I was at the ripe old age of 20 before I figured out that you couldn’t divide by zero. I was, in fact, taking my second Math 114 (Calculus) class. A friend was tutoring me, we were sitting in the pub, and I was completing questions. I got to the end of a particularly tricky one, turned my notebook around and announced the answer was something like 2.68. She looked at me strangely, and looked at my work, and then looked up.
“You can’t divide by zero”.
This was, I will admit, news to me. Astonishing, I know. Honestly, I had made it through 12 years of grade school and I did not know this. I don’t think it will ever really make sense to me, that you can’t divide by zero, but there you have it: incontrovertible mathematical fact.
We have just finished our fourth medicated cycle, and still no luck. We have done chlomid and blood tests and an HSG. We’ve analyzed sperm and blood work, changed hypertensives. We’ve added metformin, increased the metformin, peed on sticks, and the very bottom line is, I’m still not pregnant. There’s no good reason for this, I’m ovulating, the sperm is good, my uterus is reasonably hospitable (the pre-e thing aside). I’m not pregnant. Truthfully, we didn’t think that getting pregnant would be a problem. We expected to be heading into the danger zone in a pregnancy at this time, not still struggling.
The gynecologist, will of course send me to an RE, after a suitable wait (this is Canada after all). And then, maybe, I guess, we could move on to IUI’s. And it’s not wrong to move on to IUI’s, but in my heart of hearts, I think I might be done. I am tired, beyond tired. I am weary. I’m not ready to move on to something else, but I can’t stay here any longer.
I have, for years, argued with Mr. Spit about why dividing by zero should give you a real number. And my odd logic doesn’t matter. You can’t divide by zero. Incontrovertible mathematical fact, and I’ve argued about it. Only me.
So, I come back. The ride of infertility is a long one, with many exit points. The problem is, none of them seem to be clearly marked. Perhaps we ride around and around, and for some of us, I think maybe we fall off in exhaustion at some point. Certainly, I’m falling off in exhaustion. I am done with the tears and the chaos and the hurt. The payoff just isn’t worth it.
I think I might have had more fortitude, were it not for pre-eclampsia. But, it does seem to me, when the pregnancy will be so hard, well, some of it needs to be easy. And none of it is. And I am tired. I am tired of giving my all to get pregnant, knowing that I’ll be giving my all to stay pregnant. Knowing how hard this is right now, and it isn’t all that hard, at least not compared to what it’s going to be.
And at some point in the last few weeks, without knowing all the answers, without understanding, at some point, I could hear God asking “Do you trust me? Do you trust me even if you never had another child? Do you trust me if the only child I ever give you sits in an urn on your shelf? Do you trust me even then?”, and a more gentle “Are you ready to be done now? To lay down this dream of a child of your own?”
I didn’t want to believe what God was asking me. I didn’t want to believe that he was really asking me. I wanted to believe it was really more of a hypothetical question. I wanted to believe that this wasn’t me. After all, I look around, and there are lots of people with children. God doesn’t seem to be asking them if they would still love him with no children. The question for them is, at best, hypothetical.
But out on my porch, that afternoon, the question wasn’t hypothetical. The question was real, and it demanded an answer. I took a deep breath and I said yes. I said that I didn’t know how I would do it, I don’t have that much strength, but with God’s help, yes, I would trust, even with no children. It was then that I realized I didn’t have to stay on this ride anymore. It was then I realized that I could be done now.
I don’t know where to go from here. After all, for 2 years now, I have been pregnant, grieving my son, or trying to get pregnant. I don’t know what to do with all the spare time. I don’t know how to give up the life of tears, chlomid, going from hopeful to hopeless every 33 days. I don’t know what to do now that I can find a new job, start volunteering again, move into my craft room permanently. I’ve thought, spoken, dreamed of being pregnant, and I just can’t do it any longer. I’m done. We’re done.
I believe that you can divide by zero, even if I know my belief to be false.
I do know this. When we know something for long enough, belief comes. I know this: belief can be fickle, I can believe what I want, it is what I know to be true that matters.
You can’t divide by zero. You just can’t. And I am done. Gabriel may well be our only child.
I know that many of you will think we are giving up to soon, that we should not give up so easily, that we should adopt. If adoption was the answer for you, I am thankful. Right now Mr. Spit and I need to grieve that we may never again hold a child of our making, that we will never see our child in our home. We need some time to sit with this sorrow before we can look ahead.