Thursday, October 27, 2016

Many Months Later: An Update from our Single Child World

Well, it's been nearly four months. I have been meaning to post an update here for a long time, but first I felt too miserable to recount it all, and then I got very busy at work for the last two months.

But. Here I am. And in a very different place than last time I wrote.

Right after July 4th, I went back for another lining check, and my cycle was canceled. Ended. Done. The weird thing is, I never actually spoke my doctor in Atlanta. But in previous phone conversations and by email, he confirmed that there is something going on in my uterus (more endo, or scarring from my c-section) that is preventing a lining from growing, and the next steps are to consider a surrogate, or get the hysteroscopy and see if it's something that can be addressed or not. I still feel I don't 100% understand all this. I also feel there were inconsistencies in my lining readings, and miscommunication between the local clinic and the doctor in Atlanta.

In any case, my husband had already made it known that he's done. Absolutely done. Sadly, he didn't even call me or return my desperate calls or texts that morning of the final appointment. Not for about an hour and a half. That's a horribly long time for me to not have had that support. He was out of town, visiting his parents, with our toddler, and I was alone.

Me? I don't know. I have not been doing too well over the past three months. I was bad, then got some therapy and went back on the birth control pill (because I have endometriosis, and also I don't want the "what ifs" nagging at me) and then seemed to be doing better. But then a few things happened: I stopped individual therapy because my husband and I were fighting like crazy so we started couples therapy, and I simply didn't have time for both. I believe we hit such a rough patch because of his lack of empathy and support. To be fair, he's never been as emotional as I am. When I was struggling for 2.5 years to get pregnant with my son, I leaned heavily on my support group friends. This time, I don't have that support. I know they are out there, but I don't seem to know anyone in real life who is my boat- wants a second, but can't. Also, getting back to my husband, he says he's thought for years that a second child might not work, because we had so much trouble getting to #1. I was.. more optimistic. And he was more realistic, as it turns out. So I don't think he faced the crushing surprise and disappointment that I felt. He had always said he wanted a second if it was just the case of a few transfers, but my cycles had turned out to be immensely stressful, expensive, and chaotic.

So, his lack of empathy and wanting me to get over it faster than I could have been so hard. My lack of support from people in a similar place is a big contrast from previous infertility treatment cycles. Then, my best mom friend got pregnant really, really easily, and was incredibly insensitive in complaining and talking about it ad nauseam. We haven't spoken in over a month, haven't hung out since August, and I've been taking it really hard. Although we had differences- she seems to view being pregnant as some big accomplishment, like it's her major contribution to society- we were also good friends, our kids got along, and we hung out 1-3 times a week. So I am very lonely on top of everything else.

Writing all this out is actually making me feel kind of ill, so I'm going to wrap it up. I've been spiraling downwards for awhile, but now I am making some positive changes. Just last night I started a low dose of anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medication (the big Z), and today I feel sick, drunk, and unhappy. But I have heard that if I stick with it, it will be worth it. I've been trying to keep exercising 1-2 times a week, I've been reaching out to other friends who are empathetic and kind people, and I've ended our couples therapy because I felt it was doing more harm than good. Right now, if our relationship is going to work, first I need to pull myself out of this unhappiness.

I still wish it had ended differently. I wanted, I dreamed of another child. But from a practical viewpoint, there are huge benefits to having one. We're more financially secure than we've ever been, now that we're not doing endless treatment cycles and worrying about another daycare payment. We've decided to take two nice vacations a year, starting with Alaska this June and maybe Costa Rica or Mexico this January or February. We can do these things, logistically and financially, with one child. We both get plenty of precious reading and solitary time, since we can trade off with childcare on weekends and give each other breaks. Our son is now at the age where he is not so needy, he can play with the neighbors or by himself, but he's also super fun to do interesting things with. We have real conversations and adventures, and my attention doesn't have to be divided or diverted by a baby.

Probably no one is even reading this anymore, and sorry to not have a happy ending, but I hope and pray that someday I will feel like this had a happy conclusion- at least, that I made the right choice in stopping the endless sinkhole of fertility treatment, and that I can have a happy, satisfying life with my One and Only child, who has taught me a kind of love that I am amazed by every single day. Here's to a healthier outlook, this medication helps me quit obsessing over what could have been, and my marriage recovers this rocky stage.

More later, perhaps.


  1. I am reading! You are not utterly alone, even though it totally feels that way. I am so sorry that things ended in such a sputtery, flame-pinched out kind of way. I am so sorry that you are facing loneliness in friends who don't understand and are even (somewhat un-)intentionally hurtful to you, and that you are struggling with the lack of empathy and support from your husband. That is so hard, to feel like you are alone in feeling devastated. When you aren't on the same page, so to speak. It is a loss. It's a horrible loss, because I can understand your optimism. How can you not hope for the dream? My husband leans on the side of realism too, and that can be so hard. For me, it's knowing that if I went to him and said, "I can't do this anymore, I am too tired of our life on hold and I don't think adoption is going to work out for us" -- he would be like, "OKAY THEN!" and he would adjust a hell of a lot quicker than me. (That's not where we are, but it's sort of a similarity to your situation.) It's good to think on the things that make one child a positive, but also okay to mourn the loss of that sibling, HARD. I hope the big Z is helpful sooner than later. I hope that the couples counseling works out (we just started ourselves over some adoption decisions where we are not on the same page)...and that you can get what you need from the couples while you put your own on hold. I am thinking of you as you face the fallout from a decision you really didn't get to make, and hoping that the rocky stages of things give way to a smoother way for you and your husband and your state of well being. It's just so hard to work through these things, but it is possible. Big, squeezy, internet-based hugs to you.

    1. Thanks, Jess. I'm working on being okay with how things ended up. I check your blog regularly in hope of good news from you too.