Today’s post concerns fighting. It’s something I hadn’t thought all that much about until Nancy, a fellow blogger, sent me a package in the mail. It contained a pair of red boxing gloves. Attached to them was heartfelt verse. The thoughts that led to the idea took shape right after the new year. That’s when Nancy noted in a post how hard it was to know the right way to support women in my position — those who have arrived at the end of the road, unsuccessfully, where fertility treatment is concerned.
In her January blog post she described women in my shoes after fertility treatment failure as having “fought a very long battle” and, she suspected, may still be fighting it everyday… and “may never stop fighting it.”
The boxing gloves, Nancy, could not be more appropriate. The more time I spend trying to come to terms with infertility and fertility treatment failure the more I appreciate how much fighting is involved: fighting the odds; fighting the systems and holidays and traditions that aren’t set up to accommodate couples struggling with infertility; fighting the injustice of having faulty biology; fighting the insensitivity of a society that doesn’t fully appreciate how hard we’re fighting to keep our sanity; fighting the urge to let loose with a primal scream when we see children born to those who don’t take their parental responsibility as seriously as we would.
I wouldn’t be nearly as far along in sorting out which fights I need to keep fighting and which I need to let go of without the help of the women like Nancy and so many others who are kindhearted enough to care. Nancy’s creation reminded me that I’m also likely fighting myself more often than I sometimes admit. There’s plenty of shadow boxing going on — my heart dukes it out with my head pretty routinely. Here Nancy’s poem in its entirety:
“These gloves represent
you put up a fight.
You knew what you wanted,
you never lost sight.
But things didn’t happen
exactly as you planned.
You had to hang up your gloves,
something you could barely understand
Although you have put
your gloves up on a shelf,
It doesn’t mean the battler is over,
You are still fighting yourself
I’m sure it’s a struggle
something you fight with every day.
You so wanted to win,
on your heart it must weigh.
But your war ended up not being about
what you had thought when it begun.
It ended up being a war of self truth
It’s a war you have already won.
These gloves represent
the fight you have fought.
In my eyes you are a hero
and it’s admiration you’ve taught.”
We who can’t conceive easily are all called on to be fighters. We have to be in order to get to the other side — whether that’s successful fertility treatments, adoption or accepting a child-free life. We’re all in this together. I’m just glad to have someone like Nancy in my corner. Now, enough about me. What sort of fights do you have under way?