How I’ve Gotten Here

My husband and I have been married for 10 years as of this March. The first few years we were married, I was pretty sick most of the time, with terrible digestion reeking havoc on my long-term Type 1 diabetes.

In 2011, I had a full pancreactomy; my spleen and a part of my intestine was also removed. Since that point, I’ve not had emergency hospitalizations, and while I did explore the possibility of a pancreas transplant, I’m actually pretty “okay” in terms of functional abilities.

It came as a surprise when, by the end of 2014, I started feeling an enormous drive to be a mom. I quelled this for a bit, thinking it could never become reality, but one can only avoid reality for so long.

By mid 2015, I had seen a reproductive endocrinologist who assessed me, focusing most on a history of unexpected (and inconsistent) high blood pressure readings on and off since my pancreactomy. He said that while I likely wouldn’t get pregnant naturally, I would be facing pre-eclampsia perhaps to the extreme in all likelihood while carrying a baby.

Okay, so this didn’t sound good, naturally. I couldn’t let go of the intense desire to be a mom, though, so I kept exploring options.

My husband T and I ended up being foster parents to a little boy from March to October 2016; he was 19 months old when he was first placed with us, and it would be an enormous understatement to say he impacted me greatly — his presence, his growth, his vulnerability, everything.

By mid-summer 2016, T had come to the realization that he couldn’t be a foster parent to another child after our first placement left. To be honest, he was never keen on parenthood, but the experience clearly showed the challenges of the foster care system.

So, last summer, we went to see another reproductive endocrinologist, and very quickly, we were on IVF road.

The timing was bad, to be honest. I was enormously stressed over our placement’s situation, and the IVF drugs were quite impactful.

Our first IVF didn’t work.

I don’t know that I can describe truly how this feels. Right now, I won’t.

Regardless, however, or maybe not, I stayed focused and positive. We had frozen 2 3-day embryos, and my heart was invested in them. Truly.

But, here’s the kicker, if you will: T has said no.

He doesn’t want to be a parent. He sees himself as good without a child, and us as good similarly.

I can’t describe this, either. I alternate among a bunch of feelings, of responses:

  1. I wonder if my broken heart will lead to death (sounds dramatic, but I assure you I’m not a drama queen).
  2. I feel so empty that I feel like I’ll float away.
  3. I ache, simply and straightforwardly, and I see no end in sight.
  4. I wonder how I can possibly survive having my heart’s desire disintegrate. Will I survive?
  5. I feel like I’m not going to be a mom because of my own body’s failure with the first IVF, and so I hate myself.

None of these are good, are they? That’s not really a question. It’s a statement, I guess, a reality.

I have gotten sick at night repeatedly, most nights, since this has become my future.

And that’s how I’ve gotten here.