Friday, January 05, 2007

The comfort of IF

Like many women who’ve been having trouble conceiving for far too long, I’ve been poking around on the internet reading other infertility blogs and, in doing so, I’ve realized a few things.

  1. None of us was sorry to see 2006 go.
  2. IF has turned normal, healthy, stable women into obsessed, bitter infertiles.
  3. After a while, IF begins to feel like your new reality.
It’s the last one that is most disturbing to me. I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point over the past year or so, I stopped ever expecting to see a positive pregnancy test. To be honest, I don’t even know why I take them anymore. It’s a like a once-a-month ritual that for some reason I can’t escape. I buy a few tests and tampons. I wait as long as I can to take the test. I get a negative. AF begins. I’m depressed and wonder, “why me.” I take note of my upcoming “fertile” days. Hubby and I schedule sex. Rinse. Repeat.

What’s so strange about it all is that I’ve seen how this has all really become habit. It’s become part of our lives—like walking the dog or taking the trash out on Mondays. It’s routine. And, in some ways, no matter how depressing or upsetting it is, routine becomes comfortable. I think that’s what scares me/pisses me off the most. IF has taken away the wonder and joy of the whole process and made it habit. Mundane. Comfortable.

I know many will probably disagree with me on this “comfort” point, but in all sincerity, I’m beginning to forget what our sex life was like pre-IF. And I’m afraid of what it’ll be like if we’re ever able to get beyond IF. I’m beginning to wonder what I spent all my time thinking about before. Like any good addict, I know that this is a vice, and I wish I could have escaped it altogether, but now that it’s here, I can’t imagine life without it. And I can’t picture life beyond it anymore. When we first started TTC, I used to imagine decorating a nursery, or pondering how I would balance parenthood and my career. Now, all I think about is trying not to schedule business trips around our “fertile” window.

What’s more, we’ve almost completely stopped having sex outside of the baby-making schedule. I know that sounds horrible and depressing, but I have a very short cycle (24-26 days). So, really, after AF ends, we’re almost immediately in the next “fertile” window, and we try to get it on as much as possible. By the time the window is over—given one or two post-ovulation romps for good measure—it’s only a matter of days before AF comes, and we’re back to square one. So, really, our sex life has become entirely about making babies. And I really wonder what that is going to do to us once the “comfort” of infertility is gone (god willing it ever is)? Will we be so happy to have a break that we’ll just stop completely? Or, will we somehow find a way to turn the bedroom back into a place that’s about us, our relationship, and our love, rather than about procreation?

1 comment:

theoneliner said...

i get the IF sex thing. it does get tiresome. After the first 6 months or so...i started *trying* not to force us. I try to set the scene...but i don't demand that we do on certain days.

hopefully, all of our sex lives will be back too normal before we know it.