I was recently talking to a friend of mine who has a "no kidding" life after painful infertility experiences involving many miscarriages. So the conversation started out with us chatting idly about a gym I had recommended to her and she was super excited about it. I had gone to this gym myself but pulled out of my membership because it turned out most of the classes were heated and those that weren't were hard-core cardio. I just knew that it was not going to be consistent with trying to conceive. I know that this is a very "first world" problem of me to have, but I had a bit of a whinge about how it sucks that lots of decisions you make just have to be put on hold while you're trying to conceive. The reason I recall this otherwise pretty trivial conversation was her response... she said to me... if you could figure that out, how to "not be on hold" then you've just about solved the suffering of infertility.
Her argument was based on her experience.. that it was impossible for her not to feel this way through it. She said she sometimes wanted to do something like plan an overseas trip some months down the track and wouldn't do so as she would wonder - what if I'm pregnant? what if it's a high risk pregnancy that needs monitoring? She really wanted to go scuba diving, but couldn't for the same reasons (and by the way, does this all the time now).
It did get me thinking.
I thought... There are many more reasons that infertility sucks... what about repeated disappointments... grief.... loss... and what about being different from social norms and expectations? and what about the taboo nature of the topic that at its most benign makes it awkward to bring up, and at its worst, leads to discrimination... there are lots of other reasons the experience is painful.
I did wonder though if maybe that is basically it, that if you could go through infertility issues without that "life suspended" feeling the whole time, it would make all the difference and it could be much more bearable?
Well, I think she's right that it's not all that possible... but it's certainly something I'm working on... through mindfulness and appreciating and allowing myself to fully enjoy life.