Friday, January 4, 2013

Cycle 21, CD 23(ish)

When I came around to the idea of starting an infertility blog, I thought long and hard about what to name it. There is so much in a name. I remember sitting on the beach late one November evening, all by myself, mulling over our journey to grow our family. I breathed in the cold salt air. Filtered sand through my fingers. Dried my tears with the back of my sleeve when my face became wet. 

At one point, I thought how easy it would be to drown in those huge waves and sink to the bottom. And in my sullen mood, I realized that is how I felt. I felt like infertility had muted everything. That it was drowning me. All I wanted to do was come up for some air, but I was stuck holding my breath. It was an analogy that made sense to me. Hence, Submerged was born. 

Years ago, Mike and I took a vacation on a remote tropical island. We decided to hire a photographer to take some photos of us- to document our time there. We had already captured some beautiful images together when our photographer asked us if we would be open to taking a few shots in the water. Underwater even.

The photo in my header isn't just any photo. It is the exact moment when Mike and I slipped underwater together. I love how simple that photo is, just a tiny splash and we were gone. It seemed the perfect one to use for this space considering we were on this journey together. And so, the design of my blog was set.

The underwater view of that same photo captured us submerged in those remote waters. It has always been a favorite of mine. So ethereal. So soft. Muted but beautiful. [I'll post it here for now, but will remove it in a few weeks for the sake of anonymity]. 


I was content to stay down there, holding my breath and my husband close. I never would have guessed that this is exactly where we would remain. Suspended and suffocating. But we are mortals and eventually my lungs became too tight. I needed to breathe again. 

My last miscarriage, as painful as it was, opened my eyes. From beneath the watery surface, I finally saw that there was air, light, and warmth in the distance. I knew that if I didn't want to be pulled to the bottom, to become a relic on the ocean floor, I had to make the choice to swim against the tide. Except my husband let go of my hand somewhere along the way, and disappeared into the abyss.

I always thought that Mike and I would resurface together. That we would take that first painful and beautiful breath at the same time; filling our lungs with life and hope until we reached solid ground. Instead I find myself alone. I'm tired, scared, and don't know which direction is up any more, but I will fight to get to the surface with every ounce of strength I have left.

50 comments:

  1. This post was absolutely beautiful. That picture is just breathtaking....

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  2. Wow. Ditto what Toni said. Your header just became so much more haunting.

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    1. Thanks Shelley. I've wanted to explain the reasoning behind my blog name and design for so long. It finally made sense to do it.

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  3. What a hauntingly beautiful post. The picture almost does it justice. Almost.

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    1. Thanks so much. Quite a few people read this post on your prompting. Thank you so much for that. It humbles me that you thought so much of it.

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  4. Beautiful picture, and achingly beautiful post.

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  5. Agree with everyone else here on what a beautiful, moving post this was. Why is it raining in my house? My face is inexplicably wet!

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    1. If it wasn't considered bad luck I'd suggest you run and get an umbrella. Perhaps instead you should hold your arms out and dance in the rain. xo

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  6. This was an utterly beautiful and haunting post. Thank you for sharing both the photo and your words.

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  7. This is one of the most moving and chilling posts about infertility I've ever read. Yes: submerged in the sea is an excellent metaphor for struggling with infertility. And reemerging, as Cristy pointed out, is difficult too. We all (hopefully) reemerge from Infertility and it is a strikingly difficult process. In a way, infertility is like almost drowning. Everyone is forever haunted by the experience. I am sending many hugs and please know there are so many readers abiding with you. (I'm here via Esperanza.)

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    1. Thank you so much Jjiraffe. Your subsequent post has stuck with me as well. There is a reason why some of the most spectacular stories contain mermaids in them- they carry a bit of magic with them. I believe you do too.

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  8. This is a painfully beautiful and deeply evocative post. I am so sorry you feel alone. for what it is worth though I may be a stranger a world away I think of you and I am here if ever you need an ear or shoulder.

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    1. It's worth a lot Luna. Bucketfuls even.

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  9. What an amazing post. You are such a strong and amazing woman. Sending you lots of love.

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  10. I so long for you to feel like you are fully breathing on te surface again. I know you will be there and we are with you the whole way. So much love to you.

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    1. I take so much strength in your hope. And somehow, someway- I think I believe in it too. xo

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  11. I always loved your blog title. I always thought "submerged" was such a perfect description of living with IF and dealing with miscarriages on top of that. What a great picture. Absolutely love it. Good thoughts and prayer with you as always as we all try to get to the top and take that breath.

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    1. We can only hold our breath before for so long. It is only a matter of time before we are all able to fill our lungs again.

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  12. Oh Hun this post is so beautiful and yet painful. I'm so sorry for your loneliness....I wish I could take it all away. Your photos are breathtaking, no pun intended. I'll be seeing you soon,and giving you many many hugs!!!

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  13. Sometimes there are no words. All I can say is that I'm so sorry and I'm thinking of you.

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  14. You my friend, are a fighter. Stronger than I think you even realize. I know the past few weeks and months have been difficult for you, but you constantly amaze me with your courage, beauty, selflessness, and strength. You will be able to resurface and swim again. This I have no doubt of. You are too amazing of a person to not have wonderful things happen for you. Never forget the powerful effect you have one people...especially me. I know I am a better person for having gotten to be your friend. I love you so much and will always be there to pull you out of the water if you need me to. Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

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    1. Oh T. There are no words. I just adore you with all that I am.

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  15. What an utterly beautiful, honest post. Infertility is a sort of sink-or-swim experience, isn't it? I hope, through it all, you are able to catch your breath now and then and to look around and realize you're not alone at all. We're all in the water with you, holding you up when you grow tired. I wish I could hug you right now, my friend. I think of you all the time!

