Monday, 2 September 2013

What the Future Holds

This picture is of a 17 year old Bill Clinton shaking the hand of President John F. Kennedy during a Boys Nation trip to the White House in 1963. Regardless of your politics or feelings toward the Clinton presidency and legacy; you have to be impressed with this unique moment in history. The current president is looking into the eyes of a future president. I wonder if the photographer or any of the other boys were aware of what they were witnessing.

We ventured to Arkansas for the long weekend to attend a wedding and to tour the Clinton Presidential Library, which is a big deal for a political junkie like me. Husband is one of four ex-pats from his University in England who immigrated to the States. Each year they arrange to get together for a guys weekend, but for the past two years, we've gathered for the exchange of nuptials. After our first attempt at "officially" trying to conceive resulted in the first of many BFNs, we received a 'save the date' announcement for a wedding on a date that would have our due date. It became a silver lining at the time, but nine months of BFNs later, it felt strange to be at Barney and Robin's wedding and to not even be pregnant. A few weeks after our miscarriage, we received a 'save the date' flyer for another September wedding. We didn't have to say it out loud, but we both knew we wouldn't have been able to attend the wedding with a newborn less than a month old. Yet, we here were are; guests at the wedding for Marshall and Lilly, still not pregnant and preparing for our last hope with IVF. (For purposes of my analogy, Husband reprises the role of Ted and the previously named fourth Englishman, is Raj -borrowed from another series.)

I'm not sure why these weddings represent such markers for me, perhaps it is the not so subtle reference to the promise of children that is meant to follow after the honeymoon. True Story: when I was composing my speech to deliver at Myrtle's wedding, I was careful not to include any mention about having children. Although I knew she how much she wanted to have kids, I was aware of the infertility potential for a woman over the age of 35. You know the rest of the story; two months later she was knocked up and two years later, I'm still barren.

So far, this trip as called our attention to two facts. One, we are getting too old to take red-eye flights, although it is somewhat unavoidable when you live on the west coast. Two, we are at the phase in our life where we are attending a friend's second wedding. Marshall met his first wife while he was spending a year in America during a study abroad program. Before he left, he had declared his intention to immigrate and to eventually pledge alliance to the Stars and Stripes. Although she was very nice, they just didn't seem to fit together and many suspected this was a Green Card relationship. In fact, he was even assigned the nickname 'Gerard Depardieu' on a hockey tour. He obtained his law degree from the University of Arkansas and was granted a work visa from a local law firm, which allowed him to eventually pursue citizenship. Eight years into the relationship, they finally tied the knot. On the surface, they seemed really happy, but three years after their wedding date, he expressed concerns about their stability and a few months later, she confessed to having an affair.

Mere moments after his divorce papers were signed, his Facebook status announced that he was "in a relationship" with Lilly -a woman ten years his junior. It was widely presumed that she was "the rebound girl" and after meeting her, many of his friends expressed that notion.  I was introduced to her for the first time at Barney and Robin's wedding, but before I could formulate an opinion, they announced their engagement. This brings me back to the Clinton-Kennedy photograph: how often do we recognise the initial instant when we are confronted with our destiny?

How many of you recall the first moment you met your spouse -did you know then that he/she represented your future? My cousin claims she did. She had been in a two year relationship and was expecting to be asked "the question". Instead she received the statement: we need to talk. Her friends encouraged her to sign up for a volleyball league in order to lift her spirits and maybe meet someone. The night of their first match, she spotted a handsome man who arrived late from work. He was wearing a three piece suit and carried a volleyball under one arm and a six pack of beer under the other. As soon as his eyes met hers, she knew that he was the one for her. When I first met Husband, my thoughts were hmmm, he might be spongeworthy.... but mind you, I was motivated to end my dry spell before it reached the one year mark. Myrtle and I didn't notice each other much during nursery school, but one day we both brought the same Raggedy Ann doll for Show and Tell, and Kindergarden rules dictate you must play together under that situation. We were inseparable after that incident, and I have often wondered if the friendship would have developed if one of us had selected a different toy. Relating all this to infertility, I'll be trusting the embryologist to examine our 70-100 cell blastocysts and to determine which one is destined to be our baby.

Thanks to the recommendation of the concierge at our hotel in Little Rock, we dined at a local Microbrewery and ordered an eight flight sampler. As it has become customary to do, we were each updating our Facebook accounts. Husband posted this photo:

Boozing with my wife...
After we finished, I added this one:
Later, we both scrolled through our news feeds and saw the other's post and were amazed at how we spontaneously complimented each other. We started laughing so hard that we were both crying and the waitstaff approached our table to make sure no one was chocking. As we composed ourselves, I knew at that moment that no matter what our future holds with regard to conception; as long as this man is in my present...everything is all right...


  1. awww what a nice ending! It reminds me of the quote "If we do not appreciate what we already have, what makes us think we'd be happy with more?" I think about that a lot during this infertility journey.

    Andino & I had an instant connection the moment our eyes met. Then we started talking politics and world issues, and I knew he was The One.5 months after we met we were engaged.

    I'm glad your story has alternate endings that both include you being happy. I think I have that too. We are so lucky :)

  2. I love that picture of Clinton and Kennedy, and it does make one ruminate on fate and interesting coincidences. I'm glad you and your husband have such a connection. I think both my husband and I felt that instant "yep, this is right" when we met.

  3. Funny, but everyone seemed to know that M and I would end up together EXCEPT for us. We met each other four years before we ended up dating, at a party where several people had explicitly schemed to set us up. It never worked out. By the time he got the guts to ask me out, I was seeing someone else. When I broke up with that guy and asked M out, he had a new girlfriend himself. It was four years of relationship tag before we finally figured things out. Kind of makes one wonder if the infertility thing would have been an issue if we'd gotten our crap together sooner.

  4. You have such an amazing g gift for thing so many things together in your writing. I love it! That picture of Clinton and Kennedy is amazing. I've actually never seen it before. I got a kick out of your HIMYM name references. And I find it amazing that you and your husband posted those two pictures without knowing what the other had put! I love your attitude toward the future, and knowing everything will be alright regardless of the baby outcome.

    1. That was my best to date:
      Real life "Marshall" is a lawyer and has a physique similar to Jason Segal
      Real life "Lilly's" name is only one letter off
      Real life "Barney" is a blond pretty boy who is an accountant for a corporation and has a lot of nice suits
      Real life "Robin" has dark hair and works in TV production
      Real life "Raj" is Indian and also needed the 'liquid courage' to be able to talk to women

  5. I remember meeting SH for the first time but it was not exactly love at first sight. In fact, it didn't even occur to me that I would date him, let alone marry him. We didn't start dating until about a year after we first met and once we started dating it was pretty slow going. Even once it was clear this was it and we were going to be together, it still took us 8 years to get married. We don't exactly rush into things.

  6. What a lovely post! The last part about your perfectly paired FB posts is too funny :) And I love this last line: "no matter what our future holds with regard to conception; as long as this man is in my present...everything is all right." As I've said before, you have such a talent for weaving together different cognitive threads. You really are a gifted writer.

    I can totally relate to the linking of weddings with thoughts about (in)fertility and conception. As I wrote about a few weeks back, a wedding we attended in August brought out similar thoughts about would-have-been due dates, etc., for me.

  7. Ooooooo. That last part made me tear up! Y'all are so meant to be! Cheers!!

  8. "no matter what our future holds with regard to conception; as long as this man is in my present...everything is all right..."

    Well said!