"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Monday, 3 August 2015

Two Years

As I wrote a few weeks ago, last month marked two years in our journey to have a child. The thing is, it's easy to rationalize, to say that two years isn't a whole lot of time. Yet, any time you peruse a TTC board (that's “Trying To Conceive” for the uninitiated), you'll see people ranting about not getting pregnant within the first three months or so. Two years may not be a long time in comparison to your whole life, but it feels like a long time, especially when you're watching your dreams of a big family dwindle. If it takes two years for one child, will there be time to have a second? Two years is longer than Gil and I dated before we became engaged. It's half of the time Canadian teenagers spend in high school. It's one month shy of the amount of time I was in graduate school for my M.A., and several months longer than my degree program will be this time around. It's 730 days or 104 weeks, essentially 2.5 pregnancies, back-to-back, and you feel that when you start to see people who were pregnant when you started trying announce that their second child is on the way. In the time since we've started trying, I've welcomed a niece and nephew, attended at least four weddings (though I may be forgetting someone), traveled to New York and Dominican Republic and Texas, watched a World Cup Tournament from start to finish, put my Ottawa condo on the market and sold it after six months, applied to a Master's program and completed more than half of it, and the list goes on. I've cried with friends who lost their fathers and mothers, and been reminded of how short life actually is. John Lennon said that “Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans,” so I guess that's all the life that happened while I planned and hoped and yearned for a baby. Two years hurts.

The truth is that I feel like in these two years, or at least in the last year and a bit since infertility came into the picture, life has happened to us. It's impossible not to feel like you're in limbo, waiting for your life to start.

On the other hand, as I've neared the two-year mark, something happened. I started feeling a little better. A friend told me once that she found the one-year mark the hardest, and I didn't understand, but now I sort of do. By two years, you can finally resign the idea that you have any control over the process. If I did, I'd have a child by now. I can sit back a little and realize that I really cannot control my life. It's a hard lesson to learn, and I am sad that I had to learn it this way, but I guess I have. Someone remarked on an infertility message board lately that I seemed relaxed about the process, and I balked, but I suppose it's true. I've abandoned the temperature-taking, charting, symptom-obsessing behaviour that I had a year ago because it led me down the road of thinking I had some inkling of control over an uncontrollable situation. I've abandoned the obsessive planning because I can't figure out the future, or rather the future that I planned has become obsolete. Is this healthy or does it mean resignation to failure? I don't know. For the right now, though, it's all I can handle.

How have I changed in the past two years? That's hard to answer. I've definitely become a sadder person, one more prone to bitterness, which I fight every day. I feel like I've lost friends because I couldn't handle pretending that I'm okay. It's easy to look back on the person I was and mourn for the optimism that was lost. On the other hand, as I've mentioned before, I think I'm more compassionate to those in difficult situations. At least, I hope I am. I've lost some of my inner control freak, and that is probably healthier for the long run. I've become more open about my struggle in hopes to help others. In the long run, if I ever become a mother, I hope that I'll look back on this time and remember not just turmoil (though there was a lot of that), but also growth and friendship and love that kept me going. I hope I'll be able to say I came out of infertility a stronger person and maybe even be thankful a little for it. That day is not today, when my arms still long for a little one to hold, and my heart still aches on a daily basis... but maybe it will be one day.

ETA: This post has been linked up with Amateur Nester here.

2 comments:

  1. Your words touched me greatly as our 2 year mark is coming closer too. We stopped preventing in September 2013 and officialy started trying from the next month. Some people do think it's not that long, but when you think of everything that has happened over this time you actually know how long it is. I too have seen 2 people get pregnant and have a baby while we were trying. A 3rd one will be having her baby in the next few days. And here we are, still trying. I pray for you that you may blessed with a little one of your own in this upcoming year. So that your next 'would have been' anniversary can be looked back at with a smile on your face and a baby bump (or baby) in your arms.

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  2. It took us about a year from stopping preventing to conceive our first, and I so well remember many of the things you mention here. Envying people you knew who got pregnant, maybe even getting angry at them a little. A year is a very long time. Two is like an eternity.

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