06 January 2008

To be or not to sleep

Will they or won't they. Ah, there's the rubbing question. To shake up Shakespeare a bit.

When last we met projgen and Hubby, they had decided to give up on the whole pursuing fertility thing. No more cycles. No more talk of IVF. No more clinic appointments, no more pouring every penny of savings into useless drugs, retrievals and transfers. No more false hope.

But then. Ah, but then!

While walking down the street one day (not in the merry month of May), projgen innocently turns to Hubby and brings up Mum's comment about adopting in Israel. "I can't believe she said that," says pg.

And then Hubby says, "I think we should look into it."

[end scene]

Um. What?

We've talked about adoption, and we both decided it wasn't for us. People who adopt are very special people. Thank G-d there are people out there who want to adopt. I just don't think I'm one of them. I don't know if I could ever get over the lack of genetic connection. Which is funny, since nobody really looks alike in my family. But, I love looking at pictures of Hubby's great-great grandfather and seeing Hubby's face. Hubby's family all have distinct similarities; they're not identical, but you sure know they related. I wanted that for our children, too. And selfishly, I don't want to deal with the issue of birth parents, and what if someday my adopted child wants to find his birth parents? I could never keep that information from my child, but I know I'm not strong enough to deal with that issue. Those are just some of the difficulties I have regarding us adopting.

Hubby has always said that he wants to have a family with me. He wants a child that will have my smile, his eyes, my hair, etc., etc., which is partly why he wasn't so keen on adopting.

So where did this, "I think we should look into it" come from?

Then, he dropped the big bomb: after 6 months of living in Israel, we're eligible for free IVF. He thinks we should try again.

Hello? Excuse me. Can anyone tell me when this rollercoaster ride ends?

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I could write a book

I've had a very "what not to say if you're thinking of saying something to infertiles" few weeks. It's like my whole family read the book and decided "eh, what do they know." So there was the lovely, sweet relative who said "just relax." Then, we were at my mother's.

A little background: my mother has never, not once, expressed any interest in our infertility issues. She has never, not once, said anything remotely resembling, "this must be so hard for you" or "I hope this cycle works for you" or even, "is there anything I can do for you?" She has, two months after our last cycle failed, said something to the effect of, weren't you guys doing a cycle? What happened?

A tower of support, as you can see. My parents did give us a little money during our first cycle, however, that was already planned as a birthday present anyway. Don't get me wrong, I was grateful for every single penny. It's just that it wasn't initially intended as help for our cycle.

So, with this information in hand, Hubby and I were visiting my parents, standing in their kitchen talking much about nothing, when Mum pipes up, "I think you guys should look into adopting when you get to Israel."


A) Last I looked, there is a 6-year wait for infants.
B) When we get to Israel, we will be living off our savings and a wee bit of assistance from the government until we get out of ulpan and get jobs.
C) Adoption is freakin' expensive (although to be fair, I haven't checked costs in Israel, but I would assume they would be comparable)
D) We're freakin' old. Okay, not that old, but we're definitely not in the "great candidates" age range. (I just checked - in Israel, you have to be under 40 to adopt. That puts us right out of the running.)
E) What makes her think we even want to adopt?

I politely pointed out these things while chanting "kibbud av v'em. kibbud av v'em*." in my head to keep me from totally losing it. She just kept repeating herself, so finally I said, trying to unclench my teeth, "sure. We'll look into it."

That was capped by an evening with my cousin and her kids. I was saying how cute her baby boy is - a real charmer - and she said, "ya want him? You can have him." Now, I've never discussed our infertility with her, and she's never asked why we don't have kids. So she wasn't doing the infertility "have one of mine." But still, why do parents do that? What if I said, "Omigosh! Really? I'd love to take him!" Even if I wasn't dealing with infertility, and had been able to have a child, y'know, that other** way, I would never say that. I would be inclined to say, "yeah, he's a handful, but I love him." or some such. I might even threaten under my breath to feed fictional child to the lions, but I would never offer to give my kid away.

