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Getting my journal to do my dirty work.

2005-03-28 - 3:26 p.m.

One thing about going to the fertility clinic and having a bunch of tests ordered, but not yet knowing what our test results are going to tell us, is the “what if” conversations that come up. J and I know there’s not really a lot of point in indulging in these tangled threads of thought; after all, why worry about something needlessly when we may very well never have to face a situation? But, but, but, BUT… what if my tests come back and I’m not ovulating hardly ever (as the doctor suspects)? What if my basal body temperature chart is right and I am ovulating every cycle, just my cycles are erratic? What if the reason we haven’t conceived isn’t just because of my sporadic cycles but because J can’t father a child? We just don’t know what the answers will be yet.

Looking just at the facts as we do know them right now, the simplest and most likely explanation is that I’m ovulating only sporadically and, since every time you ovulate there’s only a 20% chance of conceiving, we’re just not getting enough rides on the merry-go-round to have grabbed the brass ring yet. The odds are in favour of this explanation. We know this. We also know that there are relatively simple courses of treatment to try to correct this before we even have to worry about what steps might need to be taken beyond that. HOWEVER, the not-knowing leads, of course, to speculation, to trying to mentally prepare ahead of time for what the answers might possibly be, to try to not get blind-sided by unexpectedly bad news.

Yesterday we were in the car and the topic came up – what if we couldn’t have children. Would we adopt? I was relieved that we were both on the same wavelength here. No, we both feel strongly that, for us, what we want is a child that we’re genetically tied to.

Then J zigged when I would have zagged and a conflict of viewpoint came out of left field and caught me by surprise. What if he absolutely couldn’t have children, but I could? (Note, I do not mean that his sperm would work with IVF, I’m talking about no sperm produced by him AT ALL.) Would we go for donor sperm? His gut response was immediate and absolute. No. He would adopt before going that route and we’d already agreed that adoption wasn’t for us.

I was floored, particularly since a few months earlier I’d mentioned that I probably wouldn’t want to subject myself to complicated, expensive, and uncertain treatments, but that if it was something simple that needed to be done for me to have kids, I’d probably want to give it a try. I blurted out, “So you’d deny me the chance to pass on genes to my child if you couldn’t do the same?!?”

He was taken aback by that point of view. “Well, when you put it that way…” He trailed off then added, “Look, there’s no point in talking about it now. Let’s cross that bridge if we come to it.”

And he’s right, because that’s a bridge we may never get to, but in my mind, well… can open; worms everywhere. Now that I’ve started thinking about it, I’m having trouble not thinking about it anymore, and telling myself that the possibility is remote so stop thinking about it, stupid, isn’t working.

I find it hard to picture J, who I consider to be much more naturally paternal than I am naturally maternal, denying me the chance to have kids if I’m capable of it - for that matter, denying us the chance to go through pregnancy, birth, and raising children together - just because he couldn’t be the biological father. I had the underlying belief that he loves me and wants a family with me enough that having a child that was half me would be enough if it had to be.

I told J when we first started getting really serious that I wanted kids and, if I was going to have them, I wanted them soon. I had been grappling with the idea of having a child on my own before we got together so, as far as I was concerned, I was putting that on hold to give our relationship time to develop and allow time for him to catch up to the idea of parenthood. This was a deal-breaker for me but fortunately, he was okay with it so we stayed together and eventually got married.

J and I have what I would consider to be a good, solid marriage. Whenever there’s been a potential source of conflict, we’ve always managed to communicate well and arrive at a solution together; one that is acceptable or even desirable to both of us. He is a wonderful, supportive, amazing husband and I can’t imagine being with anyone else. We are each the person the other wants to spend our lives with. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t find trying to conceive to be a major source of stress the way other couples describe it to be. This issue, however, is causing me some serious stress and worry, whether it should or not at this point. And I think it’s because this is the first time I’ve seen potential for a major conflict between our points of view.

There are only two-and-a-half weeks before we get the results of my blood tests (the first of many I’m sure) and his swimmer analysis. I could – and probably should – keep quiet on the whole subject until then. The disadvantage of that is that I’d be secretly fretting the whole time, which runs right into our next “time to try” and really, someone trying to conceive shouldn’t be adding any stress that might gum up the works. Or I could post this entry and wait for J to read it and bring it up so we can clear the air...

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