In so many ways, I have been defined by infertility and loss. My primal drive to become a mother, and my failures along the way, have warped me, like wood that has gotten wet repeatedly, and has swollen and morphed into a new shape. It is still essentially wood - all of the things that make it wood are still there - and yet it's different. There are ridges and valleys where there weren't, although the grain is still visible. There might even be a little mold. And no matter how dry that wood gets, it will never look like the wood it used to be. Those ridges and valleys are permanent, until the mold eats it away into dust.
I am still essentially me, and yet I'm not. Infertility has seeped into my soul, rotting me from the inside out. I am warped. My life was once even, defined by the expectation of "when." Now, I am all ridges and valleys, riding the rollercoaster of "if:" If I get pregnant again. If I don't miscarry again. If we save the money for treatment. If my marriage isn't wrecked in the meantime. If I can pull myself together enough to become a fully functioning, happy human being, regardless of how this all turns out.
All I can do is to hang out, dry out my soul enough so that the rot stops in its tracks. Those ridges and valleys are here to stay.
I am forever changed.