I've known for a while that I need to talk about my journey. I've tried to talk to the husband, I'll be calling him Max. But he has his own issues and he's not talking either. I've tried to talk to my mom, but she wants so badly for me to be ok that she can't just listen. And my friends fall into two categories: those that have kids, and those that don't and aren't thinking about it. Both groups are difficult to talk to. They either talk nonstop about their kids and know of nothing other than that bubble, or they don't understand the all-consuming desire. I've thought about seeing a counselor. But I can't find an infertility counselor in my area and I can't bring myself to do anything but call about pricing for anyone else.
So, I'm turning to this. Maybe someone will read it. Maybe not. Maybe it will help. Maybe not.
Anytime I open a new account (email, social media, blog, etc.), the biggest struggle is the name. It's so much pressure! I want it to reflect me, but do I even know who that is anymore? It should be funny, but not too cheesy. It should be easy to remember. Simple. So in this endeavor, I started brainstorming things that stand out in my memory over the last 2 years of this journey. The paper sheet is one of the first things that came to mind.
I have always been a bit of an ob-gyn-aphob (not sure how to explain that phonetically, but let's just say I've been a bit scared). In fact, I went to the "woman doctor" 3 months before I got married to get a prescription for birth control and did not go back until I began to suspect I would be having trouble getting pregnant, approximately 5 years later. I know, I know. I got plenty of lectures then and I don't need another. Besides, I've now been in the stirrups more than enough times to make up for it.
The paper sheet symbolizes a lot for me. For one, it's never big enough to cover what I want it to cover. And I know what people say about modesty. When you have a kid it's gone. And that may or may not be true for me eventually, but it's not yet. I still pull and tug and cover up as much as possible. I still almost break my neck trying to get situated and covered up on the table before that door opens. I still tear up and concentrate on breathing when the stranger in the room gets all up in my lady business. So it may barely serve its fig leaf purpose, but it doesn't cover my emotions. It will not stop my tears or wrap me in its arms. It is not a comfort. The paper sheet fails me.
The paper sheet is also an image that stays in my mind after I leave the office. First it's a symbol of hope. Clean and sharply folded waiting for me on the table. Full of hope. It's only a paper sheet, but we are about to become a team. Working towards a goal. And then a short time later, it's wadded on the table or stuffed in the garbage. An ugly reminder that I will probably see it again. That yet again, the bodies of Hattie and Max will not do what they are supposed to do and I will return to the room and see the sharply folded paper sheet again.
And finally, the paper sheets serve as book ends or time stamps in this process. The beginning of a cycle (I need a thesaurus; I'm beginning to hate that word) or maybe the middle where I may have a little follie waiting for fireworks. And surprisingly for me, as much as I hate paper sheet times, it's the time between the paper sheets that I'm most struggling with. Those times are lonely, dark and moody. They're emotional and emotionless. They are angry and hopeful, strengthening and heart breaking.
I wish this process of procreation could be about the time between the 600 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets. About love, intimacy and trust. But alas, for some mysterious reason, this journey is about the paper sheets. About science, calendars and money.
Maybe one day it will be about love again. Love for Max and for our squishy new addition. Only time will tell.