Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On Time (as in waiting while time passes)

So, two years. That makes about two and a half since I was first pregnant. And little S, who was due 4 months before I was due is going to be 2 in July. I remember thinking how I didn't know what I was going to do if I wasn't pregnant by the time S turned two. But here I am, facing the reality that I will not be. And though it took E a long time to have a healthy pregnancy, I will assume that she will be pregnant again while I will remain fully and wholly un-pregnant. At least I'm confident I will not be pregnant with anything healthy. I wouldn't be surprised if miscarriage number 5 is in my future, though.

The funny thing is, I'm really doing pretty okay in real life. Babies don't make me really sad anymore, though I don't feel like holding other people's babies or ooohing and aaahing over pictures. I don't like hearing endless stories about other people's children. But the sight of a pregnant woman doesn't make me want to cry. I have really come to accept that this whole pregnancy thing just isn't going to work (though I do, in all honesty, hold out a small bit of hope for a miracle), and we're just going to have to grow our family through adoption. I'm even coming to believe that our genes aren't so great anyway, and wouldn't it be better if they had other people's genes. And I do really believe that in a physical sense. It's a little bit harder to deal with in a mental sense -- but luckily personality resemblances are a lot more learned than physical ones. I'm really coming to believe that I can live my life this way and it's okay.

At the same time, there still is a tremendous sadness about all of our loss. I feel like we have lost a lot. We've lost 3 pregnancies that we started on our own. We've lost hope that IVF could ever work for us because of T's poor genes and my poor response to medication. We've lost 8 embryos to bad genes. We've lost a genetic connection to my husband. We've lost a pregnancy with hope because we used donor sperm. We've lost hope that donor sperm will work at all. We've lost hope that I will ever be pregnant long enough to hope we can bring a baby home. We've lost several months of hope and expectation and knowledge (though not a guarantee, of course, because I've learned how fragile even late term pregnancies are) that we will know when we might bring our baby home. We've lost the possibility of experiencing a full term pregnancy.

So, though I am better in some ways, I am still feeling our losses acutely. I feel for those others who have suffered great loss. It's weird how when you've suffered a lot of loss that different types of loss feel so different. In some ways we can band together with our losses, but in other ways it just seems so personal.

It always hurts a little more when you see so many people win their battles and move on. I feel desperate to talk to those who are in a similar place -- who are struggling with all of their loss and need to motivate themselves to fill out a daunting adoption application. I know this will all feel less acute someday when we finally, finally bring a baby home, but it is impossible to imagine that and I just can't stop thinking about all of the things we have to do and the amount of time we will still have to wait.

I sometimes think it's a little bit worse that there is a chance that T and I could have a baby the old fashioned way. When we finish our application and are waiting for a match, I know we will keep trying on our own. I sort of think that is a bad thing, but I also don't think I can not try. The only way for me to do that would be to go back on the pill and I don't want to. I wish I could let go and not think about it, but I've been pregnant three times with T, so why couldn't I be again? And I know scores of people with balanced translocations who have children conceived the old fashioned way. Why couldn't it happen to us? This tiny bit of hope just kills me. I want there to be no hope so that I don't have to hope any more.

So, two years since I started blogging it is. I never, ever thought I wouldn't have a baby two years from when I started this. But I don't, and I won't have one soon. Other people have them all around me, and I have to stay inside myself and just force myself to believe that some day, beyond the obstacles, costs, waits and everything else, some day, some way T and I will have a baby.


Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you. I can't understand how you feel with all the losses because I have never been pregnant and have NO hope to ever be pregnant. I work everyday with children which is a heartbreaker especially when some of these parents (in my opinion) have no clue how to parent and don't seem to want their children. I cannot think about growing old without children because it makes me so very sad. I don't know if we'll ever adopt - but if that hope ever goes away, then I have very little reason to even live.

My Reality said...

Time is killing me right now. I have watched people have two kids and start on the third while we are still struggling for one.

But we have to hold tight and believe. One day, we will be mothers, too. We will. It might not be the way we had initially thought, but it can and will happen.

Fuck, I sound almost optomisitic. That is really very unlike me. Feel free to shoot me now!

ultimatejourney said...

It's strange (and at the same time totally understandable) that it's hard to find someone who really understands your circumstances. Even among people who have dealt with IF for as long as you have, everyone's story is different and everyone's situations have slightly different challenges.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that two years is too long. I hope the support you've found through your blog has made it a little more bearable, though.

Samantha said...

I know what you mean about hope. I've sometimes thought it would be easier if someone just said to me, "you will never get pregnant, end of story." so I try to look at as an empowering thing, that I have some control. Some days this works better than others.

luna said...

rachel, I can so identify with this post. especially about the passage of time, all the loss, and finding myself unable to give up that last bit of hope of trying. our chances of conceiving a child on our own are virtually nil, yet I still can't seem to shake the possibility that it could happen. it happened once before even though it ended badly. but I'm getting older by the minute and these last 4 years feel like eons and I don't know how to give up...

my hub and I are trying to find a way to afford domestic infant adoption but we're just not there. I've done the research and we even started paperwork before our failed IVF, but even aside from the money it is so daunting. so I understand.

I'm so sorry these past 2 years have been so hard on you. even though all of our situations and losses are different, you are not alone. ~luna

Natalie said...

You will have a baby, I really believe that. But I know that the loss of pregancy is something that will stay with you. In a way I do think it's similar to my loss.... it's something that you'll never really move past, and that sucks so very badly.