People talk about their bucket lists, and almost always there is mention of travelling, or visiting a location they will just DIE if they don’t see before they, um……..die.
I’m no different. My bucket list has travel plans too, but they consist solely of getting off Infertility Island (I borrowed this term from Maya over at Don’t Count Your Eggs http://www.dontcountyoureggs.typepad.com/)
I always thought that when I got to leave Infertility Island, that it would be via the boat that would take me to Parenthood Peninsula, which juts off the mainland of A Life Worth Living. It’s not that far really. Kind of like Cuba to Miami, only no Communist block. The boarding pass onto the boat being, of course, a living breathing child fresh from my loins or abdominal incision (adoption not being an option, thank you Australian government). I have tried to acquire this boarding pass. I have shelled out money. I have bid my time. I have performed tricks for the government agencies, and provided entertainment (at my own expense no doubt) to countless medical staff. I have prayed. Pleaded. Bargained. And various combinations of each. I can’t tell you how many trips to Parenthood Peninsula I have booked. And each time, I look so forward to the trip. It’s all consuming. I want nothing more than this one item on my bucket list.
My travel plans keep getting fucked up though. Whoever my travel coordinator is, they are pretty fucking hopeless. I have never had such a lousy trip in all my life, and I haven’t even made it to the jetty yet. No, I’m way over here……miles away from the docks, watching other people board the boat by the hundreds, but I’m not one of them. I’ve even helped people make their way to the dock, and have watched as they queue up to get on the boat. Their ship will sail from Infertility Island in just a few months, but I’ll still be here. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. Hence, I shall be helping not another single, solitary person, no matter how much they beg, and tell me THEIR sob story, and stroke my ego and then take the info and run like a rat with it. (I rarely hear from them again.) Not ever again. I will never forward another piece of information or advice to help another infertile. Why? Because I keep giving away my chances. I’m convinced, now, that every time I help someone and they get to board the ship while I’m left stranded in the middle of Bumfuck, that I’ve accidentally handed them my boarding pass. So, fuck everyone else, you can just find your own damn way to the jetty. I’m done being the Good Samaritan. It is the worst paying job I’ve ever fucking had.
So, my quest to at least get to the fucking jetty has been fucked up, yet again. I have a new road block to contend with: suspected immunology issues and other related lovelies that have resulted in Recurrent Implantation Failure, or RIF as us natives of Infertility Island refer to it. I’ve been in to give blood for the testing, to see what kind and how many immunological assassins live in my blood. I never get colds, flus, or any kind of gastrointestinal illnesses, so I’m thinking I’m probably more overrun than Hungary at the moment. I have today received the confirmation of the date, time and location I’m to undergo a hysteroscopy, D&C and investigation of natural killer cells squatting in my uterus. I assume my entire body is nothing more than a cesspool, a toxic waste dump, or at the very least a medieval torture chamber where innocent embryos are sent to die. I’m like The Dip, from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, but instead of dissolving celluloidal cartoons, I dissolve human embryos. My husband has gone in today to give blood to be karyotyped, so we’ll see what comes back about his chromosomes in a few weeks. No doubt his results will yield a set of perfectly organised chromosomes, or some little issues that have zilch to do with every failure we’ve had. It will all rest squarely on my shoulders, no doubt about it. Even when I’m just the incubator, I can’t do it right. A faulty incubator.
Here’s the thing: even of we discover what’s wrong with me, even if there is a treatment for it, I no longer believe I’ll ever get off Infertility Island. I don’t. I have no more hope that I will be taking a one way cruise anywhere. My travel plans are written up in permanent ink and they include no further movement than from Coveting Cove to Cape Childlessness. Up to now, I’ve thought that I could get the itinerary changed if I pay enough, or do this or that, but I’ve only been fooling myself. There is no change of itinerary. Some people get a cruise and others, like me, get a life long hike through an empty, ugly landscape with no geological definition and no nice views. No map. No tour guide that actually gives a shit and certainly no torch to light the way. You just feel your way along and pray with each step it’s almost over, because dear God, is this all there is?
I’ve been touring the large, sprawling village of Cape Childlessness for over a decade now, looking for a place I think I can live in somewhat peacefully…….but the whole place is just a dive! And, I can’t imagine why anyone would live here with resignation, much less willingly. I mean, most of the people residing in Cape Childlessness are doing so because they had nowhere else to go in the end, but there are a few who thought it a lush paradise, and the ones in between just make the best of a bad situation. I don’t know how you do that. I don’t know how you get the shaft on something so major and from what I can see so widespread, and then go on and pretend like it doesn’t bother you that you were left out and forgotten, or that your life is fulfilling and worth living…….but some do. Well, hats off to them, but I’m not one of them.
I’m not really leaving Infertility Island…….and I know that. I know that in my heart of hearts. But I refuse to go live in Cape Childlessness either, not by resignation and not willingly. I will swing by the neck like the pendulum on a clock before I reside permanently in childlessness.
I’m not booking another trip to Parenthood Peninsula just yet either, though. I don’t believe the glossy brochures and the testimony of the previously departed Islanders now living happily on PP. I’m wary of the smiling face and outstretched hand of the tour guide, asking for yet a other deposit on a trip I know isn’t going to go anywhere. I’m not even sure I want to view at the free, no obligation sales pitch anymore. I’ve been lured in before, by the happy, smiling faces of the people who’ve gone before me and have posted evidence of their journey on Instagram and Facebook…….and I don’t buy it. Oh I totally buy that they’re happier than they ever dreamed, over there on Parenthood Peninsula and they have even travelled through A Life Worth Living. Most people relocate there, after their time on the Peninsula. Grand kids make the mainland so enjoyable, I’m told.
I just don’t buy that I’m ever going to get to see these places, except from Instagram and Facebook. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’d like to say that I’ve missed the boat every time, or that my ship sailed and sank. But to be honest, I think I was ever on the passenger manifest. And I don’t think I’m ever going to be either. My life, if you can call it that, has been lived entirely on Infertility Island. I hope it’s not my final resting place…….I just don’t know how I’m going to get off this island because I’m too scared to book another trip.