Infertility lives In the Absence

Last week I got my February issue of GGMG magazine. It’s the first one I’ve gotten that I had nothing to do with.

You see, I stopped copy editing and writing at GGMG. I don’t think I mentioned it here, for a lot of reasons. Mostly I’m sad, and a little ashamed, that I left. I’ve never quit something for any reason other than I just chose not to anymore. But that is not why I quit GGMG magazine. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it, but that I felt I couldn’t do it.

First it was all the pregnant women at the meetings. Each monthly meeting was filled with ever more bulging bellies and talk of second (or third children). When my “best” friend on the copy-editing team got pregnant and started to show I realized I couldn’t really handle it anymore. So I stopped going to the meetings and just read the minutes instead. Then, between work craziness and all the infertility appointments and just the general stress of dealing with our diagnoses, I realized that I couldn’t really keep up the copy editing either. I asked if I could just do writing but I was shot down (which made the subsequent hire of two new writers sting really hard), I knew it was time to go. So finally I asked for a leave of absence, explaining that I just couldn’t do it with my new struggles.

I cried really hard when I came home from giving my resignation. I felt that, despite my best efforts, infertility had defeated a small part of me.

Even before that I stopped writing on my public blog. I just couldn’t think of what to say there. Every post I wanted to write had something to do with our diagnosis; posts about anything else just rang false. It’s been months since a new post when up at my other blog. I was realizing today that if I ever become a writer and people look back at that place and ask what happened during this time, I’ll just say, Oh, that was infertility. 

That is where infertility lives, in the absences in your life. Infertility lives in all the times you don’t do what you would have done. All the times you don’t call your friends because their second is due any day now and you can’t handle the reminder of what you’ll probably never have. It lives in the long, drawn out space between phone calls and emails to even the friends who aren’t parenting, pregnant or trying. It lives in your prolonged absence from social media (I haven’t been on Facebook in ages and don’t plan on returning anytime soon). Infertility lives in all the things you have to give up so you can just take care of yourself. That is where infertility lives.

So someday, when I’m past all this I will look back at the holes in my life, all the ggmg magazines that were printed without my name in the copy editors list, all the posts that didn’t go up on my public blog, all the relationships that were suspended (or abandoned altogether) while I licked my wounds, all the dinners that weren’t attended, all the holiday parties or baby showers that were avoided, all the weekends that were spent at home, and I will recognize my old foe.

Ah yes. I will think. That was infertility. 

5 responses

  1. Ooh this left me breathless. So so true. Of IF certainly but also depression in general…I’m sure the magazine reflects the loss if such a talented writer. You already are a writer my friend.

  2. Yes, there are holes in my life that I blame on infertility. I look back about 8-10 years ago and remember the social events (a school reunion and a family event), work opportunities turned down, a general feeling of bleurgh. You’re right. You do come out of it.

  3. “That is where infertility lives, in the absences in your life. Infertility lives in all the times you don’t do what you would have done”
    You are really speaking to my heart here. I hear you. Until recently we had stopped trying, and I so enjoyed the freedom – freedom from counting days, declining invitations because I might be in the middle of a cycle, working out work roations in case I’d be having an egg retrieval or embryo transfer – and that was just so liberating. Now I am in the trenches again, and it’s all come flooding back, and you summed it up so well.

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