One of my favorite fantasies while we were trying to conceive was imagining my son or daughter snuggled up next to me on the sofa while we read and explored new stories. Oh, the nursery rhymes we’d learn to sing together — me a bit off key.
Today, one of the many things I envy most about my friends who have children is their opportunity to discover the world again through the eyes of their children: the first ladybug sighting, discerning wondrous shapes out of clouds, the glorious refreshment of running through the sprinklers on a hot summer day…
But I digress. Before I sat down this morning to write, the image of Humpty Dumpty came to mind. You see I woke up today feeling good — really good. The birds were singing. I had a great night’s sleep and my mood was, well, sunny. We’re heading into a holiday weekend. My husband and I are driving into the mountains for a getaway. The lightness in my mood caught me unawares. My first thought: “Hey wait a minute, does this feeling of goodness mean I’m getting better?”
Not one to let my feelings go unexplored (a curse, I tell you), I started thinking about a blog post written by Foreverhopeful. In it she talks about how hard it is for her and others like her who always dreamed of being mothers not to have the opportunity while all around us are mothers who just aren’t into it. They could take the role, or leave it. There’s lots to say about the unfairness of it all, but that’s not my topic either.
What is the topic is trying to understand why it’s taking me so long to come to terms with my infertility. Why, I ask myself all of the time, has it dogged me so? Then it hit me. I suddenly envisioned old Humpty coming down off the wall and crashing into millions of pieces.
Ah, ha! I realized as I was reaching for my bathrobe. I’m Humpty Dumpty! There I was for years sitting up on the wall, waiting and hoping to become a mother. When it became evident that it just wasn’t going to happen, down I came crashing into a millions pieces.
No amount of king’s horse or king’s men were going to put me together again. That’s because somewhere along the line after lying there on the ground — for what sometimes has felt like forever waiting to be patched up — my subconscious realized that outside help was not on the way. I had to figure out how to put myself back together again, and that’s what I’ve been doing slowly the past year or so. I’m not nearly as tidy and well formed as I was up on the wall. I’m now more of a mosaic. There are lots of cracks and mortar and more than a few missing shards.
Along with rebuilding myself, I’ve had to rebuild my life — recalibrate my expectations, my relationships, my plans and my future. That’s the power of this infertility condition and that’s what the average Joe or Jane doesn’t realize. It’s not just a medical condition, it’s a “bust yourself into millions pieces” condition. I’m now working hard to do one better than Humpty Dumpty. I don’t know what my life is going to look like, but if mosaics are any indication, I know it can be beautiful in a different sort of way.
May 24, 2007 2:59 pm
Oh that’s fabulous. here’s to the hope that feeling of “goodness” greets you every morning!
May 24, 2007 3:06 pm
Very moving analogy….and to me, you are a great example of picking up the pieces and putting yourself back together. THANK you for sharing this=)
May 24, 2007 3:19 pm
Fixing ourselves from the inside. No truer statement can be said about IF.
May 24, 2007 6:26 pm
This post was so poetic and insightful! I really appreciate the analogy of Humpty Dumpty with reference to infertility. It reall does feel that way.
May 24, 2007 8:15 pm
I love the Humpty Dumpty analogy. Also, I think that we are too hard on ourselves when we try to tell ourselves to “move along with” our grieving. You can’t rush healing.
I hate to compare infertility to a break-up (the pain of not having a baby is much, much different than the pain of not having a husband), but when I think back on the truly, truly painful moments in my life, this is what I remember…
After 2 1/2 years of dating, my college boyfriend inexplicably broke up with me. I was waiting for the ring. I was imagining moving with him to graduate school. And then it was over. I was heartbroken. Even after I got over the guy, I still didn’t get over the idea of being married to my college boyfriend. At the time, I didn’t see how I was ever going to meet anyone. My perfect vision of the perfect married life was shattered, and suddenly I was a 20-something single woman forced to make her own living–on her own. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. My life wasn’t supposed to fall apart before it had even begun. And so I had to rebuild myself, and figure out exactly who I was. It took me a long time to be happy again. And no, it wasn’t my husband who made me happy. I became “at peace” with my life before I met him. Meeting him was just a bonus.
Again, I don’t mean to sound pithy. This comment is merely my way of trying to relate to your pain.
May 25, 2007 2:58 am
I stopped seeing my therapist last month (kinda had to, ran out of money for the time being) but I thought, okay,that’s fine cause I’m feeling much better. And then, a few weeks later, wave after wave of sadness hit me. Sigh. I did feel like Humpty Dumpty, broken pieces everywhere and even when it was taped up, I could still see the cracks. I could still feel the cracks.
May 25, 2007 8:15 am
Well said. Maybe if Humpty Dumpty was hard boiled it wouldn’t shatter as much. 🙂
May 25, 2007 10:01 am
Thanks for putting a smile on my face today. I received your postcard. Nice! San Francisco is one of my favorite cities! All the best to you too.
May 25, 2007 11:07 am
Woo that was a good one! Thanks for this post.
May 25, 2007 2:21 pm
This was beautiful. I love mosaics. I find them to be more complex, interesting and inspiring than regular paintings or tile work. I suppose, much like you…
May 26, 2007 10:00 pm
Yes! I love this analogy!!
I’m so glad you’re feeling great…hang on to it while it lasts! I have felt so broken and shattered by IF, some days more so than others. I used to wonder when teh ‘old me’ would return. What I keep realizing is that the old me is gone and this is the revised me…I like the idea of a mosaic…
hope you had a great weekend!
May 27, 2007 8:06 am
Woman, I LOVE your writing! Humpty was sitting alone, but we’re a whole bunch of mosaics on this wall of ours, holding virtual hands and drawing strength from each other. Some days the pieces of my mosaic falls back onto to floor, and I need to add more glue and paste them back up again, more securely this time. It looks more and more like a Picasso painting, but with blogs like yours and the strength I gain back from reading your thoughts I like it better than when everything was still “perfect” in my world – many many moons ago!
May 28, 2007 2:56 pm
May 30, 2007 10:26 pm
This is a great analogy. I felt the same way when I reached the end of the road for me. When I realized Dh and I aren’t going to have our biological chidren, I felt like my whole self broke into pieces and I’m still healing and trying to find myself. This is not the way I envisioned to start my family but I want to believe its going to be great. I’m glad that you are feeling better and I hope that you continue to rebuild your life/self and find happiness. Big hugs to you.