Thursday, June 23, 2005

A Bittersweet Ending

And, so, the summer vacation has officially begun.

Just got home. I got my last paycheck (at least, until my summer paychecks kick in-one in July, and one in August) cleaned up my desk and put everything away, had our last faculty meeting, hung around chatting with everyone, and left.

It was a bittersweet ending though.

I was passing the nurses office, and she had extra "puberty" packets of the stuff she usually gives out to the 4th and 5th graders-if you're a teacher (or can remember as a student) you know what I mean. They have a travel-size deodorant, sanitary pads, a booklet about what to expect, that sort of thing. So, the nurse gives me a coupon/sample of the pads, and another packet, and one of the teachers says jokingly (not loudly, only for me to hear) that I don't need those. Well, I must have gotten a confused look on my face, so she gestured out into the hallway and the following awkward conversation ensued:

"You don't need those anymore, right?"

"Sure I do, why?"

"Well, because you' know. I can tell by the way you're walking, and from your boobs and stomach."

", I'm not"

"Are you sure? Because you might be."

"No, trust me, I'm not"

"How do you know?"

"Uh........because I can't have kids on my own, that's why. I did IVF and it failed-that's the only way that I'll ever have my own children."

Now, I hate saying that (like it's a dirty little secret), partly because I hate to admit it, and partly because she didn't mean anything ill by it, and I don't want to embarass anyone or make them feel badly (why I think like that is beyond me-ideally I shouldn't feel badly, since they're the ones being nosy, but that's just the way I am). But, an interesting conversation unfolded after that point.

It turns out that she has four children, the youngest of which she adopted in February, and had a hard time conceiving with each one. She has problems similar to mine (tubal) and knows people that went through IVF. I told her about getting OHSS and the failure of the cycle, and she asked me if we were going to do it again, so I told her about the FET scheduled next month and possible surgery down the road if it failed.

Then she said something interesting. She said that sometimes, during this whole process, you have to make the choice to "give it over" to God and trust that the outcome will be positive. She said to me "I hear you sometimes with your classes, and I know that you have God in your life, so I know that you understand my meaning."

It took everything I had not to lose it right there. Luckily I made it home without freaking out.

But, it brings up things that I've been thinking of for awhile now: the concept of having faith. Faith in God (or a higher power or whatever you believe in). Giving up your pain and fear of the unknown and trusting that it will be resolved, one way or another.

Sometimes I feel that I've lost that faith. That I can't trust anyone-not the doctors, not God, not even my own body-to give me any outcome. I feel like God doesn't listen to me anymore. I've begged, pleaded, prayed, and nothing, nada, zilch.

I truly believe that anything that happens in your life is for a reason-perhaps that reason isn't clear when the situation occurs, but down the road you see the meaning. Even this conversation today was for a reason, if only for me to face these demons that have been whispering in my ear these past few months. What was the reason for me to go through this infertility hell in the first place? What did I ever do to deserve it? I try to be a good person-I'm not mean-spirited, a murderer, drug addict, or abuser. Why did God put this burden on my shoulders? Why does he want me to be in so much pain? Why does he constantly reveal more pregnant friends to me, to make me more miserable?

And, the most important two questions-why isn't it me? And, will it ever be me?

These are the thoughts that fill my brain more and more. And, I'm tired of them in there, pushing everything else out of the way. Perhaps that was the reason for today's encounter-to make me let go and have someone else (aka God) take charge of the outcome. But, I'm getting more and more afraid that He won't do a thing about it.

That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, but I'm not feeling strong at all lately-quite the opposite. I just want to crawl under the covers, pull them over my head and give up altogether. I mean, what's the point of taking temperatures, peeing on a stick every morning, getting up at the crack of dawn and driving for bloodwork and ultrasounds when there's no guarantee? Knowing that, aside from damaged Fallopian tubes, I'm perfectly normal and should have a litter by now? That the most intelligent and trained specialists might not be able to do a damn thing for you?Seeing that positive on the Fertility Monitor and knowing that even if Sean and I fuck every day like rabbits, I still won't get pregnant? That I've had my heart broken and I've cried every month for the last three years when I get my period? Why would a God, who loves us and is supposedly merciful, let human beings go through this?

I don't have faith in anything right now-there, I've said it. I feel empty, used and cheated. And I feel guilty as hell for saying that, but it needs to be said.

Three days until we leave for vacation. I can't think of a year when I needed to escape more than this one. I need to turn my brain off and forget all this for awhile.


cat said...

What you say about giving up control is very resonant right now. Finding a way to believe that all this leads us to some true path. That there is some purpose for it all seems important.

I've been where you are lately as well, frustrated at my prayers that appear unheard, and I've prayed to the pantheon of gods and goddesses and saints. It's not fair at all and we don't deserve any of this. But maybe that's the heart of it. That this is not fair and no one not even God can control the outcome. Perhaps all we can do is find a path that leads us to a way of acceptance in whatever crosses our path. Now this is not to say you shouldn't fight or do IVF or feel up and down and sad at times or that I shouldn't take the heparin injections, or cry or rail at the unpleasant chain of events etc. We can try like hell and that's part of helping the universe help us.

When I've asked holy people why I see the faithful forsaken and evil in the world seemingly rewarded. I am often presented with a question regarding how I would take care of my child. How much control would I enact, could I enact really? How much would I need to step back and let my child learn? How much would I be powerless to change and how often could I only be there to comfort? We are the universe's children and perhaps it stands helplessly by hoping that things will turn out ok for us as well.

Most days however thinking like this is easier said than done and I'm depressed and angry right along with you.

I'm still praying and hoping because the ritual and meditative relaxation of it comforts and makes me feel as if somehow we can harness our own positive energy and power to accept what the universe throws at us. If the gods are watching perhaps they will be rooting for us while we wait for our turn. Perhaps all they can do is stand back and try to be there to hold us when we need it.

One way or another honey I am confident that someday somehow you and I will meet and be able to honestly say that our dreams have come true. What dreams they may come will remain to be seen.

Shelli said...

oh honey, I'm crying with you. I SO get Every fucking thing you've said. We started this process three years ago, too, and it just sucks. I LIKE hearing aobut letting go and letting G-d.

I also hear you about not having fiath right now. It's so hard.

So hard.

Thank G-d for you and Cat, who "get it", who "understand" - shit, I'm crying as I type this.

When do you get bacK? hurry up and come to the city, so you, Cat and I can go get drunk after work already...

much, much, much love to you - from both of us, and the furry ones, too.


adn a thousand kises to carry you through this tough time.

cat said...

Yeah ! hurry up... :)

We need a drinky festival before I start treating my stomach as a pin cushion... which will be soon.

The margarita clock is a ticking!