Posted by: DD | October 28, 2008

A QUESTION THAT DOESN’T NEED ANSWERING

Last night, ZGirl and I were taking a bath. We both have been struck by colds and a vapor bath provided some relief. I called for Mr. DD who held up ZGirl’s fluffy, warm towel for me as I lifted her slippery body out of the water into his arms. As he coo’ed and talked to her in the quiet of the master bath, I told him that I noticed I had started spotting today. The first sign of a cycle trying to return since I got pregnant a year ago.

Mr. DD mulled over the information for a brief second or two and then asked, “We’re not having any more kids, right? What do you want to do about birth control?”

We’re not having any more kids, right?

The words hung in the humid air while a lump built in my throat. I’m 41. My eggs are shit. His sperm is shit. I tried to blow off the words with the snarky response, “Like we  have to worry about birth control – Ha!” to which he replied, “That’s not an answer,” and walked out of the bathroom door with ZGirl curled up in his arms.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I stretched out in the tub, the water quickly cooling, the bubbles surrounding me quietly clicking as they popped. I thought I was well-prepared for this moment, accepting that after years of ART and miscarriages, having another baby would never be an option to put on the family table to discuss. But still…

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I opened the drain to the tub and heard the water gurgle away. I watched my knees form islands of skin and bone as the water level dropped. I felt my skin cool and tighten with goosebumps as air hit the newly exposed areas of my shoulders and back. All too soon, the tub was empty and I stood up to reach for my robe hanging on the wall. In that moment I caught the reflection of my body in the mirror, and I saw the ravages of pregnancies and time staring back at me.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

I thought again of the one remaining embryo on ice, Pokey. It would probably never survive a thaw and I had no idea why they even froze it, except maybe out of pity. Four eggs retrieved, four eggs fertilized, three transfered…may as well freeze the fourth. The clinic’s symbolic attempt at hope in case none of the first three took.

We’re not having any more kids, right?

No, it’s not “right”. It just is.

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Responses

  1. Hmmmmm, well maybe you need to wait longer to have that conversation. Tell him you don’t want to decide for sure until Zgirl is maybe one or so?

    Only because you never know what life will throw at you. Like maybe a million dollars!

  2. That was powerfully written and gave my throat a lump as well.

  3. I think because we have been through so much to have our babies, it is impossible to make all fertility hopes stop just like that. Especially as we did it. Our most recent attempt, the freshest in our memories, ended in an actual baby. I feel like no way can I give up now, I’m on a roll!

    I think Aurelia’s suggestion is a good one, try not to shut the door just yet.

  4. Infertility does not work for birth control. Trust me.

    • “Infertility does not work for birth control.”? I so want to hear more about that one. I bet there is a story behind that.

  5. I know exactly how you feel. Some days I’m at peace with it, some days, I see pregnant women and I just can’t stand the yearning I feel in my gut. Sigh. Here’s a hug. It’s all I have.

  6. I’m so sorry. That had to feel like he’d ripped your heart out of your chest. I think you might need some time.

  7. Even though I didn’t have infertility issues, I still understand your post.

    Bittersweet.

  8. Oh DD, I still struggle with this one. We are not having any more either except for the days when I tell him “damn it but I want another child”. But after all the miscarriages and heartache, I just don’t think I could go through it all again except for those days when I yearn to do just that.
    Crystal clear, right?
    And my heart aches for all our frozen embryos that I can’t imagine anyone would want but that I CANNOT just allow my clinic to “discard”.
    DinoD

  9. Men are stupid and say stupid things. I have told my husband over and over to watch how he approaches sensitive topics. Even if he knows I’m not going to agree with him, could he please just try to show a little sensitivity.

    • This is more a reply to the other replies than anything else…
      It’s funny how many women seem to assume that men don’t have feelings…how do you know he wasn’t feeling much the same things that you were at the time? How can you expect him to be ensitive when he is going through turmoil? At 41, it is still possible, you still have time….but not for long. If you were strongly “pro-life” and wanted to use the embryo the time to do it would be now. It is a very real issue, he was actually being responsible.

      I’m really curious about the women who aid “infertility doesn’t work as birth control”…I’d love to hear her story.

      As for the poster, remember you succeeded in bringing a new life into this world. Lots of people in this kind of forum never achieve that.

      • Ed, thank you for taking the time to post your comment.

