A clear pure note
In the silence.
The women and men like L and her husband, who confront seemingly insurmountable reproductive difficulties, persevere. But many discover few answers and find themselves increasingly disconnected from one another on more ordinary planes: What to do with their free time, what to think about when they go to bed, and what to talk about over dinner├ éČ"if it's not about getting pregnant.
One insightful patient, R, comments: ├ éČ┼"After so many years of such focus, such intensity of purpose, I would sit down with H and I didn't know what to say anymore. I had started seeing him as a semen donor and little more. I didn't know who I was without a baby, I didn't know him anymore as a husband, and I didn't know what we would be together if we were not going to be parents.├ éČ Ł
Striking A Balance
Persevering on the path is strength. To keep your center is to endure.(Tao 33)
Women (and men) pursue fertility with a vengeance. Unfortunately, what they lose at times is their center├ éČ"the knowledge that who they are does not need to depend on circumstance for definition, clarity, or peace.
├ éČ┼"If I'm not a mother,├ éČ Ł laments one client, C, ├ éČ┼"who am I?├ éČ Ł
Who, indeed. It was a matter that merited serious consideration and time for quite a few sessions.
Who are we if not all of it├ éČ"our expectations, our dreams, our accomplishments, and our failures? Are we our circumstances├ éČ"our jobs, our friends, our adventures and misadventures? Are we our holdings├ éČ"our bank accounts, our Judith Lieber pocketbooks, our Kosta Boda crystal? Are our identities a function of family? Are we our images or the secrets we reveal to no one?
In our culture, we believe that every good act should be├ éČ"indeed, must be├ éČ"rewarded, and we expect immediate gratification from our doctors. When we don't get the expected reward, many people interpret that to mean that their lives have been ├ éČ┼"wrong├ éČ Ł and that they are ├ éČ┼"no good,├ éČ Ł ├ éČ┼"failures,├ éČ Ł ├ éČ┼"losers.├ éČ Ł Self-esteem shatters and where before there was hope, now lays shame. How many times have women said to me, ├ éČ┼"What's the matter with me that I can't do what every other woman does?├ éČ Ł I couldn't begin to count.
C, like so many other would-be mothers, works hard to find a balance├ éČ"to stand comfortably with having and not having, between difficult and easy, letting high and low rest on one another, and learning that beginning and ending inevitably follow again and again.