Monday, October 11, 2004

Journey to Camazozt

This Wednesday, E. and I have our long awaited appointment at the Ass Con Centre . You would have thought by this point I would be positively giddy with excitement at the idea of going to talk to a medical professional who may actually be able to help us. Instead, my primary emotion at the moment is... exhausted numbness.

There's a word you sometimes hear here-"fashed". "To be fashed" in Scots means to trouble, to worry over. The expresson, "I cannae be fashed" translates roughly along the lines of: "Whatever, I don't really care." Or: "I can't be bothered worrying about it, such is my general indifference". And that's how I feel today- I cannae be fashed.

Having thought about it in preparation of writing this post, I'm not entirely sure why I feel this way. Could it be that my scratchy throat has emerged into a full blown cold, stuffing my head with hay and confuzzlement while I sneeze and blow my sleepwalking way through work? Or something more pernicious- a deep seated emotional weariness with the whole process? I don't know.

Truth be told, whatever the reason, I feel completely bone tired right now. Exhausted down to my core. And more than a little numb. That worries me some, given that it is so early in the process to be so...done in.

Infertility feels like an unhappy infatuation, a desperate crush. I have pursued the object of my affection relentlessly for over a year now. I have flung myself, repeatedly, recklessly and wantonly at my dream. And in return, not received so much as a backward glance. Never mind returning my phone calls or love letters- conception, pregnancy, or motherhood don't even know I exist. My desire has been so wholly unrequited for so long now that I have trouble imagining how I am going to keep up the chase indefinitely. I mostly feel the way I used to on the morning after a big party, having made a complete bunny boiling fool of myself in front of somebody I really liked.

Having had my heart stomped on ten ways to Christmas is something I have experienced before in my life, particularly one really ugly and extended episode. It was made worse because I willingly put myself in that position again and again. And it took an enormous feat of self-love to elevate myself beyond what, in retrospect, what a totally unnecessary cycle of pain. Sometimes lately I find myself feeling like my dalliance with infertility is becoming all too familiar, too similiar.

One of the most refreshing things about going on holiday was the minor epiphany that I could probably one day be happy without children. That I really could imagine some sort of life for us that didn't include children. Since then I have drawn back a little, reminding myself that- almost undoubtedly- there is a gaping chasm in reality between going on a fun holiday with the two of us without worrying about family commitments, and facing down an entire lifetime without a family. But it did plant a little seed in my mind, one that now occasionally whispers, "You don't have to do this, you know. You don't have to keep beating your head against the wall. You can make the pain go away by accepting things as they are, by resigning yourself to a childless life. By not trying- if it happens, if happens, but so be it."

This is confusing. We had already decided we didn't want to settle for things as they are. But I also don't relish the idea of the ongoing emotional rollercoaster that this process appears to involve. You know, I guess I'm just not all that het up about the idea that we finally get to take ourselves to the infertility clinic, a place I profoundly hoped that we would never see the inside of. I'm not sure I have any faith that we will get any answers soon, if at all. I'm not sure that those answers are going to be the ones we want.

And all the while, the voice in my head, so seductive, so compelling. That giving up is the best thing I could do. That I should just accept it. That I was never the type of woman who was so sure motherhood was the only option, however achieved. So why struggle like this? Why do this to myself?

The answer, I think, is this: because I also don't like the feeling that voice gives me. I don't really buy into notion that all I have to do is stop trying and all will be well. Above all, because the voice reminds me of the giant disembodied brain, IT in A Wrinkle in Time sucking my will, stealing my choice. Feeding the lie that doing what seems easiest right now is actually that- easy.

I know that one day it really may be time to stop. And I hope if that day comes, the good insights of the minor epiphany are not too far behind. That we won't be too worn down to make the choice. That it will be just that- a choice-rather than an slow, exhausted deflating. That until then, I can bring myself to feel something other than resigned weariness.

That I wake up on Wednesday, and remember, again, why we began down this road in the first place. How we arrived here. And where we want to go.


At 9:51 PM, Blogger Jo said...

"Exhausted numbness." Yep.

I get it. Oh, how I do.

However your life unfolds, whatever decisions you find yourself making, I wish you peace, and renewal, and the opportunity to turn that astonishing writing ability to something that isn't tearing your heart out.

I can't think of a less potentially cheesy way to say this, so I'll just leave it at: You are beautiful.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Lia said...

Wow. I feel like I could have written that post myself, complete with A Wrinkle In Time reference. (I LOVED those books). So, there are others out here that are also hearing that little voice. And who are also suspicious of its motives. I hope you are able to find some peace and balance.

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Soper said...

Know EXACTLY what you mean. There is this bone-crushing exhaustion behind me lately, needling at me to put down the thermometer and suppositories and just give up. IT ISN'T GOING TO WORK, it says. SAVE YOURSELF THE PAIN. FIND AN ADOPTION AGENCY. DECIDE BETWEEN CHINA AND THE UKRAINE.
How important is it that my baby look like me?
Am I willing to do this much longer?
If I stop, will the pain go away?

At 10:52 PM, Blogger Jen P said...

You can sort of buy yourself some time by thinking that the further into the process you go or the longer you keep trying before committing to a certain procedure. And then one day you wake up and realise it's been 3 years and it ain't gonna happen. That feeling of exhaustion is overwhelming.

I hope it goes well at the ASS CON. I really, really hope there are lots of answers and hope and optimism. And I hope there are a whole lot of good things coming your way.

Best Wishes Mare

At 10:58 PM, Blogger E. said...

How I love that book...and how IT always frightened me!

Beautiful post, Mare. I'm sorry you have to see the inside of Ass Con Centre. I'm glad your appointment is here, though. I pray you get some answers, and some fruitful help.

At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mare. I've been lurking for a while, but feel I must post to point out that if anyone could benefit from a Horse's Ass Conception center, it would be a barren mare! Wishing you the best of luck. Love your writing and especially your notion of the infertility island. The scenes on the dock exactly capture my dazed comings and goings...

Anne {ManhattanAnne)

At 2:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes Mare, brilliantly said as usual.

A desperate crush -- what a brilliant analogy.

Yes, numbness, that is exactly how I feel.


At 2:23 AM, Blogger Sister Sunshine said...

Good luck, whatever happens!
: )

At 5:51 AM, Blogger lobster girl said...

I wish you much luck at the Ass Con Centre (Center?). I remember that feeling, that the RE clinic was the last place I wanted to be. But it may also be the place for answers. I hope you find them.

And as for the exhaustion. Yes, I know what you ... snoooorrrrrrrrre....

Oh, where was I? Right. I know what you mean. It's fucking exhausting. Please take a nice long drink of whatever it is that sustains you (oxygen, brandy, chocolate, whatever) and dive on through. I'm rooting for you, Mare.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger sherry said...

I need to settle for how things are. That should hold over for all parts of your life...status quo? Never good enough.

Mare, I can't tell you how glad I am you're here, and of course, I wish you all the successes in the world, and, in the process of getting those, much sanity your way, as well.


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