Infertility gets old. One year into "active" infertility, which I define as seeking pregnancy with the assistance of at least three medical personnel at any one time and culminating in the insertion of a catheter, I find that I'm tired, oh so tired, of the subject of infertility. E2 levels and linings and number of follicles. The hope, the plunging defeat. And God love all of you who are just starting out, but I'm tired too of the "I just know the first one will work"optimism of the newly actives. The excitement and fear when the first huge box of meds arrives. The sense of accomplishment with the first successful shot. Give me a puppy to kick.
Infertility drives home the adage that too much of anything is never a good thing. I remember vividly, painfully my first love. I was 16, he was 18. He was the kind of boy your mother warned you about and the warning was delicious. He was often at arms length, sometimes tantalizingly close, but never mine. I was painfully, hopelessly smitten and he broke my heart. It took me years to get over him. Years to realize that the challenge, the "just this much out of my grasp" was the real appeal, not the boy. At that age, I didn't, couldn't, fully see the damage I was doing to myself in my relentless focus on something I couldn't control. We know, don't we, that the only thing you really lose is yourself.
Infertility is a lot like my first love. A lot, but not quite.
Unlike with my first love, my goal here isn't simply to win the challenge, cross the finish line, collect $200, ha, I showed you, fate! (Although yes, it does piss me off that I can't accomplish something I've worked so hard for, but that's another post.) The similarity is what happens when you lose yourself.
Infertility. Heartbreak. Desire. You set your sights on something and you work like hell to reach the outcome. Sometimes the desired result is firmly outside of your grasp, other times it's a whisper of a maybe; you can feel the possibility in you. Then it's gone. Leaving the inevitable "why can't it be me" or "what did I do wrong?" For some of us, the weeks turn into months and the months turn into a year and you find yourself sorting through the cupboard of your heart wondering what's missing. What part of you have you neglected in your pursuit of something over which you have absolutely no control?
I can offer no poignant or even insightful conclusions here. Just a dawning certitude that I've been neglectful of me. My unyielding focus on an outcome has crowded out some of the Melanieness that I need to feel whole. And balanced. And, well, sane. Ok, and not a bitch.
And by the way, I saw my first love again several years ago.
He was so not worthy of me.