My counselor posed this question to me yesterday at our session, just after I read the letter I had written to my hypothetical future biological child. I am puzzling over why this is a hard question for me to answer.
I responded that I felt sad and drained. . . . and more, that I just want to stop focusing time, effort and energy on my inability to conceive. I have felt the last part of this answer for quite a while.
I recognize that my life, as is, is far from empty. Quite the contrary. Aside from weighing more than I would like, I can honestly and wholeheartedly say that, apart from our continued childlessness (which may continue indefinitely), my life is not only good but excellent.
I am working in a field I enjoy and have just accepted a new position about which I am very excited. When I contrast how I felt about my previous career in nursing at six years into practice with how I know feel about being a lawyer, there is simply no comparison. In my old career, by the time I reached six years in that field, I knew that I had to do something else, for my own sanity. (I had, in fact, already started the process of applying to law school.) I dreaded going to work many days. At some jobs, I literally had near-panic attacks on my days off at the mere thought of going back to work.
So not only do I finally have a career I like that suits me, I am also in a position to truly grasp and appreciate what that means for my daily life. I can think of things I might "love" to do more, but law suits me, and the pay is more than sufficient to my needs.
I am happily married. No, marriage has not been a bed of roses for MM and me, particularly since we have been dealing with IF from day one--we started TTC months before we married and had already had an initial visit with the RE prior to our wedding--but I do truly believe that our relationship has been strengthened by what we have been going through (and continue to go through). We have had to talk more about our feelings, and our hopes and dreams for the future, because of IF. Due to our personalities, there is a constant need for compromise, but we make it work. Being with MM feels more natural to me than I have felt in any of my (many) prior relationships, and I know he feels the same.
In addition to having the big two pieces of my life--work and home life--going extremely well, I am fortunate to have living parents with whom I have good relationships; a sister who is a close friend; an adorable nephew; in-laws with whom there is mutual respect and affection; many wonderful friends; meaningful volunteer work; two wonderful golden retrievers; a paid-off car that still runs well; and relative financial comfort.
In truth, it almost seems wrong to me that I spend so much of my time and mental energy focusing on the one area of my life in which things are not going my way. (Heck, I am even losing weight at the moment, though I know that is something I have always struggled with and probably will my whole life.) I am not without gratitude for the many good things my life, and I shudder to think how much harder IF would be for me were not the rest of my life just as I want it to be, but the constant struggle makes me feel decidedly unappreciative.
At this point, even more than the longing for a child of our own, I long to put all this behind me. I am tired of our infertility sucking the joy out of my wonderful life. I want to move on from all this, whatever the outcome.
Don't get me wrong. . . . . I would certainly prefer to move on with the outcome being parenthood for us at the end of the road. But I do honestly feel that I am at a point where I just want to be done with "trying" to conceive. . . . because I know that if I am no longer "trying," I will no longer be failing. Failing gives me a negative focus and brings me down.
So. . . . I don't know how to put a label on that feeling. "Fed up"? "Done"? "Ready to move on"?
It's time for a new focus, and for me, it can hardly come soon enough.