In the springtime there are these seeds that look like pinwheels, which come spinning down from the trees. Sitting under those trees I feel like I am in the midst of a spring rain shower. I know they are not called pinwheels, yet it was the name I gave them in my childhood, and therefore it still sticks.
Infertility is a bit like those pinwheels. We fall from the 150 foot tall tree of life and we spin, endlessly, toward the underbrush below. We spin, and we spin. The greater the wind blowing through our lives, the faster we spin.
I feel fairly confident that I could speak for all women facing infertility when I say: I would like to stop spinning and land in the soft, green grass. I would like to arrive at my destination: motherhood.
When women conceive “normally” there is no spin, they have started with their feet on the ground, and they follow all of the expected steps up to the arrival of their child. For us, every time we take another deep breath to try again, when we exhale, we spin like a pinwheel.
I would like to stop spinning, however the only way to stop the forward trajectory is to stop my dreams of motherhood. Something I cannot do.
And so, now we have made the decision to adopt.
Now I have spent eight long hours taking down the wallpaper in the room that will be the nursery, and countless more picking out just the right color.
Now I have spent weeks of my life perfecting an adoption website, agonizing over every word, every picture, terrified that no woman will deem us suitable.
Now we have made appointments to go to information sessions, and to talk with an adoption counselor.
And now, I just want to STOP spinning.
The fact however, is that my life has become even more of a pinwheel than ever before on our journey to parenthood.
Can I buy things for the nursery? With no baby shower, and the chance that our notice might be days or weeks short, how do we prepare? How do I begin to feel like a mother when there is no evidence that I ever will be?
Should I consider taking on more days at work, climbing the corporate ladder that’s been begging me to jump on for years? If I do, what if the baby arrives in mid-climb?
Maybe I should go back to my dissertation and give it another try, even after the devastation of the last two years of endless work. What if I do and I can’t juggle it all: work, dissertation, adoption paperwork/preparation? Yet what if I don’t and the baby never comes?
What if I place all of my hopes and all of my dreams on this one last chance, and it too fails? Can I survive such devastation?
We are pinwheels. Each of us on the journey of infertility–regardless of what path we choose–we are all frantically spinning down from the tallest trees.
We are pinwheels spinning, endlessly, and never, ever sure when we will touch the ground again.
And so, we focus on one unmoving point on the horizon in an effort to keep some semblance of balance, and then we let go and SPIN.