Just when you think infertility has dumped all of the world’s unfairness right in your lap, life comes at you and kicks you in the balls.
I’m referring my dear friend Io, who has had the shit kicked out of her by the Real World (not the fake Real World on TV, the real Real World on Planet Earth) this month. It’s easy, when wallowing in the mud pit of infertility, to forget that there are other bad things that can happen to you, that there are other ways you can get hurt, that there are other forces out there that can smash your dreams into smithereens.
Io’s been through a lot. A few months ago, she and her fabulous husband, A, plunked down the bulk of their savings for sperm-extracting surgery, step one on their two-step plan to have a baby. Step two was to save every spare penny for IVF. This step might take as long as a year or more, time while she was resigned to watch the rest of us gorge on insurance-covered IVF, shared-risk plans, or other “affordable” options. Granted, participation in an IVF or FET cycle is no treat. But imagine being the pillar of support for everyone else that’s going through it, while you wait and save and hope that someday you too can join the miserable party.
This is what Io’s been doing. And she’s been a real trooper about it.
So imagine our dismay when she found out earlier this month that A didn’t pass the bar. No biggie, right? That’s what we all told her (I’m feeling particularly guilty about this). People fail the bar the first time all the time. They don’t lose their jobs, nothing bad really happens. They just take it again, right?
But A did lose his job. Only days later. And now he’s devastated and brokenhearted. I can’t imagine how awful he feels, and how hard it must be for her to watch him hurting like that. And what’s she supposed to say to make him feel better? That it isn’t a problem? That this isn’t a setback? All that saving, that scrimping and hoping and saving, now that money going to pay the bills while A looks for a new job. And Io might have to leave a job she loves, just so she can support them for awhile.
And the think about this that sucks the worst, that just seems so wrong to me, is that it has nothing to do with infertility. It’s just life. Raw, rotten, sucky, brutal life. And as much as I seem to have come to terms with how unfair infertility itself is, I am having trouble wrapping my head around this flavor of unfairness. The kind that snatches away your hopes and dreams, the kind that has no relationship to science or nature.
Io, you’ve meant so much to me. You were one of my first friends out here, and you’ve been strong for all of us even when you couldn’t play along. And now you have to be strong for A, to show him how much he’s worth, even when he feels like he’s nothing. And you have to be strong for you, to hold yourself together when it’s all falling apart. I know you can handle this. I know you will see it through, and that you and A will find the right track again. But I’m cursing the universe for you, my friend. Because it isn’t fair that one person should have to be so strong for so long, with no reward.
So I’m passing on my pink rose to you, honey. I wish I could pass on luck, or money, or a job for A, or even peace of mind. But I’m all out of those. So I just pass on my thoughts, and perhaps give a place for others who are worried about you to comment as well.
The rules are as follows (but feel free to ignore this if you want to):
1. On your blog, copy and paste the award, these rules, a link back to the person who selected you, and a link to this post: http://smartone.typepad.com/smartone/2008/05/pink-is-my-favo.html. You will find the story behind the Pink Rose Award and other graphics to choose from there.
2. Select as many award recipients as you would like, link to their blogs (if they have one), and explain why you have chosen them.
3. Let them know that you have selected them for an award by commenting on one of their posts.
4. If you are selected, pass it on by giving the Pink Rose Award to others.
5. If you find that someone you want to nominate has already been selected by someone else, you can still honor them by posting a comment on their award post stating your reasons for wishing to grant them the award.
6. You do not have to wait until someone nominates you to nominate someone else.