Monday, April 26, 2010

Project IF

This week (April 24-May 1) is National Infertility(IF) Awareness Week. Visit Stirrup Queens for an explanation of Project IF.

What IF our infertility journey drives a wedge between my husband and I from which we can not recover?

As I get older, I see more and more friends and peers who are separating and divorcing. There are some that have not surprised me, while others seem to come out of nowhere. A mentor of mine always says "You can't see into someone else's relationship," and it's true. You never know what goes on behind closed doors.

Still, when I hear about these- especially those that surprise me- I can't help thinking "If they can't make it, how do we know we can?"

Marriage is work. When I was single, while I knew marriage wasn't easy, I never could have imagined the stress we would encounter, just within the first three short years of our marriage. It's not just the infertility- but infertility is a huge piece of it.

Dealing with the many aspects of infertility is unarguably stressful. It is stressful to an individual as well as to a relationship. It seems the more often you fail, the worse you feel.

In my case, as I've mentioned before, III and I deal with stress in totally different ways. He withdraws and wants to be alone. I reach out and want comfort and company. This is something we've been able to verbalize to each other, but it doesn't take away the difficulties, the stress, and sometimes the hurt that goes along with it.

During the brief time I was pregnant, there was a lightness in our relationship we hadn't experienced for quite a while. A hope. Anticipation. When we got the news that, yet again, there would be no baby, it was like a heavy curtain fell over us.

This recent positive beta has not come with that same lightness. In fact, I feel like the last two weeks have been darker than things have been since our miscarriage. At one point, III expressed to me that he is not letting himself even hope this will go further, because it is too hard if we have another failure. I also know he is angry to have found out that our problems are "his fault." Beyond those few comments, however, he's been silent.

I know we should talk about it. That communication is what is going to keep us connected. But I get tired. Tired of always being the one who has to initiate. Tired of being the one who has to manage the state of our relationship. Tired of being the one who has to manage the state of our fertility!

But I keep doing it. Even though it's hard. Even though I'm tired. Because I want us to work. And I keep hoping beyond hope that this will work and we will be parents. That the cliche is true; there is a light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel.

I love III more than I could have understood I would have the ability to love anyone. I imagine babies with his eyes, and those little back dimples he has above his butt. I dream of watching him fall in love with daddy's girl and seeing him swell with pride watching little tiger grow up into a man.

I know that having a baby is not going to fix our communication differences. I know that it is not going to heal my father-in-law's busted heart. It is not going to make III fall in love with the city in which we live. Not only will it not only solve our naughty-dog issues, but it will likely add to them...

But it will allow us to see the wonder of the world through our child's eyes. It will bring my in-laws, as well as my own parents, happiness in their last years (whether it be 2 or 20). It will introduce us to a new community within the one we already live. It will complete our family- Mom, Dad, kiddo and our pups.

What IF...

...all this work is worth it, because we will fulfill our dream of being parents?
...our relationship as parents enriches our relationship as spouses?
...we make it through this dark place, and come out stronger on the other end?

For a basic understanding of infertility, please visit www.resolve.org/infertility101 .
This url gives the background of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW): www.resolve.org/takecharge.
The original “what if” list:
http://www.stirrup-queens.com/2010/04/bloggers-unite-project-if/.

5 comments:

Geochick said...

Great post. In my so-not-professional opinion you're doing the right thing by recognizing and talking when you need to. We went through a period where we were literally just surviving day to day, empty shells of ourselves. Hang in there.

ICLW

Kakunaa said...

Beautiful...it's a fear for all of us. (((HUGS)))

Illanare said...

A beautiful post.

Miriam said...

Beautiful, powerful, and moving. I feel like IF is like a see-saw in marriages: there are the highs and the lows, a constant balancing act.

I see from your post above that things are looking scary right now... I hope you are ok, and I'm sending lots of sticky healing vibes for you right now. *hug*

~Miriam (ICLW #145) Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed

Piccinigirl said...

this was a Beautiful post, so I'll write that again.

you know infertility is such a strain on a marriage. I imagine that finding our one of you has cancer, or losing a parent or something equally groundshaking feels about the same so early in a marriage. You are FINALLY here with the one person you love beyond words and in that time, in that space something comes in that could rip you both apart...and away from one another.

I don't think I fully understood how far apart we were until we decided to do the IVF and not build our house, it was such a hard decision, to gamble...and try. Then we got the BFP, we got the boys and now we are trying to recover..from the 4 yrs of TTC and the last two years of parenting twins, while working, dealing with my Fibromyalgia and depression because of it (Whew sorry TMI)

I just wanted to tell you that as long you keep going, keep initiating, keep loving III it will be ok. Love does conquer all..it's cheesy, but it does.

I'll be here cheering you on !