Its funny how life works…just a few months back, when I was firmly planted in the quick sand-like pit of despair, otherwise known as infertility, I would never have imagined that I would be feeling anything other than a host of D’s (despondency, discouragement, disappointment, disheartenment, and desperation). Certainly I could not have conceived that I would be graced by a deep sense of hope, calmness…and dare I say HAPPINESS. Just two months ago, and for the 33 months prior to that, I was chronically fixated on one thing and one thing only….doing anything and everything I could to get pregnant. I didn’t have much space in my brain for anything else. From the time I woke up in the morning until I went to sleep at night, the thoughts bounced around my head like a pinball machine. Initially they were pleasant and naive thoughts about baby names and how we were going to decorate the baby’s room. After a short time the focus shifted to picking new donors, insurance claims, prior authorizations, injection hormones, countless blood tests and internal ultrasounds. I became a walking acronym because if I wasn’t ordering IUI or ICI specimens or talking about PCOS, I was having an IUI or IVF done, and when I hit the lottery, the payment came in the form of ICSI with a side of AH (assisted hatching). I shed humor and light on the situation because laughter helps me heal. And after a three year long rollercoaster ride with steep downhill drops, I need laughter and I need healing.
So, as I said…how is it that I find myself largely free from these toxic emotions (fear, envy, resentment, and self-pity), which strangled me over the last three years? There is a long answer to this, which will perhaps reveal itself in future posts. The short answer is that I have turned the corner to see what is behind door number two. I have accepted that the door I always dreamed of entering…the one that ends with me giving birth to a baby girl or boy has closed indefinitely…and this has freed me up to see other possibilities and opportunities, which tunnel vision did not permit me to see. I have let go of the reins (for now), am trusting that we will in fact be parents in one form or another one day, and I am focusing my energy on my midlife career change instead.
During the last few years of infertility treatments, the one creative outlet that brought me the most peace was woodworking. I grew up in a family full of carpenters and I have worked at construction sites doing grunt work, but I have never really been trained in carpentry because I went another route professionally. However, while all jacked up on Gonal F, Crinone, Ganerelix, Lupron, and God knows what else, I was Rosie the Rivoter and I couldn’t get enough of saw dust, 2×4’s, and power tools. I mentioned I am a wee bit compusive, which is a trait I actually can appreciate these days because it is filtered in positive ways…(hence why I am blogging at 11:40 p.m.). For me, a brief example of compulsivity occurred when I got the idea to refinish furniture midway through my first summer of baby making attempts. Just like the acorn that sprouted into the oak, the refinishing furniture idea grew rapidly into making a coffee table, taking apart what was our office and turning it into a new workspace where I could do future carpentry projects. And how could I be expected to do carpentry projects if I didn’t have a workbench…so I must make a workbench…and of course I need to make a couple of cabinets with shelves for my tools…and since a new bedframe for our queen bed is way overdue, how about I just make one myself. Lumber coming in by the cord…nail guns, compressors, and compound sliding miter saws being delivered to the house…saw dust in every crevice of the apartment…oh yeah, I did mention that this is an indoor shop in a 3 bedroom apartment, right? My partner deserves a peace prize for the patience she displayed during these manic months of hammering, drilling, carving, and nailing. Alas, the end products weren’t so bad…she put up with the noise, dust, and my constant project preoccupation, and it paid off because we got a nice new bed.
So I guess God had a plan for me all along. He/She gave me carpentry at a time I most needed comfort and healing. This allowed me to connect with my late brother, Derek, as I was using all of his tools to do my woodworking. And these projects led me to the doors of North Bennet Street School, which God so graciously opened for me….and God willing, on September 2, 2014, I will begin a new journey and help to carry on a family tradition. I AM BLESSED!