Monday, February 09, 2009

Fear

There are four ways you can handle fear. You can go over it, under it, or around it. But if you are ever to put fear behind you, you must walk straight through it. Once you put fear behind you, leave it there.
~Donna A. Favors

213.2

I came to a realization during my Saturday morning acupuncture session. For those of you who've never had acupuncture--I was in this category until a few weeks ago--once the practitioner inserts the needles, you basically just lie still and relax for 20-30 minutes once they're in. You really can't move around because you'd dislodge the needles. Because of this forced inactivity, it's easy to relax and to meditate (or cogitate) during acupuncture.

I have been growing increasingly more unhappy every month that I've been off the pill and have not gotten pregnant. This month things finally got to the point where I spent a good portion of Friday crying off and on. (I *rarely* cry. Normally I can go months and months without crying over anything.)

Because this type of reaction is so unlike me, I found myself analyzing the reasons behind it. Trying to conceive and being unsuccessful month after month is frustrating, to be sure. Frustration is usually not enough to make me cry, though. A huge part of trying to get pregnant is completely outside my control. Really, all I can do is take care of my body, have sex at the right times, and pray. But although I hate not being in control, especially over big things feeling out of control also isn't something that I'd generally cry over.

As I lay on the acupuncture table relaxing, it finally came to me. I am upset because I am afraid. Afraid that I won't ever get pregnant. Afraid that I will never bear a child of my own. Afraid that I will never be a mother. And afraid of the toll that this may eventually take on my relationship with MM.

It is fear, not frustration or impatience, that has made me cry. Fear and uncertainty. Fear that has developed over the past ten months that I have been off the pill and not gotten pregnant. Fear that seems less unfounded with each passing unsuccessful cycle.

It's not the waiting that's getting to me. Hell, I have already waited many, many years to even TRY to get pregnant. I waited years to meet someone I could marry, someone I loved enough and with whom I had a healthy enough relationship to have a fighting chance of success in marriage. I am experienced at waiting for things. I may not like it, but I'm accustomed to it.

If I knew for sure that I would get pregnant someday, so long as we keep trying, I believe that my fear would subside. But in this arena, there are no guarantees for any woman who is almost 38 years old and has never conceived. There is no way, short of divine intervention, for me to ever KNOW that I will eventually be pregnant.

I don't know that there is a way to walk through this fear. Certainly I have visualized a life where I never have a child of my own. . . . but deep down inside, I never thought that it would be the life I'd ultimately live.

I will say that it's been a recurrent theme in my life that few things turn out the way I thought they would. Each time life has taken an unexpected turn, I've ended up being happier with the life I have than with the life I had planned.

I can't imagine, though, that I would ever get to a point where I'd be truly OK with never being a mother. But maybe I will.

4 comments:

Valerie said...

I wish I could hug you through the internet. If nothing else, the accupuncture has brought you meditative time and clarity. I hope it brings you even more. xoxo

Lisa said...

I understand 100% and could have written that myself a few years ago. I did conceive luckily and had my first child 5 days shy of my 39th birthday and my second when I was almost 41 (I am 44 now)
I think the accupuncture is awesome, though I've never tried it myself. I was big into herbs when I was TTC and was taking FemRestore (has Vitex and some other herbs in it)when I conceived. I also used the product 'Instead' after sex to keep the swimmers closer to their target. Please feel free to e-mail me if you want to chat - truly.

Mo said...

I remember back when I thought I wanted a child. I was heartbroken when month after month, year after year, I went without getting pregnant. Only to find out that because of my PCOS I wouldn't be able to conceive without assistance. I realized at that point that being a mother wasn't something I really and truly wanted. I was doing it because I had nothing else to do in my life. I had a husband and a home and I thought that was the next step. You are much farther ahead of me in life and you're very successful. You have the home, the career, and the husband. Children is your next step, if that it truly what you want.

Telling someone to relax does nothing, of course. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. The only advice I can give you now is for both you and MM to get tested ASAP to find out if you're even able to conceive naturally. Once you have that information then go from there.

TUWABVB said...

Fear of the unkown is something I experience on a regular basis. It's a balance between taking control of your life and wrestling your destiny to a certain goal, or sitting back and allowing life to flow as it's supposed...I mean, I could sit back and do nothing, or change my fate. And I think I'm afraid to do the wrestling. I get it.