Do you ever ignore your alarm clock's beeping, even though it pervades every crevice of your mind and prevents you from ignoring it entirely? Sometimes, as much as I detest the sound of my alarm, I am simply too tired to move. If the only reason for its clamoring is my early-morning workout, I’ll sometimes let the fatigue win and keep snoozing, knowing that my body needs rest and telling myself I’ll go to a later class. On those days, I'm so tired that I can’t readily emerge from the recesses of sleep to hit "snooze." By the time my feet hit the floor and I try to shake lingering fog of sleep, I feel even more exhausted, having put myself through the ringer with the always excruciating alarm-snooze-alarm routine.
My biological clock has done the same thing. I never wanted children (just like I never wanted to be a morning person), and yet, at some point, I decided I did want them. As I emerge a healthy, functioning human after being disabled by pelvic pain for years, my biological clock has begun blaring at me. It's an obnoxious take-no-prisoners alarm. There doesn’t seem to be an “off” switch, so I've been hitting "snooze" for the past two years. I keep telling myself that I'll freeze my eggs next month. I make just one final appointment with my fertility doctor to discuss the options. I read articles about scientists' belief that they'll be able to create eggs from skin cells within my lifetime. These are my methaphorical snooze buttons -- I hear the clock ticking, but I can’t deal with it yet.
Each time I get hit with a pang of baby fever, I'm simultaneously paralyzed with the fatigue of the previous several years. I hear the alarm, but I'm helpless to respond to it. My years of pain were exhausting financially, emotionally, and physically. They drained my relationships, my pocketbook, and they left me huddled under the covers in search of warmth and safety and respite. I need to keep my focus on self-care, to allow my body to rest and recharge. I hear the alarm, but I still can’t seem to schedule my egg retrieval, to volunteer for those hormone injections, or to begin budgeting for a child when I'm still paying off tens of thousands of dollars in medical debt.
When I've pushed past that fatigue and faced the issue head-on, I've emerged shaken. My husband and I have squabbled, I've felt my body tense up with fear of those dreaded injections, or I find my head swimming in a fog of financial balance sheets that don't balance. Most often, I would’ve been better served by ignoring the alarm.
So, until I can shake the fog of those horrible years, I'm just going to let my biological clock clamor away. My body is telling me that it needs more time to recharge from what I’ve endured, and there will always be options (albeit different ones) for forming a family later. Sure, it can make my heart ache around my friends' babies or keep me up at night scrolling through nursery designs on Pinterest. But what it can't do is force me to put my feet on the ground and start walking in the direction of motherhood when something is naggingly telling me to do otherwise. Because I'm not ready yet, and my body isn't ready for the sleeplessness, the exhaustion, the shots, the pain, the headaches and nausea and hormones. It's still resting up from all that I've been through. And I totally understand why. I've never been a morning person; I just wish someone could tell my biological clock. ;)
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