My yoga teacher has this phrase, when she is asking us to pay attention to our bodies or our breath, to what our mind flits to while it should be still. “Be curious”, she says. I like this notion of curiosity. I like not examining and obsessing, researching and analyzing. I can think about what my emotions feel like, and be curious. It becomes ok to say “I am angry or frustrated or sad” without trying to link feeling with event. I can stand up and say that I don’t know what I feel, I don’t have words for these emotions, and that is ok too.

I haven’t talked about it at all, but Mr. Spit and I went to go and see a fertility specialist in January. I wasn’t kidding when I told you that I have no intention of turning this blog into an infertility one. My inner bits just aren’t that interesting to me, and I can’t fathom that anyone else would find them intriguing. I spend enough time obsessing over my cycle, and I can’t fathom wasting your time with existential menstrual angst.

Anyway, my cycle might have regulated its self a bit more with the exercise, or it might not have. It’s hard to tell. The doctor was pleased with my exercise and the diet and the weight loss, and when I announced that I was running a 5K race in March was perfectly willing to postpone treatment until then. She says, for what it is worth, that I am a great candidate for an IUI. Or  I could keep trying on my own, or yes, I could move on to IVF. Effectively, she asked what  Iwanted to do. I’m supposed to tell her at the next appointment.

That deadline is coming up soon. I have a sheaf of lab work on my kitchen table, and I have done nothing about it. It’s just sitting there, bugging me. Except, when you work 65 hour weeks, the time that something can bug you is limited, so I have been able to ignore the situation.

I spent a lot of time yesterday doing something mindless, a task that gave my brain time to range and think and meander. I spent a lot of time trying to decide what to tell the doctor I wanted to do. I spent a lot of time counting cost.

I think it comes down to this: we know the cost of living child free – or at least we know the “now” cost.  Don’t misunderstand, the cost has been heavy, we’ve been ostracized, had to find new friends, had to question the purpose of our marriage without children, had to re-arrange our dreams of the future. We’ve had to figure out how to live as a childless couple in a christian world that venerates children, that can’t comprehend of a family as something other than a mum, a dad and 2 children. But, we are doing that. It’s not even that we are content to pay the cost, we have in fact paid the cost already. To use the lexicon of economics, this is a sunk cost. We’ve paid it, and whatever happens next, we can’t get it back.

We know the cost of a dead baby, we’ve paid that, and while we would become that more horribly tragic couple, who has lost another child, who is afflicted with permanent judgement, we know that we survived Gabriel’s death, and we would survive another one. We know that we would only do this once more. 2 dead children would be quite enough, thank you very much.

The only cost we can’t fully count is that of more aggressive measures to have children. I’m I think I’m aware of some of the costs, after all, I wrote gravida:5, para:0 in my own chart at the fertility specialist. And I’m well enough informed to know that pursuing aggressive fertility treatmennt means ceding control of my life, of the most intimate parts of my marriage. I’m surrendering something of myself to a medical system that rates success as a live baby. And whether or not I want to truly admit it, I could give myself drugs, suffer all manner of indignity, and find myself sitting in the emergency room  again, losing another child. I could find myself not pregnant at all. The fact that I am counting costs means that I am aware I will not do anything to have a baby. Indeed, there are a great many things I won’t do at all. I’ve counted those cost, and I am not willing to pay them. I will not become obsessed with having a baby, I will not put myself, my husband through treatment after treatment. I will not pay for failed cycles, in both cold hard cash, but also by giving up my privacy, my sense of self, my marital harmony, in exposing my family building activities to my co-workers, in living in 2 week cycles, in living life by an RE’s appointment schedule.

When I count up the costs, I am forced to admit, I know the cost of living child free now, and I know the costs of having another baby die, but I don’t completely know the costs of aggressive fertility treatment and I really don’t know the costs of living child free in 20, in 30, in 50 years. We would die alone, Mr. Spit and I. My grandmother’s china, the bits of silver I have collected, all the books we have bought sold in some giant estate sale, nothing left of us in the world. We will be truly gone when we are dead, gone in a way that those who have children are never gone.  I don’t like those feelings, I don’t like the feeling of dying alone, in fact it terrifies me.

And I realized, all of my reasons, my concerns over my work, my concerns about a high risk pregnancy, my concerns about aggressive treatment don’t matter all that much. I know that I’m not willing to do anything to have a baby – I  find the notion of doing anything I could to have a baby to be obsessive, and I find obsessiveness repugnant. I am willing to go and talk some more about my options, and ask what is most likely to succeed, and try that once. To re-evaluate the situation after that. The truth of the matter is this: I don’t like the idea of intrusive fertility treatments, but I know, if they fail and I am living child free in 50 years we will only have that with which to console ourselves. All we we will be able to do is look back at the treatments and console ourselves, we did what we could.

And I guess, that’s enough of a cost in itself.

This entry was posted in TTC # 2. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to UnExpected

  1. Debby says:

    I wish that there was some shining bit of wisdom I could offer you, but I can’t think of one thing to say in response. Nothing. I can only console myself with the thought that even if I did offer you some shining bit of wisdom, it would be lost in the glittering bits of wisdom that you have offered up in your post.

    So, really, I’ve got nothing. I will continue to pray for you and Mr. Spit.

  2. a says:

    I admire your ability to look logically at the situation. (In regards to treatment, I will say though, that you can get caught up and become obsessive without quite realizing it when under a hormonal rush. Fortunately, you have the lovely Mr. Spit, who will help you keep your focus because he gets to maintain a certain distance that you will not be able to muster.) I wish you luck and success in this life, whatever path you choose.

