Although it wasn't the best movie I have ever seen, I was really moved by the grief I felt from Aaron Ec.khart's character. He loses his wife in a tragic accident and then struggles, despite the success of helping others overcome their grief, to face the heart of his pain. This depth is locked up tight inside of him as he fakes his way through each day and the necessity of "moving on."
Infertility is something I think we tend to lock up inside of us and don't share with our families and friends. How can we? We smile, work hard, feed the dog, and shoot ourselves full of expensive meds. It is something too painful for everyday dissection. I turned to blogging out of a desperate loneliness to find others who understood. I shared the website with my family and friends so that they could understand without being faced with the social awkwardness. My mom has a hard time reading it because it makes her heart hurt for me. Why does it do this?
Today is a good day filled with good news. But you know the reality of infertility, nothing is guaranteed. My situation in this round is far better than in my first round of IVF, but that doesn't really mean anything because failure, disaster, and disappointment can be right around the corner. Even with my positive thinking, lucky socks, and support from my beloved family, my IRL friends, and my dear blogger friends, this is a truth I have come to accept.
It seems like a similar theme throughout life. With my hubby in the Army, the reality of death in a training exercise or deployment seems to be a risk that I come to terms with. This is something I am sure many spouses of police officers, fire fighters, and other more hands-on jobs have come to accept in their own way. Every time he leaves for a deployment and in the months in between, I feel the pain of a potential loss. I grieve his potential loss in the hopes that if one day it does happen my heart would be hardened enough that I will be able to survive it.
This started on his first deployment, when he told me that he would be calling sporadically since he would be traveling around the country. The next day on the news, there was a report that a helicopter went down. Since we weren't married yet, I wouldn't have been the one to see the green uniforms walk to the door. But around every corner, I expected to see them. I worried until I got his next phone call. After that, I stopped watching the news intently while he was gone. The everyday concern was just a slap in the face. So I avoided the news, and I avoided the pain.
I feel the same way about infertility. But the problem with infertility is that I can't just wait out the twelve months like I do for my husband. I can't avoid the grief that happens with every BFN. I can't stop watching the news with this because babies are in the car next to us on the drive home, in the doctor's office, in the grocery store, in magazines, and moreover woven into the thread of what I expected from life.
I wonder if the pain and grief that accompanies infertility will ever leave. Will the birth of a healthy baby heal some of these wounds? I don't think it will. There will always be the knowledge that this kind of loss is possible.
What I liked most about this movie is the acknowledgement that there is a lingering struggle. Despite what we accept about our lives, there are things that are okay to be worked through. He struggles with the grief even after he has gone through the motions. It's okay. His relationship with friends, family, and even his work strengthen through the journey.
I'd like to think that whichever way this turns out that I'll be a better person. Hopefully, I'll be a better mom. If not, I'd like to think I'll be a better friend, a closer daughter, a more connected wife, and a more understanding person because of the struggle. Infertility will not be my destination, but rather my journey.