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Love, life and %#$!&@ (Part 1)

Struggling with fertility, in many ways, feels akin to trying to find love (ask me, I’m an expert at both struggles!). You spend a big chunk of your life expecting it to happen naturally, you dream up gargantuan Hollywood-ian fantasies of what it will feel like and you tell yourself that once you meet that special someone, life’s pretty much going to take care of itself.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

What happens instead (esp. if you’re a dramatic, ambitious and entirely unrealistic sort like me) is that on your 30th birthday you find yourself alone at the local liquor store to grab a bottle of vino and the old man behind the counter takes one look at your ID and exclaims ‘oh you’re thirty… wow!’ and you can’t quite figure out whether he’s feeling happy for you or sorry that you’re obviously celebrating alone as you glug the Irish whisky shot he offers gratis even before he can say cheers! What also happens is that after several years of dating a string of douchebags while all your friends waltz off on their gilt-edged honeymoons, you start losing hope that you will ever find someone. You realize that you no longer have the energy or the inclination to don vertigo-inducing high heels and gyrate with strangers in cavernous rooms with psychedelic lighting and that, horror of horrors, internet dating might not be such a bad idea after all. You get frustrated, then hopeful, then plain depressed as nothing works out and you find solace in Gai Pad Krapow and Ben & Jerrys chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. You long for someone to watch Seinfield re-runs with, someone to travel the world with and someone who will love you in your pajamas as much as he loves you in your LBD.

And then, quite suddenly, out of nowhere you find this guy -this charming, sexy, handsome guy who teases you, flirts with you and drives 50 miles every weekend (racking up $$$ speeding tickets in the process) to take you out on the most wonderful dates. You watch, jaw hanging, as he opens his heart to you and tells you in the middle of a nightclub that he can’t wait to be a daddy. You swoon as he goes down on one knee and implores you to marry him and make him the happiest man on earth. And one day, just like that, you wake up, turn over and watch your husband sleeping like a baby and you marvel at how perfect he is and how you love being his wife.

That’s when fate decides to fuck with you. Again.

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The pieces that do fit.

It’s been a rough month. And the immediate future does not promise to let up on the pressure. I have not battled this thick, smog-like overwhelming sadness in a long while. Not for want of trying times. Oh no, life’s doing its darnedest best to keep me on my tippy toes! It’s just that, all along, somewhere within me the hope has remained alive that soon, one way or the other, things will happen just the way I have always wanted them to and I will get my perfect little baby, snoozing contently in my arms. But now… now I do not feel so sure of anything. What has happened in the past few weeks doesn’t exactly make for a grand tragedy. Yet it has, in one fell swoop, wiped me of that very basic necessity -hope! And now the hard task of recapturing that hope, one moment at a time, looms ahead.

But is this really all that is? Granted, having a child is probably the most important thing in the world for both my husband and me. And yes, I do cringe every time someone tells me how this experience will make me stronger, more resilient blah blah. Why do I have to be God’s favorite work-in-progress, I protest! But I have to admit, there is a lot that is good and pure and warm and blessed that I need to keep reminding myself of. So here’s my attempt at counting the blessings, for there are so many of those -the blissfulness of loving companionship, the unflinching support of loved ones, the luxury of material comfort, the means to afford fertility treatment, the access to great doctors and medical facilities, the asset of a thinking mind, the list just goes on and on…

I have always believed in the jigsaw-puzzle-ness of life. Pieces that click, force fits and empty spaces. The unabated joy of finding just that right bit of sky amongst many that mimic its reality. The sweet satisfaction of completing a complicated puzzle. I used to love jigsaws for how they would reveal a story -softly, gently, one piece at a time.

Why then do I only look at the empty spaces now? Why is my focus only on the gaps that remain, the pieces that are missing? For is it not true that for every piece that chooses not to reveal itself just yet as the perfect fit to the amoebic curves that exist, there is the silent fortitude that the completed portion of the puzzle displays?

Here’s to my story and to the patient, perseverent efforts to make it come to life!