A friend of mine recently referenced the “dreaded two-week wait” as we walked down memory lane, discussing our time stuck in the vortex that is infertility. You might think that people move on and forget when they finally get to the other side. That the anxiety, the sadness, the struggle, and the frustration just fades into our memories as parenthood takes over.
You’re stuck with us, infertility sisters, like it or not.
Some of us will keep trying for more. Some will find success easily the second time around. Others won’t ever have another baby. But whether we give up and move forward, convincing ourselves that we are happy with what we have, or keep on fighting until the bitter end, we will never forget all of you.
And we will never forget that feeling…that utter anxiety…that heartbreaking process…we will never lose touch with the two-week wait.
People have their own strategies for enduring the dreaded waiting period. Some keep so busy that time seems to pass them by. Others obsess about every possible symptom along the way. And some of us (hopefully I wasn’t actually alone in this) spend entirely too much time Google searching “early pregnancy symptoms” – symptoms that we memorized months earlier. Ok, years. There, I said it. Years.
Anticipatory anxiety is a killer. I’m telling you, it doesn’t do anybody any good. I know this. I counsel people about this. I help countless people to gain control over, and eventually let go of, their own anticipatory anxiety. But when it came down to my own, which ate up two weeks out of every month of my life for nearly three years, I was at a loss.
I read. A lot.
I ate dark chocolate M&M’s. A lot.
I watched Ellen DeGeneres. A lot.
But still, I worried. I obsessed. I checked. I took seven bazillion pregnancy tests and was genuinely shocked each time I faced the single line.
I hoped against hope. I prayed for the first time in years (possibly a decade). That felt selfish and wrong, and yet I did it. I wished on wishing stones over and over again. That felt juvenile and a little bit silly, and yet it was the only thing that brought a sense of calm to my otherwise anxiety-ridden world.
And still, I failed.
Over time, I learned to let go.
I learned to get lost in my thoughts without letting my thoughts make me feel lost.
I learned to live in the present and appreciate that my husband was right there with me every second of every day.
And I learned to appreciate the little things: The roses in my yard that made my little world feel sunny, the lattes from The Coffee Bean that always tasted the best, and the fog that made me feel at home despite an impossible distance from my family.
And just when I least expected it…my wait came to an end.
Thinking of all of you stuck in the vortex and hoping you find your moments of peace along the way.
Some of us might make it to the other side, but none of us ever leave the sisterhood.
As for those wishing stones? I’ve passed those to my daughter…here’s hoping you will do the same one day soon.