This Chapter is Closed

king

Four years ago, in the throes of my infertility madness, I wrote this post. I stumbled on this past week again, and, (big sigh……..) it reminded me of that god-awful place. I felt lost, hopeless, and badly in need of others support. My blog became a godsend for me, I’ve said it many times, the internet rescued me when I was one foot off the ledge.

One of my very good internet friends posted a link to a story this past summer which pulled a long-buried trigger. A reminder that the only soul who really felt the same level of pain and misery was my husband.

  • He was the guy that stuck with me through every doctors appointment.
  • He was the guy that allowed our relationship to be monopolized by a 28 day calendar.
  • He was my nurse who gave me daily injections.
  • He was the guy that overlooked my bad days when I was being a bitch to him (which trust me, was a lot when I was hopped up on meds).
  • He attended every vag-cam at the dreaded RE appointments when there was no fetal heartbeat to be found.
  • He picked me up off the floor after the staggering losses, hugged me, and bought me carbs to curb the sorrow.
  • He was the Dad to my son when I couldn’t always be the present Mom.

He deserves the biggest thank you in the world. Yet- he got the rawest of deals, he got infertility hell and only me to use as his outlet.

I had the internet.

Or should I say- all of the virtual sisters that walked in my shoes, raised me up, and helped me fall softly. For them, all of them, I am grateful and humbled by their support and compassion. Many of these ladies are friends to this day, and nothing will ever change that. Heck, I even have friends that I met on-line when I was pregnant with David in 2002 (speaking to you my TCOYF buds…Natalie, Nat, Melissa)! That’s 11 years ladies!

The fact that I spent 5 years in a hormone-drug-induced fog with no success has always been a sore spot. Ok… a gaping hole. I’ll admit here, yes, we ventured into adoption nearly 3 years ago, and failed there too (I’ll qualify as failed since I all but unofficially pulled the plug). The reality is no one picked us, and too much time has passed now. I am in a different state of mind. Yes, I am heartbroken, but I feel more confident today that I could not have done an ounce more to realize this dream. I gave my all out the universe. It has been 8 years since that first miscarriage, and the roller coaster ride of my life is finally coming to a stop.

I am done.

I am closing the book.

We are a family of three.

Over time, my internet sisters succeeded in miraculous ways though IUI, IVF, donor-assisted cycles, surrogacy, adoption and even a few surprises. Most now can look back to infertility as a horrible roadblock that they eventually navigated but will carry those wounds to the grave. I am elated for their successes (and a wee bit jealous). This journey ends differently for everyone. It is not always the end we envisioned, but it is what it is.

This is life.

Infertility changed me, and very unexpectedly in a positive way. I became self-aware, a quality which bled not just into my personal life, but my career as well with unexpected outcomes. I learned a lot about my own tenacity. I learned of my husband’s commitment. Living with infertility ignited my compassion for others. I found kinship and friends in the most unlikely places, I met a few angels along the way too.

And, of course, my miracle named David. His name means “beloved” among other things, and how fitting is that name he ended up with?

It’s funny, to have started this journey and to have come full-circle back to the start is tragic yet somewhat oddly ironic. I often think about what it would have been like if I had not walked this path. To be honest, I know I would have been a person I may not have liked. I would be a different Mom to my only son. A different wife to my husband.

And all those things I gained? I may have lived a lifetime and never found those gifts.

This blog is not closing, because the story continues.

Life continues, and all the heartache and hilarity that will ensue.

But this chapter? It has finally reached its conclusion.

and you… all are part of my story.

Thank you.

xo

An Open Book

open bookSometimes I fool myself, thinking the days of infertility are long behind me. But then I am reminded that an open book really never closes until you take action to close the cover.

I never had an end to my book. No epilogue.

Just blank pages.

For the last few years I’ve been wondering what will be written. How it will end. ¬†Hoping the words magically appear. I have grown tired and weary of staring at this book.

Unfinished.

Or is it?

I wrote chapters that I’ve ripped up in my head. Hundreds of times. I’ve started new chapters, decided that they just weren’t quite right. I’ve written pages that I know others would enjoy reading, but decided they were not wholly representative of me.

