Saturday, December 20, 2008

62 - Abundance

The above picture is from our recent holiday party...about 45 guests and a lot of dancing! It was a blast!...who knew that I would be using the word "blast" in a context NOT associated with embryos :-).

All of us infertiles laugh (perhaps out loud, but often in our heads) when we are told "you just need to relax" or "the minute you stop trying so hard it will happen". Using the cancer analogy that I have often seen on other blogs, this is the equivalent of telling a cancer patient that maybe they would have a better chance of getting cured if they just stopped treatment, i.e., "the minute you back off on the chemo and quit trying so hard to get well, I bet the cancer will go away". I'm not comparing the trauma of going through cancer to the trauma of infertility, but I am making the comparison that both are medically diagnosed issues that are most often not "fixable" (for lack of a better term) without some form of intervention. It truly has nothing to do with "relaxing"...if the eggs are poor quality and the sperm won't swim, relaxing isn't the solution. I have believed this with all my heart...for the most part...

I digress, but will pull this together in the end of the post. So, for the past 6 years I have done everything aside from selling my soul to obtain a full-time professorship. For 6 years, a full-time position has been dangled in front of me like a carrot - and I have ran as hard as possible to catch it. This past spring, I just realized I was tired. I no longer had it in me to keep chasing that position. I gave up. I applied for Social Work school and got in. I decided that I would be a social worker, still teach part-time as I went through social work school, and then make my complete exit from the field of aviation when I graduated in two or three years. Well, about a week ago, I was told that a full-time position is in fact opening up this spring - the first one in the department in almost 9 years. It's real this time (as confirmed with a variety of sources), and it looks like I have a very good shot at it (upon getting accepted to a PhD program this spring). I've grasped on to this so hard for so long...and now that I have given up, it's come into fruition.

Another example - social work school kicked my butt this semester - I was changing careers, the courses were really academically challenging, and I was trying to manage it coming off of our BFN (we got our BFN the week classes started). My adviser, being familiar with the infertility process, tried hard to convince me that I shouldn't take classes this semester. About half way through, I decided that I would give up the hope of pulling off good grades, and just be proud of myself if I just made it through. I would try to learn as much as I could, with grades being a secondary concern. Those who know me know that this kind of attitude is not in my make-up - at all. Grades just posted this morning - I got a 4.0 in all three classes, which puts me in the running for some sizable scholarships. So now I will spend next semester making some serious choices - but they are choices I will be making because my life feels filled with abundance.

A third example has to do with our lifestyle - the aviation lifestyle. I have fought it hard for 10 long years...depressed at the holidays because we can't celebrate them in the traditional fashion - in our home, with a fire, around the tree, etc., etc.. Well, this year I've decided to embrace our lifestyle. I will be spending Christmas with Alex in Venice, then we will go to D.C. for a couple of days, then I'll go back with Alex to Pisa...and I am actually looking forward to it. We're travelers. That's who we are - that's our life. My view of the world has changed so much as a result of the places we've been - some of them I really wanted to go to, others I was quite resistant - but either way, my perspective on life always changes for the better. Our lifestyle provides amazing opportunities for us, and, hopefully, some day, our children. I gave up on wanting the homebody life...and it's the holidays, and I'm not depressed.

So, how does this tie in to infertility? Do I think that giving up and "relaxing" on having a biological child will make it happen? No. It doesn't mean that we will quit being proactive in our infertility process - either with adoption or continued treatment. But the events in the last couple of weeks have made me really ponder the idea of letting go a little - if even all that does is make the journey a little more pleasurable and bearable along the way.

Happy Holidays to all!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the job and your grades and you're new change of heart! That's amazing. While I was reading your post, it made me think of a quote from "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron. She writes:

"When we reach our limit, if we aspire to know that place fully--which is to say that we aspire to neither indulge nor repress--a hardness in us will dissolve. We will be softened by the sheer force of whatever energy arises--the energy of anger, the energy of disappointment, the energy of fear. When it's not solidified in one direction or another, that very energy pierces us to the heart, and it opens us. This is the discovery of egolessness. It's when all our usual schemes fall apart. Reaching our limit is like finding a doorway to sanity and the unconditional goodness of humanity, rather than meeting an obstacle or a punishment."

It seems to me like this is where you've arrived. And what a great place to be! I'm excited for what's coming up in your future. But in the meantime, enjoy your winter holiday vacation. Just between you and me, I would MUCH rather be in Pisa for Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Lost in Space said...

Wow, this was a really great post! I love your perspective and love to see you both smiling in that picture.

At an adoption seminar I attended earlier this year, one of the speakers used the phrase, "We're pushed by the pain until we're pulled by the vision." I think you are transitioning into this next step quite nicely. I hope you feel some sense of relief.

Thanks for sharing this post with us all. It was something I really needed to read right now.

Jill said...

Happy Holidays to you as well! It sounds like you are in a better place. I hope that many amazing things are headed your way very soon.

DAVs said...

What a great post! I love the word "abundance" and it is so fitting as a title. Gee, that sounded stupid--I guess that's why you picked it :)
And your holiday travel plans sound AMAZING.

I have many comments/questions but I'll just send you an email :)

Happy Happy Happy Holidays!

Sky said...

You're absolutely right - relaxing doesn't improve our chances of having a baby but it sure does make the process of living much happier in the process of trying to build that family. I'm so happy for you that you're feeling more relaxed.

I know you guys are weighing a lot of options and just as a addition to pursuing an adoption path, have you guys thought to ask CCRM to put you on the donor embryo waiting list? It can take up to a year but their rates are so good that the chances of success are equally good. I know that they won't do an anonymous donor embryo transfer without having 6 blasts to give to the recipients - so that's really great too.

I'm a big fan of putting multiple plans in place and then sitting back to relax feels especially good, 'cause you know something's going to hit.

Wishing you two a very happy holiday and a BIG wonderful surprise in 2009!

natenang654 said...

First, congrats on your grades and having options that YOU get to choose from in the near future (job, career change, etc.)!!

Your post has me thinking, too...what you've described is often what happens to me, too. The hard part is the wait. Waiting to see what happens next. Hoping that the wait goes by fast and you truly enjoy your holiday travels!

Also, thanks for your visit to my we get closer to CCRM (there's that waiting again ;-) I'll be sure to check w/ you on any questions, thank you for the offer! Happy Holidays!