So from the years 2001-2005 we were childless, but I was on the verge of new thinking…child free or childless-not-by-choice. I joined an online support group www.childlessnotbychoice.com and was able to vent with people who were going through what I was going through. I read every story in the bible about the childless woman or women. Abraham and Sarah are popular as is Hannah, but also Samson’s mother and others.
My diet was high glycemic and though I knew I should be doing better, I wasn’t. I’ve always been pro-homecooking, but I was using a lot of processed things in my homecooking (casseroles, boxed mac and cheese, Velveeta, etc.).
I read some books that were sometimes painful to read but challenged my perspective. There was a book I got my hands on somehow, put out by Resolve (a national adoption/infertility group) that talked about adoption and infertility. I read another book “Sweet Grapes: How to stop being infertile and start living again.” Ironically about an OB/GYN who could not conceive. I could not imagine being in her place. This is where I would have been had I continued the MD or Nursing path and I probably would have committed suicide…or been heavily drugged. This man and woman chronicle their journey to acceptance and how they embraced being childless and became “ok” with it. But more than “ok”, how they started living again.
You see, when you are on the infertility rollercoaster (there’s a book with that title, too), you live in two week “waits” or increments. The first two weeks are growing eggs and waiting for ovulation so you either can do the deed non-stop for four days straight or you wait to be inseminated or for those who choose IVF, you harvest the eggs and then wait to have them put into your body. Then the next two weeks you wait, wondering if you are pregnant this time and then you test.
I should have bought stock in EPT. 10 years no positives. Lots of EPT’s. 🙂
So we got to a point where we were just tired of thinking about it. I actually think my husband was more exhausted than I. He was sick of hearing “baby” all the time. He truly had other things to live for. I really did not. I guess that’s the truth, really. I would need to find something to live for. So sometime around this point I had a new mantra, “We are deciding not to decide.”
Deciding not to decide…
Fertility treatments were out of the question since he had so little time off and it would require us to drive 220 miles one way at least 4 times a month. Nevermind the financial cost of those things! Plus, our insurance didn’t cover them. So 100% out of pocket. We are not big risk takers, so that was a complete waste of money for us-as heartbreaking as that sounds. But remember, he was looking for a new job…one with good insurance and time off…
Adoption. I knew I could love any kid, that was not the issue. And I wanted to be a parent. But I was so angry over the whole process! I didn’t want to share my financial statements or fingerprints or this or that violation of my privacy when those birth parents never had to! I didn’t want to fork out $24,000. I didn’t want to foster only to have the child taken away from me. Looking back, our hearts were softened to it, but it wasn’t God’s perfect timing.
Not that I wanted to wait, either. See, I’m a planner by nature. At this time in my life I had it all planned out. Like 10 years in advance. I had money saved and a house bought and loved my job…everything was good…except I was not a Mommy. And that was bad. Very bad. Infertility would change all my planning-forever. And I now see this as a good thing.
Mostly, I avoided holidays or social situations. I think I attended one baby shower in 2002 and never again until probably 8 years later, maybe? I avoided baby showers like the plague. Holidays were hard because people announce their special news during this time or families are together and it’s just a painful reminder of “what you don’t have”. Mother’s Day? Groan. I hated Mother’s Day like you can not imagine. I know, when you are not a mother, Mother’s Day is about your own mother. But Mother’s Day was another horrid, excruciating reminder of what I didn’t have and couldn’t obtain. One Mother’s Day in 2005, we took off for Texas from Nebraska to help my cousin move. My youngest cousin on the other side of the family was graduating high school and I skipped out on the whole affair to avoid Mothers. Day. Seriously, we drove all the way to Texas with my uncle to help my cousin pack up her things and come back to Colorado. To avoid Mother’s Day…ok, and to see my cousin. 🙂 Jeff had been offered a job with the Army Corps of Engineers, so he wasn’t working and could take off and our future kind of looked bright.
A new chapter…we hoped.