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

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

NIAW Link-Up: It's Like Groundhog Day

"You are not alone."

That is my message for those suffering in the darkness. This week is National Infertility Awareness Week, in which bloggers and others resolve to talk about infertility. This year's theme is "You Are Not Alone".

I didn't realize it was NIAW until Monday, so I feel a little behind. At first, I worried that I should be writing something new and earth-shattering, but then I realized that sameness, routine, cycles are what infertility is all about for me. One of the hardest things about infertility is the sense that I'm not going anywhere, not moving forward, just kind of stuck here. Life has changed in some ways. I've gone back to school. I cut my hair. I made a few new friends. Life has changed, but I am still infertile, and if I'm honest, that defines me in ways that nothing else does.

After a while, infertility starts to feel like that movie Groundhog Day. It's just the same crazy cycle again and again. Each month (or so), you might allow a little hope to start developing, then get disappointed all over again and ashamed of yourself for hoping. Once you've been in the game for over a year, that adds another level of sameness. As we go into May, it's hard for me to hope that we'll have a babe in arms by next year's Mother's Day when I realize that I had the same optimistic thought last year, and the one before. All of those thoughts of, "If I got pregnant now, I'd be in my last months in the hottest time of the year," and "Hmmm, would my kid resent me if I had a Christmas baby?", I've had them all year after year. And like Bill Murray, I just keep thinking that if I figure out that ONE thing I need to do differently, maybe I'll get out of this crazy game.

The sense that my life is stagnant contributes to the sense of aloneness. It feels like everyone else is moving forward, and I don't relate any more. In the time span since we have been trying, I have friends that have decided to try for a baby, gotten pregnant, dealt with the ups and downs of that, had a newborn, and have now seen the light of the tunnel of the newborn haze. Meanwhile, I'm still here in the same dark tunnel, and I can't even remember what the light looks like after all this time. After a while, it feels like you have nothing to share, nothing going on that is worth talking about, and after initial compassion and sympathy, people just stop asking. They forget. They go on with their lives of jobs and babies and parenting and getting pregnant again, and assume you are moving forward or getting over your infertility. The truth is, I don't think you ever get over it.

So if you're reading this and feeling alone, please know that you're not. Know that someone somewhere does truly care that you're in a dark tunnel, and there are others who know this journey all too well.

If you're reading this and you have an infertile friend, give them a call, or an email, or a hug. Let them know you are still thinking of them. It doesn't get easier, and you don't get past it. It is a struggle that defines you, and largely does so in isolation.

Check out these links to learn more about infertility:

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors

Today's topic at The Broke and the Bookish is all-time favourite authors. Wow, so hard! It`s like choosing my favourite parent or something, but I'll do my best. I actually had a list on my computer, but it's now in the shop, so this is all just off the top of my head. I've tried to limit myself to authors for whom I've read multiple books, because I know how it is when you fall in love with a writer from one book, only to be disappointed by everything else.

1. Jane Austen: Duh. :)

2. Margaret Atwood: I know lots of people think she's depressing and all, but I love her. Oryx and Crake is one of my favourite books of all time, and one of these days I'll go back and read a whole bunch of her other books that I read in high school.

3. Charles Dickens: He makes me laugh all the time. I know his books have crazily-named weirdos and the most unlikely coincidences, but I just can't put them down.

4. J.K. Rowling: Because Harry Potter has made my life a better place.

5. David Bezmozgis: He's much less well-known than the above. I came across him somewhat by accident, but I adored The Free World, and now anything he writes is a must-by.

6. John Steinbeck: Someone gave me a copy of The Red Pony in high school and I haaaaaated it. I swore I'd never touch Steinbeck again, but thankfully I reconsidered East of Eden was great and thought-provoking, but The Grapes of Wrath made it onto my all-time favourites list. I finished it while I was supervising construction workers in a remodel of my office (read: sitting there being present while they worked), and I was literally sitting on a chair on the hall weeping and looking like a complete basket case. It's one of my favourite book moments.

7. Rainbow Rowell: A few years ago, I kind of rolled my eyes at the hype she`s gotten, but I have laughed, cried over, and just plain loved every book that I`ve read by her and will probably rush out to get my hands on the next one that comes out.

8. Francine Rivers: I haven`t read much by her in a while, but she has a way of writing Christian novels that feel real and not preachy. The Mark of the Lion series is absolutely superb.

9. Joseph Boyden: I've read less from him than any of the others on the list -  I'm just nearing the end of Three Day Road as I type - but I can say from what I've read by him that he is an extremely talented and creative writer who provides a perspective that is sadly lacking in Canadian literature. I will absolutely pick up Through Black Spruce at some point soon.

10. Robert K. Massie: Does it count if he writes biographies? It does in my book. Massie writes some of the most readable biographies that I know, while keeping it factual and deep enough for this history buff.

11. Ack, I forgot C.S. Lewis! Okay, this will have to be a top 11 list.

I feel kind of badly as a russophile for not having one of the 'greats' on here, but I can't choose. I enjoy Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and I'm in a Turgenev phase lately, but no one stands out as a favourite author for now. Maybe one day when I finally read War and Peace.... ;)

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Come Read My Interview over at Amateur Nester!

Hi friends! I haven't been posting much lately because it's crunch time at school, but I'm just popping in with a brief update.

Recently, I participated in an interview with fellow blogger Lisa over at Amateur Nester about my infertility experience, and yesterday it was published. Come over and check it out!

It was a pleasure to take part in this experience and share some of my experience with others. In fact, having this interview out there pushed me to share with a few friends who did not know what we were going through, and everyone so far has been loving and supportive. It's a scary think to open up your soul about infertility, especially for those of us who have experienced some not-so-helpful comments, but I can say that it's also not good to go through it all alone.

Happy weekend!