  3. Bluebird says:

    I’m nodding along because I understand so many of these thoughts. Mostly the part about knowing the cost of a dead baby. B and I had the same conversation. That it would suck so much, but we survived it once and would survive it again. I tried to explain that to someone once, but they couldn’t get past the gruesomeness of the thought. But it’s true. I think. . . I think that if it were to happen again, that would be my breaking point. We wouldn’t try again. But we were willing to give it one more go in that regard.

    We’ve also talked about the cost of dying alone. Another gruesome thought, I suppose 🙂 But what we’ve lived through and are living through are gruesome, and this is our reality.

    This is obviously a decision only you two can make. I will say that, to us, the cost of a bit of fertility treatment was not that high. Correction: it seemed high initially. Our twins were IUI babies. The cost of re-visiting fertility treatments after losing the twins did not seem high. Well, it was high – but didn’t seem *that* high in comparison with some of the alternatives. We set a dollar limit, which necessarily carried with it a time limit, and agreed to constantly reevaluate along the way. Of course, a whole other can of worms has been opened with preeclampsia and the dangers of carrying twins again. . .

    Wishing you peace and clarity.

  4. You always amaze me with your wisdom.
    You and Mr. Spit are a family, and I always consider furry kids in my family. Maybe you could start taking them to church? The love you two have would shame many couples, so don’t ever feel like you are any less without children.
    You have a good head on your shoulders, and I wish you luck and peace with whatever you decide to do.

  5. anonymous says:

    I read this, and the first thing I thought was, “Damn. So this is truly what it means to be between a rock and a hard place.”

    I do not know anything firsthand about the kind of things you’ve gone through and continue to endure, but you have my respect.

    I am so very proud of you for exercising, changing your diet, and giving up the cancer sticks. At least with the things which are under your control, you’ve done a remarkable job, and you need to be applauded for that. So many folks who have gone through much less can’t muster the strength to take the stairs one or two flights DOWN much less UP, and you go running when it’s colder than balls out. So, there.

  6. Trish says:

    As someone who definitely fell under the title “obsessed” for a good while, I think it’s good to be aware of it and at least try to set some limits ahead of time.
    even during our years of TTC, I knew we needed a break, but I was so caught up in the obsession that I just couldn’t. I told David a number of times we needed a break, but I just couldn’t.
    In hindsight, I think maybe I was hoping he’d put his foot down and insist on one. He never did.
    In the end, I can say it was all worth it, but of course, my costs were ultimately repaid.

    We are considering trying for a second child at some point, and I find myself have similar conversations in my head. Of course, I haven’t paid the price you have, so I have the luxury of saying “one would be enough.”

    But I do keep promising myself that I won’t fall into obsession again. Now the costs aren’t just to me, but to Robbie as well. Maybe that’s what will keep me in check? I hope so.

    Anyway, I’m blathering. I guess because this post struck a chord with me. I wish you guys much luck.. whatever you decide.


    P.S. I would find your menstrual angst interesting!

  7. Aunt Becky says:

    I wish I had any great advice to offer you. I adore you and I love you and that’s all.

  8. HereWeGoAJen says:

    I will be here to support you, no matter what decision shows itself to be the right one.

  9. JuliaS says:

    {{{hugs}}} Mrs. Spit. Sometimes I truly wish for a crystal ball and a magic wand.

  10. Heidi says:

    I needed to hear this today. I’ve been avoiding going to an adoption seminar because I just can’t give up the obsession to try again. I hope that the one try is all that it will take.

  11. Kristin says:

    I wish I had some brilliant insight or foresight that would make the decision about what path to travel easier. {{{Hugs}}}

  12. M says:

    I had very similiar converstaions before we started down our IF path again. Again, because no two stories are the same, mine was different because I’d already experienced IVF and knew that I could survive that emotionally and finacially. I also knew that the cost of living childfree was too high for me. We set deadlines for treatments and when we would stop and re-evaluate our situation and discuss adoption instead. It wasn’t an easy path, but it was what made the most sense for us. And that is really what it comes down to… A very personal decision about what you can live through with no (or few) regrets. I wish you peace in your decision.

  13. linds says:

    I can somewhat relate to this post. I think we all need to come to a point to decide, how much is enough? Where do we draw our line in the sand? I am confident you will make the best decision when the time comes. Thinking of you.

  14. loribeth says:

    I think that when it comes to fertility treatments, it really does help to go in with a clear idea of what your limits are & what you are willing & not willing to do — even if you eventually find yourself doing the very things you once thought you would never do, because it can be a very slippery slope. We all make the best decisions we can with the information & resources we have available to us at the moment. Hindsight, of course, is always 20-20.

    Good luck with whatever path you decide to follow, Mrs. Spit. I’ll be here cheering for you. (((hugs)))

  15. Jess says:

    Oh Mrs. Spit, this is so hard and I have so much admiration for the way you are handling it. I know exactly what you mean about families and the church, I’m gearing up for a big rant over at my place about how the church views singleness as being somehow defective. Because it’s not hard enough to be single when you long to be married or to long for children and have none, we’re made to feel like there’s something wrong with us too. Gah, this is so opposite of what the church is supposed to be!

    I am praying for a wee one for you and Mr. Spit to love and raise and teach all the wonderful wisdom you have accumulated. That child would be blessed indeed.

  16. I will always hold hope in my heart for you and Mr.Spit and I wish the cost was not so dear.
    ((HUGS)) and really great scotch sent your way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *