I’ve had a bit of an epiphany. I’ve realised I need to stop living my life like it’s on hold.
I’m tired of feeling like it’s never my turn. I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines just in case I might be pregnant at some stage in the future. I’m tired of missing out on important experiences, then feeling guilty about it later. I’m tired of letting life pass me by. And this time I’ve decided to do something about it.
To be honest this is more than just about how I’ve dealt with my infertility (though that’s a big part of my problem) it’s about the way I have chosen to live my entire life. I’ve always been too focused on goals to actually enjoy my life.
I was like this even as a child, always pushing away my friends in order to achieve my goals. I was competitively involved in an elite sport and would regularly shun slumber parties and trips to the beach in order to train and compete for titles. My friends never really understood, so I missed out on forging lasting bonds. But it didn’t matter to me, all that mattered was achieving my goals. I wanted to win, and so I won. I could achieve anything I set my mind too. It didn’t matter that I’d missed out on “living” my life in the process.
When I was in my late teens all of my friends saved up and toured Europe, moved to London, or did a year in the states. They were having the times of their lives. I saved like crazy too and worked six days a week at a local clothing shop, even when I was studying full-time at university, because I wanted to go overseas too and have some crazy fun like they were.
But I was determined to be mature before my time. I didn’t want to “blow” money like my friends were. So I took my holiday savings and used them to put a deposit on a house. I bought my first home when I was 22 years old. At first it was glorious and I felt special and important. But soon I was getting gloating emails from all my friends in New York while I dealt with the leaking pipes in the bathroom and tried to scrape enough money together to repair the front fence. I never did get to go overseas. Another life experience wasted.
Now it’s happening all over again. I’m determined to have a child. I want it more than anything. I will stop at nothing to become a mother. I eat, sleep and breathe fertility.
“Would you like a drink?”
No, because alcohol affects fertility.
“Would you like a coffee?”
No, because caffeine affects fertility.
“Would you like some chocolate cake?”
No, because I have PCOS and sugar affects my fertility.
“Would you like to come to dinner next Friday?”
No, because I’m in the middle of a round of IVF and I’m due for a hormone injection at 7.30pm.
“Would you like to go on a business trip in September?”
No, I may or may not be undergoing fertility treatment at that time.
This obsessive determination is ruining me. I’m not a whole person anymore, I’m just the shell of a human being. If it’s not about fertility it doesn’t interest me. I don’t care what I deny myself, or deny my husband, nothing matters to me unless it can help me to become a parent.
I didn’t even realise how bad I had become until my husband screamed at me the other night. We were in bed and he’d leaned over to tickle me. I’m very ticklish and I immediately started squealing and squirming. I grabbed my pillow and smacked him to try and stop him, but he grabbed his own pillow and smacked me back. It’s honestly been years since we let go and did something silly and spontaneous like engage in a pillow fight. We were having so much fun.
Then I blurted out “what if I never get pregnant again?”
It was like word vomit – I couldn’t stop myself, I couldn’t keep it down. It cut through the fun like a knife through soft butter. The atmosphere turned ice cold and Doug flopped back onto the bed in defeat.
“You’re suffocating me with this baby obsession.” he said quietly. “I know how badly you want to be a parent. I want it too. But there’s more to life than just this one thing. I don’t want this to be my whole life.”
I thought about it and I realised he was right. What am I doing to myself? What am I doing to us? I can’t keep my life on hold because of a what if. I can’t keep it on hold indefinitely.
So I did something spontaneous!
I went to a travel agent on the weekend and made enquiries about cool places where Doug and I could vacation over the end-of-year break. We have a lot of money hidden away for fertility treatment, and we both work so hard in our jobs without reward. I think I’ve mentioned on this blog before that the last time I took more than five vacation days in a row was 2008. Six years is too long between vacations.
I knew we could always save up more money for fertility treatment, but we’ll never get our youth back and it’s slowly slipping away. I also knew Doug would be extremely receptive, supportive and thankful if I chose to redirect a small amount of our money elsewhere so we could get away from it all and find ourselves again. Once I’d discussed different holiday options with the travel agent, and I’d picked a place I thought would be pretty cool to visit she asked if I’d like some information so I could go away and think about it.
“No.” I said. “I’ll book it now.”
“….you don’t want to check it over with your husband?” she asked, incredulous.
I sent my husband a quick text message: I’m booking us a holiday. Ok? Less than a minute later, I got the response I was expecting: Ok darling! You do whatever you want!
This new years eve, as the ball drops at midnight, I’m going to be partying on the beach in Penang, Malaysia. After a few days of serious relaxation, Doug and I will also spend some time shopping in Kuala Lumpur. It is going to be amazing. I’ve taken out great travel insurance that will cover me whether or not I’m pregnant while I’m there, and I’ll have access to good doctors should I need assistance. Every base is covered, so I have no excuses not to let loose and have fun.
If I’m not pregnant at the end of the year I’ll enjoy guilt-free cocktails on the beach. If I am pregnant, well that’ll be amazing and I’ll be douby lucky.
No more waiting, no more regrets, no more maybe. I’m taking my life back into my own hands!