This weekend I visited my best friend Emma and her six week old baby Rorschach. Okay, that's not really his name, but it may as well be. (Please don't be insulted if you intend to name your baby Rorschach. But maybe re-think your decision.)
I was a dick of a best friend. I'm not proud of how I behaved. I'm still sort of confused by my current emotions. This post is going to be a jumbled reflection of that. Oh, and it's also Cycle Day One. So happy cramps and leaking uterus to me!
Let's back up. A few months ago, I went down to visit Emma by myself (without Bobby). She was about 8.5 months pregnant. I stayed at her apartment and we had some awesome girl time. We chatted about life, love, babies, and generally commiserated that we both had really terrible experiences after coming off from birth control and we wished someone would have warned us before we went on it that it may take close to two years to once again get regular periods. I didn't exactly say it outright, but I think Emma accepted the hint that we were trying to get pregnant and failing.
This time, Bobby and I both made the trip and we stayed in a hotel (to make up for this experience on Valentine's Day). I'm glad he went with me. I probably would have been even more of an awful friend if he wasn't there. That man keeps me sane.
All four of us love thrift shopping, so on Saturday we made a day of going to about seven or eight thrift stores. Bobby and I shared some "Happy Not-A-Father's Day" looks when Emma and her husband would briefly argue about who had to carry little Rorschach's monstrosity of a car seat. They ended up trading off every other store, but whoever got stuck with the kid had a significantly less fun trip. Bobby and I are nice people, but not nearly nice enough to offer to take a turn dragging around that kid's carrier. Instead, we held hands and browsed through the antiques and had a lovely time.
Both nights when we were hanging out in their apartment, Emma had to nurse little Rorschach. And both nights he screamed bloody murder into her boob until she gave up. I sat in her room with her while she did this, since we were both working on some sewing projects from our thrifted clothes. I pretty much ignored the screaming. I felt like a jerk. I didn't ask if this was a regular occurrence. I didn't sympathize. I didn't reassure her that she's a great mom. I didn't offer any kind words. I didn't do anything but focus on the seams I was picking. I thought about offering to hold him for a bit--but I'm not sure if would have been any use. Babies don't generally like me anyway, it's not likely I would have been able to soothe her little screamer any better than she was.
Emma casually brought up the conversation of children on Saturday night. It was late, this was post-Rorschach screaming and we were both tired. Maybe we were getting sick of each other. I don't know. This is when I mentioned that I didn't think people should have kids if they can't afford them. I'm not saying everyone should be millionaires to procreate, but if you can't afford to feed and diaper your kid, can't provide a decent space for them to grow up, etc., then maybe you should wait a bit.
And Emma disagreed. She NEVER would have disagreed with this statement a year ago when she was still battling infertility. She would have joined me in making fun of the women who just can't seem to figure out that reliable birth control exists. But now, she's on the other side. She's pro-kid. She's firmly entrenched in Babyworld and I'm still stuck over here in Infertility Hell.
She casually brought up birth control, asking if I thought I would ever go back on the pill (recalling our last conversation about how much going off of it had screwed up my cycles). And do you know what I said? This was the opportunity to confess my infertility to her and have a real life friend become a supporter. I didn't take that opportunity. Instead, I said: I'm on the pill right now.
Why? Why did I tell her that? I don't even know. It was out of my mouth before I even made the decision to lie to her. She sort of stuttered a response of, Oh...okay....? I could see that she wanted to ask about our plan for children, but thankfully she didn't. She let it go and we eventually changed the subject. It was seriously a dick move to lie to my best friend, and I honestly don't know why I did it. It just happened. I don't know what I'm going to tell her if I get pregnant in the next few months, but with the way things are going now, that's not really my biggest concern.
In some ways, I thought hanging out with Emma and seeing her and her husband with this little tiny baby would make me ache for a baby even more. And then as I watched them grumble over having to drag this kid around shopping, and watching Emma struggle to breastfeed, I thought I might change my mind about wanting kids at all.
Instead...I feel ambivalent.
I came home feeling like I just don't freaking care what happens anymore. I don't want to go through all of this effort to have a baby. Yes, I want one. But I don't want to have to do any more research. I don't want to feel like I'm buying a kid. I don't want to waste money on failed IVF attempts or an adoption that falls through. I don't want to have to worry that if we adopt an older child, he'll be able to overpower me and hurt me. Or that an older daughter will never feel connected to me, and constantly have her scream at me: You're not my mom!
I don't want to give myself shots. I don't want to take pills or shove them up my hoo-haw. I don't want to keep taking my temperature every morning and monitoring the discharge in my underwear. I don't want to pee on any more sticks. I don't want to have any more sex when neither of us is in the mood.
I'm so sick of whining about this. I look over this post and I'm annoyed with myself. I want to grab myself by the shoulders and yell: Get a grip! Either suck it up or give up. Stop feeling so damn sorry for yourself.
And then maybe slap myself across the face. One of those huge, full wind up, soap opera-style slaps.