Contentedness and Complacency

Profound Thoughts on Starting IVF #2

I have this feeling that my life is going to change. I think the start of every IVF brings this feeling. I remember it last time.

Which brings me to profound thoughts about happiness and change. For those of you who have never met me, or never knew me before I was trying to conceive (TTC), I’m generally a happy person. And even as a child, I was a “resilient” child. I have faced obstacles like other humans, but I bounce back faster. I’ve always felt lucky to be blessed with such a personality trait, especially as I have watched friends sometimes be dragged down for years after major events like breakups.

However, TTC for so long has made me face unhappiness and adversity for longer (and deeper) than ever before in my life. I hesitate to call it “unhappiness,” because it’s more like “uncontentedness.” I know, it’s not a word, but it’s closest to describing how I feel. I’m not content with my life.

A couple of years ago, I was content and happy: I lived in the bay area which I loved, had an amazing job working with the underserved doing full spectrum family practice, traveled a lot, had enough money for luxuries like the occasional massage or facial, had great friends, was social all the time. And no, I didn’t have a boyfriend, but I was content with being single—emotionally fulfilled with my single friends and occasionally physically fulfilled by a fling here or there. What more could a girl want?

And then I hit age 35.5. And I wanted a baby. And everything changed. Not overnight, but insidiously. And here I am now, living in the same place, working at the same job, with the same friends and family, but clearly not content. Something is clearly missing.

And because the quest for that something—my future child—has taken so long, and has caused me a fluctuating amount of emotional pain on top of a low level of constant emotional vulnerability, I have begun to reevaluate everything. First I noticed my friendships changing, then my relationship with my family, then my job satisfaction.

So here I am, a half day into my second IVF stims, with a new relationship with my parents, a couple of job interviews, and somehow feeling open to change in a way I was completely closed to it when I was living happily content.

So even though this post is about not being content, I believe it has been an incredible motivator for me, and it will change my life. A good metaphor is to imagine myself as Mother Earth, sitting still, on top of these tectonic plates. And then suddenly, a plate shifts and something moves slowly and before you know it there’s an earthquake in India, then one in Central America, then a tsunami in the Pacific.

The shifting of one thing in my life has completely changed everything. And little did I know that when I said my life would change with my first IVF, this is what I meant. I had absolutely no idea the depth of my change would be so profound. And I’m feeling lucky to experience it, amongst all the pain. Lucky to feel human.

And lucky to say, yet again, I feel like my life is about to change.

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