Thursday, February 11, 2010

Another reason to blame myself

For the past year-and-a-half, I have been blaming myself for my inability to get pregnant. We know that my husband's sperm are 100% normal and abundant, so it is obvious that I am somehow the problem, though we are "unexplained." As a good friend who successfully overcame secondary infertility said to me, it only makes sense that it's something in my body that is preventing pregnancy, simply because there is so much more for a woman's body to DO to achieve and sustain a pregnancy. The fact that MM has normal sperm, and plenty of 'em, means that his part is done and done successfully.

In addition to asking myself "why?" over and over, I have regretted the fact that I waited until I was 37 years old to start TTC. Granted, I started TTC seven months after meeting MM--a move that some would probably consider crazy, or at least ill-advised, as we weren't even married at the time--but I have been plagued by the thought that I should have started sooner.

Of course, I honestly don't know if my "advanced age" is truly the cause of our infertility. Given my age and the lack of any other diagnosis, it certainly seems to be the most likely explanation. But I am fully aware that women 15 years younger than I are diagnosed with "unexplained" infertility every day.

It's a fact that had I started sooner (say, 5-10 years sooner) the father of my child would be someone other than my husband, and in fact, being a single mother would have meant that I would never have even dated MM, let alone married him. Neither of us ever dated anyone who was a single parent, for the simple reason that we did not want to be step-parents.

But as I believe I have mentioned before here, I've always wanted to be a mother much, much more than I wanted to be a wife. (Which is not to say that I am unhappy in my marriage. I love my husband, and we have a great relationship.) And had I never met MM, I really wouldn't have known what I'd missed.

Now, thanks to a random google search, I have an additional reason to blame myself besides just waiting too long: this one. This is something I've wondered about for a while, and here is proof.

My weight is the only other area of my life apart from infertility in which I have been a complete failure. I have been overweight to some degree my entire adult life, save about 6 months in college. I currently have a BMI of over 36.

I've always thought that, because my cycles were normal and regular, that my weight was having no effect on my fertility. Of course, I also thought that I would be able to have a child after 35, too.

Guess there are no limits to how wrong I can be.

I suppose a logical, rational person would say that I should lose weight, since unlike my age, my weight is something that is at least somewhat within my control. Were someone to suggest this to me, I would be forced to agree. In point of fact, my weight is something that I should be taking steps to reduce even were I not TTC, given my family history of heart disease and diabetes and my own high cholesterol and borderline high blood pressure.

But I have been fighting this particular demon for over 20 years, with only limited and temporary success. (I write another whole blog about my struggles with my weight, actually, and have for about 5 years.) Anyone who has spent the majority of her adult life battling her weight knows that though my weight is, theoretically, within my control, actually controlling it is easier said than done.

And at this point, who knows if losing weight would truly make a difference anyway? I will be 39 in just over a month. Even if I lost weight at a rate of a pound per week--what "they" say is a safe rate of weight loss--I would be 40 before my BMI dropped into the "healthy" range.

Acceptance is so much harder when you have yourself to blame for your problem.

P.S. I am so glad that I enabled comment moderation. Today a comment on my previous post arrived in my inbox from a spammer's profile. The comment read "Maybe your sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others." Someone certainly has too much time on his/her hands.

1 comment:

  1. Try not to beat yourself up. You're being very hard on yourself. I too have had weight problems and have blamed myself for the infertility - remember that hindsight is 20/20 and try not to blame yourself for the choices you've made in life.

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