Growing up, I lived in a big old house surrounded by several acres. Lots of trees with soaring limbs...the kind meant for climbing. I gag at the thought today, but back then I could climb to dizzying heights. And when I had climbed as high as I possibly could, I would nestle back against the trunk, sap in my hair, and think this is the view I'd have if I could fly.
I didn't always make it to the dizzying heights. I remember once setting upon my usual climb but slipping; my foot stuck in a "Y" branch, dangling like a rhesus monkey. I was only about a foot off the earth, but I panicked and cried and screamed for someone to help me. No one came. I laugh now to picture myself, dangling from a tree, a victim of my own carelessness, pissed off at the world, pissed off at the tree. Stupid tree. Eventually, the tears dried up and I set about trying to free myself. I don't know how long it took (though I'm positive I couldn't do it today) but I twisted and contorted and, after what seemed forever, I dropped to the ground. Dusted myself off and set off to find some more trouble. And, yes, climb more trees.
How like life it is. You get in a pinch. Sometimes of your own making, sometimes not. You scream and cry and blame and accuse. Paralyzed by your situation, the utter unfairness of it all. Why me? Your plight certainly is worse than anyone else's. Why isn't someone making this better? Fixing it? Then the quiet and the soul searching. The tears dry up, the resolve sets in and you deal. One way or another, you deal. You climb more trees. Sometimes you make it to the top and soar with the birds. Other times, well you dangle like a rhesus monkey. But you always disentangle and get back up.
So I say, gently to myself: Honey, you're way more than your infertility. I spent a good many months yelling and screaming and sulking and crying and blaming and dangling time and time again and I find myself now changed somewhat. More than somewhat. I find that I like, like, like my life. I find that I like who I am and how far I've come, am thrilled to pieces with my husband, think my marriage is the cat's meow (It's two years today, by the way), have the wonderful good fortune of having good people in my life, have a job that challenges me, pisses me off, gives me an identity and also lets me enjoy nice footwear. And as to that baby thing, pardon the really bad pun, but it's not the only egg in my basket.
This next IVF will be my last. I will go into it with positivity and hope, but also with the understanding that I will have reached the end. Either it produces a live child or a new life path. I'm ready for either. My new marriage counselor mentioned a Harvard study showing that the three most stressful events a person can face are cancer, divorce and infertility. I've had two of the three. My goal is to skip the third and put the other two to bed. And keep climbing.