My case of the blahs turned into a full-blown case of the blues over the weekend. It started on Friday evening, when my husband and I argued in the car on the way to a meeting at church. I won't go into the details, but the gist of it involved the damage that four miscarriages and unsuccessfully trying to have a baby for over three years has done to us in the bedroom.
We both wistfully recall the days early in our marriage when sex was just for fun, and our bedroom was not fraught with the pressure to perform on cue according to the cycle day, the desperation to conceive, the specter of miscarriages, and the overshadowing sense of failure. We were able to keep the fun in procreative sex for quite a while, but as the years have passed it has become more and more difficult for me to associate trying to conceive with anything other than a futile chore that always ends in either crying over a negative pregnancy test or crying over a pregnancy that ended way too soon...and this view of things is not exactly an aphrodisiac for either me or my husband, in case you were wondering. My husband is upset that I am finding it so difficult to muster up an enthusiastic, positive attitude about our procreative endeavors and frankly, so am I.
Saturday morning brought more upset on that subject, leading to a meltdown on my husband's part. He wasn't mad at me, he is just totally frustrated with our inability to have a child, especially since we are surrounded by fertiles. He shouted and cursed and pounded on the nightstand with his fist, railing at the unfairness of it all. He wants to have a child as badly as I do, maybe even more so. Last month's failed injectables cycle made me feel more despondent about our prospects (to the point that I have been thinking "oh, why bother...let's stop this NOW and start filling out adoption papers"), but it made him feel more panicky and DETERMINED to ensure that I become pregnant again as soon as possible. He said that he feels like he is becoming obsessed about it, unable to compartmentalize it and think about other things like he so easily was able to do for the past few years.
It was not my husband's intention to make me feel badly on Saturday, but I did feel badly. I know that he truly thinks of us as a team in this endeavor and that he sees our inability to have a child as our problem. Although all of his tests have reinforced that he has "excellent fertility potential" and although the the cause of all our trouble seems to lie with my broken female parts--my decrepit eggs or womb of doom or whatever--he does not blame me. I know that with certainty.
But I blame myself. I can't help thinking that my husband got a raw deal, the short end of the stick, by marrying someone who is barren. He would be a wonderful father, but I can't seem to make him one.
And to add to the frustration, I am fairly certain that I didn't even ovulate this month. I worry that somehow I screwed up my reliable, ovulating, regular old cycle with all of the myriad fruitless hormones that I injected myself with last month.
Hence, the blues arrived and caused big fat tears to roll silently down my face during an early dinner at a restaurant on Saturday, during church on Sunday morning, and during many moments in between. It was hard to shake them.
But then, as I stood in my toasty kitchen pitying myself as I shaped homemade pizza dough into a circle and dotted it with sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, the phone rang. It was the mother of a friend of mine. A friend who is divorced and childless and who, last year at age 36, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Her mother wanted to let me know that my friend was in the hospital with a severe exacerbation of MS; her entire body was numb and she was unable to move her legs.
I felt very sad for my friend, imagining what it must be like for her as she laid motionless in her hospital bed, numb physically but not emotionally. It is heartbreaking, especially since this episode, which followed quickly on the heels of a previous exacerbation, is not a good omen with regards to her long term prognosis.
After I hung up the phone, I contemplated my husband in the next room, and I thought about the food and the after-dinner walk that I was looking forward to. I reflected that what I am going through is difficult and that I have good reason to feel sad about it, but that I can't allow myself to wallow in the sadness for too long at a time, especially when there is a loving husband to be hugged, good food to be eaten, healthy legs to walk me around my neighborhood, and a friend who needs me to visit her in the hospital.
I wiped my eyes and put my pizza in the oven.