The only chapter missing these past few weeks has been the, "maybe G-d doesn't mean for you to have children." But that's okay, I've been supplying that one myself.

* Honour your father and mother. The Fifth Commandment.

** Apparently, having sex just for fun (just for fun!) has been known to get women pg.


02 January 2008

Friends, infertiles and countrymen

What did infertile woman do before the internet? I can't imagine going through all this for the past few years without you guys. First, I had the blogs that I read, and being sympatico with the other commenters was comforting.

Then I started blogging myself, and being on the receiving end of all that support and caring was a revelation. I receive such strength from your comments. Even if we disagree on things, knowing that you're interested enough to take the time to comment on something I said is powerful.

What did our mothers and their mothers and their mothers do? We still don't really talk about infertility with our real-life friends, we don't search out other infertiles. Where I am, the support groups have not worked. Hardly anyone shows, the leaders keep leaving and the few meetings that have been held, no one really spoke with each other afterwards. A few did, but it was apparent they knew each other already.

We know our matriachs prayed fervently to G-d; we know Rachel took out her frustrations on Jacob when she snapped at him, "Give me children, or else I die." (Gen 30:1) He, of course, snapped right back, with good reason, but if she was looking for support, she wasn't going to find it with Jacob. He already had a bunch of kids, what did he know about what she was suffering? Sarah was bitter enough to actually laugh at G-d when HE told her she'd have a child. Imagine being that cynical and bitter about having a child that you'd laugh at even G-d.

But they lived in a time when G-d was more tangible. In between then and now, what did women do? Especially when you consider that it's only in fairly recent history that "childless by choice" has become socially acceptable. They must have suffered so.

All this is my way of saying thanks for being there. And thank you for your comments about our "decision." You guys rock. And yes, I do hope to keep blogging. Now that it's in black and white, I don't have to avoid the it. And now that Hubby seems to have changed his mind, I'll need you guys to vent to.

Happy New Year. May 2008 bring all our dreams to fruition.


The best words are left unsaid

Recently, at a family gathering, I was having a discussion with one of the nicest, sweetest, gentlest women around. Somehow the subject of children came up, I don't remember why, and she said, "I haven't asked because don't like to pry. I know some couples like to wait a few years before trying to have children."

To which I replied, "We've been trying. We can't have children."

She gave me one of her sweet smiles, and said, "you know what's wrong?"

And I thought, "Oh, please G-d, no. Don't say it. Please don't say it. For the love of G-D, woman, please DO NOT SAY what I know you're going to say no matter how hard I pray that you don't say it."

"You're trying too hard. You need to-"


"-relax. If you just relax, you'll get pg right away. I know someo-"

Through the rush of sound in my ears, I interrupted her. I wanted to be 5 years old again, because then it would be acceptable for me to stamp my feet and shout, "stop it, stop it, stop it!!!!!"

Since I'm not 5, I restrained myself as best I could, and sort of spat out through my pasted smile, "You know I love you dearly, but I have to tell you that is the worst possible thing you could say to anyone who is trying to get pg."

As I spoke, I relaxed a bit. I explained that our problem is medical, and no amount of relaxing is going to get us pg.

She was truly surprised that it was such a bad thing to say. Her eyes welled up with tears, and I felt like the biggest shit for making this sweet, wonderful person feel bad. She gave me the biggest hug, and asked if she could keep me in her prayers, to which I replied, "of course. I'm grateful for any prayers."

I'm still not sure if she teared up because I hurt her feelings, or because she was hurting for me. I do know that the tidal wave of terror that welled up in my chest when I knew, I just knew, what she was about to say, was very very real. Hearing "just relax" from acquiantances or even strangers is one thing. Hearing it from someone you love, someone you know is sincere, someone you'd never want to bark at and snap, "eff off, what do you know?" is... I don't even know how to describe it. That welling up of fear, the roaring in my ears and the overwhelming feeling of wanting to run far and fast was a new feeling for me.

And this is after Hubby and I decided we're done.

Which, apparently, now we're not. But that's another post.