The Perils of Letting Go

(Warning: This is kind of heavy. But then again, you’re reading an infertility blog. Were you expecting sunshine and rainbows?)

After a few month hiatus (brought to you by the letter “I” for Incompetence Insurance,) I’m back to seeing Dr. Macaw, my therapist. The timing could not be better, really. After my non-emotional tubing incident a few weeks back, I could tell that something wasn’t right. Luckily, Macaw has finally got Incompetence to accept her claims, though comically they keep sending her payments to a different address. Baby steps, my friends.

At last week’s session, I brought her up to speed on what has happened in the past few months. Mom is still in the hospital. I’m still infertile, though now at least I have some plan of attack. And yet I feel more detached from my life than before.

I started talking about my upcoming hysteroscopy. To be 100% open and honest, this scares the crap out of me. More than anything I’ve done in my entire life. This is not normal for me- I’m pretty fearless. If something scares me, that only gives me more reason to do it. Screw comfort zones!

I’ve been thinking about it since my appointment was scheduled last week. I didn’t used to be afraid of medical stuff. Why now?

“Because you think you’re going to die.”

The moment Dr. Macaw said it, I burst into tears because I knew it is true. I have never ever been afraid of dying– whenever that thought popped in my head, I would feel okay with it because I knew all the people I love know how much I love them. I could go out as long as I had that covered. I didn’t recognize this fear because frankly I’ve never felt it before.

I get that my fear is a smidge irrational. The risks from a hysteroscopy are so low. I’m having this done by a doctor I trust at a well-respected hospital in what is arguably the medical capital of the country.

But I cried anyway because it hit a nerve. As we talked more, it came up again and again. I can’t plan anything anymore. I don’t want to move on with my life. Get this, I’ve saved up more than enough for a down payment, but I have no desire to buy a house. I’ll drive by lovely homes that I could afford, and think “That’s nice… for other people.”

I know you all don’t know me that well, but trust me when I say that this is WEIRD. Not just the house thing, but all of it. I’m a planner! I make responsible life choices! Now I’m seriously entertaining getting a tattoo and picking up smoking again. Because who cares?

If I start working backwards, I can find the origins. I pull on the thread, following it back to November of last year. My mom went in for a routine test, woke up two months later. She has spent 10 months of her life in a hospital bed. My greatest hope for her is that she can get checked out by the end of the year, and into rehab. Not home, but into a rehab center. I dare not think much beyond that.

IF teaches us that nothing is certain. But right now LIFE seems to be telling me that all plans are for suckers.

So how do I let go without losing myself?



  1. My Perfect Breakdown · September 22, 2014

    Yup, that is totally heavy!
    I figure, one of the hardest things I’ve been dealing with lately is watching all my life plans go to completely sh!t – i.e. career, family planning, etc. Although I am not facing anything like a parent being very ill, the point I’m trying to make is that, for me, watching and accepting that my life plans are not going according to the plan I envisioned has been excruciating. One thing that has helped me is trying to let go of who I thought I was, and accepting who I am. I don’t believe I can ever go back to being the same person I was before RPL, and I’m trying to figure out what that means and where my personal identity is in all of it. My personal identity used to be wrapped up in my career successes, and now that’s gone too, so at times I’m a bit lost. This means, something as simple as trying to find happiness in all of this has been something I work at daily.
    I don’t have the magical wand that allows me to say or do something amazing but what I can offer you is my support and my love. (Wouldn’t a magical wand be just amazing?)
    Also, I do hope your mom continues to improve and gets moved to a rehab center.

    • thecommonostrich · September 23, 2014

      That’s the thing about all this. It isn’t just that you’re having trouble having a kid. That’s only one piece of the loss. There is a much bigger loss here for some of us. (Are there people who have experienced IF who are still rational, stable humans? WHERE ARE THEY?)

      I like the idea of accepting who I am now vs. the person I once was. The trouble is just liked the old me soooo much. 😉

      • My Perfect Breakdown · September 23, 2014

        If I ever meet someone who hasn’t been completely changed by IF I’ll be shocked.

        Oh, I feel you about liking the old me! I didn’t have a problem with the old me, I really liked me. But, the old me wasn’t going to help me survive RPL/IF, so I’m trying to find some version of a new me that I like that also doesn’t let RPL/IF control my entire being.

      • thecommonostrich · September 24, 2014

        You’re totally blowing my mind right now. Yes, the old me didn’t know how to cope with all this. She was awesome, but she hadn’t stared any of this crap in the face.

        The new me? I don’t really know who that is yet. I’m working on it, thought. 🙂

      • My Perfect Breakdown · September 24, 2014

        Yup, welcome to the club! Good luck “finding” yourself. (FYI, reading self-help books has not helped me).

  2. Stefanie @ My Crazy Beautiful Life · September 22, 2014

    I wish I had the answer, but if you discover it, please share 🙂

    • thecommonostrich · September 23, 2014

      Oh, I’ll share. I’ll make t-shirts and bumper stickers too.

  3. julieann081 · September 22, 2014

    I understand this more than words can say. This struggle is real and difficult. My thoughts are with you and your mom as you continue through your journey. If you want/need to talk about this, I’m here. Hugs! ❤

    • thecommonostrich · September 23, 2014

      Thanks, dear. I really appreciate knowing that there are folks out there who get this.

      • julieann081 · September 23, 2014

        Hugs! ❤

  4. conceptionallychallenged · September 22, 2014

    Phew. After what happened to your mom, your fear is totally understandable. I’m not sure what to do though… Maybe hope that, while you’re planning for the worst, life throws something unexpected but beautiful your way? Or, if that seems too much for the moment, take it one day at a time?

    • thecommonostrich · September 24, 2014

      Ah, hope… I had almost forgotten that was an option. I think I was too deep down the rabbit hole to see it. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Jennie · September 23, 2014

    I totally relate to what you are saying. That is a scary situation. I hope you find some peace and comfort.

  6. spiritbabycomehome · September 24, 2014

    I lost my mom to cancer after a shocking diagnosis and about 3 years full of suffering, remission, return (with a vengeance). I suddenly got married to someone I didn’t know well enough to be making that kind of commitment. And divorced even faster (because he snapped the minute we were officially hitched – literally lost his mind and eventually I realized with our therapist’s help that it was dangerous). I fell apart when my brother had a baby in the midst of my divorce and grieved my lost opportunity to ever have children like it really was all over. I look back on that 3.5 years and see that was me facing mortality and my idea of motherhood. I was a hot mess. Somehow in the midst of it I graduated law school on the deans list and became a lawyer but do I remember much of law school? No. And not because I was drinking like my classmates. I was overcompensating because I was hurting and lost. I was not myself. I did not know who I was after it all though I knew what I thought I had lost, my mother and my opportunity to be one myself (no, the irony of knowing I’m wired to kill my own babies is not lost on me here).

    Know what? I made it. And so will you. It won’t be easy just as it hasn’t been easy. But you are doing so many things right. You are setting the stage even as you feel a little unhinged.

    I truly hope and pray you making it means holding a baby in your arms as your mother reminds you of what you were like at that age. This is my wish for you in time.

    • thecommonostrich · September 25, 2014

      Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It made me realize that a part of me doesn’t want to accept that what I’m going through is massive. The idea that I wouldn’t be changed by any of this is just not realistic.

      Thank you.

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