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.
Oh, I so, so hear you on this one. And I see from your comment on my post today that your husband is on the academic job market. Barf. It really is just like infertility, isn’t it? You try and try and try, and you can’t make any long-term plans because this time is going to be different, and for the most part there just isn’t a damned thing you can do to change the outcome. (Oh, that was really depressing, wasn’t it? Not helping, am I? Sorry….) Fingers crossed for your husband this hiring season!
The job market just plain sucks. Hubby gets insane rejection letters for positions that purportedly had 150+ applicants. Ridiculous. Plus, I think there’s now a surplus of PhD’s who put off finishing their doctorates when the economy tanked. Doesn’t make it any easier. Hopefully both our husbands have good luck in the next few weeks!
I can relate to the feeling stuck part. We often lament about how we feel like we’re on pause. As far as the house thing goes… you will get there and hopefully your timing will be better than ours. We have two houses because we both thought we were doing grown up things and bought houses before we met… in 2007… just before the bubble burst. Couldn’t sell either. I have a renter now and depend on him to to pay his rent so I can pay my mortgage. We lose a couple grand a year on that house. J’s house, where we live now, is in a new development… new meaning they are now building our exact townhouse for 30 grand LESS than what we owe. We’ll be here for a while… 50 minutes from both of our offices. We both say that if we had to do it over again – we would’ve kept renting. BUT at least he wasn’t here alone long enough to let the bathtub get all funk.
I hope hubby finds a nice cush job soon and you can find a new place to light with a nice shiny kitchen and that lots of babies come along to play in your yard.
Oof. Bad timing. Looking back, I guess I’m glad I didn’t buy a house when I was feeling like I so desperately wanted to. I hope the housing market bounces back soon so you can get a shorter commute! And if not, a houseful of kids makes up for everything, right? Hope that happens soon for both of us!
Oh dear, I know just how you feel. Stuck. In limbo. Waiting…and waiting…and more waiting. And I know just what you mean about identifying yourself as an infertile couple no matter what the future holds..I think like that, too. Like the chubby kid that grew up and got skinny but still sees herself as the “fat kid”. I don’t know if its a label you can shed, even after you have a family.
I know you do! And I think that “fat kid” analogy is perfect!
I can relate to this post on so many levels. Its all just one big waiting game and its so exhausting.
Exhausting, indeed. Hopefully you and your husband get some answers soon, and a way forward!
Thank you, I hope you get to as well!
We can all relate to being stuck in a situation that far exceeds our patience to endure it. When I think of being stuck, the image of quicksand comes to mind. The more we struggle and fight against it, the deeper and quicker we seem to sink. Sometimes it takes slow, methodical strategizing to get out of a sticky situation. And no matter what very real difficulties we face, it’s always an uplifting experience (pun intended) to focus on those things for which we are truly grateful. In our case, wonderful husbands are at the top of the list!
I definitely agree with that! I don’t know what I would do if I was trying to get through this with anyone else–in fact, I’m not sure anyone but Hubby would have survived this long!
We’ve got slow and methodical down, too! I actually do feel a lot better now than I did before we started treatments, before blogging, when we were really doing nothing. But now, I have so many new friends who understand exactly what we’re going through, and that helps me feel ever so slightly less stuck. Which is a great thing!
I know what you mean …
I am so sick of waiting, waiting, waiting for a new job and for that elusive second line.
Good luck with your journey
Thanks! The waiting is the worst! I hope you get that second line soon!
Beautifully written post. I relate to every word. I just hope you find as many ways as possible to enjoy the wait.
Wow, thanks, Mo. Coming from you, that is a huge compliment. I’m glad you’re back!