Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Selfish Phase

When we first started to conceive, my first impulse was to talk to my friend S. She and her husband were married a few months before T and I. I tried to convince her that it may be time for her and B, to start trying.* See, I didn’t want to go down the road of parenthood alone. S turned to me and said, “I’m still in my selfish phase.”

To be honest, I didn’t understand the answer. “Selfish phase” I rolled it around my head and filed it away. Well, because we were going to be parents. I had something to plan for. I couldn’t be selfish. I had to prepare for the maybe baby.

I laugh at myself now. See, I had a plan of what a parent should be like. It was a combination of my own imagination and my own parents’ examples. But, it was an idea that my life is not my own. It is for my child. And once we started to conceive, I started to live my life that way.

Everything I did was for the maybe baby. The car I drive is a mommy’s car. My job could always be reduced hours and is near my parents. Two of the main reasons I took the position six months in to trying to conceive. It was chance that I really like my job. (Thank G-d!) Everything I did with the intent of “when we have children.”

During the three years of trying to conceive, we took breaks. But, they were breaks with hope. Of still monitoring ovulation and hoping against hope that it would happen by accident – al naturale. Those breaks were still full of anxiety, monitoring, and wishing. I was never able to find my sanity or self.

This break, with the help of the pill, is the only time that the “if” is out of the equation. It has been the only time which I have been able to breathe, regain my sanity and focus. I feel like I am regaining myself. The self before trying with knowledge of infertility.

That knowledge is what makes me feel more comfortable in this stage. Life without children, well, it has advantages and I am starting to like them. I am starting to do things for myself, for us, without the thought of what if. Taking the “if” out of the equation has brought me a great sense of security, peace.

I think I am entering my selfish phase.

But, I don’t think I will ever want to leave it. I know what lies in wait for me, if I leave it. I worries me, how comfortable I am becoming.

*S and B are the proud parents of a beautiful little eight month old girl.


JJ said...

Your post gave me much of what are you saying I feel myself grabbing onto. Although we havent said goodbye to treatment options, the fact that we are standing still right now does lend itself to allowing me to do things on my terms--and not worrying about my decisions affecting the "maybe baby" We didnt even TRY this month--and it makes me feel relieved...
Thanks for your support on my post too--glad to have you as a friend, and know Ill be with you through WHATEVER phase you are in=)

Erin said...

I've never really understood why living one's own life is considered selfish (my sister never plans to have kids and has made the same statement, so I've had lots of time to think about it). I think it's just living your life. And I think that it can take some time to come around to that, but I'm glad that you are. You don't need to feel like it has to be justified--you should be able to live your life the way you want to, even if that way has changed over the years.

It's good to hear you sounding comfortable with the place you've come to. Enjoy it, and share all those wonderful things that you're doing with us!

loribeth said...

I was trying to think of how to word my response, & I think Erin has said it perfectly. Whether or not you decide to hop back on the ttc train, there is absolutely nothing "selfish" about enjoying being in a comfortable place, knowing your own limits and taking good care of yourself (especially after the stress & strain of the last few years). You deserve every sensation of security & peace you can get. (((hugs)))

Serenity said...

Erin said it perfectly for me too. You are not being SELFISH - you're living your life for you. And what makes me happy is that you're finding joy and happiness in it. How can that be wrong?

And yes. After the fear and uncertainty of the past few years, you absolutely deserve all the joy in the world.

Hugs and love to you, hon.


Mama Bear said...

I would echo Erin as well--there is nothing selfish about living for and taking care of yourself, particularly when you need it. Whatever the future brings, I wish you much happiness and peace with all of the decisions you make. :-)

Pamela T. said...

Ditto all of the above comments. I'm really happy to hear that you're enjoying this time and the joy that comes from being rid of anxiety.

Anonymous said...

This is a very, very good post. I'm glad you're able to recognize the advantages and opportunities; many women are not able to consider/reconsider life without motherhood. You're a brave, independent person!

Kellie with an "ie" said...

I love this post - it's really powerful and I'm so happy that you are enjoying your life right where you are now. That is such a wonderful thing, so congratulations and thanks for sharing it with all of us!