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Infertility: You Can't Always Get What You Want -- And That's Not All Bad

Posted: 04/27/2012 7:40 am

I did everything in my power:

I went to acupuncturists three times a week.

We remodeled our chi thanks to Feng Shui and Chi Gong.

I sought out astrologers for the most auspicious dates for our IVF procedures and consulted assorted healers.

I prayed even though I am agnostic.

I trusted my fate to Maori healers who charged $350 in cash for a 50-minute consultation.

I ate my weight in yams and sweet potatoes (supposedly the nutritional super-food that can promise a pregnancy even when the top doctors in reproductive medicine can't deliver).

I endured countless artificial reproductive technology procedures ($100,000.00 worth).

And now I feel nothing but grateful that I am not a mother, and that is a miracle even greater than me somehow managing to get pregnant.

It continues to surprise me how grateful I am in retrospect not to have achieved my long cherished dream of being a mother. For nearly the past three months I have been with a very wonderful man and I am crazy about him, and I feel sure that he would tell you that he is crazy about me. This lovely man has two nearly-adult-children and he is a wonderful father, and I love that about him. The super-duper-crazy thing is that as I watch him father his children that there is no envy in me, rather there is relief. Being in the relationship with him hasn't filled me with longing to parent a child with him (a biological impossibility, by the way) or regret that I can't (I imagined that falling in love might create some familiar stirring to be a mother).

Instead I feel so extraordinarily grateful. I feel crazy grateful for how everything worked out so very perfectly. And I think about how if I had gotten what I hoped and prayed and paid Reproductive Endocrinologists for that I would now be a very unhappy gal who likely would not have had the courage to do what I did in March( (leave my husband) and how I certainly would not be in this new relationship with this wonderful man who makes me ridiculously happy. I feel blessed. (I know that word has slightly religious tones to it, but I almost feel that there was a divine hand in all of this unfolding as it has -- emphasis on the word "almost.")

In the last ten months I have thought of the following quote more times than I ate sweet potatoes (and I ate so many that I was in danger of turning orange) or charted my temperature back in the height of the IUI days:

"More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones."

That is a line from Truman Capote's novel, "Answered Prayers." Each time I think of the quote or say it, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude that I didn't get what I wanted. Not getting what I wanted may prove that grace exists (by the way, Grace was the name I wanted to name the daughter that I thought I wanted to have).

Sure, there are days that I am punched in the ovaries by the unchangeable fact that I will never be anyone's mother. I will never know what it is like to have someone call me "mommy." I won't ever have a little baby hand hold onto the back of my neck (for some reason, this is an image that has dogged me since I began trying to become pregnant). But I also won't have all the headache, hell, heartache, expense and frown lines that come with mothering. Now I am free. I am free to do what I want and to spend my time and money the way I want. Now I get to spend my life doing what I want to do. I know that sounds selfish, and I suppose it is. But as I am not a mother, my selfishness isn't hurting anyone else.

And, yeah, I am still really and truly happy. I am house shopping. Me and the adorable boyfriend are looking for a house, and I am not freaking out in the least. Okay, not true, I am actually freaking out in the good way. I am actually happy to be looking for a permanent residence. I am proof that miracles happen. I prove that not getting what you want can make you extraordinarily happy, in the long run, that is.

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So how has not getting what you want made you happy? Please share!

This post originally appeared on La Belette Rouge.

 
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