Infertility & the endless wait: We are a spring shower of pinwheels

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.

SPIN

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.

SPIN

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.

SPIN

Now we have made appointments to go to information sessions, and to talk with an adoption counselor.

SPIN

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?

SPIN

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?

SPIN

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?

SPIN

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?

SPIN

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.

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8 comments

  1. I admire you both so much for making a decision and for pushing on as you have. I’ve passively followed your blog since the beginning of the year and you know what I loved so much about it? That you’re so positive, even when you’re suffering.

    I can relate to this. I call it limbo:

    “SPIN

    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?

    SPIN

    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?”

    Last September I started a postgrad course for work but then as I ran around stressed out like a headless chicken, I realised ‘This isn’t what I want. I want motherhood. What am I doing?’

    It’s really hard when you’re stuck in no mans land between work, studies and motherhood.

    I am sending you so much love and luck. I cannot wait til one day you post about your child (adopted or not).

    All I can say is take each day as it comes. Follow your gut and move in that direction. Doubts can suffocate.

    x

    1. Thank you fertility doll!

      Sometimes I forget that I’m not the only one out there trying to figure out how to balance living today, with a future life in mind, in the midst of an unknown “motherhood” status. I keep telling myself that I “should” get back to working on my dissertation–even if I did just lose 2 years of my life’s work in one fell swoop. Yet your words remind me that right now, that’s not what I want. Right now it’s time for me to move forward to my child. Right now it’s time for me to do everything I can to become a mother. I’ve waited long enough so now, work and school can wait for a little while.

      I wish you some spin-free days on your journey! And I too look forward to the day when you post a comment here telling me that your pinwheel has been retired because you’re a mommy now!

  2. Boy, can I relate to this post! It does feel like endless spinning, needing it to stop, but fearing it means we’ll be no closer to parenthood. When we were first home study approved we bought some nursery items, but it’s been months since we looked at anything baby related. And I can’t even go to my acupuncturist right now because it just perpetuates the spinning. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thank you for sharing Elizabeth! This part of the journey is new to us–adoption–and so I feel in unchartered waters. I hope that soon, very soon, your phone rings and the rest of your life begins–as a mother!

  3. You describe this situation so well – it is all spinning, isn’t it…
    I really hope that you get a break from the spinning and even if one thing falls into place it will make a difference. And one step closer to that baby.

    1. Thank you Heather, your perspective is a great one! It’s a wonderful reminder that I need to celebrate each step along the way–one day closer–to help with the feeling of a never ending gerbil wheel race 🙂

  4. It’s crazy how many decitions come from ‘what if scenarios’ We can’t control when it will happen but how do we use our time while waiting is a good question. If we only knew how long it would take to get to the destination!

    1. Amen to that marwil! The unknown is the hardest part. We become experts at living in the in between–which can feel a bit like a cyclone of spinning 🙂

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