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    1. That is the beauty of this place- the strength, love, and support keep us afloat. Hugs all around.

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  16. Wow. Echoing others' sentiments. This is a beautiful and heartbreaking post. Both pictures are awesome. The underwater one is so moving, but I also love knowing the backstory to what was happening beneath that ripple when the picture in your header was taken. Thank you for sharing and to JJiraffe for pointing me in your direction. Wishing you peace, love, hope and patient optimism for the journey, from another women was submerged for many years (dealing with secondary infertility and loss) and eventually got to come up for air and stay on the land (most of the time).

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    1. And the knowledge that you have made it to land keeps the rest of us fighting the tide during all of this. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment.

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  17. Here on Jjiraffe's recommendation. What a powerful decision, to swim towards the light. But so difficult, the swimming alone ... in some respects, we need both arms to paddle, and everyone needs to swim at his/her own pace towards the light and the air. I hope that you will see, once you resurface, all of those around you ... and that you can feel everyone swimming with you even as you come closer to the light.

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    1. In fact, I do. There are so many of us swimming in the same direction. And in that, I gain so much strength. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

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  18. I have no words. This was an amazing post.

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  19. This is an achingly beautiful post and a metaphor I think many of us can relate to. We're in that water, too. You are not alone.

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    1. I've wanted to write about how my blog name came to be and my blog design for a long time now. I guess it just needed to come out when I was ready. Thank you for your comment and though Mike may not be with me, indeed I know I am not alone. Nor are you m'dear.

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  20. Beautiful post and beautiful picture. Any words I leave here cannot do it justice.

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  21. Very moving post. Keep fighting, my love.

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  22. Such beautiful words. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

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  23. Wow, amazing post. Beautiful picture. I am so sorry to read that your relationship is such a struggle right now. I am so sorry Mike let go of your hand. ((HUGS)) The ALI journey is just so damn hard. :(

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    1. Indeed it is much harder than any of us imagined. But in that comes so much support and love. Thank you for that.

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  24. Amazing post and submerged is soo apt for IF and RPL. You will resurface and swim to the shore. You are too strong to be an ocean relic. Best wishes dear. Praying hard for you.

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  25. This is an amazing post that I will be thinking about for a long time. I'm sorry that it's been so hard, but am glad to hear that you're swimming toward the light.

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  26. Here from Too Many Fish to Fry's blog.

    Oh, sweetie. Love and light to you as you find your way to the surface.

    xoxo

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  27. What a heartbreakingly beautiful post. This "I had to make the choice to swim against the tide. Except my husband let go of my hand somewhere along the way, and disappeared into the abyss." brought tears to my eyes. I may have had an entirely different IF road to you but I lost my first husband, for many reasons, but the main being he one day also just let go of my hand. I know how scary life may seem now, even though you have already survived so much pain. We are all here for you.

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  28. This post brought tears to my eyes. Tutti, as much as you think you are still submerged, I don't think you are anymore. Based on our conversations, I think you've emerged and are taking those first painful breathes, even when your lungs are on fire and your vision is clouded/almost now existant. But, you have surfaced. And the surface is scary, cold and involves some struggling to regain your sense of direction as well as to get back to regular breathing.

    I believe you will though. Like anyone who has been underwater, you will find your way. And though I am so sorry that Mike is not with you, I want to emphasize that you are not alone. So many of us are with you, caring about you and huddling with you to keep warm. And we are looking for land too.

    Thinking of you and sending you so much love.

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    1. Mike may have let go of me, but you and so many others have reached out to keep me afloat. And perhaps you are right, maybe I have already resurfaced. Gasping and being pummeled by the waves, but dammit if I'm not a strong swimmer. Thank you for reminding me of that.

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  29. This is a beautiful, bittersweet post. I'm so sorry that Mike is not going to finish this journey with you. Cristy is right though, you are not alone, you are surrounded by the spirits of the rest of us who are searching for the shore and solid ground again. I am praying for peace for you, my amazing blog friend.

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  30. Sending you lots of love. I wish I could ease your pain. I am amazed, though, at your resilience and I'm glad that you continue to share your thoughts with us. Take care. I'll be thinking of you.

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  31. I read this post last week but didn't have a chance to comment and now that I'm back and have reread it again, I'm still blown away by it. Beautiful metaphor. I'm sorry Mike let go, but I am so glad you are swimming towards the light. We'll help keep you afloat so your energy can return.

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  32. Your post is very haunting and chilling. Your pictures are beautiful as well.
    I'm sorry for all you have been through and this latest blow. I admire you for finding the desire to want to swim to the shore. Most of us would not be able to handle things as gracefully as you have.

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  33. Here from stirrup Queens. Words can't tell you how moving this post was. My marriage has seen more than its fair share of ups and downsin the eleven years we've been battling IF -- and divorce has been a very real option more than once. I don't know how we made it through, or even if we will in the end (our IF is still unresolved). Anyway, I say that just to say that I have been where you are, and it is scary and lonely in a way that rocks you to your core. Your writing is breathtaking, and I look forward to hearing about what lies ahead for you, no matter where your path takes you.

    Hugs,
    Jo

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  34. I almost drowned in a well when I was three. Now I don't put my head under water anywhere...not even the bathtub. But drowning in grief is exactly what it feels like. I lost my husband's hand under the water somewhere and it is the worst most horrible part of this whole thing.

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  35. This is such a beautiful, heartbreaking post - sparse and poetic at the same time, with beautiful imagery in both words and picture, and so tragically honest. I wish you weren't suffering this pain on top of so many others and I'm sending you love and strength as you fight your way to the surface. Even when it might feel like you are, you are not alone.

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