Limbo Land Day Six – From the outside looking in – From the perspective of my Brother in Law
When I first heard about this journey, I must admit that I was quite intrigued by it. I found the whole process absolutely fascinating and I have to say, in retrospect, was entirely naive. I was convinced that the story would have a happy ending, and at no point during the process did I have any doubt at all, that the end was already determined, that it was only a matter of time and will, and nothing else. The die was cast, and all that was left to do was to look at the result and marvel in our newest little miracle.
To relish in the magnificence of manufactured medical genius.
When I was initially asked to write this post several weeks ago – I’d planned to write something quite different indeed. In fact, to be honest, the reason I’d waited so long, and why I’d specifically asked to post it at the “end” was simply because I wanted to encapsulate the essence of a man-made-miracle. So sure was I in the outcome, that I’d asked to be humored my rather selfish desire to be able to say “see I told you so”.
I’ve learned more this year then I ever expected to. As an official “IVF Cheerleader” I truly believe that this process of IVF changes everyone it touches, in amazing and unexpected ways. And I am not just talking about the people directly involved, but even people in the first and second degrees of separation. It’s truly profound. This blog has been an absolute insight into something typically designated too personal to discuss, and I must commend on her amazing ability to not only endure the trials of IVF, but to bring us along with her – and share the roller-coaster for what it is, even (and often in-spite of) when faced with overwhelming and debilitating grief and moments of great privacy. As her faithful and constant companion, I don’t think she realizes how much harder this blog has actually made things. To endure is one thing, to endure and share – is another matter entirely. There are few people who can bare the tribulations of IVF, and even fewer who can blog every single day for 100 days straight sharing deep and intimate secrets – and shes done both concurrently.
So this whole process (apart from learning more about human reproduction than I thought possible) has been a huge eye opener. It’s touched me in the most profound way. Even though at times I did live vicariously through our favorite IVF heroine, it has been amazing to share something with another human being. Especially with something typically reserved to be a “spouses only” domain. The opportunity is so rare, and even though I know how hard and devastating it has been, I can’t say I personally disliked any part of it. Perhaps this was partly fueled by my complete faith in the ever-elusive “BFP” (Big Fat Positive) – but also probably because I knew that the end-goal didn’t really matter. I had, over the past 100 days gained a most unlikely best friend, and she’d unselfishly shared her soul to me (and the rest of the world).
Honesty, on such an epic scale, that it has taught me more about myself and the concept of family than ever before.
The main problem I face now (rather selfishly) is having to deal with the loss that it now appears over. That my absolute faith in mankind, has, apparently, failed me and my friend. There is a level of elusive hopelessness that now hangs in the air that defies description. Worst still, there is nothing I can do about it.
But I think now in retrospect, that’s kind of what IVF is all about. It’s like boxing. It’s not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can be hit. How many hits you can take – and anyone who’s read this blog knows just how many you’ll take. Certainly no-one could be berated for needing a break. The human soul can only take so much emotional damage before it breaks. Everyone has a limit, and that’s just a fact.
But until the limit is reached, what real choice does a person have but to go on?
I think my most favorite stories during this process were the stories of people, who despite all attempts of good-will, managed to completely miss judge reality. “All you need is a holiday?”, “Aren’t you just being impatient?”, and “Is it worth it?” were specific key favorites of mine.
Interestingly, I think those comments all came from people who’d had children naturally. I wonder what dollar figure they would place on their children?
But after all the dust has settled it seems that the process of IVF is about finding yourself. There are two possible outcomes, but the result is the same. As a father I know that having children changes who you are, and the net result is a distinct redefinition of your being – but I think that even a BFN (Big Fat Negative) after multiple cycles of IVF has the same effect. You define your existence as (probably) being one without children. With either outcome, you still need to be at peace with yourself.
And while I proudly cheer from the sidelines “Don’t give up! Go on! Go on!” Of course, it’s easy saying that from the sidelines. I also understand that at some point you have to draw a line in the sand. And I respect that. And I’ll be there, right on the sideline’s cheering on, for whatever happens next.
And to our dearest little miracle,
I had no need for hope, because I had no doubt that you would materialize right before our eyes. I looked forward to meeting you almost as much as I looked forward to meeting your cousins. I set this blog up 101 days ago because I thought that you might find it interesting to have a story of your being unfold before you even existed. And, because I am a sucker for metaphysical conversation I enjoyed the physicality of science becoming reality.
But now we all have to come to terms with the fact that you may never meet us. That you may in-fact, be confined to the walls of our collective minds.
Don’t blame your mother and father. They love you very much, and they tried, they really did. Your mother moved ocean’s to get you, but you were always just outside her grasp. If only you could see her face every-time she reached but couldn’t find you, then you’d understand why she has to do what she has to do. It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that she’d walk to the moon and back if she knew you’d be the reward, but she has a life to live, and I fear that while shes looking for you – she’s not looking out for herself.
I want to offer reassurance that you’re just around the corner, and that its only a matter of time. But I am sorry little one – sometimes life just doesn’t work that way. Maybe we’ll ALL get our little miracle after all. Sometime perhaps when we don’t expect it – and after I manage to pry you away from your mother and father I’ll hold you in my arms and I’ll laugh at the irony of existence.
And if you are in there already, holding on when you’re past “sibblings” had failed, then I guess you’ll have proved me right all along. That sometimes, you can manufacture a miracle, you just need the stomache to endure it.
Love always from an uncle that may (or may not), ever be.