Thursday, August 27, 2009


So last night my sister was giving me the update on my parents' ruining of my baby brother and sister (one nice thing about not having kids is that one cannot be responsible for this sort of horror - we can't do much to help the kids at this stage, but I don't know how they'll ever be healthy adults), and she mentioned that in better news, my elder cousin is expecting. I managed to sound upbeat and congratulatory with not a note of anything else. Infertility has made me a good liar.

Now, my cousin is three years older than I am, so maybe it's fair for her to win this one (not that I will be placing at all, but whatever). She married two months later than I (so we've reached four years of marriage and they haven't yet), but I think they started trying about two years later. I also think she might not have the same boundaries with respect to what treatments she's willing to do. I'm not interested in relinquishing my boundaries anyway, baby or no baby. And I know that she was sounding out her mom (that's my aunt who was on all those fertility drugs, BTW) as to what she'd think of having adopted grandchildren (of course her mother said it made no difference at all).

So I'm happy for her. I don't expect to have children of my own; I don't know what I'd make of the sunny news of my own pregnancy at all. Whereas I would have been sad to hear that she could never have her own children (note to adoptive parents: yes, I understand about own. But you understand too).

You know what the problem is? When I heard that they were having trouble, I figured they'd get their bfp in a few months, and no skin off my nose - just like the rest of the world. But when I heard they were looking at adoption, I thought we might really have something in common. So she's four or five months along - a traitor, then, to my very, very small world. I can't let anybody in here, because it doesn't hurt when someone out there does something I can't - but I am very possessive of the people in here. Of whom there are, on most days, just the one.

Of course I know that I've had other reasons to be upset and unhappy lately. I don't know what to do with my husband any more, for one. I married a good Christian (you know, with his faults) and a cradle Catholic, and my faith is (was?) central in my life to such a degree that I wouldn't have married a non-Catholic. I know, people do, and do a good job with it. Not me. I now seem to have contracted a mixed marriage (that's a canonical term, y'all - has nothing to do with race) by bait-and-switch, because I appear to be married to a garden-variety Nietzsche-reading undergraduate cynical agnostic. I pray for him, but it's not having an effect and I've had it. I don't have patience to listen to more than about thirty seconds of how there's no logical reason to believe in a loving God and maybe somebody or other was wrong about evolution (I could not possibly care less about evolution), and I am not looking to develop such patience. (I did try sitting quietly and listening, but I found my options are between yelling at him and ignoring him. Between those two I am largely indifferent.)

His new job involves traveling a lot, and Sunday he is planning (apparently they may change this plan until the very last second) to leave for a month. I was initially upset that he would be gone so much, but now I can't wait for him to leave. I am emotionally exhausted and I would like to spend a month entirely, uninterruptedly alone. Unfortunately I have to go to work, but I will try to be alone as much as possible.

I also brought up last night that I need to schedule this giant surgery, and would like to do so before he leaves for a month. (I know there's going to be a lot of wait time before there's an opening.) Apparently he thinks it's a great inconvenience for me to suggest that he persuade his work to tell him when he will be in the country. You know what, I don't care. I'll be drugged up, unable to drive, probably walking only with difficulty, but I'll just call a cab. Why make it his problem?

In lieu of ranting (see how that didn't work), I was going to take this oppportunity to post something that has been rattling around in my head that I find amusing: the phenomenon of hysterical pregnancy in rabbits. We had rabbits growing up, and apparently the presence of male rabbits causes them to believe (falsely) that they are pregnant, and begin building a nest (for which they rip out their stomach fur, to make the nest soft, you know, until they are bald in patches). I've actually seen this happen. But the internet says it isn't so - hysterical pregnancy happens in dogs, cats, and mice. Oh - and humans. New one on me. (The 2ww does not count, btw. Wikipedia helpfully explains the symptoms.)

But my search terms turned up this fascinating and extremely sad piece, which I am guessing is autobiographical, not fiction. I reiterate that it's sad. But very well done. And I am intrigued by the freaky picture, and its implications for, of course, marriage - and male fertility, I think.


  1. I'm sorry your DH is causing you so much frustration. Keep praying for him. It may take a few years or a life time, but he'll see where you're coming from. My DH is a non-practicing Lutheran (which will make the religion issue regarding our future children much easier since I’m a practicing Catholic). He comes to mass with me on very rare occasions. But he's a good man. He doesn't overtly follow God, but he does the best he can with his life. He tries to help people; he's sincerely caring; he wants to provide for me and make sure I have a comfortable life; he worries about those he loves; he's always willing to lend a hand to friends, acquaintances, and neighbors . . . . He doesn't go to church, but he lives his life as well as he can, and he's much more generous that some of those who do attend mass every Sunday.

    I'm not trying to play up my husband, although it certainly sounds like I am. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that it's better to be a good person with a generous spirit than to be a bible thumping Christian with a closed heart. I'm sure your husband has a good heart.

    As for the traveling bit, do you suppose he's nervous about appearing undedicated in his new job? I agree, it's not asking too much to find out when he may be expected to be away - people need to make plans in their personal lives - but do you think he's worried about making a good initial impression with his employer? Just a thought. My husband was like that when he first started with his current employer, anxious to make a good impression. I was too for that matter. We do stupid things when we’re worried.

  2. I'm sorry that your husband and your paths are diverging. I don't know if this will comfort you, but my husband, who was raised heathen and then got very interested in the new atheism of people like Christopher Hitchens, has recently started attending church (Episcopal, but hey, we're somewhat close liturgically), reading the Bible, and thinking about the nature of God.

    So who knows where your husband's spiritual path will lead him? He could pick up Maimonides and then St. Augustine and whammo, you're back on track. I hope you don't have too long to wait, and that he starts being a bit more supportive as you keep pursuing the goal of children on your terms.

  3. praying for you in this hard time.

  4. As Shinejil said, I'm sorry about the diverging paths. Sorry my response sounds so trite - these situations are so hard, and there isn't really anything useful to say.