Fairytale, schmairytale

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 Permalink

I’ve struggled today.  And the diet is only part of it. I’m supposed to be making a decision about whether to try IVF, despite the fact that a recent hormone test showed VERY low levels AND I am 43 years old.  My chances are lower than low. When I saw this fertility expert a month ago, I explained that I had been waiting to try to lose weight before going to see him.  In fact, I’d last tried to get pregnant through assisted means twice before and both were obviously unsuccessful.  After the first time I went to fat camp and after losing 20kgs decided – rather than go through with attempt no. 2 – I would again try my luck on RSVP (online dating).  I didn’t feel quite as revolting and once again felt the fairytale wasn’t completely beyond my grasp.  Six months later nothing had happened and I had started regaining weight so I went through with attempt no. 2.  That was followed by more weight gain and much angst. When I finally saw this new specialist he told me my age was more of an issue than my weight and I shouldn’t have waited the extra year.  He queried why my other specialist didn’t suggest IVF straight off, given that I was 41 even then.  Who the fuck knows, I wanted to say.  But didn’t.  Cos I was being nice and polite and trying hard to please.

I finally spoke to the specialist again last night as he had been on holidays for 2 of the 4 weeks since I had my earlier appointment. He rang to confirm the hormone level results.  He also said he understood if I wanted to still try because when I saw him earlier I’d said that I knew regret would eat away at me if I hadn’t done everything I could.  As it was (is) I harbour irrational resentment for those friends who have it all.  The fairytale.  Partner, kids – a family. Of course my friends with kids go on (and on) about how lucky I am that I can read entire novels in the bath and watch what I want on television.  Only people with kids say that.  I don’t believe any of my friends would hand their kids back if given a choice to live their life differently. I seethe but I try to explain that – I mostly have nothing else to do which is why I read and watch TV to excess.  I never want to sound too pitiful but want them to realise that it isn’t like I am out clubbing every night or shopping for enough Manolo Blahniks to fill my wardrobe.  Most of my friends are partnered and have kids so do stuff with people in similar situations.  Understandably their families come first and generally I get what they can spare.  I try to tell them (without being too drama queen-like) I hate that I come home to an empty apartment every night; and get up in an empty apartment every morning. I envy those who have someone to kiss them goodnight, or even an annoying toddler climbing into bed for an early morning cuddle.

I feel resentful that I don’t have these things and wonder what I did wrong.  I read articles about ‘career’ women who have only themselves to blame.  As a mid-level public servant I hardly put my love life on hold while climbing the stellar ladder of success.  And I wasn’t without hope.  In fact the reason that I didn’t try anything until I hit 41 was because I still believed in the fairytale.  And, in all honestly, I still daydream about meeting a man and falling in love.  But I can’t kid myself any longer… when I start plotting out the daydream I get to the: dating for a while, moving in together, deciding to try for a family – and it strikes me.  I am 43 (and a quarter) I don’t have a year to get to know someone properly before thinking about trying to get pregnant.  My biological clock’s alarm rang years ago.

So, back to my current dilemma… I did get advice on the hormone tests when my doctor was away.  I had a bit of a sook and started trying to prepare myself for his official news.  I tried to work out how I would live my life if children aren’t an option. I tried to think of things to focus on so I don’t become a bitter and twisted spinster resenting her friends.

I have two friends who may soon get pregnant.  One of them is my best friend (the one I mentioned in an earlier post, in NZ) and yet I wonder if I can see them / be around them if they become pregnant.  They will be excited about what’s ahead, buying baby stuff, setting up a nursery and preparing for childbirth – the thing women say is the most painful thing in their lives but gives them something they love and cherish above everything else.  Then I will have to see them with babies in their arms and toddlers at their feet.  I cry now when I see a baby on television.  I had a meltdown in the doctor’s surgery last week because I saw a very cute toddler and her mother.

I need to decide whether I will put myself through the angst of IVF which has almost no (2 point something %) chance of success, then leave it up to fate.  That way I will know I have done everything I can and I will be blameless.  I can have no regrets.  Or, do I decide now to not go ahead and take control of the decision myself and not prolong the expectations or agony, but blame myself in 5, 10 or 20 years time when I am still single and childless.  Decisions, decisions.

Perhaps I need some wine tonight after all…


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