Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day

I don't have the strength today to put a positive spin on my latest breakdown, or maybe, as it happened about thirty second ago, I just don't have the perspective yet.  In fact, what I do have is the need to just share my string of thoughts, in all it's crazy.

Five minutes ago I got home and washed my hands.  Four minutes ago I slipped into cozy pants and wiggled my toes happily in plush slippers.  One minute ago, I poured myself a small glass of juice, still having sugar consumption in the back of my mind as a PCOSer.  And thirty seconds ago, I sat down at the computer, linked to the internet, ran my mouse over the Google icon, read International Women's Day and promptly began bawling.

Bawling, all the while thinking....woman? I'm not even a real woman! I can't even get pregnant.  I don't work like a real woman, my hormones aren't that of a real woman with my elevated testosterone levels, and I have absolutely no chest.  I have the parts, but my parts aren't right.  What good are the parts if I can't even get them to work right?  to ovulate?  Woman.  Old woman.  I'm 30 now.  And if my parts didn't work before, I don't see them gearing up now as they age.  I'm aging.  My ovaries are aging.  My eggs are aging.  I wonder if I even have any good eggs anyway.  Maybe that's another problem and I just don't know about it.  Woman.  My husband married what he thought was a woman that could fulfill his life, but that isn't what he got.  I can't do what I should be able to do.  I can't give him what I should be able to give him.  How does he feel?  How does he really feel?  He is the most supportive person in the world, but he must be disappointed somewhere under there.  Disappointed in me?  With me?  Just alongside me?   Woman.  I want to be a real woman.  I want to be able to be a real woman!

Needless to say, I don't feel much of a desire to celebrate my womanhood today.  In the past, being a woman always meant that I would be able to have that irreplaceable, undeniable bond with my child whom I carried for 9 months.  But now, I wonder if that will ever really happen.  It is true, we are no longer seeking parenthood through fertility treatments and it feels wonderful.  I am no longer scrambling to squeeze appointments into my schedule, taking countless meds or paying exorbitant sums of money.  I am no longer peeing on sticks in a scrunched elementary school bathroom on my lunch break, sticking myself with needles or being prodded with cold wands.  I am no longer obsessing about . . . everything.     But most of all, I am no longer just trying to make it through each and every day.  I am not struggling to focus or walking through life like a zombie.  I am not continually fighting back the tears that were always welling up in my eyes.

It is true, times are not quite as tough here these days and I walk around quite gaily sharing our new adoption plan.  Still, I wonder if people realize that it doesn't all just disappear.  I have been down in the depths for a long while, stricken by the pain of infertility and while I have pulled myself out, while many have helped to pull me out, that doesn't mean that it all just disappears.  The constant crying has ceased, the day to day, even hour to hour struggles have let up and I feel quite certain that if one did a caricature of me today I would no longer have a rain cloud hanging above my head, following me everywhere I went.  It is different now.  It doesn't follow me.  In an odd way, it is me.  Over the last two years, I have felt that my infertility was external, that it followed me, that it poured down on me.  I felt, I suppose, that I would be relieved of it somehow, someday.  But now, I feel as if it is simply part of me and that I will carry it with me as long as I live. I am not sure how heavy this load will turn out to be.  Perhaps it will feel heavier some days than others.  Perhaps life changing events will change my acute awareness of its presence.  Nonetheless, I am quite certain it will always be here with me.

There have been so many times through the course of this journey that I have thought that I was about to put everything behind me, times where I thought that I could push everything aside and bury the pain once and for all.  I suppose, dear infertile friends, that isn't going to happen, is it?  I suppose it is only you who truly understand this.  The real world doesn't.  When I was going through infertility treatments, friends asked me regularly how I was doing.  They asked about treatments, they asked if I had gotten news and they asked just in general--how are you doing.  But now, no one asks.  I'm sure they thought as I did one time, that it would all melt away with the coming of a new endeavor.

But it is still very much so with me.  So, how do I cope?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our New Path

Well, in a matter of hours, it will be here.  My 30th birthday, that is.  Weeks ago I was chastising my husband for being bothered by turning 30 and now, while I wouldn't say I'm bothered by it, I wouldn't say I'm completely comfortable either.  As things always seem to do, it all boils down to babies.  (how terrible does that sound?!?)  I've heard this over and over again on these boards - I thought I'd be pregnant by 30, I thought I'd have my first child by 30, and on and on.  And, so did I.  It is a bit sad to be surrounded by pregnant women, be turning 30 and be very much so without child.  But today I'm doing a good job of spinning this in a positive way.  In fact, I'm doing a good job recently.  I could sit around and say I am no closer to a child than I was when I began this process nearly 2 years ago.  I could cry about turning 30, with the knowledge that everything fertility related is downhill from here.  I could curse my body and my ovaries for being so temperamental they just served up two straight,  extremely short, anovulatory cycles, leaving me without even a chance of conception.  I could lament the fact that  I don't have what I thought I'd have, what others have, what I should have.  But I'm not.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the impact and reality of all of these things.  It's just that lately, I find myself not going there--something I'm finding extraordinarily freeing.  In fact, what I do find myself doing is going to this page.  Over and over and over again I come to this page and I read my last post.  I  smile and I cry and I get chills.  And most of all, I feel my whole body and soul fill up with hope.  Indeed, I haven't wanted to post anything lately.  Not because I don't want to share or because there aren't things happening, but simply because I love coming back here and seeing that post.  My post of hope.  Real hope.  When so much of this journey has left me bone dry, gasping for air, it has been nice to feel hopeful again, to feel whole.

So here I go, a 30 year old woman looking forward to her little bean--a little bean that will sneak into my life and fill it completely, making everything and everyone feel whole.