Reality Hits You Hard

Well after the last heavy post I thought it might be good to backtrack a bit and share a little snippet of our story. If you can’t be bothered reading you could just watch the clip from ‘Up’ which basically tells the first half of our story in heart-wrenchingly beautiful detail.

Mr. Lady Breaks (who coincidentally doesn’t exactly like being referred to as “Mr. Lady Breaks” because apparently it a) “sounds like he’s a lady-man”; and b) “sounds like he breaks ladies”) started dating me back in 1999. I was 14 and he had just turned 15. I’m not going to bore you with too many soppy recollections of high-school romance, but to say it felt like the most normal and natural thing in the world.

So we dated and dreamed about our future. There was going to be retro cars, murals on the walls, and two studios (one for music and the other for art, obviously). We would own a weatherboard cottage and a café and together we would change the world. We picked out songs for our wedding and names for our children. We couldn’t wait for our adult life to begin.

At my 16th Birthday in 2001

At my 16th Birthday in 2001

Needless to say, most of these things didn’t happen (well, my first car was a 1967 HR Holden but we – ironically – sold it to buy a “family car” when we started trying). We did get married, but finance and reality limited life and dreams – as it seems to do to everyone.

Man, I loved that car

Man, I loved that car

What was never expected though was infertility. We were young, really young, and healthy. In fact the doctors refused to even test us at first. Then, after eighteen months of trying, we were referred to reproductive specialists who told us that there would be a very long ladder of options available to us before we would need to consider something as serious as IVF. They were wrong. After the results came back it was clear that IVF would be our only option to ever conceive.

I realise at this point of the story it might be handy to say what the problem actually is, but I’m choosing not to. It’s not that it’s a closely guarded secret at all; it’s just that it doesn’t really matter. The thing about struggling with infertility as a couple is that you struggle as a couple. Infertility is a shared disease – if one person is diagnosed, both are diagnosed. Yes, one may be technically fully able to procreate, but, as we know, it takes two to tango. Also, there is a big, burdensome load of blame and inadequacy that comes with being The Infertile One (read: the reason behind all the pain and sadness), which I’m sure I will discuss some other day. So suffice it to say that “we are infertile.”

Anyway, I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of deciding to do IVF today either, as it was quite a huge decision that took over us a year, but just know for now that we tried and failed. Of course it’s something that we could keep trying but for that damn ‘finance and reality’ thing again.

The thing I really wanted to share today was how brutally unfair the whole thing felt/ feels. Having grown up in a broken home, I really longed for that stable family unit. Part of the reason I loved Mr. Lady Breaks so much was that I knew he would make a great dad, and I doubted he would ever walk out on his children. I could give my children something I never had, and I could finally experience the much-lauded nuclear family thing. But, of course, life had other plans.

Mr. Lady Breaks (the name is sticking, so get over it) and my story isn’t over, but we just have no idea the direction it will go. We have come to so many closed doors and dead-ends after almost eight years of fighting and struggling that we hardly know how to dream anymore.

But the story isn’t over, and we have to keep dreaming. We need to fill our own Adventure Book (‘Up’ reference) and I love the fact that you are now along for the ride. Thank you.

x

3 thoughts on “Reality Hits You Hard

  1. I’m dealing with being “the infertile one” right now. I really hate feeling like I carry all the weight for why we can’t conceive. Infertility is so cruel.

    • Yes, this is definitely a topic I will be writing more about in the future. Most people, even spouses, struggle to understand how heavy the burden of blame is, and how much it makes “the infertile one” believe they are a failure. In my relationship the full extent of these feelings has taken years to come out because they were silently carried for so long.

      I know that there is probably not much that I (a stranger from Australia) can say to you to make you not feel so burdened by guilt but please remember that the only reason your husband wants a child is because of his love for you. Thinking that he would be better off with someone else who is fertile ignores the very reason he wants a baby – you!

      You’re so right about infertility being cruel, it’s something you would give the world for that other people just take for granted. It full of shame and hopelessness, and it’s there every single day.

      I wish you all the very best for your journey, I’m almost 8 years into mine, and if I can say anything at all to you it would be to grab hold of your husband’s hand and not let go. All the sweetness and innocence and joy slowly gets sucked out of life with each passing unsuccessful year (as you know) but if you cling to each other you can find joy and comfort there. I’m still learning this – infertility is so cruel!

      I pray that your strength and hope is renewed in the coming months. Thanks so much for your comment xoxoxo

      • Thank you for your kind words. It’s nice to have other women that can relate. This infertility world can feel pretty darn lonely!

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