        “Infertility doesn’t work as birth control,” refers to a woman who by all medical and practical standards was infertile in that she required professional assistance to not only get pregnant but to stay pregnant. A woman who eventually had a baby after all that help. But also a woman who thought that they would never need to worry about birth control; a woman who did indeed get pregnant naturally and deliver a very welcomed and wonderful baby 8 months later.

        THAT’S what she means by that. She’s advising me to not presume that due to my age or infertile status of the past that we couldn’t get lucky on our own.

        I don’t have to presume my husband doesn’t have feelings about our particular situation. At 45 he told me he doesn’t want to become a new dad IF he can help it. IF we were so lucky to get pregnant on our own? He would be ecstatic. However, it broke his heart to watch me go through so many failed attempts to get pregnant and he doesn’t want to watch me get my hopes up on a last-ditch effort with a FET. He’s made that quite clear.

        I am Pro-Choice.

        And lastly, your sentence – “Lots of people in this kind of forum never achieve that.” After four years of treatments while blogging, I met on-line more people than you could even imagine that either waiting or are still grieving for their first. Please don’t imply that I am not grateful for every moment of every day I have with both my children, and how I wish every night that my friends who are still waiting will someday have have their prayers answered.

        ~DD~

  10. “No, it’s not “right”. It just is.”

    This gave me pangs of sadness.

  11. Oh, DD.

    My situation is different, but I get where you’re coming from. Even though looking after my twins is a strain, a big one, and I suck at pregnancy the thought of just never having another baby is sad….

    xx

    J

  12. SHIT! I had a very similar conversation with my ob on Monday. She asked if I wanted my tubes tied when they do the c-section. I can’t do it. I can’t put an end to having another baby. What if? What if we weren’t trying and it just happend? A totally healthy baby without even trying. Dh is DONE with IVF (he was done 2 cycles ago). But what if we could have a baby the ‘normal’ way. I totally get where you are coming from. I wish I had an answer for you.

  13. Men don’t get it. I really think they believe that babies are cures for infertility–and in their minds, they probably are. To them, a baby solves the problem and they don’t even think that there might be issues that are still left to deal with, that might need to be discussed with some sensitivity.

    I know that had to be incredibly hard.

  14. I liked feebee’s answer 🙂

  15. MUST you make me cry first thing in the morning?

  16. I have two prayers to offer up for your situation today:
    1. That your husband will be a little more open to the possibility of another life, and
    2. That you will try to be a little less hard on your husband. He is, after all, a man…which means that his brain doesn’t always fully think through all the possible ramifications of his words before he chooses them.

  17. I always wondered if I would ever not have that craving or need for another baby. After infertility it isn’t as easy to “quit” as it is for people that get pregnant when they just happen to be in the same room.

    After S3 was born I looked at my healthy wonderful sons and finally realized that it was ok to be “done”. It was strange after all those years of trying to get pregnant to actually schedule a surgery to prevent all future pregnancies.

    There is a lot more for you to consider than just having a baby…think about how much you can handle financially, emotionally, physically etc. You will find the right answer and it will finally sound right to you.

  18. Dear DD, your post was both beautiful and sad. I can imagine that there is a big difference between assuming the end and actively shutting the door.

    I wish I could hug you.

  19. Wow…that really is a hard decision to make, isn’t it? I hope you are able to come to final decision that leaves you at peace.

  20. Here from Mel’s roundup … with tears in my eyes. I am wrestling with the same question, seen through our lens. We now have, after several years of trying, our precious boy & girl. The “perfect” family right? So we should be done, right? And DH is definitely leaning on the side of, let’s be done and move into the new phase of our life. But even though I’d always thought that 2 kids would be it for me … my heart isn’t ready to move on. A friend of mine (who suffered two m/c and needed help to support the pgcys w/ 2 of her 3 kids) says that now, when she hears of a friend who is expecting, she thinks “oh, I’m glad that’s not me.” She loves cuddling others’ babies and handing them back, but she’s through the baby phase for herself.

    I don’t know if I will ever get there.

    Your last line is really making me think. Sometimes things are “right” but they just “are.” Maybe I need to focus on the “being” part and not on whether it’s fair, or right, or what I wanted. I need to focus on appreciating how lucky we are, and just let go. How do our other IF sisters do it, the ones who have decided to go CF, the ones who have chosen to pursue adoption … even those of us who have gone through IVF and IUI … all of that involves letting go of dreams & hopes for the way things should be.

    Thank you for teaching me today. And I am sending you hugs and hopes that you will be at peace with your decisions when the time is right.

  21. DD, this post brought tears to my eyes.


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