Here's a wonderful article that appeared in the NY Times on Sunday, January 6, 2008, entitled "The Blank Space in Our Family Album", written by Catherine Macrae Hockmuth. It's a relief to know that I am not the only person that has a box hidden away in the furthest corner of a closet containing 'baby' books. Okay, to be honest the books I have are about struggling with infertility, diets to boost fertility, the old bible 'Taking Charge of Your Fertility' (hahahah), extending your fertility, infertility survival books, copies of 'Conceive' magazine as well as copies of a magazine about adoption.
The box also contains a folder of newspaper clippings of articles regarding, what else but infertility and adoption. It used to contain clippings about decorating nurseries, but I've tossed those. I've also tossed a copy of the magazine 'You're Pregnant!', which I bought when I was about 6 weeks pregnant and before 'it' stopped growing. That magazine just mocked me and my single follicle everytime I opened the box, so out it went. (Secret: sometimes at magazine stands I cover up the pregnancy mags with other periodicals because I can't stand to look at them.)
My box is hidden away in the closet much like my status as a barren babe is to most people we know -- aside from close family and very close friends (mine...hubby finally told his parents my barren babe status at Christmas). I never went as far as buying baby clothes, but we have names picked. The names are kept in my heart and mind, although I've never told anyone or been really possessive about our choices. Alright, I was saddened when a friend named her son the name we had chosen, but who am I to protest since the odds of my husband and I ever using it fades with time.
We also have drawers containing prenatal vitamins, zinc, syringes, some left over medication for IUI in the refrigerator, and a container of used needles underneath the bathroom sink. As of today we are at an impasse as to when to discard these last few items because then it really does signal that we are ending this part of our journey. In my heart I realize this part of the adventure is over, yet I can't actually bring myself to let go of these items.
The article ends with the couple pursuing adoption in China, which has the guarantee of a child at the outcome instead of the heartwrenching uncertainty of fertility treatments. We are still at the crossroads on this decision. Family and close friends suggest adoption, and yet that is not an easly decision, but the box remains in our closet.