution to all of this would be to give some blood, have some “happy time” with Palmela, pay the annual $250 monitoring fee as I flat out refused (and yes, state-sponsored healthcare rocks USA…and no we weren’t going for IVF, although that turned out to be a lot cheaper than I would have thought) and wait…for something that may or may not happen.
So I said no. No to tests, no to drugs, no to monitoring, no to turkey basters, no to pushy doctors, no to no guarantees, no to it all. And I felt good about it. Happy even.
Until today. Recently we’ve found out that a few of our friends are pregnant, all with their second (or third) child. Some of them have been trying for a long time. And I’m happy for them. Really, really happy. But today DH came home upset. It seems that one of his co-workers’ wives is pregnant. His co-worker is 26. DH is devastated.
I tried to cheer him up by reminding him that our lives could be so much worse. We’re healthy (his co-worker with the pregnant wife has a very, very serious heart condition and in reality may never live to see his child grow up), we have each other, DH just got promoted to a position he’s wanted for a long time, we have well-paying, reasonably secure jobs, we have a beautiful house and now a vacation property, we’re planning some awesome trips this year, we have families who love us (well, DH’s is a little twisted but hey, in their own way they love us). In short we have great lives. I even told him I’m fine with getting a dog. Or adopting a child. He refuses to be consoled.
He keeps dwelling on how everyone has children but him. Which, to be honest isn’t true at all…none of his close cousins have children, many of his friends don’t and his sister is unlikely to, regardless of the “I want to find a man and have a baby” line she’s currently spouting. She may want the man but I have my doubts about the baby.
He spent tonight holed up in the home office. He wanted to be alone and I respected his wishes. Later on I tried again to cheer him up but he told me he still wanted to be alone. DH isn’t prone to bad moods and pouts…those are my domain and my specialty. I am hoping that tomorrow he cheers up.
But I am worried. He has never said anything about me refusing fertility treatments. And I won’t do them even if he does want me to. But I wouldn’t blame him for being bitter about me refusing them. I am petty enough that I would blame him if the situation was reversed. I’m not proud to admit it but it’s true. He just keeps repeating that he doesn’t know what he wants to do.
In my head I imagine worst-case scenarios of him leaving me for a woman with many children. In my heart I cry for his sadness. In reality I’ll wait it out and see what fate has in store for us. We don’t have a lot of time left before the ability to have children in any way is no longer an option for us. We might get lucky or we might get not. And depending on the day the definition of lucky changes.
It’s complicated. And sad. And it makes me wish I could give him what he really wants. But I like our lives. No, I love our lives. Sure I wonder what life would be like if the pitter patter of little feet were more than kitty cat paws. But I’m not entirely sure I want to find out. And that makes me feel bad when I see how upset DH is now. But not bad enough to endure fertility clinics and off-list drugs. I’ll take my chances with fate and the tried-and-true way of making babies. You make your own luck in my opinion.
Would DH be willing to give the time commitment required for the next 18 years (oh, about 80% of his waking hours and some smaller percentage of sleep time)? Or is he maybe just going through the ‘everyone else has one’ stage? I don’t ask to be critical but to remind you both that it will most likely be you who does the child raising and if you are not absolutely comitted to giving up your life (because frankly nowadays, everyone expects you to) then you will all have an unhappy life. Susan is right, you and DH need to talk honestly about it. I’m sorry to be so blunt: you may not always have your husband but you will always have that child if you do this, so stand your ground if you are not ready. The very best to both of you, I know it hurts!
thinking of you, keep your spirits up!! Hugs!
When he’s done with his alone time, you guys seriously need to talk. I know you know that–maybe even counseling.
I thought this post was going to make me really, really sad but I felt the strength of your convictions. You have made decisions and I COMPLETELY understand them.