Monday, March 29, 2010

Not on the same page

AF arrived yesterday. As usual (for me), the arrival of my period was preceded by some spotting and cramps. This month, these started while I was out to dinner with my mother and my BFF on Saturday night (joy). Saturday was only CD 25 for me, so the cycle I just finished was about two days shorter than my usual cycle length. It's always a bummer when your period arrives, and an even bigger bummer when it arrives ahead of schedule. Although I suppose the one good thing about getting my period early is that there's no opportunity for false hope to develop because it's "late," like it did the cycle before.

Aside from the usual discomforts of getting my period and the familiar feeling of "yep, not pregnant again," I didn't experience too many feelings about AF's arrival. My husband, on the other hand, was quite upset when I had to tell him about it. . . . which I thought was a little surprising. After all, how many other times has he heard this "news"?

While we were on a 2+-hour car trip yesterday, I asked him why he was so upset. When his response was "I just can't believe another month has passed without you getting pregnant," I was, again, surprised. I had to ask whether he seriously entertains hope that a pregnancy is going to happen for us, in the usual, everyday fashion, after all this time. I mean, you would think that after nearly two years of TTC, including several months with fertility drugs, and seeing only one-ever BFP that was diagnosed as a chemical pregnancy less than 48 hours later, he would realize and be resigned to the fact (as I am, at least 99.5%) that a pregnancy is really, really unlikely to happen to us. But apparently he doesn't view our situation the way I do.

In my (mostly) logical mind, I know that at this point, the odds of our ever conceiving at all, let alone without medical intervention, are very slim. No, it's not impossible. . . . but it's so close to impossible that pinning any hopes at all on the idea of it happening would be just about as silly as quitting my job because I just KNOW I'm going to win the next Powe.rba.ll drawing. Because I know this, I am more inconvenienced than disappointed with the arrival of my period every cycle. I think as long as I am still getting periods, there will always be a small flicker of disappointment. . . but nothing like what I experienced each month back when I still had hope and really thought I would eventually get pregnant.

It perplexes me that MM is still optimistic about the possibility of my getting pregnant after all the (wasted) effort we have expended. In the main, he is by no means an optimistic person. In fact, as a general rule, while neither of us is a true optimist, I would say that I am far more likely to expect a positive outcome in a given situation than he is. Except, apparently, when it comes to TTC.

Oh, and on a related note: I thought MM and I had agreed in December that we were no longer actively TTC. (I wrote about it here.) We agreed that we were tired of wasting our time, effort and money on treatments and that we had already done as much as we felt we could reasonably do on the TTC front. And yet, over three months after that heart-to-heart talk, my husband is in a funk because I'm not pregnant at the end of yet another cycle. . . . a cycle of TTC naturally, no less!

Clearly, MM and I are not on the same page. Which is odd because, though we hardly agree on everything--who does?--we are usually pretty good about communicating and being in the same place in relation to any longer-term goals.

For a while, I have viewed MM as being just a few months behind me in the grieving process about our inability to have a child of our own, but now I am beginning to wonder if he isn't stalled entirely. He is probably angrier now about our childlessness than he was six months ago, while I, on the other hand, am trending toward becoming more resigned as time passes. Sure, I still have my moments or days when it's hard, but by and large, I am coming to terms with the idea that I'll never be a parent. I don't think that MM is.

Not sure what, if anything, to do about this. Should I just let him have his hope each month, as futile as I believe that is? We are both sick to death of talking about anything related to TTC and our inability to get pregnant, so I don't really want to have another heart-to-heart or suggest counseling. MM doesn't have the patience for reading any non-fiction books, so I'm sure suggesting a book for him to read is not the answer.

Maybe I should just be OK with the fact that, at least for now, we are not on the same page. Nowhere is it written that we must be in agreement about absolutely everything, and his grieving process is his alone. . . . related to mine but also separate.

I don't know.


  1. I think the grieving process is so different for everyone. I was just talking to a friend of mine about this tonight. She has recently had a hyst due to endo, and while she is grieving, she is also coping so much better than I think I would if it were me (and it very possibly will be me in the not so distant future - a thought that terrifies me). We were just discussing how everyone grieves over these losses though, and that doesn't make anyones feelings invalid.

    Maybe he just needs to backtrack a bit before he ends up on the same path as you again... You know how men are; they never ask for directions! :)

  2. Hmm this is a really tough issue. Very far from my own situation so I don't have any advice really. I wonder what would happen if you started talking about future plans without children. "We could do this and since we won't have any kids it will be so much easier/more fun/better/etc!" - that type of thing. I think you're right though, nothing says you have to be on the same page. His grieving process may just take longer than yours. However, I'd hate for him to just truly not understand the odds and be crushed every single time AF comes.

    Ugh. I'm giving Infertility the finger right now for you and your husband.

  3. I don't know what you can do, really.

    When I was ttc with my ex-husband, we were never on the same page. He didn't believe we had a problem at first, and even when the RE thought he found part of the problem, he didn't really believe it. He always believed we would be parents, but after a few years of trying, I didn't. We weren't on the same page with a lot of things, though, which is probably why we divorced.

    Now, things are different. I feel like my husband is a few steps behind me, but that seems right, since I already dealt with infertility once before (and had pretty much accepted that I probably wouldn't have children). He says he understands that I probably won't get pregnant (unless we tried IVF, which we're not considering right now), but I don't know how deeply he understands it, if that makes sense. He still seems hopeful before I get my period, but I feel like he thinks about our inability to have a child less often than I do. It's almost like he can understand it on a superficial level, but not in a way where you can envision the impact it has on your image of the future.

    I think everyone processes things differently, and some people can hang on to hope a lot longer than others. I'm sorry you both have to deal with this.


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