Inspired by a recent confession by Runny Yolk, I've decided it's time to open up about one of my big IF fears. I took so much comfort from reading her post, and being smacked upside the head once again with the YOU-ARE-NOT-ALONE stick. So this is in hopes that one of you (who maybe don't follow Runny Yolk) will get that same message: You are not the only one. I know that, because I am not the only one. See how that works?
A little bit of history here: until I was, oh... say... about 34? I couldn't stand children. Didn't really know any people who had them, wouldn't accept a table near them in a restaurant, generally cringed when confronted with them. I didn't even babysit as a teenager. Kids were my Kryptonite. I certainly didn't want any of my own, and I wasn't quiet about it. To this day, I still hesitate when presented with the opportunity to hold infants.
So why am I doing this?
I couldn't give you the date, but the moment is fixed in my mind like a photograph I've seen a thousand times. As I said, I was about 34. I was driving to work one afternoon (I used to work nights) and I saw a woman pushing her 1-2 year old daughter down the sidewalk in a stroller. There was nothing special about them, they were just an ordinary Mom and baby doing an ordinary thing. It was like time stopped and someone flipped a switch. I was open to a child of my own. Of course, I'm now racing towards 39 and no closer closing the deal.
I'm sure I've mentioned this here in passing, lumped in with a range of other fears, but I've been afraid to give it too much sunlight lest it grow roots and flourish. After more than a year jam-packed with failed fertility treatments, I finally came clean to the Professor last week about one of my deep dark What IFs. Damn that was hard, but luckily for me, he responded in true Professorial fashion and made me feel better on the spot. When will I learn to open up sooner?
Lately, I've been worrying more and more that the reason we haven't seen any success in our efforts against infertility is that I'm in it for the wrong reason. Obviously, the RIGHT reason is wanting a baby. But wait! I DO want a baby! Well, maybe I don't want it enough? Maybe that girl who didn't like kids is still hiding in there and sabotaging my efforts? Because, if I'm honest... when I think about reaching the point where we've exhausted our resources and our options and still not having a baby... it no longer scares me. It doesn't sound like the end of my world. I can think of plenty of good aspects to that situation.
When I shared all of this with the Professor last week, the first thing he said was "Good."
Also obvious, is the fact that this is totally irrational. I've been having trouble pinpointing my motivations for everything I'm putting myself through. I'll tell you right now that I still don't know. I'm just less worried about not knowing since I talked to the Professor about it last week. Maybe I'm deluding myself into a better frame of mind to deal with an ultimate failure at this task? Whatever. I'll take it.
So if the "right" reason is wanting a baby and wanting to be a parent, then as they scroll across my mind's eye, my possible "wrong reasons" are as follows:
I want make the Professor a father, to give him the gift of offspring. This is a fact. No argument, and while not ideal, still a laudable reason.
I'm afraid to disappoint our families, who I know want grandkids. This is also a fact. Though I was never one to do something just because my parents wanted me to, this is an area where I'd rather not disappoint.
I'm just stubborn and can't handle the idea of failing at something I set out to do. This is... close. But not quite right somehow. When I truly fail at something, I usually just blow it off. I am sometimes perfectly OK with not being good at things.
Perhaps a better way to put it would be:
I'm just stubborn and can't handle the idea of failing at something I care about. That feels right. And there's something very important there.
That's a good enough reason for me.