I’ve been thinking for some time that there are others out there like me. Those who are reminded daily of what might have been. It’s been exactly three years and seven months since my husband and I elected to end, once and for all, the torturous cycle of infertility intervention. Yet not a day goes by that I don’t wonder what our child might have looked like, what longstanding family traits we might have passed on and how our lives might have been different.
I’m sure I’m not alone.
Over the years I’ve gradually moved from distress to anger to a more benign state of mind, but what surprises me most is the enduring longing that remains. It’s a longing punctuated by sometimes insensitive but well meaning comments and behaviors from individuals whom I’ll charitably describe as those who don’t know any better.
And then there are those who’ve been down the same path I have. They will, no doubt, acknowledge that there are a never-ending set of built-in reminders of what might have been — some more difficult to stomach than others. I’ll share observations about them and encourage your comments as well.
There are lots of discussions out there involving those in the midst of infertility treatments, but I think there is much to be aired and shared about what happens when it’s clear that no amount of money, medicine or prayer is going to produce the impossible.
This blog is about beginning again and coming to terms with what comes next…
September 23, 2007 8:08 pm
I want to hear this. I do. But I’m scared. I don’t want to know what comes next because I’m quite certain I am not strong enough to handle it. Some say there is a freedom that washed over them when they finally understood that there is more to their life than treatments and the long-winded pursuit of parenthood. Others are not so tranquil. I fear that will be me. I know it’s out there. I know there may not be a light at the end of the baby tunnel, but rather a very dark dank room with no windows or doors.
I want to know what you will share next. I do. But if I don’t respond, just know that I’m not abandoning you… it just might be a bit hard to swallow.
February 4, 2011 8:19 pm
I stopped infertility treatment 3 years ago this coming September at the age of 39, my husband was 37, your words resonate with me and every day, like you I am reminded of what could have been, and never ever will be, in my work just now there’s 2 pg women (even saying the full word to this day is hard for me I prefer to say ‘up the duff’ scottish slang!!) sitting at my team meetings every week ‘blooming’ in front of me, one of the pgs was planned, the other a mistake, I can feel very paranoid in their company and worry that they will ask me the dreaded question what about you, however I don’t give them the opportunity…. one of them said to me when she first found out she was preggers quote “its amazing how fertile you can be when you put your mind to it” unquote!!!! So I guess three years on from stopping treatment, while I’ve made some progress in my grief i’ve still got a long way to go with these daily reminders. I just try and tell myself that me and my husband are being selfless not having children instead of the ‘selfish’ comments we have endured over the years, to all those people out there who have conceived at the drop of a hat, don’t make any comments unless you have walked in our shoes!!
February 5, 2011 5:48 am
I so understand the torture of being in the presence of those who have no idea that simply being in the same room with them can often feel like death by a thousand cuts. Simply the anticipation of a carelessly inserted comment or an unwanted question brings unwanted stress. Just know that it will get better with time, and that you’re always free to express yourself with those who have walked in your shoes. We’re here and we understand…