19 August 2010

Giving Up

Just give it up to God, Heather. If you allow Him to take on this problem, He'll give you an answer. You just need to give it to Him.

I can't tell you how many times I heard that during my struggle with infertility and I can't even begin to tell you how many times I just wanted to strangle the person uttering those words.

How can someone like me "give it up to God" when someone like me believes that God doesn't give a shit in the first place? So, who'm I supposed to "give" it to? WHO?!?

I would rail and cuss and shout at the carpet, the furniture, the television, even the cat. Because I didn't (and still don't) believe in giving up my problems, my issues, to an omnipotent entity who, I believe, is more concerned with manipulating the black hole at the center of the Milky Way than with the state of my girly bits. Besides, if God is listening and paying attention to little ol' me, he'd get annoyed pretty quickly since I'm like a toddler when it comes to getting answers. Have you thought about it? Have you? Can I have a zygote? PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE? Just one tiny little puny fertilized egg? CANICANICANI?

My aunt-in-law, who also had fertility issues during her childbearing years, noted that when she and the uncle-in-law were having difficulty conceiving, they turned the planned nursery into an office. And WHAM! they found themselves pregnant shortly thereafter.

Hm, I thought, giving it up to the office. I could do that. Put my mind on something that is tangible, physical, to get my mind off my ovaries. I get this. I can do this.

It was then that I decided to give up my problems to the fish. After years of putting off volunteering at the Tennessee Aquarium, I signed my name on the dotted line. During the six months between my fourth failed insemination and the fifth try that resulted in Miss-Miss and Bubba, I scrubbed algae off fake rocks, fed bonnethead sharks, and was molested by sturgeon (don't ask). I didn't think about my ovaries the whole time, I just had fun. Hummed, even. I played rock-paper-scissors with kids on the other side of the tank and tried to convince them, using hand signals, that they could somersault better than I could scuba front-flip. It was the first time in years I wasn't bitter toward the parents standing before me with their sweet progeny.

That picture up there at the top of my post is of my windshield. Even though I gave up my aquarium post after the twins were born, I kept the parking sticker on my windshield because it reminds me that I do have the capacity to shut off my brain every now and then. Which is a blessing because there are times when my own inner chatter would drive a six-year-old crazy.

Are you there shark? It's me, Heather.


Unknown said...

I can't tell you the number of times that people I've know with fertility issues have had those issues resolved almost immediately after adopting a child. It's like the Fertility God says "Hah! I was just messin' with ya!" and BANG. There's a natural born kid right there sayin' "FEED ME! FEED ME! FEED ME! LOOK AT ME I'M A TAX DEDUCTION!!"

I truly think it has something to do with shifting one's focus on to other things - and it doesn't make any difference HOW you shift that focus. You can call it "Giving it to God", "Adopt a Child", or "VOLUNTEER FOR STURGEON DUTY" - whatever, the only "Higher Power" involved is the still little understood power your brain has over the way your body works.

So the real answer is - Don't worry about it. It'll happen when it happens.

Meanwhile, go fishin'.

Avitable said...

Oh, you were one of those people behind the glass? That's awesome - I've always wanted to go behind the scenes and do that stuff.

Megan said...

So you're like a sturgeon sex goddess, huh?

Grant said...

Shark worship? Finally, a religion that makes sense. "Kneel before my god or become Purina shark chow!" I'm on board with this.

And am I the only Atlantan who thinks the Tennessee Aquarium is better than ours?

Michael from dadcation.com said...

I didn't know y'all struggled to create babies...glad it finally "worked out."

sybil law said...

Yep - it's just taking your mind really, truly off the problem at hand, I guess, is the point.
So - was the sturgeon good?!

Anonymous said...

...and then, there are some of us who turn our minds and activities elsewhere and it still doesn't happen. You are blessed.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

LceeL - It is truly about giving up stress. The body listens. The uterus is a "social" organ, meaning it responds to external stimuli. And if the external stimuli are stressing future-mom the heck out? The uterus is going to shut down. I learned that the hard way.

Avitable - Yep! It was the most fun six months of diving ever!

Finn - Oh, I'm all that and a bag of smelt, baby!

Grant - I still prefer the Tennessee Aquarium over Georgia's. I don't know, bias maybe?

Muskrat - Me, too.

Sybil Law - Oh, very good! ;)

Anonymous - When I read your comment, I cried. Oh my God, honey. I wish, whoever you are, I could hug you and have a drink with you because I get it. I really do. I'm standing on this side, never thinking I would be, and I do feel very lucky to have made it. I wish I could give you a baby because if I could, I would do it. In a heartbeat. Much, much love.

Molly's Mom said...

I know too many people who have struggled with fertility as well...people who would be FABULOUS parents. And unfortunately for my job, I see too many people who should never have been allowed to have them. Sucks. Glad you have your little bundles, though!

I wish I had an aquarium near me to work/volunteer in...what a cool gig!

Irrational Dad said...

Stress does a LOT to the body. Getting your mind off the struggles to get knocked up did wonders for you.

Maybe God made you volunteer at the aquarium. He does work in mysterious ways, you know. (Sarcasm, in case you didn't catch the tone).

Lisa said...

De-lurking to say thank you, Heather, for your kind words. The emotional angle of this is quite heavy sometimes. I was the one who left the anonymous comment. I've been reading your blog for quite a long time. I just don't tend to leave comments. I'll try to change that.

For now, I have the stories I write where no female characters are infertile. I just couldn't do that to someone -- even if she is a figment of my imagination.

Miss Britt said...

This is a really cool story. Thanks for sharing it. xo

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Molly's Mom - It used to make me so mad to see teenagers get pregnant on the first try and they didn't even want the kid and meet women at my doctor's office who had tried for years to no avail. I don't get the Universe. I really don't.

Irrational Dad - Hee hee! You said "knocked up." :D

Lisa - I'm so glad you de-lurked. It's nice to finally meet you and I do hope you comment here more often. And I'm like you. I wouldn't wish infertility on my worst enemy.

Miss Britt - You're welcome!

Anonymous said...

Love this so much.


Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Hilly - Thanks! :)