When I first moved in with Hubby, I looked at it as an opportunity to 1) spend even more time with my wonderful boyfriend (at the time) and 2) save money so I could buy a house. I had been living by myself for a while, and just before meeting not-yet-Hubby, I decided that buying a house all on my own would be the grown-up-woman-who-doesn’t-need-a-man thing to do. I never got past looking at listings on the internet.
The timing just happened to work out. My lease was ending at the same time Hubby’s roommate was getting married and moving out. But when I moved in, I just knew it wasn’t going to be for long. I still wanted a place that was mine, even if I did let Hubby live there with me. And the place he was living in was less than ideal. It had two bedrooms and a big kitchen, but those were the only pluses.
Everything was old. And dirty. The kitchen was full of decades-old appliances and a layout that left about a mile of emptiness between the stove and any workable counter space, of which there was very little to begin with. Most of the cabinets no longer closed, which was an invitation for one of my cats to climb in and make herself at home among the blender, coffee maker, and serving trays, all of which subsequently became magnets for cat hair.
The bathtub was disgusting. Hubby and his former roommate insisted they had cleaned it, but the bottom of the tub was black. So gross. I got in there with a sponge and a can of Comet and scrubbed until my arms were numb. It still wasn’t “clean” by conventional standards, but it was as good as it ever got. I’m pretty sure the surface of a tub is not meant to be porous, but that tub was.
There was no yard. Hubby took over the only “office” space, and the entire house was crammed full of our stuff. There just wasn’t enough space. And the biggest complaint I had was that there was no space just for me. No place I could go if I just needed a few minutes to myself. I never did get a place that was all mine.
I moved in with Hubby almost eight years ago. We’re still here, in this crowded, old rental. The house I had always thought of as temporary. I haven’t made much of an investment in this house, and I’ve hardly bought anything new for it. We did register for gifts for our wedding, but at the time, I thought we’d soon be living in a new place. First, I thought I’d buy a house of my own. Then I thought Hubby would get a job soon. Any minute now. And we’d be moving. Moving on. Because right now, I just feel stuck. And I have for a long time.
The same is true of our infertility. When Hubby told me about his diagnosis, I thought of it as a temporary problem that could quickly and easily be fixed with a few months of injections and maybe IUI. Wham, bam, no more infertility. What I didn’t consider was the expense, the waiting, and that infertility would become our permanent home. No matter what happens from here on, we will always be a couple stricken with infertility. I don’t think this feeling of just wanting to be like everybody else will ever go away. And I know that the resulting empathy for anyone who shares a similar fate will be with me always.
I know we will move on one day. One day I’ll have a kitchen that inspires me to cook. A bathtub I don’t have to break my arms to clean. A room of my own with a door that I can close. A yard where I can plant a garden. And a houseful of children. I just wish it would happen soon. I’m ready for a real home and a family. Something that feels like it’s ours. But for now, this is where we live. In this house. And with infertility.