It was Monday evening at the Crossroads Inn. I made spinach and black bean enchiladas for dinner. D. and I were chatting amiably about something; I don't remember what. And then he mentioned our infertility. Usually my ears perk up, as do any infertile woman's, when my husband actually initiates a conversation about infertility. But I just nodded, a little tired.
"This is getting really sad," D. said.
"I'm so sad," I said softly. "I feel hopeless. I'm almost to the end of my rope."
"I'm already there," he replied.
We paused and looked at each other for a long moment. And then I said it: "Then we should stop."
He nodded slowly. "Yeah. I think so, too."
I felt a weight fall from my shoulders, and our conversation became more natural and bittersweet than any I've ever known. We talked quietly about our frustrations and our losses. How sad it is to have reached this point, where hope and fear have become one and the same. How hard it will be to walk away. But walk away we shall.
We've agreed to try one more IUI. And that will be the end of treatment. We aren't going to do IVF. I will cancel my COBRA insurance with its partial coverage of one IVF cycle. Maybe we'll continue trying on our own for awhile, or not. I'd like to adopt, and D. is open to it, but we need to save money and energy for that journey. Maybe the 4th IUI will work. I'm not sure of much of anything from here on out, except that we can't go on living like this.
We talked about these things on Monday evening and then a different sort of weight returned to my shoulders. I sat at the table with my head bowed, rather sad, somewhat relieved, in mourning.
Later, I poured myself a glass of wine and joined D. on the front porch, where he was sitting with Sadie and watching the sunset. The sky was striped in garish shades of apricot and lavender. The colors were a little weird, but somehow, they worked.