DH has been working really hard lately (his normal working hours at the moment are 14 hours a day but most days he’s working longer than that). So we’ve been living in a bit of a crisis mode, just surviving (on top of that our beloved Pinky has gone on leave, and so we count a good day as one where we aren’t serious potential candidates for one of those “Buried Alive By Our Belongings” reality shows). Once he finds his feet, hopefully we will find a way forward that affords us a bit more normality.
Last night, we switched off the TV and had some one on one conversation, which hasn’t happened for a while since we’ve both been so exhausted. And he asked me how I felt about doing a donor cycle! Well, to say it came as a surprise is the understatement of the year. He wasn’t keen on our last IVF at all, the deal was I would make it happen in every sense and he would donate the sp.erm (I was fine with this, I was the one who needed the closure not him). After that, when I went into “what if” mode (you know, the bargaining stage of IVF grief where you tell yourself that you just need a different protocol/doctor/uterus/bank balance), he asked me gently if we could just stop talking about fertility treatment, like take a three month fertility discussion sabbatical. My first thought at the time was, oh my word, what on earth will we talk about? But I got over it, and found some other subject matter. Like getting a life.
As I said before, getting a life has actually been quite an interesting subject to explore. I’m busy signing up for a Business Analyst course and considering making quite a serious career change. I find the concept actually really exciting, and the time I used to spend obsessively searching for the perfect IVF protocol, I have been using to look at job websites. In London. (That’s the first time I’ve said that out loud). Because people without children can throw themselves into their careers, and they can immigrate at the drop of a hat without worrying about schools or whether their children will get enough outside play time because the weather is so hideous. I’ve been looking at very real possibilities in my life, things that are actually physically achievable, and honestly the prospect is so very exciting.
On the other hand, at this point, if I had to choose between throwing myself under a bus and doing another fertility treatment, I would choose the former. The thought makes my stomach turn, and tears spring into my eyes.
But there are two of us in this marriage, and I’m the one with the infertile body. This isn’t a choice to throw myself back in the trenches for the sake of a baby (because I now have no doubt we will still walk away without one), but for the sake of my marriage. DH would never make me do it if he knew how much I dread it, but hearing him say last night that he really wants to be a daddy, shot an arrow into my still so fragile broken heart. You know it’s really bad when the first thought that comes into your mind is that if you got a divorce, DH would be free to find someone who can conceive, he can be the brilliant daddy he deserves to be, to a very blessed little baby. And for me, the hell would finally be over. I could move on, I could deal with my heartbreak and be free of the responsibility for his. At least one of us would get to experience being a parent. DH does not like this kind of talk (understandably, we’ve fought damn hard for our marriage through this nightmare) and he tells me that it’s our infertility, not mine. That’s very sweet, but it simply isn’t true. The only thing that makes my infertility ours is the marriage, and the kindness in his heart.
At this point there will be no donor cycle, unless someone can put me in an induced coma for the duration of the cycle and wake me up when it’s over! Since that’s not a service that they offer at this stage at my fertility clinic, I am going to have to find a different way to deal with my marital guilt for now. Will keep you updated on what I come up with!