I have come to an important decision in my IF journey and that is closing the door on my pursuit of parenthood. What that means is I will not be pursuing adoption or donor conception with my wife in the near future and maybe not ever. That’s not to say that things can’t change and that door couldn’t reopen but for now it will remain closed.
How I came to this point is due to the fact that this pursuit of parenthood has become a distraction and obsession for me. It’s weighed heavily on my personal life most importantly marriage. It’s caused me to lose sight of the thing that is most important to me in this world and that is my wife. This hurts me more so than my inability to conceive a child with my wife. It’s something that those who have never gone through infertility would understand. The effect it has on that individual is sometimes recognized but the impact it has on that person’s spouse or partner is almost never thought of on the surface. I’ve been a miserable person and no other person has felt that more than my wife and she deserves better than that.
Regardless of whether or not we become parents I desire to be with my wife for the remainder of my time on this planet, however long it is. I need to be a better husband and partner than I do becoming a parent. I’d rather be childless with my wife than a single dad. That’s not to say that I’ll be happy or lead a fulfilling life childless. Right now I doubt that I would. But the chances of happiness and fulfillment are better with my wife than without her.
The goal for me was for us to become parents together not for me to be a parent by myself. That wouldn’t be something I could live with. I couldn’t imagine my life without my wife. She has had more of an impact on my life than anyone besides my parents.
I know there will be some (not all) people in the adoption and donor conceived communities that are happy to read/hear that we won’t be pursuing parenthood in the near future. They are glad to know that we won’t be contributing to what they feel are flawed systems. What they need to recognize is that I don’t
give a shit care what they think about the decisions my wife and I make. As much as I appreciate them sharing their experiences (which I am empathetic to), providing feedback and their kindness I won’t let them shame me into making decisions that impact my families lives. When they walk in our shoes then they can judge our decisions. I don’t need their approval or support on the decisions my wife and I make in our lives. The only people we need approval from are ourselves. The decisions we make are our own.
Are these people going to be there for me when we’re hurting from infertility? No. Are they going to be there for me if living childless becomes more difficult than I can handle? No. These people have their own agenda’s and issues in their lives that they are working through and I respect that. But you know who will be there for me? My wife. I will be there for her as well. That much I know.
The below picture is of me at Luxembourg Gardens in Paris when my wife and I went with my in laws in December of 2009. The picture has significance because its the exact spot that I proposed to my wife on March 5, 2006. I like to joke with her that its where I gave my life away. But the reality is its where I began the next chapter in my life. Whatever that chapter is in my life I want my wife to continue to be as important a part as she has been since she became a part of it over 13 years ago. I don’t want to be by myself as I am in this picture. Closing the door on my pursuit of parenthood for now will prevent myself from being alone. If I am privileged to become a parent the pursuit of it will be with my wife not on my own. I need to get back to what’s most important in my life right now.