Monday, January 17, 2011

worn out oars

There’s this girl I know, K. We went to the same high school, and although we’ve never been close friends we’ve always run with the same social crowd.

Truth be told, although many of my (formerly) close friends love her, I’ve always found her to be more than a little annoying. She’s a bit of a control freak, and has always expected that things would go as she planned them. She married her 1st husband in a ceremony that was beyond extravagant.

Anyway, shortly after her 1st wedding, Hubby and I started trying to conceive. And then we had that first mind shattering miscarriage, followed closely by the devastation of the second.

This slice of time was hideous for me – I was starting to wonder if it would ever happen, what I could have done to deserve a double dose of failure, and if all I had ahead of me was heartbreak (guess I know the answer to that question now!). I spent days pouring over books on conception and pregnancy and miscarriage. K and I were at some party together during this time, and the conversation turned to having babies.

“Well,” she said, with a haughty shake of her head, “I know that when I want to have a baby I’ll have one right away.”

“And how do you know that?” I asked.

“I can feel when I ovulate every month. The rest is simple,” she said, looking at me.

I wanted to scream and shout that she didn’t have a fucking clue, and then I committed the cardinal sin of the infertile: I wished IF on her. I did, and I’m ashamed of it, but at that moment I wished that she would know just a slice of the pain I was experiencing.

Anyway, she went on to divorce first husband, marry second husband, and start trying to conceive.

Nothing happened.

She tried for years, and then because she lives in a state that mandates coverage for infertility, she tried IVF. It worked. Yesterday, she gave birth to a baby girl.

And again, I am slapped hard with the realization that my life is stuck – we’ve decided to become parents, we’ve changed our whole lives so that we could be good parents. We’ve left behind the life of the DINKS (dual income no kids) that we were, and yet we can’t get to where we want.

We’re in limbo. I’ve been here long enough for K to have gotten divorced, remarried, try for a baby long enough to get diagnosed as infertile, try fertility treatments, get pregnant and have a healthy baby girl.

I feel like we’re in a rowboat, stuck in the middle of a lake so big we can barely see the shore. We’re rowing and rowing and rowing, as hard as we can, sweating and panting and getting desperate to get to shore, where it seems the happiness is. We can hear the party, and all around us boats are moving. Some are moving more slowly than others, some so slowly they hardly appear to be moving. Some boats find a current and drift in to shore with no effort at all. But us – we’re stuck, we’re stranded, our oars are falling apart from all that damned rowing, and I feel like we’re going to die here. (I may have read this somewhere – not sure – but it feels like such an apt description).


  1. I'm so sorry. That really sucks. I'm out there in the rowboat too. Perhaps instead we can imagine we're all in a cruise ship together though. We're not on shore, but that doesn't mean our lives aren't rich and happy as well. (We've got shuffleboard! Just kidding) Trying to be optimistic...

  2. I'm so sorry. I can identify with so much of what you are feeling, and I've been on this crazy train for just over 6 months now (managing to lose 2 babies in this time). The thought of doing this long term and going through more of the same makes me want to curl up into a ball and whimper.

    I'm trying to figure out how to deal with it if it DOES turn into a long slog. Whatever happens, I know the most important thing is staying sane and as-close-to-happy-as-possible through the process. I'm fairly good at dealing with stress and crap and staying ok, but THIS level of stress and crap? I wish we could figure out how and then write a manual for it!

    I love jenny's suggestion for imagining this is a cruise ship instead:)

  3. Your post (though heartbreaking) was incredibly eloquent.

    It is a excruciating thing to experience what you have and then to watch this woman's life fold out like it has, is more than anyone should take. I am so sorry.

    All I know to tell you is that your time has to come. And it will. I know it will, even the odds say it will (I have been reading Dr Beers book and am comforted by the 'odds' for us RM women, much, much better than I imagined).

    All you can do is your part. Make sure you are in front of the right person/people. Someone who has experience in your situation. Never accept 'we dont know' There is someone out there who DOES know. Follow the rules to the letter, and (dare I say it?) Keep trying.

    Your miracle will reveal itself to you in its time, and while you wait, look after you as best you can in this shithole that is RM. And know I said a prayer for a fellow RM today. xx

  4. Your post was wonderful and so touching. It is so terribly hard to feel like you are rowing as hard as you can and going literally nowhere. For the longest time, I felt as if I was out there in the middle of that lake with you - and now, someone came along in their speedboat and rescued me. But as I look back at the center of the lake and I see my friends who are still out there sweating and rowing, it breaks my heart. I will be saying some prayers that your time to reach the shore will come soon.

  5. Oh, hun. I can relate to this so well (*HUGS*)

  6. So well put. I can relate to this more than I would like to admit. The heartbreak is sometimes to much and the fear of not making it to shore is sometimes overcome with the desire just to jump out all together.
    Today your strength maybe limited but tomorrow I hope your able to row fast and strong.

  7. Though I don't understand what you are describing from my own experience I feel like I have a better understanding from your analogy. That really sucks, and I don't blame you at all for commiting the 'cardinal sin.' I'll pray for you speedboat rescue. ((((hugs)))

  8. I am so sorry you are feeling so stuck. I know what you mean, at least a little bit. I think this is a great metaphor for how you're feeling right now, but I hope that somehow soon, you somehow drift closer to the shore and are able to hop off onto a pure shore.
    take care xx