Thursday, 16 August 2007

Hope Schmope

I was reading a book last night – not any specific book on infertility or anything, just a novel. A Mariann Keyes one. I like her writing. Very snappy. But anyway. One of the characters in the book had two miscarriages. And when I read it I was surprised to find a kindred spirit in this character. This fictional person who lives in the mind of the author. The experience of the character echoed my own experience so intimately and really reverberated within me. And, it’s weird, but it made me feel so normal. So, like – wow – it’s ok to be defective! Yes, yes, I know it was only a fictitious character in a novel, but it really rang with me. I felt the same way when I read the novel “So Close” by Tertia Albertyn. That novel really impressed me. Before I read it, I had this warped impression that I had to pretend to be OK with being infertile. That I couldn’t talk about it, otherwise people would think I was faulty. Which wouldn’t be entirely untrue… but I didn’t want people to think that of me. If you know what I mean. It’s OK for me to think I’m faulty. But I don’t want other people to think I’m faulty. You know. So anyway… reading Tertia’s book was the instigator that gave me “permission” to start being honest about what infertility really feels like. To be able to say to myself and others “infertility really sux” and not have to pretend you’re ok one hundred percent of the time. It showed me that I’m not (totally) insane. That what I was feeling was normal. Well, “normal” for us infertiles. I wasn’t alone. Which was the best part for me. Not that I would wish infertility on anyone, mind. But it’s just nice to know I’m not alone.
If you’re also infertile, or a friend of one, or married to one, or know someone who knows someone who’s infertile, I heartily recommend that you read Tertia’s book. If you’re a Christian, bear in mind this book isn’t written from a Christian’s perspective… so you might find an expletive or two hundred in it.
But you see, now I’ve totally digressed again. What I was trying to say is that reading that novel last night reminded me how funny it is, the hopscotch that us infertiles play. Wait, that’s a bit arbitrary and random. And painting all of us with the same brush. And of course, we’re not all alike. If we were we’d all have seven children. That being my dream, and all. But, nope, we’re not all alike. I need to remind myself of that sometimes. So, let me rather say – it’s funny the hopscotch I play. The mind games and the silliness and the obsession and the imbalance and the grrrr-ness of it all.
Even now, I still find myself thinking like an infertile. Making sure I eat just right… and after I should have ovulated, I don’t drink (too much) coffee, I avoid the stinky cheeses, etc… you know, that whole “just in case” schpiel. Which inexorably lands up being one mammoth binge session when, alas, I’m not preggy. Again. I mean really, I’ve only ever been pregnant once in my entire life. And that was a total disaster. So, just why I would base my eating plan (or lack of it) for the rest of my days on a “maybe” that only once ever became a “yes” just shows the extent to which this silly billy’s desire prompts her to go. And we’re not even trying anymore. I’m going to have a hard time breaking this hoping habit. Sometimes, I even deliberately avoid doing the funky-monkey around ovulation time so that I won’t have a reason to hope. Because that two-week-wait is just totally disgustingly horrible for me afterwards. Better to know there’s no chance, than to hope. I hate hoping. It destroys me.
Which just makes me even MORE grateful for my angel of a friend, Marie-Jeanne. It still totally astounds me that she’s willing to do this for us. Granted, our plans came to a grinding halt when we moved to Dundee, because communicating from Belgium to South Africa via dial-up just aint viable… Another reason I can’t wait to have our wireless installed!!! Then we can start planning again. And “hopefully” soon, I’ll be able to announce Robin’s departure for Belgium so that they can do the artificial insemination, and we can be expecting soon. Imagine! Yippee! I can’t wait. I can’t wait. I can’t wait.
So, the pressure is off of me to reproduce. It’s glorious! Please excuse me while I make myself an enormous cappuccino and devour a bowl of stinky cheese.


Carla said...

The feelings from being infertile never go away, and will come back to surprise you years later. 3 years after quitting that particular roller coaster I still analyze each "symptom" every month. I still hurt when someone announces, and I hurt when I see pg women. I really shouldn't, and I long for the day when that pain is no longer there. It's very much less than it was, and I'm content...but it was surprising how it affects me still.

I will shout it from the rooftops, "Infertility SUX!"

*I hope you get that high speed internet soon so you can start planning again!!!"

KarenO said...

What carla said is very true, it stays with you forever I think. It's 10 years since I got off the TTC-wagon, but certain habits you learned while on it won't ever go away. Thinking of you and hoping iburst gets its butt in gear and get you wireless! :)

Leigh said...

Hi Char

That book did the same for me!

I also had a moment the other day at church when a mutual friend announces, "oh so and so is pregnant, and IT WAS an accident". Well, I dragged my DH away and burst out crying. It really does suck, doesn't it?

Why must everyone else have it so easy???