I often tease LG and tell him that he must have been a Jewish or Catholic mother in another life, because he is extremely skilled at the art of friendly guilt.  Even my Irish Catholic mother, whom I thought had the lock on the title, could pick up a few tricks from him.

The one thing he has never ever ever made me feel guilty about is my inability to give him the children he so desperately wants.  Even though our diagnosis is unexplained, his SA was picture perfect, so that leaves me and my half-time reproductive system looking like the culprit.

I remember a time pretty early on when were dating – a couple months or so after we had started having the no-agenda-it-just-feels-AWESOME sex versus the methodical and everything-but-romantic-hurry,  we’re in the window-sex that would come later.  We were sitting by the lake near our house, and he looked at me and with incredible tenderness asked me about my scars.  My body bears the marks of the rather tumultuous relationship I have had with health over the years.  I have significant stretch marks everywhere (without the benefit of every actually being pregnant), due to severe childhood asthma that required high doses of corticosteroids over an extensive period of time.  I also have pretty dramatic scarring from the surgery which removed my right ovary, fallopian tube, and several lymph nodes due to (thankfully) very very early stage ovarian cancer.   Because he asked with such genuine interest and caring, I felt comfortable telling him everything.  He listened, and stroked my arm, and then quietly asked me, “Can you have kids?”  This is a man who has been telling his friends for years that he wants 5 kids.   I told him that there was no reason to believe that I couldn’t.  That people get pregnant with 1 ovary all the time and the doctors said there was no reason to think I’d have any issues.  (Of course, to be fair, they did say that 10 years ago…).   He kissed me and we went on with our day.

I have always known how much he wants to be a father.  If it’s possible, maybe even more than I’ve dreamed about being a mother.  And because of me, this is a dream of his (ours) that is so far – and maybe forever – elusive.  I feel horrible guilt about that.  On some very deep scary level,  I worry that if it doesn’t happen for us (to date he hasn’t wanted to talk about adoption or other alternatives, but it may just be too early for him for that), that something will be lost in our relationship, because he feels deprived of what he’s wanted for so long.  He’s never given me any reason to think that…but there it is all the same.   I desperately hope – for both of us – that we find our way to the family we both dream about.


5 Responses

  1. Stopping by from LFCA to welcome you and congratulate you on making the leap. The name of a blog is a big step. I also took lots of time thinking about mine before I started to write. I personally love the title of yours. Patience is something I’ve never been good at (I blame my mom and sister), and IF enflated that practice ten fold. I’ve tried to live my life by the phrase “Good things come to those who wait.” Little did I know how difficult it would be to live by that.

    Anyway, enough about me. Welcome! Enjoy and submerse yourself in your writing. It will set you free.

  2. Such a tender sweet post.

  3. Stopping by from LFCA

    Great perspective – it’s so often women who drive the “I want children” train. But there should be no guilt involved in something over which you have absolutely no control. Your wonderful husband will not do it to you, so do not put a guilt trip on yourself.

  4. I love your blog already. Your LG sounds a bit like mine–he is great at laying on the guilt. We’re working on it. But more importantly, he, like you, does not make me feel guilty for our inability thus far to get pregnant. Sure, I make *myself* feel guilty all the time, but not him. It’s a pretty sweet thing, huh?

    I like the name of your blog, and I like the story behind it. I named my blog as I did because I am slightly self-conscious about the totally self-indulgent nature of blogs, but hey, I’m super neurotic. Sometimes I wish I had saved it for a blog where I really talk ALL about myself–in this one I mostly just talk about my fertility treatments and my feelings about ’em. But then again, I guess that’s all I really care to write about at the moment.

    I am adding you to my reader, and I look forward to seeing how your IVF #2 progresses.

  5. I know of what you speak: My guy desperately wants kids, and I’m fine with a childfree life, though I’ve always been excited by the thought of raising someone.

    Couples are often not on the same exact page, but it can really hurt when one of you wants something so much (and has all sorts of identity stuff tied up with it) but you’re the one who has to bear the brunt of treatment. My guy and I are at the moment trying to confront this conundrum face on, and it’s working for us.

    Maybe it’s worth talking about your feelings of guilt to your husband? In the end, you’re not responsible for his feelings and his disappointments. For better or worse, those are his to deal with. You’ve got enough to deal with without trying to manage his potential feelings, too.

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