If it is going to remembered for all time as the period which solidified my future as unable to have children, I would be grateful if my current aunt Flo would shorten up her stay and take off. I resent her existence, if you must know. And I find it too difficult to concentrate on anything which her intensely dramatic pain – an all too common reminder that maybe it wouldn’t be horrible to put this baby thing aside and have a surgery which might let me lead a normal pain free life. But if I am being honest, I mostly just want to have sex. I want to have lots of non-baby related sex. With MJ, of course.
There is a handful of friends who know that we had tried our final effort IUI, and the Sunday we return from being out of time, while bed-ridden with endometriosis pain and emotional exhaustion I text them. It’s not the classiest way to share bad news, but I do not want to speak to them in person about it. I know I won’t be able to handle talking about it in public, and though I do not have much dignity left from the last three years of trying to conceive, I’d like to at least start restocking. I don’t suppose there is a good response to hearing my news. Certainly my mother learned this when I snapped out at her after she asked if I was okay. Okay? Okay? What kind of foreign concept is that and how could you possibly think I would fall under it? Still, it irritates me even less than the person who texted back that adoption will work because MJ and I were meant to be parents.
Here is the one childhood fable that most sticks in my mind and of which I think of on a pretty regular basis: The Fox and the Grapes. Maybe it is because, at 5 feet nothing, I am so sympathetic to not being able to reach things, or because I have always found grapes tasty – particularly large red seedless grapes, even though I know seedless is a kind of cheating too. But mostly I think it’s because it just really hit me as being accurate, even as a child, I felt I could see this all around me, including, sadly, myself. Sour grapes. They invade your thoughts, and not in a tasty way.
I think there is a fine line between being a quitter and accepting reality, but I am not sure where my head is in relation to that line. I only know her text irritates me. Obviously, I think with disdain, I am not meant to be a parent. Obviously if that was part of some cosmic or divine plan, someone royally fucked up. Was it me? I don’t think so. I just spent three years of my life in constant pain, on the brink of losing my job, and in emotional dire straights all while taking pill after pill, ultrasound after ultrasound, blood draw after blood draw all in a failed effort to conceive. Was it MJ? No. For one, I know all his medical stuff checked out. For another he had to deal with me dealing with all of the above and that was probably even more difficult.
But mostly what I think looking at her text, which I do not end up responding to, I think, no. No, I want to be done. I don’t want to go through this again with adoption. If I’m not going to be a parent then I need to learn to live with that. I need to deal with and rethink my life and who I am. And I do not want to be reminded in the process that I would have been a good mom, or should have had kids after all. It sounds very reasonably and emotionally mature when I write it like that. But I guess what I really mean is “fine, then I don’t wanna be a parent anyway.” Humph.
And this is where the sex comes in. In the moments when I can actually feel myself accepting the end of our trying to conceive, or imaging a future where we are never parents, I let my mind wander and imagine what avenues this opens up to us and what our new lives would look like. In my mind our new life is adventurous and free-spirited, and we replace our lack of children with a really epic love affair with each other. Which is probably something that would get written into a soap opera storyline because it is both cheesy and unrealistic, but I like the sound of it. Three years of infertility is a lot of strain on a relationship, and I can’t remember the last time we just enjoyed being together (sex or no sex).
I imagine being in Paris, sitting at an outdoor cafe reading books and drinking coffee -yes coffee, cause if I get the hysterectomy you can bet I’m going back to that. Or I picture us in Greece walking around the Parthenon – yes walking cause I might actually be able to move freely and walk for more than five minutes without erupting in pain. Or I picture us in Vienna, me dressed in an olive green chiffon gown and MJ in a tuxedo, going to the see The Magic Flute at the Wiener Staatsoper. The images are beyond wonderful, and serve as the few moments where I consider our new life as realistic and not just my own sour grapes response to permanent infertility.
I don’t respond to my friend’s text. I actually don’t respond to any of them. And I don’t want to talk to my parents, and I don’t call anyone on the phone and since I am in paralyzing pain from this period after so many high dosage fertility injections, I stay home from work on Monday thus avoiding anyone and everyone except for MJ. I don’t know what I want to hear, and I don’t know what I want to say. The truth is that “devastation” is not a word that can even capture the depth of my emotions, the raw pain and overwhelming sadness filled inside me. And so I just want to find moments of the day to turn them off. Moments where I try to find a silver lining, or if that’s not visible, where I just settle for a sour grape.
I want to get feel something different, get lost in some other emotion. And I only want to do it with MJ. I only want to talk to him, work things through with him, discuss what should have or could have been and then ignore it all for what we are really going to do. I only want to crawl into bed with him, forget about everything and just be with him, without concern for anything other than making each other feel good. And I’d like to do it soon and I’d like to do it often, and I’d like it very much if this death toll of a period would stop ringing for us.