Sunday, January 23, 2011

In A Land Far Away...

I think that the second phrase at the beginning of most fairy tales -the phrase “in a land far away” - is used to distance the reader from the story.  After all, we know that fairy tales don’t mirror the world that we live in.  So if we are going to immerse ourselves into the tale and believe that it is possible, we need a way to explain the discrepancies between our world and the world in the tale.  “Ah…But it happened in a land far away” usually does the trick.

For a long time, I felt like the stories I heard about people getting pregnant must be happening in a “land far away,” because I certainly didn’t see them happening to me or the people around me.  But then one of my friends became that fabled “signed up for adoption after being told she couldn’t have a baby with her own eggs, only to find out she was pregnant” girl.  Another friend became the “failed to get pregnant after multiple ART procedures and then got pregnant naturally while relaxing on vacation” girl.  All of the urban pregnancy myths were coming true around me.  I even had one friend who had four failed IVF’s, then ate copious amounts of pineapple for weeks, and got pregnant.  I could no longer distance myself from the clichéd stories by believing that they were fanciful or that they didn’t happen in my world.  And without the “in a land far away” buffer, I was forced to face the reality that the miracle of motherhood happens everyday, all around me, not just in another place that may or may not exist.

Of course, I am happy for my friends, but their successes bring home the point that others are getting their miracles, while I’ve still never experienced a single positive pregnancy test.  All my pee sticks have only had one line, and I’ve been on vacations and “just relaxed” as much as the next gal.  I even ate pineapple until the song “If You Like Pina Coladas” made me nauseated.  No baby.  Which begs the question, if these great fertility fairy tales are coming true in my world, why aren’t they happening to me, too?

In addition to the self-pity and doubt that comes along with the removal of the “land far away” buffer, the fear of hope is also an unfortunate side effect.  That may sound like a weird statement – why would you fear hope?  But for me, hope has not been my friend in the past.  With great hope comes great disappointment if things don’t work out.  My issues with that go back to my last post, regarding “attachments to expectations.” 

My husband is so practical and logical.  He understands the odds of success involved each time we try a different approach to getting pregnant, and he somehow balances practicality with hopefulness.  He loves hearing that my friends have gotten pregnant after they struggled with infertility.  Somehow I think he figures their unconventional successes in as a factor that increases our odds of success.  I like to think that I am also a logical person, but I cannot achieve the balance that he can.  I throw myself into each ART cycle, each alternative therapy, each “natural” try, thinking that if I can just “believe enough” I will get my miracle, too.  When that doesn’t work, my husband takes the whole thing in stride while I become a blob of emotional goop.  I’ve taken hope to an unhealthy place and I am still trying to figure out where the tipping point lies between optimism and setting myself up for disappointment. 

I guess my ultimate point here is that sometimes, for me at least, ignorance is bliss.  I need the “in a land far away” buffer right now because my fertility journey is in such a scary and uncertain place.  While it is probably better to be grounded in reality, sometimes, when things get too scary or to sad, I need the temporary solace provided by the belief that a fairy tale is simply a fairy tale.


S.I.F. said...

I could have written this myself, because I have felt it so many times! Thank you for putting the land far far away into words for me... now, how do we get tickets there?

WindDrop said...

Just found your blog and that was beautiful.
I too have come to fear my level of hope. The higher I climb the worse it will be when I come crashing down...again.
I used to have hope that it will work out "when it's the right time". Honestly, I'm just not sure anymore. At this point, I just work to ovulate and get excited over that. Now I just come to expect the single line. And if I don't test when AF comes I let my mind play tricks on me that maybe it's just implantation bleeding.

ARG. I can't just relax. Besides being a type A I have no clue when or IF I will ovulate.
I was lucky enough to get the fairy tale when I met my husband. Am I being greedy for wanting the fairy tale with a child?

Is it just me, or all the Type A women the one's taking longer to get those 2 lines.

PFM said...

Here from LFCA to welcome you.

Princess Wahna Bea Mama said...

WindDrop - I agree with you about the Type-A thing. All of my fertility friends are Type-A. ALL!!! I would never admit that to anyone outside of the infertility world though. I think it would make it too easy for them to say the dreaded "See. You just have to relax and it will happen."

S.I.F.- Thanks for checking out my post. I checked Fandango and Craig's Babyland tickets. So for now, I wait.

China Doll said...

Just started following you Princess and catching up on your story... This post is exactly how I've been feeling lately.. 2 friends/acquaintances got their magic natural BFP after being told it would never happen. My husband also sees it as a good, positive sign, whereas I'm just as jealous as hell!