Imagination Cul-de-sac

I am not crazy, but today I heard something profound. It didn’t come in yoga or in some great piece of literature. Rather, it came from a 45 second clip I heard on NPR. Some musician was talking about the power of the imagination and how we can imagine the path before us. The problem with most of us, he said, is that we’re in an imagination cul-de-sac. This got me thinking. I don’t believe that everything I want is out there. I’m not pessimistic; I’m just a pragmatist. I also don’t believe I can “call in” everything I want if I focus hard enough. I’m not lazy; I just know that bad shit does happen to good people … like me and all the other infertile girls I know. So why did this idea of an imagination cul-de-sac strike a cord? Well, I think it did because I’ve been in an infertility cul-de-sac for more than two years. And I’m ready to break out. I know that this desire to break out comes with some risk. My breakout might include kids or it might not. Both options come with their own pros and cons, but, regardless, I’m just tired of where I am. I’ve put a lot of things on hold for our baby-making efforts. We’ve put a lot of time and energy and money into it, too, and we’re ready to move. (Not to go all English teacher on my readers, but this is what James Joyce focused most of his work: stuckness.) We’re ready to be somewhere else. Aren’t you?

Here’s to a new road map, a new street, a new neighborhood. Here’s to a road that doesn’t involve a turnaround or a dead end. Here’s to the certainty that anything, everything is better than being stuck in the land of if. Here’s to using the word when.

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The Singing Bowl

Like most obedient infertile women, I go to an acupuncturist. I’ve been seeing her for close to two years and I’ve come to realize acupuncture is some of the best medicine I’ve ever received. So when I headed in for my visit on Thursday, my first post-failed IVF visit, I was greeted with a warm hug and lots of love from my practitioner. Not only is she awesome, but she’s also an IVF survivor. Yes, she went through all of the hoops and now has a ten month old. So I appreciate not only her professionally but also personally because she’s been where I am right now. And she gets it all.

She said she had been thinking about my treatment all day and thought that doing something different, doing something more focused on grief than fertility, would actually help me more as I moved through our failed IVF. Not one to turn down a knowledgeable person, I hopped on the table, assumed a new position (face-down) and let the fun begin. It was crazy.

First she put in a ton of needles, then she used some white angelica oil, then she struck the singing bowl, and that’s when the magic happened: my mother made an appearance. She’s dead. I know I have taken a lot of medication lately, but even my acupuncturist saw her. Wild! I was asked to focus on white light on my left side and to send my grief away to my left as the vibrations rang through the needles. My arm tingled, my heart pumped, my mother was there to catch it all. Seriously. Then I was asked to focus on gold light and the tingling faded along with everything else, including my mom. Funny thing is, the tightness in my neck was gone, too, as were my feelings of sorrow and self-pity. It’s like my mother just came and took them from me. My dad always tells me to talk to her, to ask her for help. So while she wasn’t as helpful as I would have liked during IVF, she clearly stepped it up for afterwards. Much appreciated.

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Sweet surrender

“If you fixate on the worst-case scenario and it actually happens, you’ve lived it twice.” — Michael J. Fox

Among the many magazine that make their way into our mailbox, Vanity Fair is one of them. While I love it and the writing, who the hell has time for all of it? But this morning as I lazed around the breakfast table I grabbed the December issue and flipped to the back page for the Proust Questionnaire. How perfect. Who doesn’t love Michael J. Fox (aka Alex P. Keaton)?

I’ll be honest. I can sometimes be a worst case scenario thinker. Usually I call it being a pragmatist, a hopefully realistic person, but I’m not going to lie, I struggle with throwing my beliefs 100% into things that are not within my control. Put me on the starting line of  a race, and I know I can finish. Give me a book to teach, and I’ll nail it. But ask me to believe, to have faith in something I cannot control, and a battle ensues.

Remember that song by Sarah McLachlan, Sweet Surrender? Yea, me too. Did you sing until your head hurt when you sang with your BFF in high school? Me, too. I have no idea what the words are or what the story behind the song is these days, but I’m working on giving in to what my life is dealing me right now. I’m working on that sweet surrender.

My husband and I have fertility issues. We cannot (it seems) get pregnant without medical intervention. Pregnancy, as someone told me today, is something humans have been making happen for thousands of years. No shit! It should be easy. It shouldn’t be this hard. We should be able to have a kid (or two) and we should be able to move beyond this. But, rather than carry around all of those shoulds, I am going to — from here on out — focus on what I’ve got and what I’m going to have. I am going to welcome in the positive thinking and the ideas of a fabulous family with all of my heart. There are a million ways things should go, but for now I am throwing myself into how it is going. I cast off expectations or, at least, I’m trying. Wish me luck.

Meds taken: Repronex, Follistim, Omnitrope
Shots given: 2
What I think of when getting the injection: Puppy dogs
Probiotic pills taken today: 7
Reason for so many pills:
Growing ovaries means slowed GI activity. ;-(

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