The Infertility-Shaped Hole
You know that feeling when you can’t quite put words to your experience, not even in your own head?
I’d been feeling like that for days and then I sat down and wrote that. And it was like a veil had been lifted.
I haven’t written a post that was that important to me in a long, long time.
That post was one of those posts that shifts something inside me. Not because it led me to see something differently, but because it led me to realize I already saw it that way.
I do feel more at peace right now than I have in a long while. 99% of the time I’m so grateful for that, but 1% of the time I worry it betrays the struggle I’ve endured. It’s almost like I don’t want to feel at peace in our journey, because that means the past year was nothing really at all. Like being at peace invalidates what I’ve been through some how.
I’m trying to accept that feeling for what it is, to approach it with curiosity instead of judgement. And mostly I can do that. Actually, I can do that. The peace seems to bring with it that fame of mind, that way of looking at things–curiously instead of personal disdain.
And the truth is, what we’ve been through is not that bad. I’ve been reading a lot about infertility (secondary infertility specifically when I can find it, but it’s a hard topic to track down–an observation for another post to be sure). Generally, the first year of trying is barely mentioned, it’s the harbinger, really, of the truly horrible things to come. It’s the prologue, the introductory paragraph. A brief mention, nothing more. It is parenthetical at best.
Reading another woman’s story and realizing that my great struggle is only the prologue, well that puts things into perspective. And many times it scares me. Was 2012 a prologue to many more years of suffering and struggle? Of course right now those are questions I cannot answer, those are truths I cannot know.
But I continue to read about infertility, and more specifically secondary infertility. I devour anything I can find on it: blogs, books, articles, memoirs. I don’t believe I’ll ever find enough material on the subject. My hunger can’t be sated.
Even now as we’re forced to wait indefinitely. Maybe especially now. Maybe it’s because of the wait…
I wonder why it is that I want only to read about infertility. Surely it has much to do with the simple fact that in many ways it consumes my life right now. It’s not that I think about it every minute of the day, but many of the minutes I have to myself (which aren’t many, I’ll admit) are committed to it. It’s almost like I have this infertility-shaped hole in my life and I’m trying to fill it… with what exactly? I’m not quite sure. Understanding maybe? Validation? Camaraderie? I honestly don’t know. But there is this hole inside of me that infertility has built and nothing else can fill it. My dealings with the people in my real life, other books that I read, friendships with people who don’t understand, none of them touch the yawning need.
It’s not that I’m obsessed really. I’m sure that it seems that way. Heck, maybe I am. But it doesn’t feel like an obsession. For the majority of the day I’m doing other things, thinking about other things. But when I have a moment to steal for myself, when I have a chance to recharge my battery, the thing I most enjoy is reading about other people who have been through this. Who are going through this. Who have, or currently are, struggling like me.
If you have any recommendations of books (or blogs) on or about infertility, memoires especially and secondary infertility most specifically I’d really appreciate you sharing them with me. Chances are I’ve already got it and already read it but who knows. I always love a good reco.