I don't want to. I just don't want to talk about this right now.
I'm sorry if my timing is off. But there you have it.
I don't want to talk about how it feels to be four years into a journey with nothing to show for it but a raging, gaping, gasping hole. I don't want to talk about how I feel when I read about someone who's pregnant, how someone is experiencing their first (or second or third) loss, how someone's trying again for the nth time, how someone's navigating pregnancy after a loss, how someone is realizing that parenting is what makes their life complete, how someone is coming to the realization they will never ever be pregnant.
It rips me apart right now. All of it. The highs, the lows, the waiting, the resolve. The pragmatism, the hopefulness, the foolishness, again, the resolve. I need to close my eyes from it for a little bit. I'm feeling a little singed.
There is no hotter fire, no stronger crucible than a body living through infertility. Except perhaps loss. If you don't know what you're made of before you start trying, by god you'll figure it out. Or you'll keep testing yourself with hotter temps, greater risks, all driven by a blinding hope - one of the two.
Don't worry, I'm not going to roll into any what doesn't kill me.....Nietzsche bullshit here. That quote posted on my dorm room wall as a rationale for staying in a ridiculous abusive addictive relationship did me little good then. It doesn't work here either.
I don't feel stronger. I feel more vulnerable. I don't feel more assured. I question everything.
I wince even thinking about breaking down the costs of our attempts through IVFs, donor egg cycles (two), all of it. Luckily, they occurred when we actually had multiple credit cards with high debt limits and we were used to carrying them. The climate has changed a bit since then. These days, banks are a little edgy if you have a balance that is higher than what one of you makes in a year. Those jerks.
I will tell you that the sum total is five digits long and probably starts with a 5 or a 6. I lost track after a while. I will tell you that surrogacy through an agency is absolutely cost prohibitive right now. There, now I'm dizzy.
I will tell you that for the most part I (and I am going to stretch way out here and say we) we are generally pretty happy these days. We love each other wholeheartedly and without reserve. We cherish our time together. We make excuses and skip functions just to have more time on the couch or making dinner or whatever. We are finally feeling emotionally able to handle some risks again - job hunts? relocation? thinking about a vacation? purchasing a new piece of furniture?
Don't laugh. After our daughters died, we were so risk-averse that leaving the apartment for anyplace other than a location we could get to with our eyes closed or meeting a person outside of a very select circle was panic-inducing. We seem to have cleared that hurdle now. An email from cousins who just returned from Paris made me think, hmmm....we ARE due for a vacation. An invite to a family event next month (featuring a baby) had me thinking hmmmm....maybe we'll surprise everyone and show up.
I just might be venturing back to pieces of the person I once was. I can handle being wise-cracking, mouthy, irreverent, impetuous. I can't handle being bitter.
The only thing that pulls me back and wraps me tight into a cocoon is thinking about infertility. About the daughters that should be running our lives right now. About the abject failure one feels after a failed cycle and how no amount of wordplay or positive imagery or reshaping the conversation really dulls that. About how far behind we feel when everyone around us is immersed in their children's lives.
That's how it feels.
And dammit, as a type-A, socially-needy kid who's biggest fear was that there was something going on someplace that she wasn't aware of, that is one hell of an OUCH.
But I'll get over it. I'm getting over it. As long as I don't think about it.
I know this is probably not what you had expected from one of last year's Blogs of Hope finalists. I wasn't expecting our struggle to pull us well into 2011 either. I'm finding myself working through some of my bigger What Ifs while that last mystical one dangles. Just out of reach.
I was reading a post over at My Infertility Woes a week or so ago and it is sticking with me. I can't get it out of my head:
I've got plenty of people who do exist that I can love. With my whole heart. I have children in my life that I can influence, that I can spend time with, and that I can support and care about. That may be enough for me. That may be more than enough for me.There is so much more. This year, as I turn 37 (dizzy again) I want to spend some time on the More.
I'm also not ready to say this is it, I'm done. Not yet. This journey has been a long one and I know I need to sit with this idea for awhile longer. But right now, right this second, I can say wholeheartedly that it's not worth it. There's more to life than this one thing. There's so much more.
Now, I have five days to figure out how to make my birthday (birthday week?) fabulous. Suggestions?