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Desperation Causes Indiscretion

a blog by Julie Monacelli, October 3, 2013

I didn’t start my adulthood infertile. Quite the opposite, actually, all of my children were so easily conceived that at the age of 30 I put a surgical stop to it. When my 10 lb. son was born, who was the middleweight of the three, I told the doctor to make sure that this would be the last time my oven would ever bake. I refused to leave the delivery room until I saw the section of tube she removed in a jar, in formalin, next to me. I was serious.

Our (more recent) decision to have a child brought a whole slew of emotions with it. For a long time I felt guilty posting on the infertility support forums. After all, I have children, and I voluntarily chose to end my reproductive years. I felt quite ridiculous trying to have another child when others were struggling to have their first, and on some days I do still wrestle with my responses to people because I don’t know the same pain that they have. For months I hid my existing children, not out of shame for them, out of respect for others who didn’t have children. Then I realized I did not choose the twist life had taken, and the amazing man who came into my life; who did not have children.

For me, infertility means I made a conscious decision that may cause my husband to never know the joy of being a father. Infertility for me involves guilt. Granted, these were decisions made while I was in another relationship I thought would last forever. I feel like I should have known better. It seems like nothing lasts forever anymore. While he says he loves me regardless of my ability to give him a child, I see how he interacts with babies and children. He isn’t the type to hold them at arm’s length, wondering what to do. He is natural and comfortable. He bounces them on his lap, he babbles ridiculously at them, he makes faces that only old women in grocery stores with nothing left to lose make at babies in shopping carts. He quite clearly, and genuinely, wants to be a father.

I have difficulty sleeping at night knowing that my fertility options are whittling away. These options were unpleasant to think of, and even more so to experience. They were, however, options. They are running short now, and we are down to a number of attempts that can be counted on one hand. Our once cautious proceedings involving measured risks have been replaced with researching fairly outlandish treatments from obscure doctors far away. It seems that desperation replaces caution with indiscretion.

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