With this being Father's Day weekend, I was planning on keeping things low key (ok, well, anti-social) for my own mental health & that of my husband. Vid isn't nearly as vocal as I am about our struggle but it does weigh heavily on him, especially with his mom's still progressing bone cancer. She's seriously considering stopping chemo & radiation as the side effects are getting to be too much for her. He often wonders aloud about how he would be remembered if he had no children & there was no biological trace of him left on the planet once he leaves. His mom has 2 kids (hubby & his very single sister) & no grandkids; will her line die with her? Morbid, but a very real question as we've now passed the 4 year mark of TTC.
But getting back to my plan of a low key Father's Day weekend: didn't happen. Totally forgot about my cousin's high school graduation party yesterday where the entire planet would be. I was planning on making a very quick appearance but got to talking with an aunt of mine which was actually a good thing.
My Aunt K was married to my dad's brother D. They got divorced like 20 years ago but have been together again for the past 12. Weird, I know. The theory is when Aunt K's dad (a pretty evil guy by all accounts; even hers) died in a freak accident they finally didn't have him to deal with & so were able to actually have a healthy relationship without his interference. Even though Aunt K & Uncle D live in the same state, we don't really see them much; pretty much holidays only.
Anywho, even though I'm "out" as an infertile I don't usually bring it us unless someone asks about when we're having kids, etc. So I was talking with Aunt K about my sister who is due any time now & she asked if we planned on having kids. I told her "planned" was the operative word: we've been trying since just a few months after we got married.
She asked some questions about what our issues were, if we had done any treatment, if we had considered adoption. I told her about all the failed IUIs, the failed IVF, the upcoming IVF & how I would love to adopt but was scared of it failing too & how Vid was not on board with this concept. She listened. And was horrified at the financial costs involved. But most of all, she didn't try to give any sage advice. What she did say was "I know what it's like to want & not have; it's awful."
You see, Aunt K was a kind of infertile. Actually, she had no trouble getting pregnant; she just couldn't carry to term. She had 3 miscarriages before finally carrying beyond the 1st trimester. And then she lost pregnancy #4 at 37 weeks with no explanation. It was Thanksgiving week. I was 10 & still remember how horribly sad it was for everyone. A little over a year later she finally had a live baby, my cousin A who is now 21. She had another miscarriage about a year after A was born & it was @ this point their marriage fell apart. So maybe it wasn't just Aunt K's dad but also their struggles to have a family that contributed to their divorce. Hmm.
Anyways, as bad as not being able to get pregnant has been, I can't imagine what it's like to have gone through what she has. And of course my warped little mind says "What if you finally get pregnant this next IVF & miscarry?". But even after the hell she went through, my Aunt K went on living. Not the life she had wanted for herself, I'm sure, but she went on. Eventually she did have a child which I suppose should give me hope. Even if our struggles are very different, that feeling of "wanting & not having" is very much the same. We're a part of a club where nobody wants to be a member of, hoping with every cycle to be able to turn in our membership card.