What a difference a day makes…

So it’s your mom’s birthday tomorrow.

For most people that’s a happy time, something to look forward to, to be excited about…but this is so not the case when you’re battling IF!

Nope, for those trying to have a baby and failing dismally, birthdays (and any other time-based milestone for that matter) is just another reminder of how long you’ve been trying, how quickly time is passing and how soon your child-bearing days will be over. This may sound a little dramatic, but it’s true…every birthday, wedding anniversary, Christmas, etc is just another reminder of a failed milestone receding in the rear-view mirror.

It’s funny (in a sadly non-humorous way) how your mom’s birthday has been playing on my mind over the last couple of weeks. There are a good number of reasons for this. The first, and most obvious one, is the feeling that we’re getting old – not old in the ‘grey hair and false teeth’ kinda way, just old for starting a family. We were out to dinner a couple days ago when someone at the table (I think it was Nan) mentioned that this year I would be turning 37. This really hammered me like never before…I’ve never been worried about my age (a result of looking 10 years younger than I am – well, that used to be the case anyway)…but I sat there in the restaurant doing the maths in my head…37 this year, at least another 8 months on this injection protocol before we hope to see sperm…and that’s the very earliest we can even hope to be actually trying to fall pregnant…9 months of pregnancy…OMG I’m going to be knocking on 60 at my kids 21st birthday party…I’m gonna be well past 60 for my second kids 21st birthday party!! And that’s if things go well!!!!!

And these thoughts have been going on over and over and over again in my mind ever since. Then, along comes your mom’s birthday. She’s turning 35 this year. The second reason this birthday is such a big deal for us is that, for some reason, “35” is like this huge big milestone in the female reproductive world…all the stats seem to focus on how things become X percentage harder, Y percentage less likely and Z percentage less successful after the age of 35…and your mom’s got these stats memorised, I’m sure…

The problem with these sorts of statistics is that they’re pretty rigidly interpreted by the mind…to quote some stats from a website found after 2 minutes searching on the web (so I’m not vouching for them, their accuracy or the website in any way): “Women under 25 years of age have a 96% chance of getting pregnant within a year of trying. Women age 26-34 have an 86% chance, and women 36-44 have a 78% chance of getting pregnant within a year.”

You look at these and other stats and your mind takes this in and translates it to something like …today, with a normal man, your mom has a 25% chance of getting pregnant if she has unprotected sex and it’s her ovulation day…tomorrow…she’s 35 years old…so exactly same scenario, but she’s a day older and therefore sex with that same normal man, will only give her a 18% chance…JEEZ!!! I know this isn’t the reality of how it works (or that these stats are in any way the reality of the situation), but it’s the way our minds process statistics…unless we stop and think it through…but by then it’s too late, you’re already stressed and worried and you can’t get these figures out of your mind – statistics have their own ‘first impressions’ and they’re impossible to forget no matter how you try and rationalise them away.

But the worst thing about your mom’s approaching birthday is the birthday present issue. I’ve always played a game with your mom for her birthday’s and Christmas’s…I ask her what she wants for the special day and then take it as a personal challenge to get her something different, something she hasn’t thought of but that she needs/wants/likes/loves just as much as those things she did think of. I always feel extra happy/satisfied when I succeed in this game. Of course, your mom cottoned on to the fact that I never buy her what she says she wanted, so has become less likely to give me ideas or tell me what she wants…but I keep trying. The problem is, this year for her birthday, for the first time in 14 years, I’m stumped…

The reason I’m stumped, is that every time I think of her birthday and getting her a present (or whenever anyone else asks me what she wants for her birthday), the only thought I have is that there’s only really one thing in the whole world she wants…and I can’t give it to her.

And this sucks BIG TIME and I can’t get this thought out of my head and it’s driving me nuts. Dealing with the guilt of being the partner ‘responsible’ for the IF is bad enough on your average day…but now it’s ruining her Christmas’s and birthday’s too…and it’s all my fault.

And there’s this big part of me that looks at these stats on the rapid decline after 35 and wonders if I’ve been so selfish that I’ve ruined your mom’s chances of having babies…the delay in trying to get my body to work so that we can have my biological children is exactly the reason your mom is crossing the dreaded 35 year barrier childless. If I hadn’t been so selfish last year, we could easily have had 3, 4 or 5 IUI’s with donor sperm and your mom could be happily knocked up already. Or even if they didn’t work, there would have been enough time for an IVF cycle or 2 with donor sperm. They would have increased the chances even more that she would be celebrating this birthday with a lovely gorgeous big smooth tummy with a sticking out belly button and a baby shower in the near future…and then this birthday would be the most wonderous occasion ever, her best birthday ever, rather than a nasty sneeky bastard of a stalker that’s caught up with us while we weren’t looking.

But I need to change my attitude, because nothing’s gonna ruin her birthday more than a miserable depressed git of a husband…I need to buck up and sort myself out, because the only real present I may be able to give her this year, is the knowledge that I love her more than anything, that I will do anything for her and her happiness, and that she is and will always be my Raisin.

~ by HopelesslyTTC on 25/01/2010.

One Response to “What a difference a day makes…”

  1. Oh H. Your post has brought a tear to my eye. You and I are on the same page in terms of feeling that we’ve somehow ‘deprived’ our most treasured loved ones from being a parent – so I fully understand where you are coming from. DH tells me over and over and over and over how much he loves me and that it’ll be OK if it’s “just us”.. but I love him SO much and feel terrible that it is my fault that he is not a daddy yet.

    I’ve also done all your sommetjies.. my DH has just turned 41, so he’ll walk our daughter down the aisle using a zimmer frame!! LOL!! Sorry – that was a bit rude, eh?

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