Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Ocean

I think a lot of people have sorrows in some form or other. I have made it this far in life blessedly unscathed. I am often caught up in thinking how good I have it. I do have infertility and it has given me a glimpse of what living with sorrow is like. I say glimpse because infertility is a sorrow that can easily be avoided.

If I lived on the beach, my infertility would be the ocean. Always there, huge and vast, but so familiar that it is almost forgotten in my day to day life. I look out my window, watch the waves for a moment, and go back to living. Sometimes, on days I am feeling brave or contemplative I will walk along the beach and even let my feet get wet. To remind me I am not past feeling.

Once or twice a year, despite my efforts to coexist peacefully with the ocean, storms brew and the waves seem to catch me no matter where I am.

My storms always come in August. October is my infertility anniversary, and I start mentally preparing for it in August. I can't explain why, it is just a strange coping mechanism that started unconsciously, so that by the time October hits, I have already made it through the storm.

This August, as we were driving home from a weekend with my in-laws, me and H discussed our plans about IVF and adoption, and our frustrations with our family's seeming impatience with our plight. This is a common conversation after spending time with our family, and I knew, as I vented, that I was swimming into deep water, but I kept going. This will be our fifth anniversary. Five was such a big number to me as I had just spent days with my sweet little nieces and nephews, all remarkable tiny humans, all born in the years since we first began trying. All making my monthly, intangible losses so real. And so sad. And suddenly I was drowning in my sorrow.

I sobbed uncontrollably and screamed at the top of my lungs. I was wracked with all the emotions I had ignored successfully for so long. The pain of loss. The weight of the many decisions that were in my hands and terror of facing the ones that weren't. My anger that well meaning people kept offering me solutions to my infertility like one hands out a band-aid for a paper cut. My rage about the judgements I sense from those would crumble after a few months of this unpredictable life. My embarrassment for still hoping.

Given that I live every day by that ocean, you would think that I would know how deep and cold it can be. I had no idea.

I am safely on solid ground again. And strangely, still thankful for my ocean.


Liz said...

I'm thankful for my oceans too...most days. Thanks for sharing that.

Liz said...

I said oceanS! Like who the hell has two?

Natalee said...

Thank you for that post. You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself.