I have read, and I have probably even said, that going through fertility treatments takes great strength. I believe that. And yet, I don't feel strong at all. I feel incredibly weak and broken. If I am whole, I am littered with cracks and chinks - so very fragile.
Today I feel normal, like myself, for the first time in 2 weeks. Last night, while I cried on M's shoulder, I told him he is enough for me. I don't *have* to have children. I *want* to have children. He said that I am all he ever wanted. I said I am willing to do another IUI in May and hope that I won't have the same extreme reaction to the meds. If I don't become a basket case at the end of that cycle, I can go through with the third and final IUI. If I *do* have a very strong reaction to the meds again, I am done. There is no point putting myself through the emotional meat-grinder ad infinitum when this clearly isn't working.
Yesterday I spent a lot of time exploring child free not by choice blogs. The room no one wants to enter on the Stirrup Queens' Blogroll. Every Infertile's worst nightmare. Their blogs are proof to me that there is life after treatment cessation, and it does not have to be full of sorrow over what might have been and crying over daily reminders of what you don't have. I also learned something important from their stories. By the time they finally stopped treatments, most of them were so emotionally exhausted, so completely heartbroken by their struggles, that they could not even consider other avenues of having children. They didn't have it left in them to go through the process of adoption even if they wanted to because of how much infertility treatments had scarred them. Others had kept at treatments into their 40's and were "too old for consideration" by many adoption agencies (public adoptions aren't as strict, but its very hard to adopt an infant that way).
Not that I am judging their (or anyone's) choices, but I don't want to be that. I don't want to keep at this until I am a beaten, bloody pulp, completely unrecognizable even to myself. That's not how I would choose to end it. I think IVF would do that to me. IUI is already practically doing that to me. I want to say enough is enough while I still have years left to grieve my loss, think about pursuing adoption, and enough of my heart and mind still in tact to carry me through the difficult filing process if that's what we choose to do. I'm not willing to let the pursuit of children destroy me and my relationships with other people. I can make peace with my life without having to go that far.
I know that medicated cycling makes me crazy. I also know that when I am *not* cycling, I am normal. I can see babies, mothers, pregnant women, and NOT want to hang myself. Yes it hurts, but it DOES NOT ruin my day. And I can keep in mind all of the wonderful things I *do* have, and the experiences that are possible in a future without children.
So I am digging deep, finding the strength to get back on the hormone roller coaster at least one more time. I can see the exit in the distance, and that definitely helps for now.