Thursday, November 22, 2007


This post has me thinking about women, work and children (and the expectations thereof.)

Just before Thanksgiving one year ago, J. and I decided to start to try to conceive (TTC.) We were in the car. We were on the Pennsylvania Turnpike heading east, toward home. At that moment, everything shifted for me. The way in which I viewed my future began to shift, my goals shifted. I started to back-off of some of the things I had been doing for years, particularly the things that caused stress in my life (mostly volunteer organizing stuff.) I started to look at a bigger time-line-- one that involved a few years pause where I conceived and began to raise our kid(s.) I started to think more seriously about my own health, seeing an acupuncturist for ongoing migraines and digestive issues. I had done everything to plan. Rockin' partner, check-- graduate degree, check-- house, check-- insurance, check-- moving in direction of profession,umm, good enough-- still under the age of 35, check. It was the sequence I had always imagined. And I just assumed I would be quickly rewarded for my diligence.

So this is what people don't get about infertility and recurrent miscarriage. Now that my body is not following the trajectory I had hoped, I am stuck in limbo-land. If I get a tenure track job this year, I risk not knowing for years if my surgery was a success and risk never having children, ever. If I don't get a tenure track job because I fail to assert myself completely because I anticipate having a roomie, and then fail to ever carry a pregnancy to term-- then I am twice screwed-- no dream-job, no kids.

Is there ever a time when a man has to deal with a dilemma? I am sure there are cases when it happens, but does it ever happen because of infertility? J. and I are linked in this process- 100% linked. But his ability to take a job, or hold off is not tied to the success of my U, but mine is. Perhaps that means we are only 99% linked in the process. And that last 1% stinks to high heaven!



Yodasmistress said...

You have inspired a blog. I should have it up by sometime next week. (Sometimes I have to ruminate before I can write.)

Kathy V said...

I came via the creme. This whole process really does make people think. If you didn't have to work so hard to try to get a roomie and work so hard to get to a higher place in your career it wouldn't be as big of a deal. I would agree Mem probably don't have to think about it as much. There are a few stay at home daddies but in history and also presently it is the stay at home mommies that are more common. It is hard to hold onto all of your dreams at the same time. Thanks again for this post.

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes! I HAVE a tenure-track job, but it's not in the same city as my husband's t-t job. Had a baby, had a mat leave, had a research leave, hoped for another mat leave to carry us through to his sabbatical, and then I'll be due for one. Had a miscarriage. Ok, we'll try again. Miscarried again. Now I'll probably be giving it up so we can live together, and I'm so angry at my body right now--and at academe, for making it so difficult to have jobs together.