>While I’m always hopeful that I’ll one day get pregnant, I know I may not. I think I base a lot of my decisions on that premise – trying to balance hope with fact – trying to be realistic but optimistic – trying to create a life for myself and my husband that would be enriched by a child, but not empty without one. While there’s an ebb and flow to it – sometimes hope and optimism take the lead, while other times the reality that I may never be a mother prevails – I think I am generally pretty balanced. I think a lot of it comes from dealing with infertility for almost four years before getting divorced, and truly accepting that in getting divorced, I would never have a child. This marriage – and our attempts to have a child – almost feel like a bonus round to me. I knew that M and I could have a happy, child-free life together, and I didn’t assume we would have children. The realization that I was dealing with infertility for a second time was difficult and upsetting, but after two and a half years, I feel like I have come to some sort of peace with it. I obviously am not happy that we haven’t been able to have a child, and it does make me sad, but after a combined total of almost 7 years of dealing with it, it’s just a part of me. I hope that some day, I will have a child, but I know that in all reality it could go either way.

The thing that gets to me, though, and what sometimes overwhelms me, is how easy it is for other people. I think because I’ve dealt with this for so long (through two marriages, in my 20’s and in my 30’s), dealing with infertility is somehow normal to me. I forget that there are people who don’t have to struggle, or have to decide how much money they want to spend or how much they want to put themselves through to have a child. I forget that for some people, it’s as easy as deciding they want a baby. And sometimes, it just wears me out. I’m tired of seeing photos of happy families with their new babies, and I don’t want to hear anyone else talk about how excited they are that their daughter is having a child. I don’t want to find out that people I went to high school with have two, three, or four grown children, and I don’t want to see photos of people’s nieces and nephews. I don’t wish ill will on any of them or wish that they, too, had to deal with this, but I think I am just happier in my IF cocoon. It’s always a tough realization when I remember that for a lot of people, this really isn’t normal.