Sunday, December 5, 2010

On Being a Warrior and Running Races

A couple of weeks ago I ran the Warrior Dash. It's a silly short run that has 11 obstacles throughout, commencing with a crawl through a mud pit. I ran it with some good girlfriends (E and B) with whom I'm also lucky to work...I'd post a picture but they'd probably shoot me. Especially since one of them tackled me in the mud pit at the end and so we.were.covered. Also--the other literally backstroked her way through that same pit, hilarious.

Here's the thing: I've been running a lot lately. I'm enjoying long runs and so 3.2 miles was easy peasy. When we started E and I were keeping pace but B was falling behind. She wanted to walk. She told us to just go on, no reason to wait for her.

So we did.


After we ran the first mile and slogged through about 3 feet of muddy water on a different obstacle midway, we looked at each other and said: why are we not waiting for B? Hello? We're a team. (note: we weren't an official team, it's all individual but we agreed to race together).

So we waited. And waited. And waited.
When we saw B's tie-dyed shirt coming we screamed and screamed for her and her face just lit up to see we had waited. So we climbed over hay bales together, traversed cargo nets together, slid down muddy slopes together, at one point I offered to piggy back her for a while but she wouldn't let me.

I have this awesome picture of the three of us jumping through the fire obstacle and then crossing the finish line, together.


Our time was crap but it didn't matter.

Boy do I wish the 'race' to have children was the same. How I wish I had any control at all. How I wish that those of you who have sprinted past me (fertile and infertile) could just wait for me and maybe even piggyback me across the finish line.

But you can't. It doesn't work that way.

I know this intellectually but my heart can't seem to learn this, to accept this great disparity that exists between not only me and fertiles, but me and many infertiles as well.

A wise friend told me once that everyone runs their own race. These words comforted me through graduate school. They comforted me early on when I watched most of my girlfriends get pregnant easily--rinse, lather, repeat!--and they provided me some comfort when I started to realize easy fertility treatments and surgeries weren't going to fix me.

But those words don't comfort me as much anymore. Because while it's true that we all run our own race, the simple truth is not everyone crosses the finish line. I get it loud and clear that fertility treatments don't work for everyone, though they have for many of the people I know who have pursued them multiple times. But I'm starting to get how adoption doesn't work for everyone either. And that sometimes you just can't find another way to cross that finish line.

People on the outside easily think there are so many options that of course everyone can--but if they were really honest and knew the facts they'd have to see that it just isn't the case. It would be like me telling my Dad he could have run the Warrior Dash with me if he just wanted it enough. That somehow he could manuever his wheelchair over a cargo net.

The holidays are coming. A mixture of pure pleasure and pain.


The sixth one where we've been actively trying to create a family.

The sixth one where we'll hang two stockings.

We have three pets and two grownups and a lot of love and desire, but nothing tangible yet....


So I've been baking. And running. And shopping. And planning our trip. And running some more. All sanity savers because I need every shred of sanity I can hold onto most days.


For your pleasure (sugar cookie 'tree' and cake ball presents...)





PS I really want to respond to some individual comments (hellooooo??? former IF now ET adopter...hellllooooooooo, we must talk....) but I have just felt so overwhelmed (note the lack of posting lately). But I'm not ignoring anyone, I promise....

19 comments:

  1. If I could carry you piggyback to the finish I would!! This hand you have been dealt just sucks and I wish there was something I could do to fix it. I don't mean to be harsh- I just feel frustrated and discouraged for you right now. :(

    I very much appreciate you stopping by and leaving a note to say hi! I think that since you have become a hard core runner I am going to hit you up for a run the next time we are in town :) Hugs to you and Mr LC as we head deeper into the holiday season. Oh, and the cookie tree with the cake ball presents? Awesome!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So nice of you to wait for your friend.

    Reading your post made me think about how long we have wanted a family, and it has been eight years. We have put ourselves through so much without definite answers as to why things happened the way they did. I just think I will appreciate things much more when things do go well.

    You are a strong woman and I encourage you to continue fighting. It is hard, but you have our support.

    T

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just wanted to thank you for your honesty in sharing your thoughts and feelings so eloquently - you really do bring us all along for the ride with your stories.

    I've been following your blog for a long time, lurking mostly. And when you announced your plans for adoption, I was both happy and sad for you. Happy that you had a new plan, but sad that it wasn't the one you had originally hoped for.

    At the time you wrote about those new plans, I was pregnant with twins (after 6 years of IF hell) and I felt incredibly lucky. But as fate would have it, my boys were born early at 26 weeks and left this world far too soon. The doctor said "no more pregnancies", so we have joined you on the adoption path now - although our plan is domestic.

    Oh, how great would it be if crossing the finish line was just about wanting it, or believing, or trying hard enough or wishing it to be so - if that were the case, we'd all have been there long ago I think. But reality is that none of those things seem to make an iota of difference, and that part sucks.

    So, thank you for continuing to share your journey with us all. You are an inspiration. And knowing that there are amazing and deserving people out there who also are having difficult journeys, makes it ever so slightly less lonely.

