Monday, January 24, 2005

Waiting for Vizzini

"I'm waiting for you, Vizzini -- you told me to go back to the beginning and so I have. And this is where I am and this is where I'll stay. I will not be moved."

"....when a job went wrong, you went back to the beginning. Well, this is where we got the job so it's the beginning and I'm staying till Vizzini comes. "

Inigo from The Princess Bride*

I once shared a house with a woman who had an entire living room wall filled with self help books. Her life was a a bit of mess, particularly on the relationship front, and she probably needed all the help she could get. You know the type of book- "How to Love Men who Can't Commit to Loving Women who Love Themselves Too Much".

At that stage in my life, I myself was dating a lot and, as it happens, getting dumped a lot. So I confess I also used to make frequent reference to these guides on how to improve my self-esteem, my self confidence, my self worth, my inner smile, be my own best friend, learn to let go, and above all, to move beyond the COMFORT ZONE.

Ah, the Comfort Zone. In a nutshell, the concept that people have certain aspects of life that we are simply used to, and in which we feel safe. Even if change or progression might be a good thing, getting there requires breaking free of the normal safe patterns.

When we decided to try for the three more months before moving to medical treatment, I felt enormous relief. I was going to put in every effort, all those tips and tricks hoarded up like pirate's gold over the last year and half. I hauled out the thermometer again, and renewed my zeal for evening primrose oil and green tea. We promised each other we would not just "babydance" (that horrid phrase), but get down and baby-DISCO, if that's what it takes.

But it has occured to me, as we throw down the gauntlet on yet another cycle, that I remain in familiar waters, old terrain. I know this path so well by now. What was once was an exciting adventure is now rote and mechanistic. So I chart my temperatures' tides. I monitor the secret secretions. And X marks the spot where we dig for buried treasure each night. But I am just repeating the same old story over and over again- there is no suspense now.

Each time we come up empty handed, but not entirely surprised. But it almost doesn't matter anymore if we are trapped, walking in circles in the maze, because at least as long as we remain here, we know there is nothing around the next corner that can bite us. Even if that means there is also nothing around the next corner for us to love.

I am in the TTC Comfort Zone. Moving out of that, to something else- be that drugs, needles, IUI, IVF- is to step off the map. To enter a part of the maze where we have never been, and where the cloud of possible disappointments seem to cast a longer shadow. And once we head off in that direction, I am not sure there is ever a way back.

Strangely, I feel as long as I stick to the road and stay off the moors, I can somehow better take the pain of each monthly failure. I can hang on to the hope, however misguided, that it will one day just happen. But I am not sure whether I will be able to bear it if we attempt medical intervention, and it fails. I really don't. Because then the problem becomes real, in a way I only acknowledge to myself in the darkest moments. Because even after these months of thinking and writing and talking about infertility, you know what? There is a huge part of me that still cannot believe this is happening. To me. To us. It wasn't supposed to turn out like this. I never signed up for this. In fact, fuck this altogether.

I know that soon, it will be time to be brave. That I cannot stay in this place much longer. The maze which leads us nowhere has become a prison rather than a safe haven. I know I must take a deep breathe, and gather every scrap of courage and strength to move to the next stage.

But for the moment, I'm back at the beginning. I will not be moved. I am waiting for Vizzini. I am waiting for something that may never come.

*With thanks to Moogielou for the loan of a theme.


At 11:20 PM, Blogger Anna H. said...

Oh, but you are already brave, dear Mare. And if you end up out on the moors, we will all be there, too...

Until then, waiting with you for Vizzini.


At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mare, I remember thinking that too. Not in such a colorful and clever way, mind you, but thinking I'd never be able to handle the high-tech stuff. But I did. Even handled the losses that resulted. But the only way "out" is "through," as they say. And I know you have the strength for it... you've already shown so much. Plus you're already way out of your comfort zone (office meltdowns and the like are not the stuff of comfort) - so no chastising yourself on that front, ok?
Good luck on the journey,

At 11:40 PM, Blogger lobster girl said...

Sigh. Yes, it's hard to admit that you're exactly where you don't want to be. Where you never thought you could be because ... well because this is YOUR life dammit, and these kinds of things aren't supposed to happen.

You will make the right decisions for you at the time that's right for you. For what it's worth, I can say that for me the hassle and hardship of treatment was preferable to the blind bonking that was getting us nowhere. Treatment is action, if nothing else. And you're plenty strong enough for it, that much I'm sure of.

At 2:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Mare...exactly. So well said, as always. I feel like that now, as I keep one foot 'in' the ttc world and one foot 'out'. This is what I know and I'm in my comfort zone. Not getting a positive doesn't even faze me anymore, it's just part of the routine -- days 1-10, take temperature, check mucus; days 1-28 take progesterone; rinse and repeat.


At 3:37 AM, Blogger E. said...

Here there be Dragons. Another gorgeous post, Mare -- I swear you have a bottomless supply. I'm so glad you share.

I know what you mean -- occasionally I STILL find myself in denial of our plight. It seems absurd, but it's true.

I think you're being damn brave right now. Waiting, and making very sure before you jump on to the next step, is no picnic. Love you.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger Jen P said...


I just wanted to send a comment and make sure you're doing ok. I know how hard it is to sit on that edge and no know whether moving forward will make things better or worse.

You do the best you can, when you can, and we all love you and your brilliant posts.

best wishes

At 5:51 AM, Blogger Soper said...

"Do you hear that, Princess? That's the sound of the screeching eels. They always scream, just before they attack..."

And that is where I sit, today.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Suz said...

After reading your beautiful words, quoting one of my favorite movies, and the comments of others, I started thinking about the scary unknown that you describe so well. On one hand, it's frightening how quickly people adapt as the strange and bizarre becomes the routine. You learn that the jets of fire make a noise before they erupt and then you avoid them. You read, plan, and clear a space in the medicine cabinet. On the other hand, unlike the Princess and Wesley, who at least knew the three dangers of the swamp, we have little idea of what's out there before it hits us and an everpresent awareness that the six-fingered man will be waiting for us when we leave. Yet, in we go. We take our chances and sometimes, sometimes, it turns out okay.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Ana said...

Delurking to say, that was beautifuly written and very touching.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Such a beautiful post. Stepping into the unknown is so scary especially when you want something so badly. Waiting for Vizzini with you.

At 10:08 PM, Blogger Pazel said...

I understand that fear. Without intervention, when it doesn't work you can say that there's always IUI. When I went through my IUIs I knew that there was always IVF. It was when I went to IVF that I was scared to death. There wasn't anything after that. It was a huge investment of my body, emotions, time and money, and absolutely no guarantees. What I found was that I couldn't face continued cycles of business as usual. I had to try for the brass ring. Put it all out there, knowing I could fall flat and broke. There are no guarantees and there is no one who knows the future. Maybe you can do it on your own, or maybe it will be your third IUI or second IVF. No one can tell you. You can only try, and when you've had enough, try something else. Why not... What is that dumb saying... Nothing ventured, nothing gained?


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