Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"So, do you guys have any kids?"

It's a casual question between strangers, like "What do you do?", but if you've been trying for a while, it's not a casual answer. I usually end up saying, "Not yet." At what point does "Not yet" become just "No"? Or the infinitely more personal "It didn't work out"?

I've been blessed with so much I never thought I'd have in life that it seems weird to miss something I took for granted but never actively sought. But I do.

I should be clear. I've been reading a fair amount, and it seems the most common variety of infertility is this sort of vague thing where the doctors don't know exactly what the trouble is, leaving the door open for folk cures, suggestions to just relax, and lots of mystery. That's not the case with us. While we are doing some further tests, we know exactly what the problem is, and there's no easy solution. The tests are to find out which of the difficult options are at least possible.

And then comes the hard part. How do you do a cost/benefit analysis on a child, even a potential one? I tend to take every life challenge as a course in applied spirituality, but infertility is a dual-discipline internship in philosophy and spirituality. The personhood of a fetus has concrete implications, as do questions of free will, immortality, social responsibility, and economics. See, insurance will pay for the diagnosis of infertility, but not the treatment. And so we have to decide not just if we want kids, but exactly how badly. Enough to risk surgery? What about money? $3,000? $5,000? How about $50,000? Is it worth having a kid if you've gone so far into debt that you're stressed to the gills paying it off?

What about couplehood? Christie and I have both been through divorces, so we're pretty adamant about being a team, which means checking in with one another on an almost daily basis. It's pretty easy right now, when we're just gathering data, but what about further down the line? When do you give up, and what happens if we're not on the same page?

Um, yeah. I don't know what happens then. I guess we'll just have to figure it out as we go along, just like everything else.

1 comment:

moreena said...

I'm sorry I'm coming to this so late. But I wanted to let you know that I'm reading, and sending good vibes to you and Christie, even while I'm among those who don't know the right thing to say. I wish I did.