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!