"We Can't Get Pregnant and It's Driving Us Apart"

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Her Turn, Continued

"The doctor told me to abstain from exercise and sex while I was taking the medication to prepare my body for IVF. Meanwhile, my emotions ran the gamut from excitement that I'd get pregnant to despair that I wouldn't. Imagining a childless life, I'd dissolve into tears. I expected Barry to console me, but to my disappointment, he was silent.

"The two weeks between the procedure and the pregnancy test were an eternity. When the test came back positive I sobbed to Barry, 'Our nightmare is finally over.' Then, nine weeks later, I suffered a miscarriage -- the most wrenching experience of my life.

"I wanted to try again immediately, but had to wait several months for my body to recover. I became very anxious. Barry called me a broken record, saying I obsessed endlessly about all this. Well, I didn't conceive the second time and on the third my doctor canceled the procedure, because my hormone levels were so high that my eggs were no longer healthy enough to create an embryo. That's when he said I'd need a donor egg if I wanted to try again.

"Throughout this three-year ordeal I've felt perpetually sad. I've become a hermit because I don't want to hear friends who got pregnant easily say, 'Just adopt.' I want to watch my belly grow, feel my baby kick and give birth. Normally, my mom would be my support, but she keeps telling me supposedly inspiring stories about women who went through multiple IVF tries before conceiving naturally.

"To complicate things, Barry was profoundly unhappy working for my dad. He complained bitterly and incessantly about Dad's erratic management style. When I tried to stay neutral Barry accused me of being unsupportive. At that point I urged him to look for a new job, but he felt he couldn't quit because my parents were helping us pay for IVF. 'They'll support us no matter where you work,' I assured him.

"Even after all we've been through, I still want a child and am willing to consider egg donation -- and then adoption. But Barry just tunes me out, which makes me feel more alone than ever. Recently, he's begun staying out late with his single buddies, drinking too much and not calling. He's trying to spite me for pressuring him to make a decision. 'If you can't be happy with just me, then maybe I should leave,' Barry snapped the other day.

"I was crushed. I can't imagine life without Barry -- any more than I can imagine not being a mother. 'I love you and want a family with you,' I said. 'Let's work this out.'"

Continued on page 3:  His Turn


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