Infertility: It’s always darkest before the dawn, or is it? Maybe it’s just always dark

I don’t write much anymore. In some ways it seems quite strange as this virtual space and I were daily bedfellows for such a long span of my life. And then, life just simply took over and in many ways I moved on from infertility. Though I suppose we never really move on from infertility. It lingers under our skin like a rare parasite we picked up on an exotic vacation that can never be completely eradicated.

My life has pushed onward. I accepted the offer to go back to work full time, my career catapulting, which was suppose to make me happy, but it didn’t.

I made peace with losing two years of my life’s work on my dissertation, and eight years of work on my PhD. I accepted an EdS bookend to a very excruciating chapter of my life, even though the ending meant no fanfare, no celebration, nothing to mark all of the years of my life that I gave to this failure.

I showed up for friends who needed someone to show up. I called, I wrote, I cooked, I cleaned, I shopped.

I completed months of paperwork for our adoption. I attended the mandatory courses, one of which made me feel smaller and less significant than possibly any other experience in my life. I bared my soul in the first adoption interview, and I stressed over how to fit the second and third in with all of the other things on my long “to do” list.

And then the lights went out. Literally.

“Frankenstorm Sandy” hit the east coast, and along with it our lives were turned upside down—for the second year in a row right on our anniversary—sending us driving seven hours home when we should have been having breakfast in bed.

And so now, five days without power later, I find myself wondering, is it really darkest before the dawn? Or is it simply always dark and we keep the light of hope lit within for a dawn that never seems to come?

I want to be positive. I want to keep going. I want to glide into the party tonight with my little black dress on and my hope chest filled to overflowing. But I can’t, because inside it’s dark and some days I’m just not sure that there really is a dawn.

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20 comments

  1. I was wondering how you were doing. It must have been huge to put aside your years of work and carry on with the job, life…
    I am sorry about the hurricane.
    I hope you get through all this.
    Sending love and support.

    1. Thanks so much Heather. I know that this too shall pass. I suppose that I’m just in the middle of the storm and feeling really exhausted by it all.

  2. You have had the courage to push your life forward and that is the biggest positive! Stay positive always

    1. Thank you Mithya. I am usually such a positive person, and I know that I will be again. I think I’m just feeling the weight of all the difficulties and trials one small year has piled on.

  3. When life hands me hard things to deal with, all I can do is live in the present (not in the past or in the future as thats where all the emotions of disapointment and fear stem from), take one day at a time, focus on what I do have and not what I dont have… And Keep strong, You are loved XX

    1. Thanks Rebecca, you are very wise. Be here now. Best advice for me to always remember. Leave yesterday there and tomorrow where it is. I have many blessings and I do know that this too shall pass and maybe just maybe it really is darkest before the dawn and that is why I feel like I’m underwater – better things are to come. Hugs to you.

      1. Its all moulding you to be a wonderful strong mother, who will not be rattled by the small stuff.

      2. You are so very right Rebecca. My skin definitely gets thicker and I get stronger.

  4. I love that phrase.It’s from a Florence + The Machine song, isn’t it? I’ve wondered the exact same thing. I decided that I need to get myself into a happy place without that happiness being dependent on a baby. Everything has been all over the place for years as I’ve struggled with health, infertility and work. I think I’m letting go but then I ask myself – do we ever truly let go?

    I told my friend’s mum that it’s like I have to keep facing this huge black void that threatens to suck me in and it’s really difficult to skip along merrily through life with that there. She asked me to fill the void with something. I chose yellow flowers. Now whenever that feeling approaches me and I find myself staring at the huge gaping void, I fill it with beautiful yellow flowers, take a deep breath and walk away from it. The terrain on this journey is hard enough, if hope is a candle, then I’d rather take it with me. Even if the light blows out occasionally.

    1. Yellow flowers, what a beautiful replacement for the darkness! And yes, even if the candle blows out it can always be lit again 🙂

  5. i’ve been thinking about you and your post, and just wanted to let you know there is ALWAYS someone out there who appreciates and relates to your voice, positive, sad, happy, whatever. You have a big load on your plate… it won’t always be dark.

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Your words meant so much, and just knowing that “out there” people really get what I’m going through gives me a peace I don’t have in other places in my life.

  6. With the lights out… I’m sitting with you in the dark… just sitting… xxxxxxx

    1. Thank you so very much, it means more than you know.

  7. In my tradition, we say that we are living in the already, but not yet of the Kingdom of God. In other words, we live in the hope of a light that has not yet come fully. Some days, it’s just easier to hope that others.

    I’m sitting in the dark with you too, and I pray that dawn will break, soon.

    1. Thank you Sarah, your words are wise and comforting.

      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  8. Hi,

    I found your blog only a month ago and I went back and read every one. There are days when I find it so difficult to just get out of bed and your writing gives me inspiration. Your words are so true to how I am feeling and that is such a treasure when you feel like there is no one who understands you. Keep up the good work as when I look you up and see a post, I smile. Thank you 🙂 x

    1. Firefly, what a beautiful comment to read, thank you. I am so glad that you have found this blog if only to give you a place where you can feel “normal.” All my best to you as you walk your journey.

  9. Evangeline Colbert · · Reply

    I hope that your life has gotten back on the road to normalcy after Sandy and that all is well.

    I know from experience that this holiday season can be a tough time to get through. But I also know that you must make a DECISION to maintain hope—a confident expectation of good. I’ve experienced the darkness of infertility and the light of pregnancy and childbirth. As a result, I know that the spiritual aspect of infertility cannot be ignored. Please search “hope” on my blog, http://www.makeroomformommy.com, for what I believe are great sources of encouragement during infertility. Blessings to you and all your readers!

    1. Thank you Evangaline. Yes, as one of my favorite quotes goes “just when we think we will never see the sun again, the rain stops.” Thank you for sharing your journey of hope through your blog.

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