Struggling with Self-Induced Infertility
Infertility. Miscarriage. Longing.
I’ve always been lucky, especially in the fertility department. Several of my close friends have had miscarriages, some more than once – or have struggled with infertility, IVF, hormone therapy, emotional therapy… and I’ve watched from a distance. Not because I didn’t want to talk to them in great detail, I very much did. But I couldn’t relate and didn’t even know where to begin.
Three kids in and thirties in full swing, and I’ve found myself asking more questions. I’m not trying to be nosy – the fear of seeming so was part of what kept me from asking questions before – but I’m realizing that people really do want to talk about things, at least most of the time. And if they don’t, they’ll say so.
Anyway, I’m not sure how to feel this morning. It’s been a stressful week. I had a close family member admit to the world that she’s struggled with suicidal thoughts her whole life. Some subconscious part of me didn’t feel surprised when I found out, but I sure did feel guilty. Guilty that I didn’t know this about her already, guilty that I didn’t try to get to know her more deeply before now. I also felt anxious – what if she reached out to me for help when I was in a dark place myself? What if I said the wrong thing or missed her phone call when she needed me the most? I lay in bed Sunday night, resolving to take a refresher psychology class and read up so I could help should that moment ever happen. I felt better, but then Monday started and the usual workweek blues kicked in, though a bit more intense with a heavier-than-average workload.
I didn’t feel that stressed, at the time, but perhaps it was just enough to screw with my period. I started spotting Sunday, barely bled Monday and completely stopped by Tuesday. I have only spotted three times in my life – and all three of those ended with babies.
Could I be pregnant? Not entirely impossible, though extremely unlikely, as I had my tubes tied after baby number three.
I never regret anything in life, and someday this feeling might fade… but right now – I deeply regret getting my tubes tied.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday dreaming of having another baby, trying to force myself not to get excited but unable to contain the emotions.
Then I started bleeding again – full-on period blood.
I cried. Hot, wet, tears of sorrow for what I could not have.
I’ve longed to be pregnant before, but it never took me longer than a couple of months to get what I wanted. I’ve been beyond blessed.
But now – now that I can’t have another baby – I’m slipping into a new brand of longing that I can’t quite define, nor that I have the right to feel. I did this to myself, after all.
And that’s the sucker. I. did. this. That hurts the most.
Why did I do this?
Well, for one thing, I hated being pregnant. I felt nauseated and disgusting the entire time, with all three. I vomited in the late first trimester and into the second, with all three. By the time I delivered Shane, I’d spent 117 of the last 226 weeks – over 50% – pregnant and quite miserable.
So when the doc asked me if I was sure I wanted to proceed with the tubal ligation, I practically yelled at him for even asking that question.
And so here we are.
Here I am, a year later, tubes tied and feeling sad. Not for the loss of pregnancy, but for the loss of the beautiful little beings my husband and I could have created. I loathe myself for making that decision. It feels just awful.
I could reverse the tubal ligation, technically – but there are other things that money should go toward. Like preschool. Or a new air conditioning unit. Or college savings. You know, things I didn't choose to do to myself.
So again, here we are.