There’s nothing quite like infertility to make you feel bitter and ungrateful. While we’re blessed with many things in our life, they’re easy to overlook when you’re constantly wondering, “Why can’t we have kids?!” I have to check myself pretty much daily so I don’t start resenting the world.
As part of my daily check (yesterday was not good) I need to make a list. A bright side or “at least” list. So for now at least:
– We’re within a few blocks of some of the leading reproductive endocrinologists in the nation.
– We’re employed.
– We have the means to pay for IVF or adoption.
– We live in a time where there are medical advances that can help us.
– We have a happy marriage.
– We have a supportive family and friends.
– We’re house hunting.
– It’s summer.
And you thought I was just a grump. What are your “at leasts…”?
During Ian’s last deployment I dealt with the Army calling me. Well-meaning people would check in from inaccessible places like Ohio and Texas and who knows where, and ask me questions that made me cry. I remember once when I was about eight months pregnant a gentle sounding soldier in Columbus asked how he could help, and I told him unless he could carry the laundry up the stairs for me, he couldn’t. I was hormonal and stressed and tired, and I hated these calls. I finally wrote to the Army and told them not to contact me unless it was about something I needed to know. The worst was someone doing a survey for the military. He asked a long string of somewhat personal multiple choice questions about how we were coping with Ian’s deployment. About halfway through I burst into tears. I missed Ian so badly and I was so tired, and each new question forced me to examine in detail just how hard things were without him. It was awful. I kept choking out answers and the guy never paused or asked if I needed a break or if I should even continue.
The only time he deviated from his script was after he asked me, “In what ways has your spouse’s deployment been beneficial to you and your family?” and I answered, “None.”
“You can’t think of anything that’s been good about it?” He sounded somewhere between astonished and annoyed.