Monday, September 2, 2013

The Case for Selfishness

I am considering renaming this blog "Redundance" because I have the same news to report this month that I seem to report every month: we are not pregnant...again.  This puts us at 0 for 15.  If we were a sports team, I'm thinking our playoff hopes would be dashed already because our record stinks.

And to tell the truth, our hopes are a little dashed at the moment.  Before we got paid this month, we were down to $32 dollars in our bank account.  This has never happened in my adult life.  Simply put, we can't afford another IUI procedure, much less go the more expensive (but much more effective) route of IVF.  And adoption?  Between the daunting legal process and the roughly $20, 000 price tag, I can't begin to wrap my head around that option.  All that seems certain is this: it will be a long time until we get to meet our child.

This is a difficult reality to face.  After all, just because we aren't getting pregnant doesn't mean a national moratorium on pregnancies will go into effect.  We will still see baby bumps on Facebook, and close friends and family members will continue to have babies on the way.  Our future is sure to include baby showers we will try to smile through or birthday parties for children we thought our kids would grow up with.  Some days, we will handle this well.  At other times, we may not be able to get off the couch.  Regardless of the consequences, however, stepping away from the infertility roller coaster right now seems very, very necessary.

Even though our finances were the deciding factor in our taking a break from trying, this forced hiatus may, in fact, turn out to be a Godsend.  For the past two and a half years, we have invested nearly all of our money in baby tries.  We have given up taking trips together and have not spend much money at all on our house.  I have been dying to get some end tables to put by the couches, but getting a little extra furniture was never in the budget.  We need to re-glaze our tub and clear some brush on our property.  We'd like to fence in our backyard.  We're not talking about huge renovation projects, and yet we have not tackled anything on this rather modest wish list.  The damn thieving baby took all of our money.

Well guess what, Butterfinger Baby?  Mama's about to spend some dough on her own damn self.

I must admit that it feels quite good to be spending my energy looking forward to furniture-hunting or backyard landscaping instead of counting down the days till I ovulate.  It's nice to be reminded that I can get excited about other smaller adventures and that, baby or no baby, there is and will continue to be excitement in my life.  It's wonderful to go out on a nice dinner date with my wife without being overly cautious about the price of what I order.  Let's face it: sometimes, you just have to indulge.

In the coming months, Danielle and I have some big decisions to make.  Do we continue to try to get pregnant via IUI?  Do we scrimp and save for a year or two for an IVF try, which is more likely to result in a pregnancy?  Do we quit gambling away our money and begin the adoption process?  At the moment, I have no idea of which route to take.  And that's okay.  Because I can assure you of our next steps.

I am going to drink wine with my dinner so that I can unwind from the stress of my workdays.  I am going to have a strong cup of morning coffee without worrying that I am negatively impacting my fertility, and if the day is especially difficult, I will help myself to a second cup.  I will take steaming hot bubble baths because there is no fetus to damage.  I am putting away the prenatal vitamins and ovulation predictor kits.  I am going to hug the heck out of my dogs and kiss the heck out of my wife.  I will take her on a real date every now and then and even plan a little getaway.  And I will do this until I can remember and relearn the simple truth: we have a happy and whole life just as we are.  Yes, we want to have children very badly, but we were really, really thrilled with the state of our lives before we ever started trying for kids.  My goal for the moment is to get back to where we started.

All of this is not to mean that we won't be getting back on the roller coaster at some point.  In fact, when we look at end tables, I'm sure we will choose something with rounded edges to make sure no clumsy little toddler foreheads get cut.  We will shop with durability in mind.  Yes, I fully expect our end tables one day to be covered in tiny little fingerprints.  At the moment, however, the tables will boast glasses of wine and little plates of semi-pricey cheese.

And I am prepared to drink to that.

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