treading water

A new baby is like the beginning of all things – wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities. -Eda J. Le Shan

I think we have all, at one point or another, wanted something so much that it consumes us. The hope becomes a dream, the dream becomes an obsession, and the obsession becomes an all-encompassing addiction.

Addictions hurt.

We start to neglect the ones we love. We start to neglect ourselves. Daily, I have to force myself to remember that I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend.  The title of mother does not make up my entire identity, and I should never shove aside those other roles because they are here, and they are now, and there are people who love me and need me to give them my time and my love. I owe them that much, and I cannot free myself to be the best wife (daughter/sister, etc.) possible if all my energy is focused on the one thing I am not.

It isn’t easy. In fact, it may be the hardest thing I have ever had to do. The desire is so strong inside me that it constantly threatens to burst forth. And, my body has become my worst enemy. When you struggle through infertility, and you want it so bad, you start to see things that aren’t there. Phantom symptoms. Wishful thinking. “I’ve got all the signs, I must be pregnant!”

Infertility treatment makes it no easier. Many of the drugs we take literally enhance PMS symptoms (which, coincidentally, are very similar to pregnancy symptoms. As if things aren’t complicated enough, let’s make those identical!). I can remember taking Clomid before an IUI and then, during the two-week-wait, thinking, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never experienced [enter symptom here] before, this must be it!” Only to be severely disappointed; often after being an entire week late (which I never am).

Yeah, infertility sucks.

Unless you have been through it, infertility is also not an easy thing to describe. I cannot put into words the immense sense of loss and longing. Or, the feeling of being irrevocably broken. The inadequacy, like you have failed your significant other. It’s like treading water in the middle of the ocean. You keep moving your limbs and pray that you see land, but all around you is water. The only thing you can do is try to keep from being pulled under.

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friday rant: keeping focus

Since deciding that I need to focus all my energy, for now, not on getting pregnant but on making myself pregnancy-ready, I have been feeling more positive about things. I have lost a total of 30 lbs in the past year, which is a big deal for me. I’ve started taking a lot of supplements (under medical supervision) to help fix a lot of deficiencies I have because of my thyroid dysfunction. I have gone gluten-free and (mostly) dairy-free because of a newly-discovered gluten intolerance (yet another side-effect of an autoimmune disorder).

Frankly, I have been feeling wonderful! My hubby and I work out almost every day of the week, and we exercise like fiends. Running, walking, aerobics, strength/resistance training… you name it, we do it all. But, that’s not even what this post is about. No, this post is about when other people say things that (on-purpose or not) threaten to derail all my good intentions.

I have friends and family members who have recently told me of their pregnancies, and I am sincerely happy for them. However, during conversations there are times when I have to mentally force myself not to read more into things that are said. And, I have to bite my tongue more often than not lest the angry green monster rears its ugly head. How many times have I wanted to say, “I’ll trade you!” or make some snide remark whenever people complain about their pregnancy. Complaining about the physical hardships of pregnancy is a rite of passage, I get that – and when I am pregnant (Lord willing) I will be oh-so-happy to join in with the masses gone before me who have whined about swollen feet and morning sickness. But right now, it’s hard to be on the other end of the fence looking in and wanting, needing, hoping, and trying not to feel bitter.

At those moments, all my focus goes right out of all the good strides I am making and I begin to focus on my infertility again, and how unfair it all is, and why does she get to have her second child, third child (hell, even first child) after only a short time of trying (and for me, a short time is anything less than 2 years) when I can’t even have my first after FIVE. LONG. YEARS? I want to just stop all the good things I was doing and just wallow in self pity. I wanted to throw in the towel.

But, do you know what? I’ve been getting better. When those thoughts start to creep in, I put on some loud, happy music, and I shove aside all that negative energy. Because what I am doing is more than just about getting pregnant (though that is a huge motivation). It is about making myself better, more whole, and more healthy. I can’t control my infertility. But I can control how I deal with it, and the parts of my infertility I can control that *may* help in the long run, I am choosing to focus on those.

The rest, I just have to keep giving to God and have faith.