Thursday, October 4, 2007

Living In the Gap

12 DPO. BFN.

There will be some of my faithful commenters who will tell me not to lose hope. I love your faith and enthusiasm, but I am trying to be realistic and not have it hurt so much. It still hurts, the disappointment cuts like a knife through the hope that I had for this cycle.

I look around, at all the people - good and bad - who have babies, and I think: What did they do differently than us? Why did the fates give them a baby? What is wrong with me?

I recently went to a conference on Women's Leadership through work. The presenter said that there is something called "Living in the Gap," which a lot of people do. It means that you are not living your day to day life, but rather always looking forward to the next thing. You forget to enjoy the every day, bypassing it for the treasures of tomorrow. The only problem with the gap is that you are never truly happy. The treasures of tomorrow are not what they seemed to be, the grass actually has brown spots on the other side of the fence. So, you create a new wish list and a new set of treasures and continue living in the gap.

When it comes to having a baby, this is so definitely me. I have so much to be thankful for, so much to enjoy every day. And I don't. I live in this constant state of limbo, just trying to survive until my treasures of tomorrow come. The longer this takes, the more unhappy I become, and the further away it seems to be. I think "When I have a baby, I will be happy," but is this true?

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a girlfriend that scared the daylights out of me. A has eleven month old twins conceived through IVF. She rode the rollercoaster of infertility for 17 months. She knows it well. Her period started two months ago and she is already Living in the Gap again, thinking about thawing some of their totsicles and going again. "Katie," she warned me, "It doesn't stop when you have your babies."

Will this be true for me? If I don't learn to be happy with my life now, will I be back on this wild ride in just a couple of years, wanting baby #2 and ignorning baby #1 to get it? Will the treasures of tomorrow always entice me away from what I hold in my hands today?

Of course, today, all that I hold in my hands is a stick covered in my own pee. With one line, not two. Hardly a treasure.


Tracy said...

Aww...I'm sorry Katie. I do hope it is too early. You know, you've heard the stories.

I just wish it could be easier.

Missy said...

Katie, I'm so sorry that this round didn't work for you. It never seems to get any easier with each cycle that passes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe it's still to early to tell.

Melissa said...

You're so right about "living in the gap." You have to find a way to be happy with what you have TODAY! It is SO hard, I always thought I struggled with happiness more than anyone on earth until I found all your other wonderful bloggers and realized it's a universal thing, especially with the pain of infertility. It makes you feel like there is something seriously wrong with you! If you can learn to be happy with what you have or what is in your own reach, you can learn to accept what you may not ever get, you know? In this infertility journey, husband and I are always reminding ourselves that even without a baby will have a WONDERFUL life together-no matter what happens.

Samantha said...

I wish your stick could show you something different. I know you are feeling down right now, try to take it one step at a time.

elephantscanremember said...

While it seems easier to take it a day at a time, it's awfully hard not to wish time away to get to the ultimate goal.

I'd never thought of it the way you said it. We are insatiable creatures. We always want more.

jenna sais quoi said...

That's a great concept re: "living in the gap".

I think we are conditioned to be that way, to see life as a series of steps and achievements, and well...just because that works that way for some people doesn't mean it's going to be the path for everyone.

I'm not going to talk about hope...I am just going to hand you a virtual chocolate truffle and remind you to love yourself.

laksh said...

Your post made me think of all the good things I have going. You could have just described me there. I have been living in the gap for four years now. God knows, I am ready to move ahead.

Hugs! to you. Hope this didn't have to be this way.

Road Blocks and Rollercoasters said...

I'm sorry that this round is not looking good. I, too, am living in the gap and I've come to believe that it is inevitable. I begin every cycle reasoning out why the next cycle will be better and have more potential for working, even though I haven't made it through or even started the current cycle. It's a defense mechanism. I want to protect myself from hurting anymore than I have to.

I'd like to think it will end when I have a baby, but I can see why it wouldn't because I want more than one and I know that I'll have to use ART in order to have that. It just sucks.

Sending hugs and positive thoughts your way.

infertility just sucks said...

What an interesting concept - living in the gap...I think so many of us identify with it.

For me, it is difficult to enjoy today because today, in this moment where I'm 28 with a loving husband, I want a family. I am not where I want to be so it is hard for me to enjoy what I have when it's not all that I want. For every other life situation I've been able to solve it through my own volition. But this... it's beyond me. I can't make it happen through sheer will, action, organization or money. I can't fix it; no matter how hard I try.

Why are all of us infertiles such perfectionists? Why can't we be happy with what we have?

...because what we want is so wonderful. Nothing can replace it.

Tina said...

Unfortunately, your friend is right - once you go through IF, the pain of it really never goes away. You always feel broken - even if you are lucky to have 4 kids after it. It is something that always sticks with you, despite your best efforts to not let it affect you.

And, it is normal.

I wish this cycle had worked for you. Staying positive is very hard following defeat after defeat. *Hugs*

Shelli said...

Yes, that's me. Hopelessly in The Gap. I don't know how to get out of it, I think when you are in it, it's just so hard to see out of it. We live and learn the hard way.

I'm sorry that the test wasn't different. Thinking about you.

jennifercarol said...

I'm sorry this cycle is looking like a bust. But I relate so well with what you are saying about living in the gap. I've been struggling with the same thing for about a year now, which is just before we started TTC. I've started making a concentrated effort to change this pattern of thinking, because while it can be triggered by infertility getting 2 lines doesn't necessarily "cure" it. There is ALWAYS something to look forward to in the future and if you get used to obsessing about that rather than the present its dangerous.

At the advice of another TTC-er I'm trying to spend 30 minutes doing something I truly enjoy each day to get myself started down the path of enjoying the present. It's a small step but its better to make slow progress than to take too much on at once change-wise and fail. It's definitely tough though.

BrownEyedGirl said...

I'm sorry Katie. (((Katie)))

Interesting concept on living in the how do we get out of it, becuase like everyone else, I'm living there too. It's like my own private hell, shared with many others.

Again (((Katie)))

Mrs. Piggy said...

Katie, I was really rooting for you....ugh...Thanks for the tidbit on living in the gap...that is so exactly right.
Hang in there.

moosk said...

i'm sorry that this cycle is looking like a bust. i wish i had good thoughts on how to deal with all the crappy feelings that come along with another bfn.

i was thinking the same thing you were about finding ways to live life in the moment. i think infertility/subfertility sets you up to feel as if you're living cycle to cycle... and your only as good as your last pg test. but there is so much more to life. i don't know the secret avoiding "life in the gap," but i'll join you in the search!