Sunday, May 2, 2010

a different kind of love

When I was in my twenties a lady I worked with told me a story about the birth of her first child. She had endured something like twelve hours of difficult labor followed by an emergency c-section. When it was all over, baby in arms, her husband looked into her eyes and said, "I just fell in love with you all over again."

This story has haunted me lately. It's so difficult to know that I will never give my husband the gift of growing a child in my womb made of part of him and part of me. I will never give him the gift of laboring to bring that child into the world, and he will never look into my eyes and tell me that his love for me has been reborn.

*pause for sadness*

When my husband and I finally got off the treatment roller coaster I didn't recognize our marriage anymore. For a while infertility treatments made us stronger and drew us closer, but eventually the constant disappointment destroyed us. My depression grew stronger than our relationship. My husband became more and more frustrated because he could not solve this problem. He could not succeed as a husband and make me happy. I could not succeed as a wife and give him the child that I so desperately wanted to give. Infertility led to financial problems and destroyed our physical intimacy. We were broken.

I'm happy to say that we are rebuilding. I'm thrilled to report that our marriage is getting stronger. We are smiling, laughing, planning, touching, hugging, kissing, joking, and talking. We are starting to become "us" again.

But still that woman's story haunted me. Can we ever have the kind of love that two people have when they build a family together?

The answer is no. We can't have that love. We have something different. Tony and I walked through hell together. We may not have always been looking into each other's eyes while we walked, but we always held each other's hands. We did it together. Our hopes were raised together. Our souls were rocked together. Our dreams were destroyed together.

We are falling in love with each other all over again. And that love feels so special and so true. It didn't come from a place of joy where love is easy. It came from a place of despair. We had a choice and we chose us.

_____________________________________________




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49 comments:

sprogblogger said...

This is a beautiful piece of writing, and I hope your husband gets the chance to read it, too. Truly inspiring.

sprogblogger said...

This is a beautiful piece of writing, and I hope your husband gets the chance to read it, too. Truly inspiring.

Kim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jenicini said...

Lovely and heartfelt.

Kate said...

This is wonderful to read. Glad you're reconnecting.

Sidney said...

The journey your relationship has traveled gives me hope for mine...we have similar heart-wrenching situations creeping up on us and I'm elated that I stumbled upon your post. Even a short snippet like this lessens the worry that's been building. Thank you and best wishes to you both...

infertilefollies said...

It is so tough for me to accept the fact that I don't get to have the most basic human experience of unassisted reproduction. It feels so unfair. But slowly I am realizing that a lot of people are cut off from basic human experiences; people with disabilities, people with eff'd-up lives, people who go through disease, accidents, and the consequences of poor choices.

It's one of the things I hate the most about this world -- if you look at all the good things that exist, there is always someone who is on the outside, always someone excluded. It's teaching me to be much more thankful for what I do have.

Tracey said...

Very touching post...
It's easy to love one another through times of great joy, but it's the tough times that put a relationship to the test and it looks like you two are passing with flying colors!

Tara and Matthew said...

I have been reading your blog for a long time and just wanted to comment for the first time :) I started reading your blog when my husband and I started our journey to conceive. We have not been successful and have stopped. We did not have the strength to go through as much as you have been through. We are in the process of adopting a baby girl from Taiwan. Infertility has changed us immeasurably.

LaceFace said...

How interesting that you posted this, I was just wallowing in my own despair over this very thing; not being able to form that kind of bond with my husband...not being able to have him "fall in love with me all over again." My sister in law got pregnant and I searched deeply for the root source of my jealousy, anger and sadness....and I found it to be this very thing...that her husband might love her more deeply than mine did, the result of a bond formed by a biological child.

But what people don't include in their "stories" is the dissipation of those feelings after the reality of raising a human being sets in...the stress, the sleepless nights, the worry, the financial burden, the lack of freedom....

Things aren't as rosy as they look in those "candid" family portraits.

Many people I know with children have marriages that have all but disintegrated, they need antidepressants just to get through the day and they continue to feed me the "it's all worth it...buuuuuut."

Sorry this comment is so long...

Michelle said...

Beautiful! Infertility is definitely hard and I am glad that you are discovering your relationship together again!

Baby bump bound said...

Beautiful, amazing, touching and precious... the glimmer of light, of hope, through the darkness of this madness. I am glad you have each other!

Allison said...

*sniff* yeah...

Your last line is especially profound.

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irrationalexuberance said...

I'm very happy to read this. I do really believe that the strongest bonds are forged in times of pressure, and that you and Tony have been able to stay together and find happiness with each other again is awesome. Count yourself very lucky that you have that kind of love.

areyoukiddingme said...

Well, it used to be that you would know your marriage is strong if you survived building a house together. But, I'd say surviving infertility, regardless of outcome, has that beat by a longshot.

Glad to hear you're rebuilding.

twondra said...

Love this post, as I can relate, but it's so sad to read sweetie. I'm thinking of you. So glad to hear you're rebuilding. (((HUGS)))

Fig said...

That was beautiful. From the very beginning I held my breath; in part I can understand how you feel. Truly inspiring. :)

loribeth said...

I loved your last line too. Infertility can put such stress on a relationship, but it can also definitely bring you closer together. A childless marriage is not "better than" or "worse than" the one shared by parents -- it's just different.

TeeJay said...

This post is great. It made me cry, actually. It made me sad for us (IF girls) and then as I read on, it made me happy for you. I'm so glad you and Tony are reconnecting and getting through this together. He loves you, not just your womb.

lastchanceivf said...

This is beautiful.

I think, hard as it is, sometimes it is all about perspective. And your last part of the post summed it up so much...you didn't love each other through something easy and wonderful and blissful and awe-inspiring (yet also painfully commonplace) such as birth...but you loved each other through hell and back.

