Time Marches On

Image via Katie Hurley
Image via Katie Hurley

Life is full of obstacles, and I’ve hit a few along the way. In general, I tend to muster as much courage as possible when life is difficult, and try to remind myself that I will somehow, in some small way, come out stronger in the end.

Most of the time this works. I’ve survived great loss, held tight during the ebb and flow of close relationships, and one night lived through something so terrifying that you will never ever see it in writing. Some things are best left on the couch. With each event that somehow threatened to define in me a new light, I have, indeed, found strength that I didn’t know I had.

But infertility? That rocked me to my core.

A planner by nature, I planned for family building. I waited until the perfectly perfect time to get started. I even did a little research.

But I didn’t plan on infertility. Nobody ever does.

And when I realized that getting (and, more importantly, staying) pregnant wouldn’t be as easy as a little well-timed sex, I didn’t know which way to turn.

I didn’t want to talk about it much. Truthfully, I was shocked and just a little bit embarrassed. I always felt like I was meant to be a mom. I’ve loved kids since I was a kid. I was always the one to entertain the little ones at family gatherings and I babysat my way through college and graduate school. Upon graduation I became a child psychotherapist. Kids were always my calling.

As time ticked away and the months became years, I went into a panic. What if the one thing that I wanted more than anything in the world wasn’t a reality for me? What if the people who drove me batty with their endless comments about “God’s will” were actually right?

What if I couldn’t be a mom?

The thought was paralyzing. I fluctuated between significant anxiety and low-grade depression. I tried my best to “just relax.” I exercised just enough. I ate all of the right foods, according to two different books on the subject.

And I used the suppositories. Oh my god, the suppositories.

And still, time marched on. 

I relied heavily on the few friends who knew. I cried, I yelled, and I laughed without reason. Most days, I felt completely insane. 

But I just kept going because there was no other choice. 

Test after test came back with the same result: unexplained infertility. The miscarriages. 

Time marches on. The world doesn’t stop for infertility, even though it feels like it should.

The lack of ovulation. The godforsaken uterus that just wouldn’t do its job. All of it lacked explanation.

And then, one day, after a little Clomid and a lot of Cabernet, I saw the coveted double blue lines.

Sixteen weeks of suppositories later … I finally uttered the words out loud: “I’m having a baby.”

There was bed rest. There was house arrest. And there was a lot of knitting involved. But in December of 2006 my baby girl joined the world with a scream, and the rest faded into the background.

Time marches on. The world doesn’t stop for infertility, even though it feels like it should. And when you finally get to the finish line, no matter how you got there, you get to turn the page and start a new chapter, with all of that strength that comes with surviving something so terrible.

Just. Keep. Swimming.

What do you think?

Time Marches On

Katie Hurley, LCSW is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and writer in Los Angeles, CA. She is the author of "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" and "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World". She earned her BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She divides her time between her family, her private practice and her writing. Passionate about he ... More

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1 comment

  1. Cait says:

    This puts it more closely to anything I’ve ever read! Time should stand still. I feel like I’ve missed months because all I have done is try.


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