Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Reason Three Why Infertility Sucks: Mind Games.

Oh come on, you know you've thought it too.

Maybe the reason we aren't able to have kids is because we aren't supposed to.

It's insidious. You can't help it, especially when you get a diagnosis that everything is your partner's fault or even worse, when they can't find any good reason for your uterus to still have a "for rent" sign on it.

"Dunno, perfectly good wiring and piping, entryway's to code, nice fresh coat of paint, good neighbourhood, price is right. No idea why nobody wants to move in." If you ask prospective tenants, they say "I'm not sure what was wrong with it.. the vibe just seemed off."

The vibe is off indeed. On a bad day, that's the only reason my brain can muster for a diagnosis of "unexplained infertility". His Ys aren't feelin my Xs. We have a basic chemical conflict. Our genes don't match. I married the wrong man.

It's all crap, of course. Our marriage is good. We love each other, and what's more, we usually even like each other. Moreover there is no scientific reason to believe that he'd be any more successful at procreation with anyone else, nor would I.

Except you can't help but think it.

There's the practical, scientific brain: "Maybe there's just some little thing wrong with me, and combined with some little thing that he must have wrong, it means that we can never have kids, but if either one of us was with someone else, we'd both be OK and be parents by now, except we'd have to be sleeping with each other on the side because I couldn't live without him, OMG I'm a whore."

OK, maybe not so scientific.

There's the irrational, selfish brain: "IT'S HIM and this is all his fault."

There's the irrational, self-loathing brain: "IT'S ME and this is all my fault."

And then there's the irrational, completely psychotic brain: "OMG, it's the universe saying that our progeny would be the antichrist and we never should have gotten married and I AM NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE HIS CHILD. But that means my supposed to be husband is off having kids with someone else! But whose child should I have had by now? Brad Pitt's? OMG."

It's hard enough to be married. I'm a realist. There's enough difficulty in sharing a home, a dog, a life with someone without having to deal with infertility. And as if the struggle of infertility itself wasn't enough, it brings with it an innate insecurity about our choice of life partner, even a little teeny subliminal bit, a little piece of you that says This Isn't Supposed To Be Like This, and Did I Make The Wrong Choice? It doesn't make you a bad person. It doesn't mean you're *right* when you briefly think "if I was but married to someone else everything would be fine", because of course it wouldn't be. In that case, you'd be married to the wrong partner and even if you were having kids, you'd be having kids with the wrong man. Your husband is the right man to be married to, rest assured.

But it sucks that this infertility business makes you question that, too.


Jendeis said...

I deal with these feelings a lot; especially as my marriage has gotten more difficult and the question arises whether or not we should have married in the first place, let alone try to have children. There is that thought that maybe we can't have kinds because this is all wrong, sort of a Diane Keaton in The Godfather II explaining her abortion to Michael Corleone.

Jendeis said...

Oops, that's kids. Not kinds.