I finished another bottle of pre-natal vitamins today. Yep, that's right...like the kind pregnant women take. Anyone who is trying to conceive is probably taking these vitamins or maybe should be. I myself have been taking them for seven years now. I will admit I'm not 100% consistent. Some days I forget and some days I'm too crabby to touch the bottle. Each time I purchase a new giant jar of them and break the seal I wonder if possibly a healthy pregnancy will take shape while I'm working through them. No surprise when yet another bottle is empty and so am I. I don't know why I focus on these milestones but there seem to be so many of them in the minefield of infertility. I know others have mentioned on their blogs about the start of the school year and how it begins the rapid, downward slide into Halloween goblins, Thanksgiving dinner gatherings, and the Christmas/Holiday photo card campaigns that seem to be starting earlier and growing more elaborate by the year. As each milestone comes and goes it is a giant reminder that nothing has changed, except possibly like this year, we have another pregnancy loss under our belt. Not exactly the kind of thing you put in a Christmas card. I know part of my disappointment and pain is self-induced. If it weren't for the fact that I never fail to say to myself "by next year at this time" I wouldn't have to face up to the reality that my yearned-for prediction hasn't come true.
Allow me a bit of a tangent on the aforementioned Christmas card for a moment since I doubt I'm the only one who cringes when these begin to pile up in the mailbox. Of course the worst offender of them all is the brag-o-rama Christmas letter. The dark side of me would love to write a "Christmas Letter from an Infertile" and send it to all of the smug parents in my address book. It would be equal parts honest depiction of pain and overly embellished descriptions of a glamorous child free life that I don't really live. Just a little something to make the recipient feel like we do when we read yet another encapsulation of a year's worth of little Riley or Ava's accomplishments and accolades. Thank goodness Santa was kind enough to bring me a high powered shredder last year.
Returning to my original train of thought, my road through infertility seems to be marked with more milestones than I care to deal with. Each is a reminder of how much more life has passed with a dream as yet unfulfilled. Turn a milestone on its side and it becomes a stumbling block. Some days I am strong enough to climb over and others I am the like the group of ants in the animated movie of the same name. I stare at them in dismay and can see no way to overcome them. Today is one of those days. Here's hoping tomorrow I find a ladder.