Can you give up infertility? Like you give up chocolate for Lent? Is it possible to just walk away? Trade it for another obsession? That’s what I’d like to sign up for. Wouldn’t that be great? At some predetermined time, you just declare, “I’m giving up infertility” and you cut it out of your life.
One of the things I’m discovering about this part of the journey is that I need to extricate myself in some ways from the infertility community as a whole. Now, before anyone accuses me of abandoning my people when they are still in the trenches, let me repeat what I just said. I need to extricate myself in some ways from the infertility community as a whole. I will not walk away from those who have been there for me and those blogs currently on my reading list will stay there, and I will continue to comment (and for my IRL friends, please don’t take this as me saying I am not here to support you – because I am, unconditionally). What I need is to take myself off of the merry-go-round. I have obsessive tendencies, and I can link through blog to blog to blog to blog and immerse myself in other people’s infertility stories and journeys and the problem is that it keeps infertility at the forefront of my consciousness every day. I want to be there for people, I do. But it all becomes overwhelming at times. It’s easy to play the what if game (as in, “she got pregnant with xx diagnosis, what if I could too?”, or “what if we made the wrong decision?”) when you’re spending time trying to immerse yourself in other people’s journeys.
It’s a fine line. How do I acknowledge this community, the one that I’ve leaned into for so long, and yet express that I need to back away? How do I say “thank you” for making me feel less alone, but also say I need a new space where every day isn’t about infertility or babies or pregnancy?
I’ve got one more run before I finish week one of the Couch to 5k program. I have some serious goals for myself when it comes to this, and I’m finding myself reading and learning and changing my patterns in order to make room for running in my life. I need this. I need to make my body work for me. I need to prove I can be successful and that my body won’t fail me. My first goal is completing a 5k race, and even now thinking about the idea of crossing a finish line brings me to tears. It seems unattainable right now. But I. will. do. It. There’s a memorial run locally dubbed “Run because you can” and it’s going to be my new mantra. This morning I got up at 5:30am to run before the day started. Who is this person who does this? Not me.
Or is it? I don’t purport to call myself a runner at this point in the game. But then again, why not? How many runs under my belt do I have to have to be a runner? How many crappy diagnoses or miscarriages or BFN’s do you need to call yourself infertile? Is there really a definition? Sure, you can’t claim infertility just because you didn’t get pregnant the first month trying, and you can’t call yourself a runner because you ran after the ice cream truck last Saturday. But when you’re in the trenches, willing yourself to go forward, to tackle each hurdle head on even though your body rebels against you and your brain tells you to stop, inching on simply because your heart says to keep going, then you’re fighting the fight. Whatever your fight is.
My fight used to be infertility. I will always be an infertile.
And now I’m a runner.