Monday, March 16, 2009

When was the last time you felt joy?

I was thinking last night about surrogacy and babies and how infertility has changed me into a person I hardly recognize. I had a faint recollection of joy. Do you remember joy? I wonder if I will ever feel it again. Will the day my baby is born via surrogacy be filled with joy or will my happiness be tainted because I'm not the one lying on back recovering from bringing life into this world? I don't know what the actual definition of joy is, but I've always considered it "happiness untouched". The experience of being happy without any aftertaste of sadness. There always seems to be an aftertaste of sadness in my life since infertility.

In anticipation of our urologist appointment in under 2 hours (it can't get here quick enough), I called our insurance company to see if they cover semen analysis. To my delight, they cover them 100% with no copay! Of course, they exclude millions of other infertility related procedures because our medical community thinks fertility treatment is a convenience not a necessity, but I digress. I thought for a minute that I was experiencing just a tinge of joy, we've saved a few hundred dollars for each SA we do, no exclusions, deductibles...there's no catch, just "Yes, we cover them at 100%". Definitely something to be joyful about. And then I thought that normal people who experience normal joy would never be joyful about insurance coverage for infertility treatments. 10 year ago, I would have never been joyful about such coverage but today I experienced it a bit. I didn't think about how I wish they covered uterine replacements or the entire costs of surrogacy (since they won't be paying for my pregnancy), I didn't feel sad that we're needing an SA to use my dh's sperm on another woman instead of me. I was just purely joyful for the coverage. I'm thankful I was able to experience that joy for a brief moment, although I see it only speaks volumes about how much infertility truly has changed me. Joy...over insurance coverage so someone can run tests on my husband's sperm? I've set a new, much lower, standard for joy it seems. Infertility causes us to create new normals. I no longer think of sex when someone says that she's "trying to have a baby". I think of IVF, ICSI, laboratories, IUI's, morphology, and no intimacy at all. That is my new normal. The same holds true with joy. Joy can no longer be happiness untouched because all my happiness with forever be touched by infertility. I must redefine joy for my new normal of a life.

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