After the bad news we received from Dr. X, I cried a lot and just took time to think. From trying naturally to finding out I had low ovarian reserve to going through a failed IVF cycle, well, it was all just devastating. It took a huge emotional toll. I felt very alone in the IVF process. My home life and relationship with Peter became a lonely place.
From the beginning of our relationship I was outspoken about my desire to be a mother. I have always connected right away to babies and children (and my 14 year old bulldog of course) and have often been called the “baby whisperer.” I think children can sense nurturers.
Peter wanted to be a parent, but that was by no means his singular life goal. He loved me though so he got on board with the “let’s have a baby now” schedule. I was determined and “baby” was all I had on the brain.
Even more, my best friend and I were both trying at the same time. She had a child already and was trying for her second. We were optimistic and talked about having our kids grow up together.
Somewhere along the journey Peter was no longer invested though. He became distant and disconnected. The financial stress we felt caused a lot of this I’m sure. I went to the majority of my doctor appointments alone and tried not to burden him with as much baby talk. It was challenging of course because I was singularly focused. I was at once full speed ahead and alone. I was in a fragile space and didn’t really feel like he understood or cared.
Shortly after my failed IVF cycle my best friend found out that she was pregnant. She is my age and she got pregnant again naturally. I was happy for her, but it was utterly heart wrenching. One friend after another was getting pregnant and I felt like the universe was conspiring against me. My friends tried to be supportive, but they were also in pregnancy bliss so it was really hard.
I started to get judgmental and angry when I saw other pregnant women. I felt bad about having those feelings, but I had them. Peter and I needed a break from the heaviness of the past year. We agreed to just keep trying naturally (which I’m sure he was thrilled about) and look to fertility treatments again sometime in the next year if we were still unsuccessful.
If I’m playing Monday morning quarterback here I would tell you that I made one bad play after another. I think I got in over my head to begin with. I had, just prior to meeting Jenn, bet everything on building a company that wasn’t successful and that had impacted my financial position in a huge way. I was playing catch up, starting a new romantic relationship, taking on a lot more expenses and borrowing money to try to have a child that I didn’t know how I was going to provide for all at the same time.
I was stressed to say the least. That written, I should have leaned into my partner instead of away. My fear got the best of me and I shut down. I hid in my man cave. I made vodka drinks. I just tried to survive. Looking back on it now it feels like a blur. Sliding credit cards, seeing Jenn in tears, not getting any good news on either the fertility or financial fronts. Despite all of that though, I really wish I had been a better man.