How Infertility Has Effed Up My Head


I admitted something to S that I hadn’t fully processed myself until recently.  I realize I had been saying all along, since the decision to adopt, that I am fine without getting pregnant.  Once we got into the homestudy, I even went back on birth control for some time to get some emotional distance from TTC.  At that point, S was thinking more rationally than I was, and thought that if I got pregnant, well, then we would be pregnant.  If it meant dropping out of the adoption pool, then so be it.  That attitude helped me shake off my irrational behavior, and was the reason why I stopped taking birth control (which really seemed silly considering I couldn't get pregnant when I wanted to).  I even stopped paying attention to my cycles during our wait, at least part of the time.  However, after we brought Baby X home, everything changed.  Somewhat unconsciously, I started to make sure that certain things would not happen around my ovulation days.

I've been actively preventing pregnancy.  Pretty silly coming from an infertile woman, isn't it?

If I try to imagine what it would be like to finally see a positive test, I don't think I'd be happy.  I think I'd be furious that it didn't happen 5 years ago.  I'd be upset that I became "one of them", the pregnant-after-adopting woman.  I don't want to be the reason that a woman struggling with infertility wants to strangle the person sitting across from the table during one of these statements "I know this woman who was infertile, adopted and...."  Obviously, this is something out of my control, and logically I know I’m not supposed to care about what others say or do when I’m not around.  (not to mention I sound incredibly narcissistic)  However, I have tried to educate those in my circle several times and this is what I end up with:  An ex-friend who deems me too negative for speaking on such subjects, and a friend who just two weeks ago pulled the maybe you’ll get pregnant card when I revealed that we have been considering adopting a second time.  I can already hear the I-told-you-sos should some miraculous pregnancy occur.  Ugh.

S's reaction to my pronouncement was a little surprising to me.  Since he has been the rational half of through the whole infertility ordeal, I assumed he would continue with this mindset.  I thought we’d be having the exact same conversation we had during the wait, and I would come out convinced to shed my irrational fears and go forth tossing the mental calendar out the window.  To my shock, he seems to be on my side of the fence and didn’t try to convince me to let it go.  His attitude seems to be that we’ve made a decision, we’re probably going to move forward on a second adoption, and pregnancy would make our somewhat complicated family dynamics even more complicated.  There are plenty of people who have biological children as well as adopted children, so really, I wonder if this mostly comes down to how we both feel about infertility.

I know I have a lot of complicated emotions always bubbling under the surface, only to erupt every now and then when I get unexpected pregnancy news from others.  It goes to show that the infertility scar doesn’t really go away, or, at the very least it fades quite a bit slower than I thought it would.  By my twisted logic, if I’m doing something to prevent a pregnancy, then I’m in control, and feel in control.  It’s not even the loss of carrying a child and feeling all the changes to my body, or producing a life.  It’s about the plumbing flat out not working for me, when it seems to work perfectly fine for the vast majority.  It’s my competitive nature coming out, knowing that an acquaintance is going to be giving birth to her second child sometime this summer, while S and I sigh, dig our heels in, grit our teeth and trot back down to the police station for fingerprinting, get physicals, and update our homestudy to get back on the list.  By the time she’s giving birth we will be number 50-whatever and buckling down for another long wait.

Hilarious, isn't it?  I'm irritated by having to go through the adoption process again, and irritated thinking that my reproductive system may start working and thus screw up our family planning.  What can I say?  "Internally conflicted" should be my middle name.