“Just take it one day at a time.”
I’m at such a stage in the grieving process where I realize that I’m young and healthy enough to reasonably convince myself on a good day that if I want to pursue parenthood I will at some point eventually be able to get there. Maybe biologically, but if not then through foster care/adoption. The point is there are options out there somewhere, and although many, many moments come crashing down around me where I can’t see beyond the immediate future, in general I do have faith that someday this will end.
My problem is how to deal with today when its not yet over. I liken it to asking what techniques does a person in solitary confinement do to not go crazy? Telling him to relax is useless. He still has to deal with his current situation. Telling him that one day he’ll be free is also not very comforting, especially when you’re looking at potentially years more of staring at bare white walls. Physically and mentally, what does he do right now to keep his mind off what is so blatantly around and enclosing him in? He needs like, little games to keep him busy or shiny objects to distract himself or something, right?
This is why the advice “Take one day at a time” originally pissed me off. It seemed hollow. Empty words that sound good but still leave you with nothing tangible. But then there was that whole, this-advice-came-from-a-woman-who-hasn’t-been-able-to-have-kids-either-but-for-much-longer-time-than-I-have-been-trying thing. Maybe there was something to it.
That day I was leaving my husband in Mexico, staring out the airplane window at the ever-expansive gray city, growing smaller and smaller below me, I realized how it just felt like yesterday that I was landing, excited to be starting our Mexican adventure together. Now there I sat, leaving the adventure and my husband, only able to take in that single moment of being on the plane, with those weeks of past adventures just a memory yet with the knowledge that before I knew it I’d be back on a plane again to visit him again. I think about how after our third month of trying I literally begged God that we not have infertility, because I had seen and read about it and I knew I was not strong enough to handle that type of pain. Now that moment seems like so long ago. I think about how when I look back and consider a month, it always seems like the moments of trying/waiting/hoping/sadness blur into whatever day I’m experiencing at that moment, because that’s all I’m ever to take in at one time.
It struck me that all we’re ever able to experience are single moments at a time. In that sense, it lends itself that life can only be lived little moments at a time whether we want to or not. In fact, our life is just little moments strung together to make a whole. The only thing I ever can do and have to do is make it through today. And that’s a little comforting to know that when the big picture is terrifying, you don’t have to look at it.
Maybe it sounds like I’m in denial. But I realize that there’s nothing I can really do at this point besides make it through today. And the better time that I have while doing that, well, the better for me and my husband because we have to go through it anyways. This is not to belittle the pain that sub/infertility brings. This waiting out an unknown sentence is precisely what starts the madness and while I do believe that everyone can enter and play the “pain Olympics”, the pain that accompanies “waiting on motherhood” is unique. This waiting on something, someone who is so, so important, who will supposedly teach me the true meaning of life and love, but who may never come is terrifying beyond belief and it is likely that unless you’ve been a person’s exact shoes, you don’t know the pain.
If only I can make it through today though, I will be that much closer to seeing it through.