I don’t often experience FOMO – as a card carrying introvert, I take avoiding situations to an artform. I was lucky enough to spend the last week on a road trip all over Jasper and Banff, camping along the Athabasca river, checking out glaciers, lake Louise, hiking up through the mountains to the teahouse at the Six Glaciers. It was amazing. I am lucky that the friend I went with is also happy to be alone in her own head, because I think we achieved the perfect balance of company and alone time. I had a hardcore anxiety moment driving into the crowds of Banff and Lake Louise after four days away from people in general – between the crowds and the poorly laid out traffic patterns, I had a bit of a meltdown – just needed to get back to the campsite and away from people. We ended up grabbing some ciders, heading to the campsite, and having some pretty intense conversations about life – which was way more my speed.
I had started that morning sobbing down by the river. I keep thinking that i’ve laid the issue of fertility to rest – that I know it won’t happen, that after four and a half years, the details are written in stone, and I just need to accept them. And mostly I have – I’m finding it easier to talk about my infertility, I spend less time crying and more time focussing on my work and getting on with my life. There seems to be a natural ebb and flow to the degree of my anxiety with regard to how settled I feel, and I suspect at least some of it is hormonal. I have noticed there there are generally about two non-consecutive days each month or so when I just feel like shit, and that day was one of them.
So the intense conversation: It basically came down to the fact that I am not done thinking about having a baby. A biological baby. The simple reality is that we can’t afford to consider most options right now – we just bought our house, and I just quit my full time job so that I can pursue more lucrative, if less secure options. There is no feasible way for us to pursue expensive fertility treatments at this time. And I don’t know that I could handle the pressure, stress, or the potential disappointment of going that route. Also, frankly, I don’t know if I have the full support of my Husband. He tends more towards the “it’ll happen if it happens” mentality about most things – he will work his ass off for his business, and he started a successful business during a recession, and a decade later it’s still going, and I am so proud of him… but when it comes to things closer to home, he either leaves them to me, or ignores them (or both). The simple reality is that I want to be a Mum. I want to coparent with my Husband. I knew I wanted to marry him and for him to be my life partner at 19, when I realized I wanted him to be that person forever (we didn’t get married for another five years, but that’s irrelevant). Dammit, I want us to have OUR child. I think that’s why I haven’t argued too much with him about the adoption factor – I know we would both love any child in our care, and that we would never go into that without being all in. Its just that I always thought it would be our little genetically linked jerk we would be raising, and however logical and pragmatic I try to be, that’s what I keep coming back to – I want to see what our genetics result in. We have the potential to have an absolute holy terror of a child… and on some level I want that. And I continue to want that, even though I know it isn’t a likely option for our future. So… FOMO – so much fear of missing out. So much figuring out what I fear missing out on… and some knowing that I already see what i’m missing out on, and that just makes me more sad.
I’ve always thought of FOMO as more of a social thing. In this case, it’s just about life – what do I think i’m missing out on in this life, and How can I either learn to be ok with it, or find a way to experience it?
Socially, I am mostly happy to just be at home, or hiking with my puppydog, or seeing a friend now and then… Life.. Lifewise I feel like i’m missing out on a huge part of it, and I am having a lot of trouble reconciling with that.