    I hope that your challenges get easier, your hurdles get smaller, and that 2011 brings us both across the finish line.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Keep on running, warrior-woman. You can stop to comment when you can. And I agree with commenter number one, if I could carry you I would. But when you cross the finish line, there will be such a crowd there waiting with hugs and cheers and tears. I'll be there.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post. You are so right about everyone having their own race. It seems to me like some people's 'race' is just a quick walk in a field full of flowers, while others have a perilous journey with dragons to fight. And while I feel proud of myself for how I've learned to deal with some of the dragons, I often wish that I'd never seen them, and that the walk through the field was what I got, too. Stinks, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  6. amazing post. What an amazing thing for you to do with your friends.
    I totally get what you are saying. If you stick around here long enough, you are bound to get lapped over and over again IRL and in blog land. At least in blog land, that "just adopt" mentality doesn't exist in the same way. We are all aware that there are no easy options on this journey.
    So I cannot carry you on my back (as I am knee deep in it with you) but I can walk with you and hold your hand along the way.
    Hang in there during the holiday season. Use your blog as much as you need to, we are always here to help/listen.
    love to you....

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wish my wishes for you were strong enough to carry you over the line too. I'm sorry I can't, it isn't fair. I also wish I had something more uplifting to say, but blowing sunshine is hard, and not always helpful. It does make me smile to know you are rolling in the mud with friends and baking the most beautiful tree. It makes me smile to hear the good you have too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. You know there are a ton of us out here that would piggy back you over that line in a heartbeat if we could. But since we can't, we will be waiting for you at the finish line and you are going to be overwhelmed by the biggest cheer ever! I'd love to hear more on how the adoption is going.

    That race sounded like so much fun!!! Love the cake tree!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sounds like a really fun race, especially with your friends. I wish so much that I could offer you a piggyback ride to the IF finish line.... Has there been any update to the adoption snags?

    That cookie tree/cake ball present set up is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  10. okay so i read this post on my phone the other day and i was excited to come back here and see a big pic of that cookie tree so i could figure out how you made it, but its still tiny! beautiful work though, my friend.
    yes, yes, and yes to the sentiment in your post. and then yes some more.

    i think of you often and hope you are doing okay. i wish i could say anything that would make you feel better. im sorry that i can't. :(

    xoxo
    lis

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi LC,
    I'm the IF to ET adoption commenter, and if the one you referred to in this post--I left the wrong darned email address--but can be reached at corynmollyadoption@gmail.com.
    Yes, the process is overwhelming, invasive and frustrating. Hang tough, sista!! We can't carry you to the finish line, but we are running by your side.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So glad to hear from you again! :)
    You are such a great person and amazing "warrior" and friend!
    I imagine that sometimes the dirty-and-gritty races with people you love around you can be more rewarding than the simple road runs, no?
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ah, yes. I'm feeling left behind these days too. A friend of mine who is 37 just got married a few months and has already been to see her ob/gyn because they've been TTC for 3 months, and she isn't pregnant yet. I'm sure she will be pregnant soon though. At my age, I thought I was done with the baby race, but here she is, coming from behind and mostly likely passing me by leaps and bounds. That's just how it seems to work in my circle.

    And people on the outside don't know crap! Everyone knows an infertile with a happy ending, blah, blah, blah.

    BTW, thanks for your thoughts on my last post. The REs don't really say anything about what we may end up doing to our bodies by so many cycles, but I don't believe there are no consequences. It's definitely something to keep in mind.

    Hope you have a surprisingly pleasant Christmas season.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This wasn't meant to be funny, but I snorted out loud at this: "It would be like me telling my Dad he could have run the Warrior Dash with me if he just wanted it enough."

    If adoption does not work out for you and Mr. You, I will be a) furious, b) forced to go all Raising Arizona and nab you one of somebody's multiples. You deserve what you want so, so much.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So beautifully and painfully stated. Warrior Dash comes here in April and I just signed up for it tonight. (-; So wish we could do this together. I'm planning a super hero costume or some other ridiculous get up because at this point, WTF? LOL. You can bet there will be pictures.

    You are so right that some just don't get to cross that finish line no matter how hard they try. There is just so much more to it when it is your own reality and I have a whole list of rebuttal questions for anyone who says "I would just...". They have become quite colorful over the years and may deserve a post of their own sometime.

    I'm really just babbling at this point. Just wanted to let you that I'm around again. Christmas #6 here too and lots of other plans to try to keep pushing on through.

    I must learn your coping skills. Running and baking sure beat drinking wine and eating. (-; Many hugs...

    ReplyDelete
  16. I wish I could give you a piggy-back ride. You are truly a warrior woman, really the strongest woman I know even though I know you don't feel like that. I'm really looking forward to seeing you and Mr. LC very soon if you're still up for it, but I understand if you'd rather not. BTW, that tree and cake balls...superb!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was thinking how inspiring your post was, then all of a sudden was in tears for you. I wish that it was easy for some as it is for others, or that the hard parts really did work for those who needed it. I hope things turn around for you soon.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I, too, wish we could all piggyback each other whenever someone is in need.

    But since I can't do that, please know I walk beside you as a friend. And I feel your support next to me. Thank you.

    And can I say that sugar cookie cake ball tree looks amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for sharing a idea....Great post and informative
    IVF Cancun

    ReplyDelete