Join Date: May 2004
My quest for a child
I guess I have woven a really complicated web for myself. Trap is more like it, because that is how I feel, trapped in a web of wasted time, unexpected turns of events, and regrets.
I am 39 years old, two years into my second marriage. I've always been very sure that I wanted to be a mother since I was a teenager. I was married for the first time at the age of 20. After being married for four years, I was ready to have a baby. My husband wasn't ready (although he was already a father) and thought we weren't financially ready. I was angry, resentful, and diappointed, but did not press the matter. In my dissatisfaction over this matter and other things, I allowed myself to fall for another man and began a long-distance relationship with him. This man had had a vasectomy, but I had plans for him to get his vasectomy reversed (beware of the plans you make for other people). Within a year, I had divorced my husband and moved out on my own.
During this time, I was also diagnosed with endometriosis and had laser treatment for this. I was told about the risks for fertility and understood them, but since I was in this transitional period with relationships, did not see an opening to become pregnant. And I was going to have my family the right way, with two loving parents, and I didn't have that, so the waiting began.
I remained in this relationship with this man who'd had a vasectomy (I eventually moved to the city where he lived) for over a decade. Though he continued to declare his undying love for me, he kept finding a way to put off having the vasectomy reversed, and he kept finding ways to avoid marriage. I had been so sure that within a couple of years after I met him, we would be married and I could pursue having a child in earnest, but it never happened. So, at the age of 34, after spending my most fertile years with this man who would not marry me and could not impregnate me, I left him and moved away.
There still remained all these barriers: the problem that I was 35 and had never even attempted to become pregnant, I wasn't married, had no immediate prospects of being so, wasn't even in a relationship. I had moved back to a small town and there were precious few prospects in terms of suitable men. I had been there for two years and a total of two men had approached me during this time and they turned out to be totally worthless. Though I have always enjoyed my own company and don't know the meaning of the word bored, I was so lonely and wanted a companion. During this time, I thought so hard about just going out and getting pregnant deliberately, I felt such a sense of panic about the situation. Little did I know that I probably couldn't have gotten pregnant if I tried. I just kept praying and praying to God that I didn't want to do it this way, please send me someone to share my life with and to father my child. I had made all these bad choices and wasted so much precious time.
INSERT IGNORE INTO this little drama a health crisis. I was diagnosed with lupus, an immune disease where your body attacks itself. By the time of my diagnosis, it had already silently attacked my kidneys and caused some damage. I had to go on steriods (which threaten your health in their own way), but flatly refused to go on other drugs that would make me infertile. You want me to take this and I haven't even had a chance to have the child of my dreams? You are out of your mind! Though I was quite ill, my life was not in danger, but there was the risk that if I did not take the stronger drugs, somewhere years down the line, my kidneys might deteriorate and fail. My kidney problems were brought under control and I still take a low dose of steriods daily. Any pregnancy for me would be a high-risk pregnancy. A pregnancy could stress my kidneys too much and cause them to get worse. And I have an increased probability of having preeclampsia and having to terminate the pregnancy or having clotting problems that could cause miscarriage.
Three years ago when I was 37, I met the man who is now my husband. Within a year, we were married. I was overjoyed. My disease was under control and I now had a partner to share my life. I stopped using birth control the day I got married. That was almost two years ago and nothing. Just a big fat nothing. I was so sure I would be rewarded for being patient and waiting until I was married and then just...nothing. I have read every book I can find on what to do when you are having trouble concieving and had a consultation with an RE a year ago. I know what I should be doing right now, but am not financially able to do those things. I have insurance, but no coverage for infertility treatments.
I have been stragegizing about another way to attack this and I will make one more go at this starting in the summer and give it my all. My all being everything up to the brink of IVF, but not IVF because of the money. I just don't have it and can't get it, I have explored every avenue, so what am I to do? To know that IVF is there and I can't even try it is maddening beyond belief. I no longer share any details about my struggle with any family or friends, as they always say things to me that make me want to smack them repeatedly and scream at them to leave. Stop telling me about my options, I know my options backwards and forwards and in minute detail, thank you very much.
I know that life is much larger than being a mother and do somehow manage to continue my daily life with some amount of happiness. But I feel like running down the street screaming and wailing with my hair on fire daily. How can you make anyone else understand that you literally want to scream and cry every hour of the day that you are awake? That there is an alarm that is constantly going off inside me and I can't turn it off, it is just ringing and ringing? I fight off depression despite the fact that I feel like pulling the covers over my head and never getting out of bed at the prospect of leaving the earth without having a child. I can't make my husband understand my sorrow and that I really need extra TLC from him when the bleeding begins again and my dreams are killed every 28 days. He actually seems to keep more distance from me when I am sad and need him most.
The months turn into years and here I find myself about to turn 40 come August and still nothing. I have always thought women who got depressed about birthdays were pretty silly people. Embrace who you are and glorify yourself, was how I have always thought. But how to embrace 40 when you are longing for a child, yet you are bombarded with data about deteriorating eggs, thinning endometrial linings, slowing ovulation, etc? I know I have other options besides having a biological child, and I may get around to those. I have always showered love and attention on all the children of others in my life and know many children are out there that need a home and love. But I am just not there yet and still hope for a child of my body.
If you are reading this story, please say a prayer for me and I will do the same for all of you.