Sunday, December 18, 2005

"Later on in Brittany, I realized that they had only been seagulls."

For me, they will always be glorious birds.

[and if you know what movie that's from without looking it up, I heart you.]
I am precariously balancing on the ledge of uncertainty. It's not exciting per se, it just is what it is. Today is CD 28, and I know that in the next few days, decisions will have to be made.

I woke early this morning, and while the rest of the house slumbered in our lofty bed, I crept downstairs in the dark, my socked feet skating on the cold hardwood floors

{note to self - when you're tired from working late hours, and suddenly have the urge to clean the hardwood floors upstairs - do not use the pledge spray wood polish to mop the floors with, because you're just too lazy to go downstairs to fetch the real wood floor cleaner. You will spend the next four months gliding across the floors hoping to save yourself from falling flat on your ass. Michelle Kwan you are not, and that trip dowstairs to fetch the real cleaner would have been a lot better idea in hindsight.}

- my fingers trailing along the railing of the stairs. I turned the tree lights on, pulled up the blinds, and watched dawn break over a world that was quickly becoming cloaked in white finality of winter.

When I lived by the beach, I often would walk down to the shore in the middle of the night and just sit and work out my problems as the water ebbed to and fro. The continuous motion of the waves was a constant reminder of the perpetual nature of life. Curled up with my knees at my chin, I would sit barefoot in the sand, letting the waves lap up against my toes. Never in my life have I felt so tiny, so insignificant as when faced with the vast expanse of ocean - the moonlight glimmering against the waves infinitely into the distance.

Others perhaps would have found such thoughts depressing, and admittedly - they were at times. But to me, the harsh reality of knowing that my problems were small in the grand scheme of the universe actually helped me face them. To parse them apart, to find solutions. I've never been one to discuss issues with another person - but it was in moments like these that I learned to let go, to forgive (myself, and others), and to move on. It helped me grapple with the ideas of lost dreams, of hope, of love, and the question of "what are you going to do with your life" (although, I must admit - I still have no bloody clue exactly how that one's going to pan out yet).

The beach may have been shared by thousands of others, but in the solitude of the night, with the wind rustling through the palm fronds - it felt as if it was a secret haven known only to me. It was my refuge.

After last cycle failed, I was desperate to get back to treatment, immediately. I didn't want to pause to mourn what might have been, I didn't even want to contemplate the possibility of the fact that it may never work. Instead - I just wanted to push... faster... faster... faster... until the goal had been reached, or I had expended my soul in trying. I was afraid to take a break, afraid that if I took the time to actually face the enormity of the physical and psychological hell that faced me with month after month of injections and heartbreak that I would be simply too tired- or worse - too afraid to go forward.

In some ways I think that I've gotten so wrapped up in finding a "cure" for our infertility that I've stopped thinking of myself as anything more than a patient... a cycle day on a chart... a diagnosis. I have let this become such a part of my life for so long that it's difficult to remember what else was there before.

I want to be the woman with the laugh that sounds like a bee when she giggles, I want to be the woman who loves to read (not medical studies - but books with dogeared pages), who dances, and sings (admittedly off-key), who paints, and bakes enormous chocolate cakes and concocts the best lasagna you'll ever have in your life. I want to be the woman who entertains, who laughs, who loves and lives.

I am tired of living solely for one thing that may never happen.

I want to live a life that brings joy and beauty to other's lives. I want to be a good wife, daughter, friend. I want to remember the faint happiness of life as more than just seagulls.

I want to hold those everyday moments in my heart as memories of glorious birds soaring against a brilliant sky.

I want to be me again.


At 6:21 PM, Anonymous statia said...

Ok first, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHA. I did that once with the pledge. The dog? He was not happy with me. Myself, I'd forget in the middle of the night when I was going to the bathroom.

Second, I know exactly where you are. I've been there. Sometimes I think I still am there sometimes. Hopefully you'll start dancing again.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger Donna said...

I am there with you. I don't know how to move forward now that we've stopped trying. I feel like my "diagnosis" of unexplained is the same way I feel about everything right now. I wish I had answers.

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Vacant Uterus said...

*empathetic hug*

My verification word: guidqak. My Guide is a Quack. Says it all right there, doesn't it?

At 9:46 PM, Blogger DD said...

You have stated that beautifully. We forget who we were before IF and then we somehow let it define and consume us.

Even if the icey landscape can't bring you the same solace you got with the ocean, know that sometimes you can still get an excellent reflection.

At 12:41 AM, Blogger Millie said...

I get great solace from the ocean. It calms me in a way that nothing else does.

I hope you can find a way to be more you. If it helps, I love chocolate chip cookies and lasagna. Send some my way.

At 10:12 AM, Blogger Shinny said...

You did a wonderful job of describing how I am feeling lately. Thank you. Wouldn't it be nice if we could go back to the innocence we had before all of this fertile then not fertile crap came into our lives.

And the Pledge thing, oh yeah, been there done that. It made it so shiney though until the first time I walked on it. Have you tried to get it off of the floor yet? That is a real treat. Straight ammonia works good but it also is good about removing the finish from the floor too. ;) Get those socks with the rubber grips on the bottoms. I have a couple pairs left from my adventures at the hospitals if you want them.
One thing I found with the Pledge on the floor, hours of entertainment watching the cats try to walk on it.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger LeggyP said...

