Yesterday I tackled a long overdue task: cleaning out the closet in the office/extra bedroom. It contains hitherto unopened boxes from when we left the city for our suburban rental house in 2008 that we never managed to open when we settled into this house in 2009. Among the treasures I found was this:
This was the iPod my husband gave me to keep me company on the long slog from our apartment in Brooklyn to the fertility clinic on the Upper East Side, which was undertaken in the wee hours of the morning so that I could get back to Brooklyn for my student teaching gig that began at 8:30 am.
I remembered a playlist on the iPod that was the soundtrack for that journey and for so much more during that time--I could remember most but not all of the songs, and since the computer had been replaced and the iPod had been lost (or so I thought), I haven't been able to reconstruct it. Until now.
I don't think about our fertility struggles nearly as much as I used to. That all consuming ache that endured even after I was finally pregnant, after I had finally given birth disappeared at some point along the way, but I think infertility was the defining event in my life. It derailed my professional plans and the timeline I had envisioned for the rest of my life. It made me distrustful of my body and my identity as a parent. Though medicine ultimately saved the day, it made me acutely aware of the inequities and imperfections of the medical system.
I kiss my kids and marvel at the wonder of their existence, and then I sit back and listen to these songs, and I remember: