It’s time for another Time Warp Tuesday post! This is turning out to be one of my new favorite blog memes, especially if you’ve been blogging for more than a couple of years. I love digging through old stuff of mine.
This week’s theme is “Your All-Time Favorite Post.” Since I am in the Queen of Indecision, this has proven a very arduous task. I honestly can’t decide what my favorite post is. I know the ones I’m really proud of, like my 9/11 post this year, but seeing as how I just wrote it, it didn’t feel right to select that for today’s post.
I decided to pick a post that while it’s not necessarily THE all-time favorite post of mine, it’s one that was interesting to reflect upon since I wrote it so long ago: An Infertility Equation. I wrote this post only a couple of months after I had just started blogging. It’s a very short post – go read it now and come right back.
I’ll wait, it’s cool
So if you swung by and read the post, you’ll see that I created a “life equation” that explained how infertility works. The great thing is, I suck so hard at math, I wanted to look at it again, over 2 years later now, to see if my little theorem held true, and what’s changed since then.
Here’s the equation I made to explain infertility:
In math language, that says:
Infertility is equal to Hope times the difference of the quotient of The Way You Thought it Would Be divided by Things Don’t Turn Out As Planned minus Doin’ It the Ol’ Fashioned Way.
Yeah, I’m no good at word problems either.
Math and makin’ babies: not really my fortés.
So, has my infertility equation changed in the last two years?
Maybe a smidgen… I think I’m just looking at it through very different eyes now. Everything in the parentheses is all that baggage that you carry with you about your infertility experience. These are all variables you just can’t ignore. I think they truly shape the way in which you perceive your infertility experience.
And Hope as a variable is truly important. You gotta have hope, no matter what.
What’s changed for me is having the realization of just how powerful all that parenthetical baggage can be. I’m no math whiz, but I know that anything multiplied by zero equals zero. If all the stuff in the parentheses ever equals zero, and you multiply it by Hope…
Then you get no hope. And no hope is no way to go through infertility.
What I’ve learned, in looking at this equation over two years later now, is that “Doin’ it the old fashioned way” doesn’t have to be preceded by a minus sign. When it comes to family building, it’s not necessarily a negative concept. I wrote this in June 2009, so my diagnosis was still fresh and painful. Now I realize that family building – no matter how we get there – is a very positive thing indeed.
Okay, so maybe it’s changed a lot. In reevaluating my totally logical stab at life in the context of math, I’ve adjusted the equation. I think it more accurately reflects the ways I perceive our infertility journey now, as opposed to right after I was diagnosed.
So here’s my new updated life equation for infertility:
You’ll notice a few changes throughout my original equation.
Even just tweaking the wording, from “The way you thought it would be” to “How You Imagined It Would Be” I think more accurately honors the notion that it’s important to recognize a very special dream – how we imagined we’d build our families – is somehow divided in the context of infertility.
Changing “Things don’t turn out as planned” I feel like does a little victim blaming (unintentionally, of course). It assumes that we did something wrong and thus, that’s why our plans fell through. It implies a sense of failure. “A Sudden Change of Plans” better states that infertility is something that happens to us – not because of something we’ve done. It reflects how jarring infertility can be to our normal routine.
Now that I’m all hip in the know about the wide spectrum of family building options, “Doin’ it the ol’ fashioned way” doesn’t really accurately reflect that. I mean, adoption is about as ol’ fashioned as you can get – can we say, Moses? And thinking of family building in terms of a plan, brand new plans even, feels much more positive and forward-driven. It gives us a sense of motivated goals.
What I love about this updated life equation is that it allows for change over time. If Plan A didn’t work, you can still swap out for Plan B where it says “A Whole Brand New Plan.” Thinking about infertility in these new terms allows for not only change, but growth as well. No matter what the value of your planning variable, by thinking about it positively, it should never equal zero in the parentheses.
And as long as you can avoid that zero there, you’ll always have hope.
What do you think?
Does this make sense? Did I get my math right?
And what are some creative ways (math or otherwise) you’ve conceptualized your infertility journeys?