I just finished reading my first real blog entry, posted almost a year ago, on January 2, 2008. It made me cry. The theme of the post was how my life was on hold, how sickened I was by the sameness of everything.
I wrote that post in a desperate attempt to reach out into the blogosphere, to find some solace and comfort among others. But in my heart I knew it was just a temporary fix, something to see me through until my luck finally changed. I almost didn’t start blogging at all; despite years of disappointment, I still believed that my childlessness was just a fleeting, transient condition. Why bother seeking out an online community when I could be pregnant (ergo, happy) in a matter of months? Why go to all the trouble of joining a support group when I’d just have to drop out?
At the end of 2006 I celebrated like mad. What a shithole of a year! In 2006, I had suffered my first miscarriage and learned that we were infertile. In 2006 I was stripped of my precious naivete.
I welcomed 2007 wholeheartedly, for 2007 was going to bring us IVF and—with our “excellent” chances of it working—salvation.
At the end of 2007 I celebrated my guts out. What a rat-bastard asshole of a year that was! Two more miscarriages and lessons best not learned, like that your beta can double while you’re having a full-on period, like that an IVF cycle—which totally skips the fallopian tubes—can still result in an ectopic pregnancy. In 2007 I learned I had pregnancy-threatening fibroids. In 2007, I tried to turn to adoption. In 2007, I turned away from adoption and instead opted for major surgery. Oh, and in 2007 my amazing, kick-ass, 12-year-old kitty (my first pet) died.
So I welcomed 2008 with open arms. I just knew that in 2008 my life would change. Maybe IVF wasn’t going to work, but surely by the end of 2008 we would either be pregnant or actively working on adoption. No doubt about it 2008 would bring an end to the endless sameness, the dullness that marked my life, my marriage, my family.
It’s the end of 2008, and I’m not so sure I can celebrate. No doubt about it, I am eager to see the last of this scum-sucking, douchebag, ho-bitch of a year. But can I really welcome 2009 with such blind devotion? For more than four months I’ve been looking forward to this new year. Because with 2009 comes the end of my forced break. 2009 brings us a new IVF cycle with what we hope to be J’s new-and-improved sperm. Or maybe it will bring IVF with donor sperm, a whole new kind of opportunity. And I’ve been swearing to myself, and anyone else who will listen, that by the end of 2009, god-fucking-damnit, I will know where my baby’s coming from. By the end of 2009, my life will finally change.
But now that the new year is upon us, I’m finding myself unwilling to embrace the hope it might bring. I am weary and depressed. I’m tired of welcoming the new year, each with its sexy, slick persona and delicious promises. I’m sick of getting burned.
Last week, when we were taking our mini-break in Virginia, I told J that I can’t even imagine us with a child anymore. I still know that it is what we want, and it is still the direction we’re heading toward. In my brain I still believe that we will end up parents someday. But I’m no longer sure I believe it in my heart. The possibility of actually having a child in our lives just seems so foreign to me. I’ve become alienated from the fruits of my labor (thank you, liberal arts education!). J just nodded. He didn’t even have to say anything; he’s right there with me.
I’m scared to death of 2009. I’m not feeling strong or determined, and I can no longer see the finish line. 2008 sucked, but at least I knew where I stood.
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Of course I can’t leave it at that, because at the same time as 2008 has proven to be the darkest year of my life, and in many ways the darkest year for our country, it also has brought me one of the most amazing nights of my life, and with it one of the proudest moments of our nation’s history.
In 2009, we, the United States of Generally-Loud-Obnoxious-Asshole-Ignorant Americans, will swear in the first black president in our country’s history. And I’m gonna be there (on the mall, at least). Me and about 3 million other freezing, cheering, weeping Americans. And how ironic is it that, at a time when I am myself bereft of hope, I will stand with a crowd gathered to honor the man that most embodies that word?