I feel the same way many days, and I'm happy you two are feeling happier.

AmyG said...

A beautiful post. This is one of those things people who haven't experienced IF don't understand. It's so affirming when people like you put this kind of things into words.

theimpatientoptimist said...

This brought tears to my eyes. So beautiful, Megan.

KuKd Chick said...

This post really resonates with me - and ultimately makes my day, just knowing you're falling back in love and rebuilding things. Really? That can happen? God, I'm so glad. Truth be told, I've felt the same going on with me and mine, an eroding of the love just a wee bit, but for different reasons related to KuKd and pregnancy and all that. Marriages are so vulnerable...this post reminds me of that. It takes a lot of work to keep'em strong - and I"m glad to know that others have experienced this and that re-falling-in-love happens. Yay.

strongblonde said...

what a beautiful post!!!

i love this: We have something different. Tony and I walked through hell together. We may not have always been looking into each other's eyes while we walked, but we always held each other's hands.

this describes what so many couples go through!

big hugs!

Jennifer said...

Beautiful! So glad you are rebuilding. I feel like we've had a lot of that to do too. We are getting there. It just takes time and work.

LenaBug said...

This post made me cry! :'( You are a beautiful writer, and your transparency touches me deeply. My husband and I have not yet exhausted our options, but we have determined that we are not willing to go through major procedures. If Clomid and hormone shots don't work, we won't progress - we'll adopt, if possible. I've been lurking on here for a while, but wanted to let you know I cried with you tonight, and you are in my prayers. *hugs*

Enough happiness said...

I just found your blog. I am sorry to see that you have been through so much.
Thanks for that beautiful post.

Delenn said...

Coming from Mel's Round Up. I have followed your journey for a while, and wish for you the very best. Wonderful post about the love we share with our spouse. Thank you.

Michelle said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing this. I especially love "We may not have always been looking into each other's eyes while we walked, but we always held each other's hands."
This is heartfelt and so very true.

Chickenpig said...

It's not just not having children. My husband and I have three, conceived after years of IF and 6 rounds of IVF. However, the stress of parenting three kids under three, our house being too small and trying to buy another, and just the basic stresses of life and not making time for each other are taking their toll. Years of enduring infertility, a miscarriage, and then the first hellish years of having twins brought us closer...and now we are struggling. I find that more and more we don't hold hands with each other, just the hands of the kids.
Reading this post reminded me that we have to remember to find time to be a couple and to re-commit to each other post infertility. Thank you :)

Lavender Luz said...

It's scary to move away from each other, but it's especially sweet to turn in again and choose to get close again.

Congrats.

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Another Dreamer said...

What a beautiful moving post. So true.

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Wow.

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msfitzita said...

I was saying almost the very same thing to my husband yesterday. If it doesn't break you (as loss and infertility certainly can), it makes you an absolutely indestructible pair, bonded in a way some will never understand. Or achieve.

ox

Augusta said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. It's amazing that the hell you went through did not destroy your marriage. It speaks to the strength of both of you as individuals, and of course, the strength of your union. The failure of our fertility treatments has been hard on us as well. We are trying to live on the same metaphorical continent, to stay connected even though we are grieving. It's difficult. I see by your post that we are not alone. Thank you for sharing.

Crossing My Fingers said...

Glad to know that DH and I are not alone in this battle, amazingly after meeting with the fert doc, I think our relationship has gotten better. We didn't hear what we wanted to but we heard what we needed to.

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Melissa G said...

Wow, what a touching post. I can completely identify with so much of what you've written. Especially the part about how IF made your marriage stronger at first but then ripped it apart... Ughhhh.

I'm so glad that things are looking up for you two, after evertyhing you have endured, you really- REALLY deserve that.

ApronStringsEm said...

Stumbled on your blog from "blog"-hopping. Just wanted to say that this was a beautifully written post and I *totally* get what you mean.

Ashley Moore said...

I am very sorry that you will not be able to conceive. I will tell you that I have two amazing children. Adysen is 8 months and Ethan is almost 5 and about to start Kindergarten. The story about the couple and what her husband said is really sweet...remarkable actually. If it makes you feel any better...the love is stronger for a little while and then reality sets in and you don't have much time to devote to your marriage anymore...it's all about the kids. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I envy your opportunity to rebuild and revamp your relationship. It will be many many years before we have to opportunity to even pay each other much attention again...if we survive parenthood together. It's really hard. How people had 10 kids way back when blows my mind. With two sometimes I feel like I don't really even know my husband anymore. Not saying I don't love my kids....I would take them over him any day...lol, but it's just difficult to devote enough time to them and still have room for us, too. Good luck!

Shanel said...

this aounds a lot like my last post, glad that things got better.

Leslie said...

hi there. My husband and I just got checked for fertility issues as we have been trying for a year with no luck. his sperm count is sort of low, so we are working with it. have you guys ever considered adoption? I am now a reader of your blog.

N and M said...

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to comment. Having been there, done that (infertility)...I wanted to comment about the "I just fell in love with you all over again." thing...

It can happen. It did with us. It didn't happen how I envisioned it (holding the child I just birthed) but when we first met our daughter in the NICU and her wonderful birthmom and I saw him as a father of our little girl, I fell in love with him hard.

I had to let go of what I thought it would be like and be open to what might be instead. It sucked, don't get me wrong, but as a mother now of two adopted kids - I cannot tell you how happy I am to be infertile. Yes, I said HAPPY. If I wasn't infertile, I would have my kids. Honestly, I wouldn't have missed out on these kids for anything in the world. I truly and deeply mean that.

Enough of my late night rambling.

N and M said...

I meant I wouldn't have my kids...

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