Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Infertile Brain

I loved this post by one of my bloggy friends, Augusta,  because it captured some of the feelings I have been having as it relates to our upcoming adoption.  Augusta is referring to embryo donation, but I think it applies to all of us with infertile brains.  She said, "Do I have to leave the safe platform of my fears and leap wholeheartedly, believing unequivocally that this process will work. Is it reasonable to be afraid, and does being afraid mean that it will fail? Ah, the superstitious workings of an infertile's brain. I tell ya."

This is where I am in my "infertile brain".  I have become accustomed to not having things work out in the infertile world I live in, so I am getting a little nervous that I my heart might be crushed through adoption.  I know I should be positive and I am, but my track record makes me a little skittish at times.  I am still hesitant to buy anything.  I am still hesitant to tell hardly anyone.  A few people when they hear the news have excitedly said I need to have a baby shower, but I don't want to have a baby shower until after the baby comes.  I wish I could just let my fears go, but frankly I am terrified.  

What do I fear?  I fear my heart will be broken.  I fear all the incessant questions people will ask about the adoption. I fear the questions that would come if things did fall through.  I fear I will have wasted all this time being afraid when I could've been celebrating.  I just feel like a deer in the headlights paralyzed and hoping the car won't crash into me.

So, I guess I need to answer the questions Augusta posed. 
I think I must leave the safe platform of my fears.  

I think of when pools used to have super duper high diving boards.  Every summer I would go to the pool w/my siblings and we would jump off the diving boards.  The high one was so scary though.  I would usually have enough courage to do it once or twice a summer.  It would be so scary and I dreaded walking up the stairs to the diving board.  But once I was at the top, fear and all, I needed to jump.  I wouldn't dream of going back down the stairs with everyone staring at me wimping out.   I don't know that I ever leaped off the diving board.  I think I merely walked off hoping I would make it to the bottom alive.  When I hit the water and realized I had survived, I would feel relieved.  Proud of myself for doing it, but I never really enjoyed it.  

So, I guess that is my answer.  Maybe this whole process is like going off that super duper high diving board.  It must be done.  Maybe now I am older and wiser to be able to leap or jump off the board with more confidence that I will make it as scary as it might be.  And who knows, maybe I will enjoy it a bit.  But I do think it is reasonable to be afraid.  Just as every year going off that diving board was just as scary as it had been the previous year.  But even though I was afraid, every year, I survived.  

So, I would have to say no, being afraid does not mean failure, being afraid means being human, infertile or not. 

Will I let my fear get the best of me and send me back down the stairs afraid to go off the diving board?  No, not a chance.  I am infertile but who cares?  I am adopting a beautiful baby in a few weeks.  I will try not to let fear rob me of this excitement.   

I am going to jump in the pool.
Come join me.  Let's have a pool party.


  1. I don't know you, but I love your blog. This post is wonderful and encouraging. We're not at the point of building a family yet, but there other things I fear while wishing to be excited instead. I'm praying that everything goes smoothly for you guys and that God will give you grace during the wait.

  2. Thank you for the shout out, sweet jrs. I'm so thankful that we can be in each others' lives and support one another through this healing. Perhaps walking forward even with our fears is the best way to stay engaged with the experience of being human. No need to shut any feelings down, just keep walking forward, fear and all. So, I'm jumping in the pool with you and ready for a pool party!!

    I understand that a baby shower may be too much. I feel like waiting until after the baby arrives might be more comfortable for you. And you get to have a say in that (hopefully!).

    Sending you many hugs. I hold so much hope for your adoption. What an amazing mom you will be.

  3. What a great reminder to find joy in this journey, even if it means juping off a cliff into the unknown. Sitting on the side lines being afraid certainly isn't joyful, but it is so hard to trust that everything will work out. Thanks for a great post, it couldn't have come at a better time :)

  4. Welcome to the pool! The water's not bad, and since it's only grown-ups in here, there's no pee!! :)

    You're going to do great, I have no doubt. I'm here with you!

  5. JUUUUUMP! Enjoy the excitement and anticipation! I know it is quite difficult to, though. But, try to live in the moment, day by day, not worrying about the what-ifs. Jump in head first!


  6. I'm so glad it's only weeks you have left to wait for the baby, rather than months. You can do this!

  7. mmm, i so hear you on this! infertility is such a heartbreaking experience that it's hard to expect anything but heartbreak thereafter...i'm jumping into that pool with you, but i might be wearing floaties or hanging on to the edge for a while!

  8. Oh honey do I ever relate to this post! I am terrified of ever having a baby shower until I physically have a baby in my arms. I just can't imagine the heartbreak again. It's so hard all the things that should come easily for us do not in the world of infertility. But you're so right in that the risk is so worth it for the end result. What you said reminded me of one of my favorite quotes...
    "When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly." --Barbara J. Winter
    May we all be taught how to fly...much love my friend:)

  9. I sooo get this! I don't want to do too much or have too much ready because I am afraid all the stuff will sit in a room I am not using and be a constant reminder of what I don't have. Somedays are better than hasn't been such a great day. Sometimes it just gets to me. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.