Teaching Experience

I have one more IUI before my surgery in July. How great it would be if I got pregnant this time and never had to go through the surgery at all. Today I taught a magazine writing class at the community college I attended in the early 1980s. Since I am a reporter, teaching writing is something I do occasionally.

Typically, I love teaching. I teach one-day classes on Saturdays. Sometimes I teach journalism, sometimes writing your family history, sometimes magazine writing. Usually, teaching these classes leaves me with a buzz, a thrill, a high almost.

When I teach, I am seventeen and in love, I am six and allowed to go on the merry-go-round one more time, I am 11 years old and sitting in my treehouse, I am 14 and someone (anyone) thinks I am pretty.

When I teach, the insecure, negative, self-hating part of me disappears and I emerge strong, confident, and full of possibilities.

The girl in college who wore a white cotton dress and truly believed that anything and everything was possible returns briefly for an encore.

When I teach, I realize that my true calling was not working as a newspaper reporter, but being in a classroom with students.

But today, my teaching experience was completely different than usual and left me feeling pretty hysterical. Here’s why.

The class started out as usual.

First, I introduce myself, and then I call each student up to my desk
to talk one-on-one about why they took the class and what they hope to learn from the class.

The students come to my desk one at a time and share their goals for the class.

Now it is the turn of the woman sitting in the front row who looks to be in her mid-30s. Immediately, I like her. She seems spunky.

Then she opened her mouth, “I’m here to write about my seven year hell with infertility.”

Wham–I am in for quite a ride.

For the next seven hours, eight counting lunch, all I hear about is her horrible experience with infertility and how it DIDN’T work out.

Her voice and desire to share her story was louder and more fervent than any other person in class. She had enough anger and fury to dominate the entire class discussion.

“The clinic tricked me.”

“I tried everything and it didn’t work.”

“I’m trying Reiki now, hoping maybe that will work.”

“All my husband and I ever wanted was children.”

Even during lunch, when I hoped for a break from hearing about her pain, which scarily mirrored my own, she sat with me outside on the picnic bench and continued her story.

I felt for this woman. At another time, the teacher part of me might have been glad she took my class in order to share her pain.

But the infertility patient part of me wanted to tell her to shut up.

I struggled all day to remain professional, calm and not interject with my own experiences with infertility….but inside I was screaming was IS THIS GOING TO BE IN SEVEN YEARS? Am I going to turn into her eventually? Will I try and try like she did and never get a baby?

Was her lot my lot?

No, no, no, I kept saying to myself. I won’t make the same mistakes she made. I was going to a highly reputable clinic. I was already working on improving my overall health.

But still….I felt panicked and scared. Hearing her story just confirmed all my worst fears: that I could do infertility treatments year after year after year with no result.

All she ever wanted was a baby. All I ever wanted was a baby. Were we two peas in the same hopeless pod?

I hid my feelings all day, knowing it would open a can of worms if I told her I too was in the midst of fertility treatments.

But now back at home, I am burning with pain. Will this be me in seven years?

She reminded me yet again of the terrible statistic that not everyone who goes to a fertility clinic ends up with a baby.
I can’t stand to hear these statistics. They make me crazy.

I can’t go seven more years without a child in my life. I won’t be her,
because if I don’t get pregnant in one year, I will adopt.

I will always and forever keep trying for my own biological baby, but I will adopt before I let seven years pass without a child in my life. Hell, if I end up with both an adopted baby and a biological baby, what an incredible blessing that would be.

Everywhere I turn right now, I feel I am confronted with one hopeless
infertility story after another.

Throughout the class, her pain was raw and rageful in a way I clearly understood, but surely didn’t want to see, hear or understand. Why did she have to take my class? Was I suppose to hear something she said?

Was I suppose to know that sometimes this doesn’t work out?

God help this woman, God help me. Let us both get the babies we so desperately want.

Dancing To Fertility Book

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