Who came up with the phrase "happy ending"? I use it all the time, but was thinking about it today. Endings aren't happy--unless you're talking about the end of an illness, torture situation, prison sentence. Marriage isn't an ending--it's a continuance--so why do fairy tales mention the happy ending when the prince and the princess get married? And I used it recently in terms of children--I'm glad your story has a happy ending. But children aren't an ending. They're a chapter. They're a happy chapter tucked into the long book of life.
Endings seem to be a theme today. We had a big family party this weekend and the last people went home about an hour ago. I'm not great with endings. I end up mourning the ending a long time before it arrives. And then afterwards, I feel a bit lost. So the idea of endings was already on my mind.
I just finished sending an email back to someone who wrote to me about the figuring-out-a-due-date entry. I'm sure there were therapists (um...like maybe my sister) who read that entry and said, "damn, that's quite unhealthy." But I once received great advice from a fertility counselor when I was pregnant who asked why I wasn't buying things or setting up the room. And I told her that I was scared to do anything because I was scared that we would lose the babies.
The point she made was that losing those babies would be terrible even if we didn't have a crib to return. It's not like we would look at each other and say, "okay, I can deal with this loss. Thank G-d we didn't buy a glider because returning that would push me over the edge." It is painful to fold up those maternity clothes after a pregnancy loss or to return the crib after a stillbirth, but it would be painful regardless. Even without those tasks.
I think of that type of dreaming--the dreaming about due dates and how you're going to tell people you're pregnant--is the hope that gets you through the ending. Because a cycle ending is painful. It's the end of this hope that was building up inside of you for an entire month, growing and expanding and filling every crevice of your body. Even if I didn't know the due date, the sight of that blood wouldn't be easier to see. I've always struggled with the concept that my period starts CD1. CD1 sounds like it should be a happy day, the start of a journey. And it is such a terrible ending when you've been hoping with all your being that you're pregnant.
I use that phrase, "I'm glad your story has a happy ending" and yet I don't really believe that infertility has an ending. My mother certainly is finished having children, and yet I can still see this expression come over her face sometimes when I'm describing something I'm going through emotionally. And it's the expression of someone who still has infertility scars etched into her being. Is infertility something she thinks about daily? I'm pretty certain it's not. But it is something that shaped her vision of parenthood. So when is the ending?
And what about something that is an end for you because it is a beginning for others? I went through two trying-to-conceive groups. Both times I left because I was the only person who didn't get pregnant. Everyone wanted to talk about their pregnancy, and I was still stuck in infertility. I think that experience is what made me want to create a blog without end. Something that didn't have to change because it was covering infertility in general and not my own personal journey (though my personal journey obviously guides my thoughts). I received a few comments about the blogroll and how to handle the pregnancy/parenting after IF factor. One day that list will be huge. And the people whose journey you read to get you through your endings will continue (hopefully) and leave infertility behind. At least as a major topic in the forefront of the mind. I think it will always colour their vision of parenthood, no matter how much they rationalize to themselves that they've left it behind. Blog without end. It sounds like it belongs in a funeral service.
Sorry to be so dreary today. I really am terrible with goodbyes. I hope my siblings have safe trips home.