Not knowing what will happen in the future can be torturous. The unknown can throw you into a downward spiral if you let it.
It’s the mind that does it to us.
Our continuous thoughts of what the outcome will be.
As I was walking out the door this morning, my husband discussed one of these unknown situations with me. We are in the process of selling a rental property, and have been going back and forth with the buyer about something that came up on the inspection report. In a nutshell, she is requesting a replacement furnace, and we offered her money toward a future purchase. The furnace works, but no one knows when it will stop working.
There is a possibility that the sale of the house will fall through, and that we will have to re-list it.
This has thrown my husband into a low grade tizzy. He is a bit more short tempered these days, and slightly more agitated.
The thing is though, he will find out in less than a week if the buyer has decided to pull the plug.
My husband’s “unknown” will last a relatively short time, and life will move on.
Our conversation started me thinking about the unknowns of the infertility world. A place that I was in not that long ago.
Would I ever become pregnant again?
Would my blood tests be normal?
Would I miscarry again?
Would we ever complete our family?
And this unknown didn’t last for a few months. It lasted for a few YEARS. Every single month for a few years, my thoughts were plagued with any number of infertility related tidbits:
Where is my period?
Why did all three of our IUI’s fail?
When can I start the next cycle?
Why did I have a chemical pregnancy with a chromosomally normal embryo?
How much is this going to cost and how the hell will we afford it?
Why is my estrogen level lower than it should be?
The underlying “unknown” in all of these questions boiled down to one thing that no one was able to answer:
How is all of this going to turn out?
The anguish of not knowing how a situation will turn out is unexplainable to anyone who hasn’t been challenged on the fertility level. It can go on for months and months, years, and years, and years.
I tried explaining it to my husband one day, but don’t think I did an adequate job. I asked him to imagine the sports car he’d always wanted. And then I asked him to imagine that an endless monthly lottery was giving away sports cars for free, and the odds of winning were 1 in 3.
As the months went on, everyone was winning one of these sports cars. Every single month! But each month he didn’t win. His friends won, his family won, his colleagues won, his neighbors won, but month after month, and soon year after year, he STILL wasn’t winning.
These people would drive by his house in their shiny new cars and wave hello. They would send him emails saying how ECSTATIC they were about their new car. They would drive their prized possessions to social gatherings and show them off. They would
brag express how happy they were on social media that they won it! And at the very least expected moment, they would let it slip that they had become the lucky winner.
He didn’t know if he would ever win. And somehow, he had to be okay with that. He had to accept the unknown, and hope beyond hope that his name was chosen the next month.
Yes, I know a sports car is a shallow analogy, and I fully understand that the desire to have a family versus a luxury car is not even comparable, but…I hope you get my exaggerated point.
After awhile you become sad. Frustrated. Annoyed. And then comes the anger.
“This isn’t FAIR! Why is everyone else winning the lottery and I’m not?”
The fear and anxiety increase, the depression increases, and the anger is at an all time high.
Until somehow you resolve your challenge. Whether that’s by having a baby, adopting, fostering, using a donor, or deciding to live childfree.
And you look back on your experience and think “Did I really have to get all kinds of crazy during this whole thing when _____ was going to happen in the end?
Friends, if you have the solution to embracing the unknown without getting all kinds of crazy, I’d love to hear from you. Yes, it’s in the subtitle of my book, but I can tell you that it’s a work in progress.
Every. Single. Day.
No matter what type of life challenge I’m confronted with.