This is one of the longest breaks I’ve ever taken from blogging, but it’s not for lack of things to say. But by the time I figure out how I am doing my mood has shifted. I’ve moved on, and my earlier thoughts seem irrelevant and out-of-touch, or worse, forced and ringing false. I’ve started two other posts, only to abandon them the next day. It’s not that I’m on the DL or out for the season. It’s more that I’m day-to-day, with no idea what tomorrow will bring.
What’s more surreal than spending two years in fertility treatment? Stopping. You would think that the daily hormone changes of an IVF cycle or the thrice-weekly, ass-crack-of-dawn visits to the RE would make life seem other-worldly, and they certainly do. But it’s even stranger––once you get used to having such a single-minded focus in life––to go back to “normal.”
Part of what makes this normalcy seem so odd is that I never expected it. Even though I think of IF as a temporary phase in my life, it is supposed to “end” with the biggest disruption of all: the introduction of a child into our home. (Sort of like when I got bogged down in law school and all I was thinking about with desperation was finally graduating, then realizing that oh shit, oh shit oh shit, then I’ll have to actually be a lawyer! Out of the frying pan, or so the saying goes.) When I started TTC, I figured that life as I knew it was over. Even more so when I started treatment. My life plan was clear: for an undefined period of time I would be in treatment, then I would either be pregnant or in the adoption process, both of which also involve major life changes. Then, of course, I would have a child, the most insane life change of all. It’s just so strange to get all geared up for big changes in your life and then not end with any change at all.
I remember when I was in my early 20s and used to run for exercise (a short-lived period in my life), that I once was running on a trail, and going pretty fast, when I tripped over a tree root and fell. I was a little scraped up and not badly hurt, but I remember the moment with startling clarity. It wasn’t the fall that stunned me, but the abrupt stillness in the instant afterward. In the 20 minutes or so I had been running I had gotten hypnotized by the forward motion––the ground moving under my feet and the scenery rushing by and the vibration rocking through my body with every footfall. But in an instant I was lying on the ground, listening to my heart pound in my ears, while the world stood perfectly still. It wasn’t upsetting. Just disorienting.
So I guess that’s how I feel right now. For 3 ½ years I’ve been pounding my way toward an ever-moving target (I am not a light runner) with what can only be described as grim determination. Even when I haven’t been in a cycle (and I do almost always take a cycle off between treatment cycles), I’ve been planning out the next one, making arrangements for drug deliveries, working out insurance or, later (when the insurance ran out), rewriting contracts with the doctors, or having surgery and focusing on healing so we can go forward, press forward, move, move, move toward that ultimate goal. Then someone ripped the ground out from under me. The world is standing still, and I don’t really know what to make of it anymore, or where I fit in.
The weirdest thing is that this analogy makes no sense. I haven’t even been on that long of a break. I am exactly one and a half cycles out of my last IVF cycle. And our forward movement is far from stalled; we’re taking a break so that J can take hormone shots (which he’s already started) to see if we can jump-start our sperm production. But, if history is any lesson, my feelings often have little to do with the reality of the situation.
I’ve been rocketing between what looks and feels like clinical depression and a fairly upbeat outlook on life. Mix into that desperate escapism into any TV show, movie, or book that has sex or romance, anything that will give me that burning-in-the-gut sensation that makes me feel like I’m actually still alive. Add in the anxiety and obsession with the upcoming election. Oh, and don’t forget that at the same time I’m finally standing still the entire planet seems to be spinning out of control. It’s all just so fucking surreal. Sometimes I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. And I want to blog—I don’t want to lose touch with the people in cyberspace. But I don’t know who I am or what’s going on in my life or what to say about this crazy world we seem to be living in.
So I’m just going day to day.