This is not all about me.
Shocking, I know.
Now, some of you who have been following the bouncing ball of my infertility experience might be kind of confused about this revelation, of course it's about me, but it has finally started to sink in that it isn't 'all' about me anymore.
Kind of embarrassing actually. Ugh.
For the last 5 years (because I was freaked out about being infertile for at least 2 years before we actually started TTC!) Husband has been my rock. He had held onto the "yes we can" flag, picked me up off of the floor, given me pep talks galore, held me, dried my tears, made me laugh, encouraged me to dream of the future, and put his big longs arms around our dreams for our family.
Well now, the tables have turned. And yes, my grief process is as valid as his, but in a way different. I am mourning the lost potential, the years spent beating myself up, living on the knife's edge of infertility, and losing Sparky. But I am no longer, absolutely, mourning the loss of my fertility potential. By that I mean, one of the things I found the most painful, and hard to manage on a material and symbolic level, was the feeling that my body had never been fertile. Now I am in the position of not knowing, and compared to knowing for sure, there is a certain freedom in that. That isn't to say that if we move onto donor eggs and donor sper.m I won't need to work through that loss, but I am in a different place than before.
But Husband is where I was in December through March--but (in my description, not his) he has crash landed into this world where his fertility, though assumed, was not there. And he is dealing with it in his own way, and because of the time limits, he has to move towards this new reality at a faster pace than is optimal.
Frankly, he needs me to step up and be there for us. Not to be whining and sniveling about how freaked out I am about this or that thing. I do need to feel those feelings, and deal with them, but I've always been sort of the helpee in this dynamic, and now I need to be the helper.
I did a couple of things last week that really seemed to help:
One is that I talked to a friend who is the mother of two (4 and 18 months), and just poured out all sort of worries and fears, and she shared that she had a lot of the same fears and worries when she was pregnant, all the while being clear that my situation was a bit different, but also, normalizing a lot of what I just felt terribly guilty for worrying about. The best piece of advice she gave me was that no matter where the father's genetic material comes from, you have to make him the father. It is so easy to exclude the father. I saw that with a former roommate. She had two children by different fathers, and her partner at the time did not want to have a child with her because he know that would mean he would be on the outs.
The other was that I finally figured out, and expressed, that I was angry about only having two chances to get pregnant with my eggs, and that it was putting enormous pressure on the experience of the home insemination (upcoming in early August), and the IVF (the following cycle, if possible). It felt so guilty, knowing Husband never get's another chance, and selfish for wanting this for myself. It was hard to talk about, but we were able to come up with the plan to do the IVF, and inseminations (most likely IUI's) afterward. I felt like the sky opened up.
I know there needs to be an end to this process, and I will need to figure out when 'enough is enough', but one home insemination and one IVF is just not enough, at least not right now.
So I am limbering up my arms, stretching them out, and encircling our family, just like Husband has done for us all these years. And yes, we'll do it together, but right now, I need to step up.