Ode To Non Parents Moment

As Mother’s Day approaches, I see the coping articles beginning to fill up all the infertility support websites. 

Some couples will brave the emotional minefields of a day that for was so painful for the six years that passed with Lisa getting a Mother’s Day card from our Pomeranian rather than a human child.

Kid filled or kid focused events can be be the catalyst for a ride on an emotional roller coaster that takes you up to euphoric hope and down to despair in a matter of seconds.

Here’s a snippet from an event we attended right before our last IVF.

We have a few days to kill and decide to head out for a local zoo that is having an Oktoberfest. This is an ambitious thing for us to do, as we know there will likely be eight million kids there. And there are. We feel discriminated against when we notice a pumpkin patch with a large warning sign that says “pumpkins for kids only.” What about parents aspiring for kids? I grab a small gourd, ignoring the angry stares from all the idiot-factor parents falling all over themselves to get the best pumpkins for their kids.

Despite the loudness of the multitude of children there, I find myself more irritated by the parents. Some of them are subtle. They pull their kids away from the crowd where they quietly discipline or console them. Others are parental exhibitionists. They announce to the entire world what they are doing or going to do.

“Benny, you come here right now or your mommy is going to get very angry with you! Benny, did you just eat that monkey poo when I told you not to?”

I wonder if these people would act like this if they knew how ridiculous they looked and sounded.

As we wait in line for a mini-train ride, the scene morphs into some infertility torture symphony. The babies with their whining make up the string section, the bass section of fatherly “no’s” and “don’t do that,” the horn section of mothers screaming out orders to the fathers and kids, and the midsection clarinet of older kids complaining “this is a baby ride” and “stop touching me” and so on. Lisa and I lock eyes a couple of times with a “this is what we’re working so hard for?” look.

Our ears are still ringing from the “Ode to Non Parents Movement,” and though we manage some chuckles about the idiots we were surrounded by, I see Lisa’s face begin to darken.

She looks at the ground.

“What if this doesn’t work?”

I pause for a second to see if she really wants an answer or if this is just a random hypothetical that requires no response.

“I mean it. What if this doesn’t work? What the hell are we going to do?”

I know better than to walk into this emotional landmine.

“I don’t know. We’re not there yet. We’ll just have to wait and see how this goes.”

The long pause after her question and then the vacant stare tell me no answer is required. The old urge to immediately launch into a plan of attack or rant about the ineffectiveness of our infertility pursuits has been replaced by the wisdom to recognize how often Lisa just needs to hear these questions out loud. It is almost as if by saying them, she robs them of their predictive abilities, purging them of their poisonous effects on her otherwise hopeful and optimistic vibes about the promise that St. Barnabas holds for our baby-making future.

I move closer to Lisa and pull her to me. I couldn’t even come up with an answer if I tried. Our fertility support group is looking to us as pioneers trekking out into the fertility Mecca of St. Barnabas. They are hopeful that a success for us will pave the way for them to follow.

Lisa and I have been asked to be godparents to Keith and Kristin’s newborn son, Ben, and I have been asked to be godfather to my brother’s son. I can’t help wondering if these were pity gestures to make up for their growing suspicion that biological parenthood is not in the cards for us. But that is the infertility demon in me talking, and I am trying not to nurture him much these days.

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