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.