Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Infertility Inferiority By: Karen Pilarski

Me holding baby Velvet with my stepdaughter.
Last week I went to my annual gynecological appointment. I dread going every year and sitting in the stark waiting room. In the background little tiny hands played with blocks next to their mother's shoes. "Young and the Restless" played softly on the television. Normally there is no apprehension about seeing the doctor. Well, a tad nervous about my blood pressure and weight.

The uncomfortable part is seeing all the women with bulging bellies and the glow of being a mother to be.  While I have two stepchildren, I can't have biological children. At least not without the assistance of IVF or hormone shots. Unfortunately Wisconsin doesn't mandate insurance to cover the expenses. I'm not exactly rolling in the dough and therefore can't pay out of the pocket. With a sigh I hop on the the examination table and look off at the wall of pictures of a baby growing in a belly.

Not every single day is spent crying over an empty cradle. From time to time it hits me like a ton of bricks and sets me into a slight depression. As quick as it comes on, it dissipates if I keep busy.  

I must give off infertile vibes because no one asks when I'm going to reproduce. Only one sweet relative-in-law inquires. I'm sure those closest to me don't want to make me feel bad. I pity myself enough for everyone. My mother couldn't get pregnant at first. She had to take fertility pills and then BOOM! Nine children! If only a pill could fix mother nature's cruel joke on me.

 There are friends who try to make me feel better by saying children are a handful. Ironically I was talking to a girlfriend about marriage this afternoon. She said she wishes she could be married. Laughing, I told her she doesn't know how stressful marriage can be. I guess there is always a want for things that can't be had. No one really comprehends the struggle, joy and pain until it is experienced. There is always wanting, winning and losing.

At times I resent my husband for not being able to provide funds towards fertility treatments. I figure he has had his children and it not getting younger. Nor am I. The fertility specialist said four years ago I was still young. Four years ago it seemed less urgent. I'm now in my mid thirties and have to face to possibility that my baby ship has sailed off without me. It is inspirational to hear tales of women in their fifties or sixties getting pregnant. However, I want to be able to run and play with my biological children. 

I'm thrilled for those who become pregnant easily. It must be amazing to feel life grow from within. In the store when passing the tiny powder blue clothes and diapers I feel a ping of jealousy. Hearing a soft cry of a newborn breaks my heart. Perhaps one day insurance or my financial situation will change. My mind creates a vignette of having a doctor tell me I'm expecting or holding a baby. Oddly, it cheers me up by giving something to strive for. All is not hopeless and bleak. The dream isn't beyond reach. It is high enough to not be able to grab it, like chubby little hands grabbing for their mama.