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.