Insecurity, Infertility, Inadequacy

Insecurity is by definition “lack of confidence or assurance; self-doubt; Not sure or certain; doubtful; Inadequately guarded or protected; unsafe”.

Feelings of insecurity have been bubbling up for a few weeks now. Every day that goes by increases those feelings. At a time when you are supposed to reflect on all the things you are thankful for in life and all the blessings that you have been given, i find myself focusing on all the insecurities i am facing. I feel guilty for feeling this way and have been trying to “get over it”, but inevitably something happens that sets me off again.

I am losing my job at the end of the year. The company i have poured my blood, sweat, and tears into for the past seven years has closed up permanently. I am here to shut things down, and box things up. I have no employment security. Like most Americans, we live paycheck to paycheck. The little savings we have won’t even cover a mortgage payment. I am scared. We have no financial security. With no job, we also have no health insurance security.

These feelings of inadequacy and insecurity have led me to doubt the bonds of marriage with my hubby. Through no fault of his, little things are misinterpreted by me and i worry about silly things. I am afraid that he won’t love me anymore or will seek out a relationship with someone else who is thinner, prettier, funnier, more confident, and employed.

The adventure of infertility is wreaking havoc in my brain. All these feelings of inadequacy and insecurity make me wonder if maybe we just weren’t meant to bear children. Maybe hubby doesn’t want to have children with me. With the loss of health insurance, why on God’s green earth would we continue trying anyway?

The truth is, amongst all these feelings of insecurity, i desperately want a child. More than ever. I’m willing to do whatever it takes. If i have to work three jobs to pay for the medical bills and keep up on the mortgage, i’ll do it. I’m still taking my medication and charting my BBT. Although, i am angry to announce that there was no ovulation this month. Which turned out to be okay, because hubby hasn’t been “interested” lately, if you know what i mean.

Anyway, i regularly follow a blog about a woman who suffered from infertility, tried every conceivable way to get pregnant, and now has 2 precious children. She’s a fantastic author and even better mother. Her blunt and humorous writing style is the perfect medicine on the days i have pity parties. In her latest blog, she discusses an article in the New York Times Magazine about an author who used gestational surrogacy to finally achieve motherhood.

I read the article. This woman sounded so much like myself. She shared the same feelings I have, only far more eloquently.

“THE DESIRE TO BE a mother — to give birth to a child, to care for that child — has always been rooted in me. I never doubted my ability to be a good mother.”

Okay, that sounds like most women, but it gets closer to home.

“Her gesture underscored the helpless, self-enforced secrecy of the infertile. Couples often erect a barricade of privacy around the process to avoid the questions from friends and family members, and their ceaseless, useless volley of suggestions: You just need to relax. Did you try acupuncture? Soy milk makes you infertile. You’re in front of your computer too much. What’s the problem with all you career girls? Did this cycle work? Are you pregnant this time? How many shots? Where? A low whistle: Boy, you must really want a child.

You must really want a child. As if that were a bad thing.”

Ah, yes. The judgemental well-wishers. But wait, there’s more!

“I BECAME ENSNARED in the terrible, wishful math of infertility. It went like this: I am 36 years and 2 months old. If I get pregnant today, I will have my baby while I am still 36.

I am 37 1/2 years old. If I become pregnant today — this very day — I will have my baby when I am 38 years old.

I am 38 years and 1 month old. If I become pregnant today — this very day, this very second — and manage to hold on to the baby, I will have my baby when I am 38 years old. “

I thought i was the only one who calculated every day, every month, every year. Every day i think about what day of the cycle i’m currently in, how many pills i need to take today (if any), what day ovulation is expected, what day implantation would take place, what day i can take a pregnancy test the earliest, how old am i, how old will i be when the baby is born, what month/week the baby would arrive, and on and on. It’s exhausting – and overwhelming.

“A child with our genes would be a part of us. My husband’s face would be mirrored in our child’s face, proof that our love not only existed, but could be recreated beyond us. Die without having created a life, and die two deaths: the death of yourself, and the death of the immense opportunity that is a child. “

At this point i started bawling. Hallmark doesn’t even make a card to deal with that raw emotion.

“We talked about how she had played on her college tennis team. She was an accompanist for a children’s choir and brought her piano sheet music so she could practice.

She played our Steinway while I got lunch.

I stood outside the living room, holding a tray of tuna sandwiches and listening. I was numb. I can hardly play the piano. I never played on my college tennis team. Back in those days, I was smoking and dyeing my hair black. For Pete’s sake, I thought, this woman can do all those things — and have my baby.”

This seems silly, but this part hit home as well. In high school, i was really something. I could do anything. I worked after school and on weekends, i ran cross country and track, played volleyball, was secretary of the NHS, tutored, active in our church’s youth group, graduated in the top 10 of my class. I had it all. Who knew it would all come crashing down after high school ended? Don’t get me wrong, i married the love of my life and live in a beautiful house we built together. I worked hard to get my bachelor’s degree taking classes at night. But, everyday i have that nagging feeling that there’s something – someone – missing from our lives.

“I would sometimes feel barren, decrepit, desexualized, as if I were branded with a scarlet “I” for “Infertile.””

Although the writer, Alex, is referring to her feelings while the surrogate mother was pregnant, i feel like that all the time. Yikes.

The part that really struck a dagger into my heart of hearts was reading the comments at the end of the article. Unbelievable. The cold, heartless comments these readers had the audacity to leave in a public forum was wretchedly heartbreaking. Obviously,these readers must have a handful of healthy children at home, conceived without thought, maybe even a few “oopsie” children.

i’m almost speechless at the immense reaction to their views of the article. Many commented on the pictures of the surrogate mother, barefoot and pregnant, sitting on a dilapidated porch while the mother stands in her perfectly manicured lawn in front of her perfect home while the baby nurse looks on. You know what? Seriously? I don’t see what they see. I thought the surrogate mother looked relaxed, peaceful, content. Her dog is laying on the porch next to her at the home where she raised here own children and many memories were made. She is truly happy to carry the child of another mother.

Read the article and make your own opinion. Although i could never afford to do this, the emotions are the same. I am happy and excited for Alex. She was able to finally complete her family.