Monday, January 14, 2008

Handed to you on a silver platter

If you had your old life handed back to you on a silver platter, would you take it? There is no end to the sacrifices made in this baby making endeavor. How many vacations did you not take or cancel? How many job opportunities did you not take? How many social engagements have you avoided? It goes on and on how many times I decided not to do something because it might interfere with IVF.

So what's plaguing my brain these days is the possibility of a new full-time job. The new job would start exactly when I will start my next IVF -- naturally, since "good timing" doesn't seem to like me. It's a job that is very similar to the job I had two years ago - a job I got bored and frustrated with so I left to live a "less stressful" life trying to conceive. I was going to free myself from the golden handcuffs and gladly turned my back on the 9 to 5 grind towards a life of freelance and independent work. My vision was that this would be better when starting a family because I would be able to enjoy raising my kids at home if I worked from home. Well, the rosy picture never happened. The baby never came so all I was left with was myself alone in my pajamas working at home. 

A month went by and no one had called yet about an interview. I was partly relieved and partly my ego was bruised since I knew I was more than qualified for this job. So I decided to find a middle ground. I would start a part-time job at my husband's design company. They need my help, I need to get out of my apartment, it seems like a perfect fit. But then last week I get called for an interview for this full-time job and it just opened up all these insecurities about whether I am investing too much in this phantom baby and not enough in my career. So I am constantly flip-flopping. On the one hand, I'm in this bubble right now where I don't have my next IVF schedule and I've been "on break" since my miscarriage so the prospect of my old life is highly seductive. Wouldn't it be great to forget 2007 ever happened? How delicious would it be that these past two years just turned out to be a bad mini-series where the main character was just having a bad dream. She woke up and she was exactly where she was two years ago getting ready to jump on the subway to head to her boring yet stable job. But the problem is that damn dangling baby swinging in front of my face, taunting me, telling me I want to be a mother and how lucky you are to have a flexible lifestyle. I start to think I am crazy not to take a more relaxed part-time job when I am in the middle of the most stressful experience of my life. Even though I absolutely hate that trying to get pregnant feels like my only identity, I can't help but constantly kowtow to IVF as the master of my life. 

So there is no clear answer yet. I have a lot more thinking to do and I can't complain about having job options. I know it's very tempting to think that your old life was easier. We all know that we have the option to wake up one day and say "I'm done," and wallah your pre-baby-making days return and life could presumably go back to normal. All those bastards who made you feel bad you were not pregnant suddenly become your friends again. I can't tell you what I would give for a mind-erase and all that disappointment and loss and physical pain would vanish. I read that a lot of couples who do finally say, "This is the end" feel a huge sense of relief to not to have to think about it anymore. Of course saying those words is no picnic. I'm not there yet. But boy, oh boy, there are these moments where it seems so easy to simply take your old life back. 


Pamela Jeanne said...

Well said. Living in limbo can be beyond maddening. I once compared the TTC efforts as akin to the story Waiting for Godot. We spent vast amounts of our life waiting, waiting, waiting and in my case, Godot never arrived. The constant running in place finally helped me to realize, painful as it was, that I needed to wrest back control of my life. Wishing you strength as you sort out what you want to do next.

luna said...

yes, well said. so much time planning and waiting and making decisions based on that phantom baby. if I could go back and do things a little differently, I probably would. but I think I've learned so much in that time about myself and those around me that I'm not sure I'd want to un-do all of that. erase the pain, absolutely. but continue to tolerate "friends" who haven't been there through this struggle, not so much.

hope your decision becomes more clear to you... ~luna

Mrs.X said...

Oh, have I been there. I think the best thing you can do is to just live your life. I know that sounds trite, but take the vacation, take the job. How many things happen that we don't plan and it all eventually works itself out? If you do get pregnant on the next IVF (yay!) - you'll figure it out. And, maybe if you start the new job while you are also starting the IVF cycle, getting into the new job will help you keep your mind off the specifics of the IVF. Or, maybe it would really freak you out. I'm just thinking out loud.

I know that I got so tired of putting my life on hold because of infertility and the next treatment. It was very empowering to take my life back, including making plans several months in advance.

As for having the "old" life back, there is definitely the temptation. But, can you really say that infertility hasn't given you something positive? I guarantee that you are a stronger person than you were 2 years ago and you are probably much more appreciative of life and just living each day. I know that I am. So, yes, it's tempting to want to wake up from the nightmare, but I think that you wouldn't be the stronger and more resilient person that you are today. Infertility sucks, but like most awful experiences, you come out a better person for it.

Or, you can tell me to take a hike. :) Go take a hike Mrs. X! Beat it!

TABI said...

Thanks for the support! The job is still on the plate but they may not be able to afford me, so waiting to see if that is an issue. I'm not, on top of everything else, going to also take a pay cut!! Anyway, Mrs.X, no hiking necessary, I appreciate your comment and agree that life should not have to stop completely!! I think things will be clearer in the next week and I can then commit to a work situation that works bests for me.

Amy said...

Well said.

Ahuva Batya said...

You described my struggle perfectly and I can really sympathize with the flip-flopping back and forth. It's so hard to put everything on hold... we went through 2 years of putting our lives on hold. No decision was made that didn't take into account the phantom baby; what car to drive, what job to take (or not), what trips to put off. We were the couple who said "This is the end" and it was a relief, but also apparently, isn't a decision that is made in stone, because when it came down to it, we weren't at the end. We weren't really ready either, so here we are again, putting our lives on hold again. I hope your path becomes clear to you.