Transitions and turning points? Well, they’re hard to maneuver. One foot in the all-too-familiar world you’re living in and the other reaching across (in my case, tentatively) to get a toehold in the new world, the unfamiliar one. The one I’d like to spend more time in…
I was hoping my predisposition as a deadline setter would help bring about the transition. Deadlines help me focus. That’s why when I started this blog in February 2007 I also set a deadline of sorts (June 2008) to reach a turning point where infertility is concerned.
What’s so special about June 2008? It brings a milestone birthday, and the anniversary of our first expectation-filled attempt with IVF — more on both of those in upcoming posts.
As my June deadline approaches I’ve been busy behind the scenes preparing for my transition. My latest posts have dropped some clues. I’ve been getting a little more breathing room, waxing philosophical, researching stats and theories, trying to be more playfully ironic and less caustically sarcastic.
You see in most character-driven stories there comes a point when the protagonist rather than fight his or her fate, accepts it. It’s usually the story’s turning point. I’m fairly certain I’m at that point now. As for evidence that I’m evolving and in line to get my passport stamped:
- I held and cooed in the face of an infant this weekend. He was just five months old, the son of caring colleagues turned friends who allowed me the time I needed to prepare for my first visit. Old PJ: I would have found multiple excuses to avoid these friends, perhaps indefinitely. New PJ: While uncomfortable initially about actually holding any infant I screwed up the courage to establish a bond, to hold him. He seemed to like me. Okay, he was flirting with me big time, all smiles and coos.
- I had a matter-of-fact discussion last week with a colleague in the office supply room. I was there to fax and reload post-it notes. Not remarkable until you consider she was there setting up her breast pump waiting for me to finish so she could lock the door and get down to business. Old PJ: I’d have refrained from small talk and shot her the hairy eyeball that would have angrily suggested she find a less in-your-face locale. New PJ: I calmly completed my fax and walked away (perky-breasted I might add) thinking that hers was an activity that’s got to get old, and fast.
- I was seated this week next to a (very) pregnant colleague waiting for a meeting to begin. Old PJ: I would have found another seat. New PJ: Compared home remodeling tips and actually heard what she had to say instead of fixating on the pregnant belly I would never have.
- I went earlier this month to my nephew’s little league game. Old PJ: I would have focused on all of the differences between me (the infertile) and them (the fertiles) and ruminated on all sorts of parenting faux-pas. New PJ: I felt a tenderness toward all of the grown men standing next to their little boys trying to teach them how to be little man-boys.
- My guy asked if it would be okay to invite our neighbor’s little boy (conceived when I failed my last IVF) over to help remove the soft top of his beloved Jeep Wrangler. Old PJ: I would have protested or removed myself in a minor huff from the premises. New PJ: I encouraged him to bring the little guy over and offered to help.
Lest you think I’m going to become all artificially sunshine and happiness starting June — no, while a nice idea, it’s unrealistic. I don’t know anyone whose life is consistently nirvana (with or without kids). Besides being a deadline-driven type, I’m also a realist. I expect I still have a few infertility hairballs to expel, but I’m working hard on my deadline.
Instead of feeling black in mourning, white-hot angry over the injustice of infertility, green with envy over those who succeeded where I did not, or blue with sadness over not achieving the dreams that once seemed within our grasp, I’m seeking a new color to coincide with acceptance — something that says: I’m resigned to my fate. I’m, ahem, barren but beautiful. (Calliope: I’ll be dropping you a line about a new blog header).
I’m not sure what color best showcases acceptance — welcome your thoughts. You see, bitter doesn’t go with anything in my closet.