Tuesday, 2 April 2013

I Can't Help but Wonder Where I'm Bound

I've never been a fan of the 'Father-Daughter' 'Mother-Son' dances at weddings. It always seemed kind of hokie and awkward, so we nixed it at our wedding. I would later feel a little guilty as I learned that my father would have wanted to use "You are So Beautiful" by Joe Crocker. Apparently, he used to sing that song to me when I was a baby. A bit too late, I gained a new appreciation for this ritual at the last wedding I attended. The Bride explained that she had memories of playing on the floor in her father's home office as they listened to vinyl 45s, and she invited her father to dance with her to "I Can't Help Wonder Where I'm Bound" by Tom Paxton. A bit of an unconventional song for a wedding, but as they sang along dancing together, I could see that not only did the song connect them with their memories, but it did seem fitting. A little girl innocently colouring as her life lies ahead of her is now an accomplished career woman marrying her Prince Charming. I think others sensed the sentiment too, as the Groom admitted his song choice wasn't as meaningful, but a few months ago his mother commented that she always thinks of him when she hears a particular song. His mother sprang from her chair and approached to the dance floor absolutely bursting with pride. I don't think she stop smiling as she and her son danced to "I Want it That Way" by the Backstreet Boys, whilst a chorus of his drunk Uni friends serenaded them.

After the song ended, Husband leaned over to me and whispered, "I can't wait for our child's wedding." I so admire the way he is so determined that somehow, some way, someday we will have a child. I know I tend to focus much more on the details within each individual cycle, while his eyes are focused on the ultimate prize. Sometimes, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that, yes, the ultimate end point of this science project is supposed to be a baby. In a way, it becomes a defense mechanism. When your primary goal is to attain that elusive BFP, it's easier to accept disappointment if you overlook the secondary goal.

As we start our fertility treatments, I've been finding myself drawn to the Bride's chosen song. I can't help but wonder where [we're] bound. I confess that in the early months of TTC, when I was awaiting AF or checking the POAS, I was almost as afraid of seeing a positive result as I was for a negative one. There are times I question, 'Can we really do this?' Are we actually responsible enough to be parents? We've been living in California for five and a half years and we don't have an earthquake emergency kit. We do however, have four bottles in our refrigerator that are designated "Earthquake Beer". Two for us and two for our friends. In the event of an earthquake, we'll know we can at least sit on our deck (or where our deck used to be) and have a beer together. There are days when my patient schedule will run late and I'll feel too brain dead to coherently finish my charts. I'll respond to my phone calls and emails and review my results to determine what can wait for the next day. It's hard enough just to get home at a decent hour to make Husband happy, let alone if I had someone else waiting for me.

I wonder if I will still be able to swim in the morning or find time to run or for a gym class. My younger self will die a little the day I hit the trails pushing a jogging stroller. When my nephew was born my cousin's husband told us "Oh, if you ever have kids, all the sports and activities you guys do? All out the window." I took his comment with a grain of salt, considering that he nor my cousin actually played a sport, went to a gym or did any regular exercise before having their baby. It seemed more to me that the baby just validated their sedentary lifestyle. I do accept that our life will drastically change, and I carry the foolish notion of 'we'll find a way to work things out' so that we can still continue to partake in sports and activities. This, of course is included with my other delusional ideas such as 'conception will be easy since I know what I'm doing' and 'I'll get my figure back after the baby is born'...

There's the household maintenance in addition to our renovation wish list. We've been spending a few hours each weekend working in the back and front yards and it feels like we're only chipping away. I do a thorough cleaning job every other weekend and it can take up most of the day. The in-between weekend is just a half-ass attempt to make things look neat. We'd like to redo the shower in the master bathroom, but I don't know how we'd get around to doing it with a kid in the picture. Husband talks of other projects like drywalling our garage, but I just see those ideas getting moved further down on the list of priorities.

A few nights ago, I came across the opening to The Cider House Rules, which is one of my all time favourite movies and one of the few films that has produced tears from my eyes. Dr Larch and Homer were in the nursery when Nurse Angela announces that an adopting couple were waiting in his office. "Life is waiting." Dr Larch informed her. "Let them wait."

Yes, life is waiting and life awaits. As long as we're employed in our current jobs, there will be work for us to do. The pool isn't going anywhere and there will still be races to run. I acknowledge it will be a struggle during the first few years. A friend with twins compared it to my postgraduate years; it was a time when I got little sleep and sacrificed many personal interests for the career I have today. If we do have a little one, I'll look forward to sharing the sports we love with him or her. We'll teach our DIY skills to our progeny and get some extra help with our renovation projects (I was taping and mudding at the age of 4). Cleaning and yard work are never ending cycles. Life is waiting and life awaits. The time to have a baby is now.


  1. My husband too is more about the 'big picture' or final prize, whereas I think I just find it easier and less emotionally draining to break it down into baby steps. Still, it's nice to be reminded what's on the horizon, isn't it? I hope life isn't kept waiting too much longer for you to pass on your love of sports and your DIY projects with your progeny :)

  2. Great post. Soemtimes as we are giving anything and everything for the BFP its hard to admit that yes, we are scared of what will happen if/when it works! But I think it is totally normal and good to acknowledge that it will bring a lot of crazy life changes!

  3. I just love this post. Well done. I think your earthquake kit is sufficient as is!!

  4. Sounds a little like me and my husband. I keep asking "are we ready for this? how will we handle x,y? how will we ever do z again?" He just says don't worry, we'll manage. It will be different but we'll figure it out. He is much more big picture while I worry about all the little details. Or at least he is when he needs to calm me down :)
    Also, best earthquake kit ever. We did put one together a few years ago but we ended up drinking all the bottled water and the food we put in it should probably be replaced so it is pretty useless should a big earthquake hit.

  5. There is never a great time to have a baby. With all of us infertiles it takes forever anyway, so you might as well get started now, even if you aren't sure if you are ready!

  6. I love the beginning when you were talking about the Father/Daughter dances. Actually got teary eyed when I read about your husband looking forward to that moment. Things do have a way of working themselves out. Because exercise and sports are a big part of your life, you will just be passing those interests on to your kids. I have no doubt of this :)

  7. Just had to comment on this.....My perspective has been that if something is important enough to you, you can make it happen. My husband and I both like to get in workouts six or seven days a week, so we have to coordinate AM schedules and who gets to exercise away from the house on any given morning, but we just make it work. In the early days, I would be up at 4:30 pumping in order to make it to a 5:30 AM masters workout. I got the itch to race Wildflower long course one year and I wanted to put together a good race, so I called my old coach, and put together a training plan. 10ks, half marathons, marathons...all of these are doable, and can be done well with children (and a full time job). Yes, you may have to train differently (I had to put more intensity into my workouts rather than gaining fitness by increasing volume), but it can be done. This should be true for any aspect of your life. If it's important to you, you don't have to give it up.

  8. Here from the Creme, and really enjoying this post! I've had these questions and thoughts too, and it's lovely the way you've expressed these concerns and desires - and how much of it is (or isn't) really within our control.

    And love your earthquake kit!