Sunday, September 7, 2008

Who took my map?

After living life for three years as an infertile, I have a confession to make. Four months ago, I would have cringed and threatened to slap myself across the face at such a confession. But I have no self control, so confess I will: I do not know how to be a pregnant person.

Infertility is the cruelest and most painful waiting game I know. Monthly reminders of the lack of conception. Waiting for the next test. The next set of stirrups. The next cycle to start. The next. The next. The next. Waiting to find out if you will ever become pregnant.

Oddly, I got pretty good at all that waiting. I would even say I found peace in it. I accepted the unknowns, not out of some beautiful zen moment, but out of the sheer reality that I had no other option. I embraced the idea that infertility, for me, was a journey. I often even felt lucky to have the opportunity to turn a painful experience into a time of growth, reflection, and acceptance.

And now I am pregnant. I start my fourteenth week today, and I am still in quite the state of shock. I am beyond excited. I feel blissful, lucky lucky lucky, and totally confused.

I don't quite know how to look back and make sense of this most recent development. For me, living infertility was a bit like being suspended in space and time. Becoming pregnant has launched me back into the real world. Living infertility was the most polarizing experience I've ever had with the rest of humanity. Even among my most beloved friends and family, I separated everyone into an "us" and them" sort of alignment: the fertiles vs. the infertiles. Where do I fit in now?

The infertility/fertility journey doesn't end at pregnancy. I never knew that before. I don't know if it ends at birth. My infertility induced clarity, acceptance, and balance seems to have at least momentarily been replaced with a gluttonous appetite for all things baby. I glide from peaceful moments of loving my pregnancy to impatient and frustrated longings to finally hold my babies and see their tiny faces.

And maybe this is really what it's all about. I have about six more months to reflect and sort things out. That's the same amount of time my babies have left to live in the safest and most sheltered environment they'll ever know. And then together they'll join this crazy world. I don't care if my babies grow up to be doctors or lawyers. I want my babies to know that life is beautiful and confusing. And once they know that, I want them to choose to jump right in, with wild and reckless abandon.

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