I’ve had a bit of writers block lately… I have a lot of things I want to write about, but when I sit down I just find myself writing endless paragraphs…and then deleting said paragraphs. So I’m going to take a bit of break from the miscarriage talk and write about something different…marriage, or more specifically, my marriage.
I met Dan when we were both college freshman. Around the second week of school I was having lunch with some girlfriends in the cafeteria when Dan walked in wearing his backpack too tight and I thought “that kids a babe.” For the next two months every Tuesday and Thursday my friends and I went to the cafeteria at the same time and giggled like school girls when Dan walked in. (The cafeteria was called ‘Conn Hall’ and we affectionately referred to Dan as “Conn Hall Boy”). One night in October my friend text me and said “Come to my dorm now! Conn Hall Boy is here!” The rest was history… not in the love at first site, meet each other and live happily ever after way… More in the date for a while, break-up, pretend we’re only friends, go on dates with each other, go on dates with other people, grow up, mature…then fall in love and live happily ever after.
See, as much as I love Dan… while I love that he still gives me butterflies or that I blush kissing him while dancing in the kitchen or that we hold hands when falling asleep at night…the most important part of our relationship isn’t the romantic part… it is that he is my best friend. There isn’t anyone in my life who makes me laugh as hard as Dan does, he is the first person I have ever met who made me feel like me, as myself, was enough. I can honestly say he made me a better person…and I think I made him a better person. At the end of the day the center of our relationship was that we were two people who genuinely enjoyed being together.
At least it was…until the center of our relationship was that we were two people who couldn’t have a child.
See, it’s hard to maintain that ‘happily ever after’ life when your blue-eyed husband is giving you Progesterone injections in your butt every night. The romance fades when dinner conversations consist of hormone levels, follicle counts and warrior embryos. There isn’t a lot to laugh about when your PGD bill comes in the mail, you get a phone call that your Lupron prescription won’t be covered by insurance and that over the past three months you’ve spent over $1,000 on blood work. Somewhere along the way we stopped being Meghan & Dan who fell in love because we were obsessed with the same computer game as kids (some weird Titanic game where you could stop WWII), both pretended Nilla crackers were communion (before we were old enough to get communion, and then realized it was just gross!) and shared a strange obsession with the movie The Labyrinth. We still loved each other, we supported each other, we were a united front at every doctor’s appointed, we celebrated the pregnancy together and mourned the loss together…but we were only focused on being the ‘Childless, SMA-carrying, infertile couple” everything else that made us Dan & Meghan, just stopped being important.
This was never more evident than on a long car ride when Dan turned to me and said “Sometimes I just think you’re more in love with the idea of our baby than you are with me…”
That’s probably the most difficult and authentic thing I have ever written on this blog. And it was also the wake-up call I needed.
The thing about fertility treatments, is they focus a lot on the future… you hear people talk about hopes, dreams, possibilities, what you will have… they don’t really focus on what you do have. It’s not fun to think about what’s happening in your life (hormones, blood work, ultrasounds, egg retrievals, bills…) So instead, you put your head down, you think of the now as a really garbage time, you say it’s all just part of the getting there… getting to your real life… your happy life… you know, your life with babies.
All the suffering leads to happiness… until it doesn’t.
Dan and I spent a year of our life ignoring the present and planning for the future. We focused our energy on what would happen instead of what was happening. We stopped enjoying our life, because we just imagined how much more enjoyable everything would be with a child. On vacation we thought “imagine next time we’re here-we’ll have a baby!” last summer we kept saying “next summer-we’ll be pregnant” during the holidays we agreed “this will be our last holiday as just a couple”. (Remember ‘Gold Dress Meghan’s’ obsession with Christmas cards? I actually remember saying to Dan… “I can’t wait until next year when the card will be our baby, I never have to worry about an awkward couple’s card again!”)
The trouble with that way of thinking is it was based on the possibility of something happening…and then that something ended up not happening. The next vacation we go, we won’t have a baby. Its summer, and I’m not pregnant. Our Christmas card is going to be a couple’s card. We spent our time planning for a future we didn’t get and then looked around and realized we didn’t really plan for anything else.
So, now we have a new plan. Our plan is to stop being some sad, SMA-carrying infertiles, who should be having a baby in November. That isn’t our life. Instead, we’re going to be the two people who shared our first kiss ten years ago on my 19th birthday, we’re going to be two people who love the beach and cheap wine, we’re going to be two people who agree New York has the best Housewives and like to dance in the kitchen while we cook dinner. We’re going to remember that before all of the sadness that happened over the last year, that before we (mostly me) became obsessed with being a Lee Party of 3, we were really happy being a party of 2. That we’re really lucky we don’t just love each other we genuinely like each other. That while it would be really nice if someday we have a baby who is a combination of the best of both of us (his eyes, my lips and our equally weird sense of humor) we’re also better individuals because of who we are as a couple.
See…someday Dan and I are going to be parents (I truly believe this), but if we’re not a better couple because of our struggles to get there it will not be worth it. I realize now I’m willing to sacrifice almost anything to be a mom, but not our relationship. It’s important that we remember that before all of this, we were just two people who fell in love and after all of this, we’re going to be the same two people… we better make sure we’re still in love.