I am ever-changing, and therefore my book is as well. I might as well switch to pencil from pen, or find a font in my computer with disappearing virtual ink.

I just can’t shake the feeling that the conclusion, the perfect chapter, isn’t going to appear. ¬†It will unfold, but not on the timeline I want it to.

And not with the ending I envisioned.

Another day, maybe tomorrow?

Next week?

Next year?

Or maybe, years ahead I will look back and find the path was necessary and clear… and, hopefully, I will be content in knowing that.

This will be the longest book ever written.

Run-on Sentence

This is not a post about grammar. Certainly not from a former business major.

I hate ambiguity. I hate 700 page books (although I read them anyway) because I want to rush to the end. I micro-manage my life to receive the biggest “bang for the buck”, in the least amount of time of course.  My usual mode is get from point A to point B.  It works for me.

My infertility journey, not so linear. Pretty much a never ending book.

My story is different than many that walked the path before me and alongside me.

There was no success, no “graduation”, no closing of a book in a defined timeline.  My journey ended with a big question mark followed by a …  as in, to be continued…  but for how long?

Some days I almost forget how I got here, and other days it hits me square in the face.  On the worst days I encounter a random event that feels much like a bandage being ripped off from a fresh wound.

A friend of mine is having a very complicated and extended ending to a miscarriage of sorts, similar to one of my losses years ago. It brings me back to a place I hate to go. Uncertainty, irony, sadness, anger, and impatience at the world. Oh, how I feel her pain.

Today is one of those days I am rolling in the muckity-muck. My heart feels raw for all of us that don’t get the happy endings and neatly wrapped gift… rather those of us who get the loosely wrapped present… paper ripped, tape falling off, bow askew. What the hell does one do with that mess?

For a long time I felt mad, and over the years I just could not shove it into the dark or bend the hurt and anger into something worthwhile. Sometimes when my guard was down, the feeling faded into the background, but it never really left. Just lurked out there, waiting. Unresolved.

I mean, my path is highly unusual. I get it. I have a son from some miracle of miracles and then the train went off the rails. Trust me, I know how fortunate I was.  Once.

But let’s get real- secondary infertility often drives odd judgement from others. I try to fly under the radar and brush the naysayers to the side.  I run into them often (and they are always fertile beings, ironically).

No, I am not always happy with what I have.  Does that make me a terrible human being?  No.  It means I am being truthful and allowing myself to feel the disappointment- and, without disappointment, the joys in life just don’t shine as brightly.

It’s okay really. But what stings the most is never knowing when “to be continued” turns into “The End.”

That sentence can be short, or painfully run on.

No ending in sight.

post signature

Avoiding the Obvious

The message for National Infertility Awareness Week is “not to ignore infertility” and instead of preaching the message, I am here to tell you I am guilty of doing just that.

I came here on Monday ready to write a sun-shiny post (like I do every year) to support the message. But nothing came. I just stared at the keys on the keyboard…. unable to find any words.

The words did not come because of sadness– that my infertility journey was a long, wasted effort into the depths of hell and back with no success.

The words did not come because of anger– for myself and my sisters, that our journeys are sometimes dismissed by our fertile friends, or worse, ignored completely because Infertility happens “to other people” or “for reasons we are not supposed to know…”. Hmmmmmm.

The words did not come when the fifth fish died in our new fish tank yesterday. Yes, a fish tank. It appears that I experienced a nuclear meltdown when I reminded my husband that we lost five humans via miscarriage, and GOD DAMMIT we had five fish we couldn’t keep alive in a tank.

The words, very simply, did not come until about an hour ago… when I realized that my journey came to an end a few years ago, and I’ve been avoiding thinking about it.

Avoiding.

I am thinking about it now, and the feeling I feel….  is emptiness.

I pray that anyone reading this never, ever walks my path. I hope to God that I have taken the statistical bullet for you.

Because I could never bear to know and love a friend and have this ending be a reality for them too.

For you.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad