Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wizards, Witches and Woodland Creatures

No princess and prince reach “happily ever after” on their own.  Inevitably, a supporting character helps out along the way.  Sometimes it is a wizard or good witch casting spells that help the couple past certain obstacles.  Other times, characters like the “woodland creatures,” the unsung heroes of fairy tales (they don’t even get proper names), are working in the background, supporting the couple as they go through their journey.

In the fertility fairy tale, there also characters that provide a tremendous amount of help in getting people their positive pregnancy test.  There are the wizards and good witches (RE’s, GYN’s, M.D.’s and nurses), coming up with magical formulas and protocols, trying to make a miracle happen.  These health care providers devote their career to weathering the emotional roller coasters that their patients take them on, tirelessly working to get infertility patients from the point of despair upon diagnosis to the elation of the positive pregnancy test.  Most of the healthcare providers I’ve come in contact with, who work in the “infertility field,” work long and often unconventional hours.  They frequently bear the brunt of misdirected anger. And most importantly, they genuinely care about the outcome of each patient’s journey.  They play the dual role of counselors and healers.  They have very intimate relationships with their patients (as we all know too well) for months and sometimes years…watching the highs and lows.  Then, once a positive pregnancy test is achieved, the thankful couple usually drops out of sight.  I think that it is probably difficult to stay friendly with the people who played a role in bringing your baby about, as you never expected to need them and, once pregnant, you seek to focus on the happiness of the present and future rather than the pain of the past. (I am, of course, speculating about this, as I have never had a positive pregnancy test).  In spite of knowing that they will be left behind at the end of their patients’ journeys, they continue to do their magic because they care.

Then there are the “woodland creatures.”  To me, these are frequently the coolest characters in traditional fairy tales because who would ever expect a bird or a mouse to help out?  These are the characters that the princess may not know very well, but she still considers them friends.  They are not paid to be awesome and they don’t have supernatural powers, but they provide the hands-on support when the princess is in dire need of friends.  Don’t take offense, but all of you are my “woodland creatures.”  (You are all princesses, princes, queens, etc., too…but for the purposes of this article you are also playing the role of “woodland creatures”).  I don’t know your names or much about the other aspects of your lives, but I know you are in the trenches with me, supporting me in spite of our anonymity.  You are there when I’m awake at 2:00 a.m. in a panic and you will be there to share in the joyous occasion when I finally get a second line on the pee stick.  This story wouldn’t be complete without you and I want to thank each of you for playing a role in my fairy tale.         

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

I'm happy to be your woodland creature (though I'd prefer not to be furry...) I agree that these are some of the most instrumental people in fairy tales, and IF.