Thursday, October 21, 2004


My sister's wedding was this past weekend. Everything went well. Nobody fell on the cake. She's married.

The whole weekend was a little difficult for me, emotionally, though. My sis had seven bridesmaids (I was matron-of-honor. Yikes! I am a matron!) and one of the others was a girl who was in the same infertility boat as me this past year or two. We aren't close friends, but she is a really informed smart cookie, so we had talked on the phone several times to discuss treatment options and the fruits of our collective research. Anyway, to make a long story short, I'm pregnant and she's on her third IUI (that's intrauterine insemination for you non-infertiles.)

Every time a relative would squeal over my protuding belly, I felt myself cringe for my friend's sake. I had uncles snapping upclose pictures of my tummy, aunts calling me "Mommy" and my father including his future grandfather status during the toast. I felt such conflicting emotions. I couldn't "turn off" my pregnancy for the weekend, nor would I want to. I've wanted to be here for so long, I am enjoying every minute of it. But part of me wanted to hide in the bathroom and cry because I want her to have that joy as well.

We passed most of the weekend in uncomfortability until right before the wedding. We ended up having a long discussion about all her procedures and I told her about my survivor's guilt. It helped a lot. I understand her pain, but I didn't try to give her helpful advice or anything. And I have none to give. I never got to the point of IUIs, and I probably wouldn't have, since we had decided not to go that direction if I hadn't gotten pregnant. Everybody has an end point. My end was the laparoscopy, then take scuba lessons until we decided on either adoption or no kids (Well, that was my plan.) I think that my friend is nearing her end as well. She is starting to have that look to her eyes that I had, that sound in her voice. Acceptance, I suppose. But not hopelessness and bitterness. I'm not worried about her. She is going to be okay, whatever happens.

Life is not fair sometimes. I used to be a big proponent of fairness in my youth. My dad always said, "Whoever said life was fair, Ellen?" I would nod, but secretly roll my eyes. He was just an old jaded man and he didn't understand how things were supposed to work. But God started using a jackhammer on my fairness principle and just kept going until I "got" it. And I think that I get it now. My dad was right. Life isn't fair. Life is painful. There is going to be infertility and cancer and death and car wrecks and failed careers and stubbed toes. But I am so thankful that God jackhammered me, because I think that when I accepted the inevitability of the crap, I finally accepted the blessings as well. It honestly wasn't until I felt the heartache in my life that I felt the contentment.


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