As we leave the Christmas season, some faster than others…our tree is still up because it is awesome this year. Well, that, and last year I think it came down before Christmas Day because of kitchen reno. Mike and I unpacked our car with thoughtful gifts picked out for us by family and friends, but without something we both want. Something we hope for, talk about, pray for, dream of, and for which we make wishes. You know, I have so many wishes for me and Mike. Health, happiness, friendship, love, good jobs in which we can find success and pride, laughter (gosh I hope we always have a lot of laughter), wine…oops! I guess I just wish Mike would re-fill my wine glass while I type out this blog, but that’s neither here nor there. But something else I wish is that 2.5 years ago, I’d known that Elton John’s “Rocket Man” (and sooooo many other things) contain a message that are both helpful and heartbreaking. Especially when you’re experiencing infertility. As I drove home last week listening to the sweet vocals of Sir Elton John, I thought “You’re damn right it’s gonna be a long long time!”
Some of the other things that have struck a chord with me along the way:
a.) Co-workers! Thanks for complaining about children and saying things like, “Just wait until YOU have kids!” …cue my nervous laugh, small eye roll, and internal response, “ALL I DO IS WAIT UNTIL I HAVE KIDS!” Don’t worry. I don’t actually say it. And it’s not their fault. I know that.
b.) Christmas cards! Man. I love Christmas cards. Ask Mike! He’ll tell you that if there’s a day in December with no cards in the mailbox, my Clausometer falls. But then, standing in your kitchen surrounded by families, babies, kids, all of which are incredible, happy, and beautiful!, was totally gut-wrenching. This was our 3rd calendar year of, “Maybe by Christmas we’ll have a baby on the way…”
c.) MOVIES & TV. Ok, if you haven’t struggled with infertility, you may not have noticed this, but now that we’re in the infertile pit of misery (Dilly Dilly!), Mike and I are hit with fertility issues everywhere we look! I’m not talking about John and Kate Plus 8, some Duggan-Family based program, or any other TLC show that highlights families and babies…I’m talking Arrival, Patriots Day, Friends, and most recently Fuller House. **When Mike and I were reading through this blog entry, he said, “I mean, we could easily name 9 or 10 more!” And maybe we will some other day. But for now, these are the first 4 that come to mind.
-I won’t spoil Arrival, as it shouldn’t be spoiled. I do recommend it, Mike and I loved it! However, I did sit with tears streaming down my face. I think this was the first movie we saw after our miscarriage (more on the later)…not like the next day, but it was the first time out to the movies and welcome back tears!
-Patriots Day. As I recall, the issue of infertility really didn’t need to be in this movie. Mike and I were enthralled by this movie (we both tolerate Wahlbergs. Mark in movies…and Donny in Blue Bloods…oh! There’s a show without infertility! Although, now that I’ve put it out there, I’m sure it’s coming..ha! ) Anyway, story line about the Boston Marathon bombings, they’re hunting for the brothers, and then bam! Random side-story about infertility! Crushed…because I wasn’t already crying about the horror of the bombings.
–Friends. I love it. I’m watching it right now for what? The 5th time through? Who’s to say? I read last year (and I have no way of fact-checking this, although maybe Mike can after his time on the Law Journal and all of those foot-notes…hmm. Mike, after you bring me that glass of wine, I have another *small* task for you!) that the Friends women all experienced childbirth, fertility, and family issues in non-traditional ways on purpose. Phoebe was a surrogate for her brother, Rachel was un-married when she got pregnant and had Emma, and Monica. Monica struggles to get pregnant and later finds out that she can’t have children of her own…so she adopts. Because of sitcoms glossing over major issues while still addressing them, I’m not sure why she couldn’t try IVF. But I’m nearing that episode, if I get more insight (now that I’m relatively well-versed in infertile-talk), I’ll report back. Anyway, I’m not sure if the writers/producers did that on purpose, or if some fan noticed it and created the theory. But either way, I like it, I appreciate it, and I relate to some of it.
-This last bullet point could include some spoilers for you re: Fuller House consider yourself warned. In Season 1 of the Full House spin-off, the audience learns that Stephanie, for some reason, cannot carry a child of her own…so she has accepted that she will not have children. Fast forward Season 2, Stephanie is encouraged by Aunt Becky to pursue harvesting her own eggs and considering a surrogate, if at all possible. Season 3: Stephanie is seen giving herself some hormone injections, gets a call about how many viable embryos she has after fertilization (Kimmy Gibler’s brother, Jimmy Gibler, is the father!), and she needs to find a surrogate. Well, the hunt is exhaustive, and there’s no one. DJ, who very much wants to be the surrogate can’t be because of her last delivery being so tough/traumatic (OK Netflix, who actually researched my life for part of this story line?? Mike and I laughed several times at the similarities to our own story!!) Shout out to my sister, here, by the way, who had a traumatic last delivery & I know would do anything for me that she possibly could–although, Stephanie Tanner and I differ, in that I do not need a surrogate. I digress. Kind of. So following the “exhaustive” (think 1 – 2 minutes of story line) search and emotional conversations with DJ, Kimmy Gibler ends up being chosen as Steph’s surrogate! What!? Crazy! Also great. SO! Mike and I finished Season 3 today of Fuller House, which is really what I thought about blogging about all day today. I was comforted by the inclusion of an infertile story line in FH. I cried when Stephanie told DJ she wouldn’t be able to have children…I’ve had that same conversation with my sister. I cried when Stephanie’s family rallied behind her with support for IVF/Surrogacy…Mike and I have received that same support. And I cried today when Kimmy announced that she was, indeed, pregnant with Stephanie’s child. When Stephanie said, “I’m going to be a Mommy!”…well! Welcome back, water works!
But they were happy tears. A lot of the tears I’ve cried over the past couple of years have been shed because of sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, helplessness, and loss. But today? Today my tears were filled with hope. Hope and wishes…so many wishes.