In the past weeks I’ve had an insatiable hunger for infertility memoirs. I’ve purchased, and read, pretty much every one that is available on Kindle. Three times a week, on the elliptical trainer I drink the words of these women. Every night before bed I let their stories of struggle lull me to sleep.
I have also spent a considerable amount of time trying to figure out why, when I’m so close to the possible end of my own family building journey, I’m obsessed with the stories of other people’s infertility journey’s, especially when many of them don’t end up with children at all.
I honestly don’t know why I’m doing this (and if you have any ideas, please share). I think my best guess is that infertility has so completely colored my experience of this pregnancy that I relate more right now to infertility stories than pregnancy stories. This pregnancy is so much more about my diminished ovarian reserve and my husband’s MFI, it’s so much more about how dismal our chances were, how we were drastically changing our diet and turning to acupuncture and supplements in a last ditch attempt, it’s so much more about how we were supposed to be counting down to the months to treatment, about how having another biological child was supposed to be pretty much impossible. This pregnancy is so much more about how we were trying to move on, to prepare ourselves to walk away in defeat and not triumph.
This pregnancy is so much more about this being our last chance. About how, if this doesn’t work out, we’ll likely not have another biological child. That reality colors every moment of this pregnancy, it is the lens through which I experience all of this.
Maybe I am honoring that lens by reading other women’s stories. Maybe I am honoring my experience by reading the stories of other women who struggled. Maybe I am paying homage to their experiences, as well as my own. I don’t really know. All I do know is I haven’t cracked a single pregnancy book, in fact I have them bagged and ready to be donated (well, all but one). All I do know is that I have no desire to read motherhood memoirs or books about having a second child (though perhaps I’d be interested in the later if I could find one specifically about that–sadly I can’t). All I do know is that right now, I’m doing what feels right. And that is immersing myself in infertility.
I just hope all this is more about honoring my past experience and not just dwelling on it. I hope this helps me heal and doesn’t keep opening an old wound, allowing it to fester. I hope I can trust myself to do what is right for me.
And I hope that if this baby come to us happy and healthy, that I will be ready to put this chapter of my life behind me. That I’ll be ready to move on.