That was a great post. This is something I have spent a lot of time trying to think through myself lately- who is the person I used to be before I became this neurotic crazy woman obsessed with IVF? Its only in the last month or so (ironically, at the same time I'm in the midst of another IVF), that I'm feeling a little more at peace with myself and with accepting my life as it is, not how I envisioned it to be.

Its a hard process, but you are so insightful and seem very in tune with yourself. I hope we both find the peace of mind we're searching for, no matter what happens on the baby rollercoaster.

At 2:51 PM, Blogger julia said...

Long-haired, clumsy cat on a Pledged hardwood floor. Hours of fun for everyone.

I don't have any experience with infertility but I can relate to the rollercoaster of medical-ness and becoming the diagnosis. My daughter has had type 1 diabetes for the last 8+ years and there are days when I just want our lives back. I want to stop obessing about blood sugar readings and if she's going too high overnight or too low at school, if her pump rates are properly set, if her a1C will be sky high due to the last three months of rollercoastering glucose levels...blahblahblah. I feel like my brain is a record with a skip - I just keep doing the same things over and over and over again and never really getting any further along.

At 4:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harold and Maude... Maude found the birds glorious, didn't she?

Beautiful post today. I miss me, too -- but I would never have stated it so eloquently.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger April said...

Yes. it was from Harold and Maude. And if you haven't seen it - you should.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Toni said...

Very poetic...and true. When I had my miscarriage, I threw myself back into treatments literally within weeks. My body wasn't ready and I quit a cycle. Never should have started.

Start up when you are's worth the wait!

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a great writer and are able to voice and give words to the things I am feeling about my own journey with trying to have a baby. BTW, Murphy's Oil Soap is made to clean wood floors and when you mix it according to directions it should come up. Or try lemon oil, that should cut the wax in the pledge.

At 3:14 AM, Anonymous wessel said...

I know. Me too. But how? How do you do it? How do you stop living for the one thing that may never happen, when you want that one thing so much? How do you reclaim your life? Yourself?

I don't know yet.

Beautiful post.

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Ova Girl said...

A beautiful, heartfelt post. Captures so well that yearning for the way we used to be.

At 12:14 PM, Anonymous mm said...

Sometimes I have no clue who I am, what I like, what my goals are (besides the obvious) anymore. I know I've got to find a way to reconcile my fanatical pursuit of that one goal with the rest of my life... I just don't know how. Maybe the ocean will help (I'm a big fan of figuruing out life's questions while starring at the ocean at night, too.) I love feeling insignficant in a good way as opposed to insignificant in a bad way (one of many patients at the RE's office, etc.)

At 1:27 PM, Blogger zhl said...

Beautiful post, April. Sometimes I find myself wandering around my house and then wondering what the heck I'm looking for. And then I realize I was looking for me.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger D said...

Very well said. Sometimes I think that the worst part of all of this is missing me. Sometimes I ask my husband " I did used to be a happy,fun person - didn't I?" He always answers that I still am. But I know that I've changed, & I don't know how to get me back.

At 4:21 PM, Anonymous thalia said...

I think one way to think about this is that all experiences change us. INfertility perhaps more than most. But this person you are now, is different than the person you were the first time you watched Harold and Maude. And that's ok. YOu are still a wonderful person and you've done so much for people in this online community. We would not be the same without you.

So I understand the yearning for what was, but I think the person that you are is still very wonderful. Your next treatment cycle, whenever you decide that you are ready, will change you again, and let's hope that this time the change is towards that state we're all yearning for.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger deanna said...

It's just that awful, awful rhythm....of losing yourself in the numbers and finding yourself again....

Some good news---I find that each time I'm able to fish myself out of the black hole, the longer I stay out each time. That's got to be leading up to ultimate victory, right?

Sending wishes to stay afloat.....

At 5:56 AM, Blogger Vivien said...

Oh god, I so agree, but am not so good at expressing it so beautifully.
Have a lovely Christmas, and hope the festivities can take your mind from the more troubling things to the more soaring things.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Mrs. T said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. When IF happens we get so caught up in it we lose part of ourselves. I too need to find myself. Who I was, who I want to be, etc. Some of my goals for 2006 include finding myself and not live in the "maybe" least as much.

I hope look within yourself and find the "you" that is lsot.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger Mari said...

Such a powerful post! Describing those feeling that many have when going through IF. I have been there many times and my husband and I agreed that we wouldn't stop living our life because of it. Which helped, but it is hard.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Larisa said...

What a beautiful post. I think many of us ache to be ourselves again. But I struggle with needing to continue down this path for fear that if I don't, I will blame myself for not trying hard enough.

I love the ocean too, and when I get to visit one, I feel very much like you described.

Thinking of you.

At 2:07 AM, Blogger MC said...

Your right IF takes over everything. I'm not sick but constantly at the Drs or in hospital, taking hormones etc.
Last night I forgot all about it and went out with friends. It's the first time I've forgot about IF in ages.

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous pixi said...

I think about that (wanting to be "me" again), too. There are people in my life telling me that's it's a choice - that I can decide to be in a good place, if I want to. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Your post is very inspiring, though. I'd love to hear any future reflections you have about this topic, as well as any steps that you've taken in that direction.


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