We fell in love and we were getting married, and since we found each other later in life, we decided to try to start a family right away. I was turning 33, and the thought of being much older than that and starting a family was scary. Now at the age of 40, I just shake my head at the silly innocence and ignorance of that naive woman. You see, very rarely does life ever go as planned, as we all know. Little did I know I was about to be taking a trip, a journey that would change me forever.
A journey is traveling from one place to another, it has been 7 years into this trip, and as much as I enjoy road trips, this one sucks, it makes me car sick, and being confined in this little space for so long, is making me claustrophobic, I wonder will we ever reach our destination? I can remember being super excited to be going on a road trip to North Carolina when I was a child, we had only gone about 20 miles, and had a flat tire. I can recall these little travel hiccups though the years on different trips, my mom getting sick, and needing to stop, and the only place to stay was a flea bag hotel. Going to the beach and bringing along an inflatable mattress, that leaked all the air out, and getting the bright idea to put it in the van and fill it up at a gas station, and try and figure out how to get it back to the hotel. Things that now, looking back, make us laugh. None of these were planned, foreseen bumps along the road. The thing was, we still ended up getting to our destination, maybe the trip was prolonged, off schedule, not as planned. These bumps had us stopping in places we wouldn’t have, seeing silly side of the road attractions, still enjoying our trip and making memories, regardless of the rough spots.
In the infertility and pregnancy loss community, this unwanted and unchosen path, is often referred to as a journey. This trip, of infertility and loss, is a trip that I have not wanted to be on, neither have any of the other 1 in 8 couples who are diagnosed with infertility, or the 1 in 4 who have experienced pregnancy loss.Those trips, those are the ones that fill us with dread. The trip, or journey one goes on to a hopeful healing from cancer, a journey through job loss to employment , a devastating divorce. The connecting factor in my opinion is the grief that coincides with these journeys. These journey’s, the ones we are on, unwillingly, and certainly not happy about, they are the ones that challenge us along the way, to see the good things, when they are so hard to see. To visit the world’s largest frying pan, to go in the ice cream shop and try that cappuccino crunch ice cream, while you are waiting on the flat to be changed. To put on a pair of running shoes and learn to run, or learn to dance, ride a motorcycle for the first time(and find out you really love it) try something that makes you smile, even when your heart aches so deeply, to live even when it hurts so bad. Will we reach the destination we have planned or hoped for? Maybe, maybe not, but I sure hope we can learn to live, and try our best to enjoy the scenic route we have found ourselves on. Let’s face it some days, we just need to stop at the rest stop and grab a soda, and take a break, and that’s ok, as long as we keep on going after we have stopped to care for ourselves. The arrival at our destination may not end up being the one we were hoping for, but I sure hope we did our best to make the most of it, and hopefully one day look back on it, and maybe even find something that causes us to smile because of it, hopefully we make memories that are not all bad ones on this trip.
Thanks for being on this journey with me,