Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I’m starting to wonder if I want this at all.

Four years of struggling with infertility has taken its toll on me. It has consumed a great deal of my time, money, and energy. It has also done a number on my emotional well-being. I’m starting to feel a lot like Sisyphus: endlessly pushing a boulder up a hill only to fall down every time and have to start over again. This futile battle – pushing the boulder up the hill, so to speak – has turned the goal into a surreal, abstract result that I no longer expect to actually reach. Each time I start pushing the boulder up the hill, I stop and wonder if it’s worth it. Each time the boulder falls back to the bottom of the hill, I wonder if it was worth the pain and effort to have gotten as far as I did. Does the end really justify the means anymore?

In all honesty, and I cringe to admit it, I’m starting to wonder if I even want the boulder to go over the top after all. In four years, I’ve become accustomed to the life we have. I find myself wanting to make longterm plans without having an “if I get pregnant…” contingency. I listen to people complain about their children, about having their emotions and finances drained, etc. I ask myself why I want children, and for the last several months…I don’t have an answer. I ask myself this question, and just get an uncomfortable knot in my stomach, because I just don’t know.

I like my life. I like being able to go out with my husband on a whim, to take off for the weekend without worrying about anything beyond whether or not the cats have enough food and water. Once in a while, I’d like to be able to order a drink without worrying that I’m harming a baby that I’m probably not pregnant with anyway. Selfish? Yes, probably…but it is what it is.

When I see pregnant women, babies, and children, I do feel an ache, a longing. I’m envious. It breaks my heart. But lately…I can’t help but wonder…am I envious that they have a baby, or am I envious that they aren’t wallowing in an endless infertility struggle?

Do I really want the end result anymore? Is it the baby I want…or is it just an end to this struggle? Is the hole that I’m trying to fill truly the want for a baby, or just the need to overcome this? Is it truly my desire to have children, or have I been responding to nothing more than the obnoxious alarm on my biological clock?

It pains me to admit it, but I’m no longer sure if motherhood really is for me. I watch other mothers, and while I envy the fact that they have a baby, I’m not sure that I really envy them at all.

I’m rambling, I know. It’s hard to put what I feel into words, and it’s even harder to feel this way after coming this far. But I can’t pretend I don’t feel it.

At this point…I’m just starting to wonder if I should stop pushing the boulder…because I’m not really sure that I want it to go over the top.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's like reading my own journal. I called it limestone coating that I was building to protect my heart. I think what you are going through is just that. What you are going through. You've wanted this for four years. Yes you still want it but this new doubt, I feel, is another way to protect yourself from pain. Again, totally normal. I went five years. Now we are adopting internationally and starting fostering classes. I'm still on rocky ground but yeah, you realize maybe it's not being pregnant so much as being a parent. Hope you find what you are searching for.
kind wishes,
pugmama

Sunny said...

Oh my gosh, you have so read my mind. I was talking about this with friends the other day. IF has totally defined my life. If it stops where will I be.

HUGS to you! You are totally normal for feeling this way.

Pamela Jeanne said...

It's such a tough question...and one that so few have ever considered at its core. The Sisyphusian experience of IF can flatten even the best of us and not because we're not doing our best to stay strong. I'm glad to have found your blog and your voice. Will add you to my reading list. Best, PJ