Monday, October 16, 2017

With different eyes

About two months ago I picked up my new glasses.  There isn't anything special about them, though they do a nice job of correcting my astigmatism that gets worse every couple of years, which was the catalyst for getting this pair.

The last time I got new glasses was in the midst of infertility.  I had my eye appointment to get that prescription literally two hours after our first appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist.  I didn't love the glasses I picked out, but they were good enough (and about $400 cheaper than the pair that I liked).  I went to pick them up after my first round of testing.  We all know how my brief foray into reproductive endocrinology went.  Anyway, for whatever reason, I always associated those stupid glasses with learning we'd never have children.

It's nice to not have a piece of hardware on my face that doesn't hold any hard memories!

Within a few days of getting my new glasses, I also got a new computer, which gave me the occasion to transfer all of my photos.

Naturally, as I was transferring everything over, I took the opportunity to look through the past twelve years or so of my life in photos.  There were happy times, like when hubs' and I started dating when our dog was a puppy, and when we got married.  And then there were the infertility years.

The. Infertility.  Years.

I looked dead.  I swear you could see the brokenness in my eyes.  I was hurting.  I wouldn't have admitted it at the time but I was forcing the appearance of happiness.

There weren't many photos back then.  I largely stayed away from the camera.  I remember most of the events, but more as something to get through rather than something that I enjoyed.  The Christmases and Thanksgivings and random family events. 

It brought back all of the feelings.  For a little while, I was back to the broken woman whose dreams of having children had just evaporated into thin air.  Photographic evidence of how hard it was.

But then I looked at more recent photos.  My faked happiness turned into less faked happiness which turned into genuine happiness.

At some point, I made the decision that I didn't want to feel like shit anymore.  That it wasn't doing me any good to fake being happy.  So I began to work through my grief.  That was the turning point. 

What is it they say? That nothing that comes easy is worth having?  My god, it was (is) so hard.  But so worth it.

I'm a different woman today then I was in 2014.  I'm not the person I used to be.  Not better or worse, just different.  More resilient. 

And I'm glad.  Like Mali said, choosing to survive is empowering


  1. The photos. I looked through some too and had the same thought about looking detached and half-alive. Infertility sucked a lot of joy out of life. I’m so glad you’re not there anymore.

    1. I really was a special kind of hell, but I got through it. So did you.

  2. I love this!

    And when I think about it, there are very few photos of me in those years (though it was before I had a digital camera - yes, I'm old). Photos taken of those years always remind me of my sadness at the time though, even times that should have been happy, like my 40th birthday party, and a trip to France.

    So I'm glad you have new hardware on your face that doesn't weigh you down!

    1. You aren't old! I was an early adopter of digital photographs. I probably bought my first digital camera around 2004 or 2005, and now my iPhone is my primary camera.

      It's amazing how much infertility chews us up and spits us out. So many times that should have been happy, but were sad instead because of the dark cloud of infertility.

      Oddly enough, my new glasses look a lot like my old ones. But I don't associate them with a really hard time in my life. :)

  3. The picture in my passport have been made during an ivf-cycle. Back then I thought it's a good idea, being busy, apply for a new passport and I didn't give a look at it. Now a few years later I'm scared at every boarder control. It's not me on picture. Maybe my ten years older sister if i had one. During infertility trip this look was quite normal, so I didn't recognized it for years.

    1. I hope you get a new photo soon! It's amazing how everyone who commented had the same look of sadness.

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