First off, this is not meant to be a depressing post. It is my attempt to put a bunch of things together that have been floating around in my brain like seaweed. Last Saturday night I got very little sleep. Mo and I had a bit of a quibble earlier over nothing, but otherwise things seemed fine...or were they? I had a twinge of anxiety - that feeling I get which I cannot quite put my finger on. It starts sometimes like a stealth ninja, a bit of unease, edginess, impatience. Everything seems to become personal, especially when I am tired.
That line of Jack Nicholson playing the eccentric loony Melvin Udall kept running through my head "What if this is as good as it gets?" In the past two years our lives together have been occupied with IVF (and for the period of time when IVF was not occupying our lives I created my own mini-drama - but that is another story). IVF sucks, but it does create structure to our personal lives. It has all the key elements of a dramatic presentation, except so far it has always finished with a sad ending.
Nonetheless, somewhere in the back of our minds, when actively wiping away our tears, is the thought of "next time". And that is where Saturday night kicked in - the realization that someday we will get tired of watching this drama (or too poor to pay for it). Hopefully, of course, we will have a happy ending before then, but what if we don't? Playing this out together has been good material for filling our early days of marriage together. What will we do without it? The anxiety - and at the time I didn't know what I was really anxious about - got so bad I felt like popping out of my skin.
I fell asleep and woke up peacefully Sunday, but this feeling of anxiety kept surging through my body the next few days. Mo and I had just spent an amazing few days in the Mayan Riviera. What could be bothering me? In the end, I don't think it is just one thing, but rather the culmination of stressors.
Having this hiatus from IVF cycles has been a good time to regroup. I think going away made us both realize how much we love each other and how good we are together. It doesn't take the drama of IVF to make us work as one. We don't need a reproductive endocrinologist, andrologist, urologist, embryologist, phlebotomist, anesthesiologist, or IVF nurse to make us complete. Baby or no baby we have each other and that is pretty great.
Before we got married, Mo and I discussed our individual dreams and expectations for having children together. I guess I never really seriously entertained the possibility we would have so much difficulty and I never contemplated the scenario where we would be post-IVF with no kids (PINK). We have now have had that conversation and I feel much better, much more grounded.
In "As Good as It Gets," Melvin counters the statement that everybody has terrible stories to get over: "Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad." I guess I am just coming back around to realizing that Mo and I love each other and our lives - no matter what IVF does for us - will be filled with love and friends and noodle salads.
22 hours ago