Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lessons Learned

What has your journey through infertility taught you? A degree from Dr. Google, notwithstanding.

I’m compiling a list. And while I won’t copy anyone’s answers, I often read things in these blogs that really get me thinking.

What I have learned so far:

Patience – I don’t have much of this but I like to think that I have acquired more patience over the past year. It is not like I am totally comfortable with the constant waiting, but I have become less insane over how long this is taking.

Humility – When I was pregnant the first time I went to the store to buy an assortment of interesting cheeses for a luncheon. The nice, older lady at the counter asked me what kind at which I announced, "no soft cheeses please because two of us are pregnant." She gave me this shocked look (actually, she looked a little sad). Today I think about this and feel like an asshat for feeling so self-important because maybe she struggled with infertility and my cocky statement took her back to that dark place. Anyway, just an example, but I feel so very humble about my body these days.

Sensitivity – I still slip here, but I believe I am more sensitive to the personal plights of others. I try not to say or do things that will hurt other’s feelings. Like gushing about my husband when I might be talking about someone who doesn’t have a special partner and wants one desperately or misses one dearly.

Being okay in an uncomfortable position – Infertility hurts. Wanting to hold your baby and not being able to hurts like hell. My first instincts with this uncomfortable-ness was either fight (I would get mad at something else) or flight (that’s it, I’m never having a baby and I better get over it – even if I wasn’t being honest with myself). There are yoga positions that challenge me this way – I am bound up and feel constricted in a not-so-good way -- so I don’t know if this skill is fertility related or acquired from yoga. But I feel less anxious about handling things that are uncomfortable.

Expecting everything to go according to plan is both futile and grandiose (and not in a good way) – I don’t think I need to elaborate here. The title of this blog says it all.

Here is a short list of things I am hoping to learn more of:

Forgiveness – forgive others because they get pregnant easily or say hurtful things without meaning to hurt me. Forgive Cowboy and me because we waited to start a family. Forgive myself for the financial and emotional burden that this desire has placed on us. Forgive my body when it fails cycle after cycle.

Staying positive no matter what life throws your way – This is my hardest lesson of all. I feel like a shell of the person I was a mere 12 months ago. I wish I could say that this struggle and heartbreak has demonstrated how resilient and tough I am, but I can’t. Some days the constant losing battle really gets to me and I know I am battling the foggy darkness. I see people who deal with much more and they seem so positive. I admire them and want to be like them. Today, I am not.

I know there is stuff that I have missed. Am taking any and all suggestions from you as jumping off points to think about what is learned from this journey so far.

Thanks in advance. The deep thoughtfulness of this community is truly amazing.


Reproductive Jeans said...

We definitely DO learn a lot--its life lessons for sure. You have a great list-and Im sure you are learning every day. We are lucky to have such a great and supportive community-it definitely helps me stay sane!

LJ said...

This is a great post, I think I will have to follow suit.

Waiting Amy said...

Thanks for this. I identify with your list SO much. I too will post a bit related to this.

Erin said...

I agree - there is so much to learn from IF. Of course, I'd so rather be ignorant, but hopefully we'll all come out of this better, stronger, and more patient people...ahem PARENTS!

Amy R said...

I would love for one of the things I could learn is 'grace'. If someone says something insensitive to me, smile and shrug it off. I'm still working on it though. Kudos on your list and self reflection :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post. I think we could all follow suit.

megan said...

this is a really fantastic post, ms. planner. thank you for sharing it with us.
i've learned humility and sensitivity (i think and hope) but have not gained much patience. in fact, i think that IF made me less patient...
i love what amy said about learning grace. that would be a lovely trait to possess, and one that i am often lacking.

Von said...

Beautiful post Ms Planner.
I just wish for all of us there was an easier way to make these realisations about ourselves.
I think another good thing to learn is the ability to be easy on ourselves.

KarenO said...

Great post! I'm marking it as one of my favorites :) Thanks for sharing!

JKH said...

I identify with what you've written on so many levels. Thanks for sharing those with us!!!

Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie said...

Sorry I deleted. Big typo. Annoyed me too much :-)

As always a truly thought provoking post.

You're right about many of the lessons we learn. I believe I am a better person for some of this experience. Certainly less assuming, more careful to think through all types of scenarios, in all areas of life, that I may never have considered before.

What I have issue with is the people who say 'everything happens for a reason', usually accompanied by a huge grin and a happy ending. Why do we still have to learn then? Surely when you 'get it' you should be allowed to progress. To be repeatedly taught the same lesson again and again, as you know all too well, seems to me more than unfair, just cruel.

P.S. Thank you so much for checking in on me, how thoughtful. I'm doing ok. Really quite ok to be honest. Just a little weary and quiet. Will be back soon xx