Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lost and Found

Not sure if you recall, but one of my earliest posts was about how the harsh reality of infertility can sneak up on you at the darnedest of times. This happened yesterday, whilst I was on the elliptical trainer at my gym. There I was - happily pumping away (and meeting my target heart-rate!), when one very pregnant woman entered my visual field. There she was, looking all perky as hell, giggling with a girlfriend who she happened to run into (and who happened to be two ellipticals down from me...)

"What are you doing here?!?" gasps Disbelieving Girlfriend.

"Trying to make it come out!" laughs Perky Preggo, as she hops up and down.

Following a few minutes of lighthearted banter, she starts walking the track that surrounds the cardio equipment. This meant that every five minutes or so, I saw here walk past me, all big tummy and protruding belly button. And each time she passed, it hurt. A deep, raw, searing pain.

This threw me into a bit of a melancholy state, and I started thinking last night about all of the things that I have lost due to our infertility.

I have lost my innocence and naivete - my belief that we'd just "get pregnant when we wanted to" is actually an embarassing joke to me now. When I was first married, I very proudly proclaimed to anyone that asked that we would be starting a family right away. Fast forward two and half years and those babies have yet to materialize...how naive could I have been?

I have lost the element of surprise. I'll never get the chance to surprise my husband with a positive HPT, wrapped up in a pretty box. I'll never get to see the look on my parents' faces as I surprise them with the news that they will be grandparents. Instead, my husband and my family wait with me at the end of each and every cycle - with baited breath - to see if maybe this time things have worked out...

I have lost my capacity to share in other's good news. Not all good news, of course. But good news about babies and pregnancies. Even though on a cerebral level, I know that I don't have all the info about what that person went through to get pregnant, on the self-pitying, self-indulgent level, I somehow always conclude that it was easy for them - so why does it have to be so hard for me?

I have lost my sense of "real time". See, my days pass by according to my cycles. I don't really think in terms of conventional time anymore - weeks? Months? Years? Pffft. Now I think in terms of "DPO" or "CD 12". And more recently, with being on the waiting list for IVF, I think in terms of the number of periods I call in to the "Period Hotline". Actually, time flies much quicker on the Infertility Calendar...

I have lost my ability to plan. My time isn't mine anymore. A vacation during Spring Break? But what if we are called to cycle? Have a glass of wine with my girlfriends this Friday? Nope - I think I may be ovulating. A trip through Asia this summer? What if I'm in the early stages of pregnancy? DH and I have put our lives on hold waiting for what has thus far been incredibly elusive...

Sigh. Yes - I know. Quite the one-woman pity party, isn't it? But all was not lost - though I was terribly sad (no tears, however!), I did attempt to cheer myself up by reminding myself of all the things that I have found through the infertility journey.

I have found an inner strength that I did not know I could possess. In all of my darkest moments, I have surprised myself by being able to bounce back and stay the course. I cannot lose sight of our goal - and can never lose hope that we will achieve it.

I have found out just how much I love my husband. Of course, I always knew that I did. But the support he has given me throughout these past two years erases every petty argument we have and irritating habit that he possesses. He is the reason that I have been able to make it through all of these disappointments. He is loving. He is optimistic. He is encouraging. He is incredible.

I have found the courage to undergo some of the most invasive medical testing and procedures I have ever endured in my life - more than what I had ever anticipated. With every needle and every ultrasound, although it has felt as though I lost some of my dignity in the process, I have found myself surprisingly adaptable and most definitely brave. Yay, me!

This infertility thing. It taketh and it giveth. But I guess in the end, it will make me a better person.


CJDR said...

SR- This is like a post I did about a year ago as well. I feel horrible, because I know EXACTLY how your feeling. I remember standing in line at the grocery store and seeing this VERY pregnant woman standing behind me. I almost changed lines. I hated her because she was preggo. I didn't care what she had to do to get there, the problem was that she WAS there. I started crying and left the store empty handed.
I want to tell you one more thing IF has given you (although you cant see it now) but I truly believe that you will be pregnant some day, and when that day comes...suprise or not, it will be the happiest day of your life. And trust me you will be suprised and so will DH. And your pregnancy will be the most beautiful thing ever, because you wont take any time for granted.
I hope this doesn't sound heartless or mean, I am really trying to help. I just so badly want things to work out for you adn DH. No one should have to go through this

Turia said...

Ah Springroll, boy do I get it. I find big pregnant bellies when I'm not expecting them take my breath away.

I agree- infertility takes so much away from us. I am STILL refusing to buy clothing because I'll be pregnant soon so they won't fit.

But good on you for having the inner strength to look beyond the negative. And, like CJ said, I believe that when you ARE pregnant (and you will be!), you will appreciate everything so much more because you will know what you have suffered to get there.

HUGE hugs.