Growing up with two younger brothers, bodily functions seems to be a focal point of many of our conversations. It was never planned, but it almost always just happened. I can't say it made my mom very proud, but it made us laugh so hard that we really did not care.
As grown ups, you would think we would have outgrown such talk. We have not. Often at a family gathering, the talk will turn to something "colorful" and the people around us will cringe. Or our mom will say something to us. Or Gary will roll his eyes. This behavior just encourages my brothers and me. Somewhere in the back of mind mind, I do realize that this topic is not a very lady like thing to discuss. Sigh.
The first holiday season that Gary and I were together was a happy one. I think Hanukkah and Christmas were close to each other that year so there was lots of celebrating with both sides of our families. It was my first holiday season with someone really special in as long as I could remember and I wanted it to be just right. And it was. We were that goofy hand-holding couple making lists of what we wanted from each other and being giddy that we had someone amazing in our lives.
One night during Hanukkah, my mom made her famous meatloaf for us to enjoy. And enjoy it we did! She has been making her famous meatloaf since we were kids and we all love it and request it whenever we get together. Sometimes after the meal, we went back to Gary's apartment and probably watched a movie or something. That part I do not recall. What I do recall is having an upset belly after eating too much meatloaf and excusing myself to go to the bathroom. And then it happened. The toilet would not flush. I reached down for a plunger only to discover there was not one there. I started to sweat...OH MY GOD! What do I do? This is my biggest fear realized!!!
I wiped the tears away, took a few deep breaths and walked out into the living room. I was scared and shaking and in a timid voice, I asked Gary if he knew what my #1 fear was. He did not. I then explained my fear of having a toilet not flush and needing a plunger in a home that was not my own. His reply? "I do not own a plunger."
I now had a new #1 fear.
It's bad enough to have this "situation" happen at home, but there I was at my boyfriend's place in the midst of the most romantic season I had ever encountered and I had no way to make the problem go away. So at 10 pm on a cold Sunday night, we had to run to the local Walmart (it was the only store open) and buy a plunger. I think we bought several. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never leave. Gary was great the whole time and was nothing but supportive. We got home and fixed the problem and eventually laughed about it. A lot.
I think about that night often and how scared and afraid I was of something so silly! Something essentially out of my control. I was scared that my boyfriend was not going to think I was feminine enough I was scared that I would somehow push him away. I was afraid of the incident being a major turn off. I was so afraid of what he would think of me. I knew my brothers would laugh and that anyone that knew me well would think it was hysterical, but would my new found love?
So why in the word am I rehashing that embarrassing story? Well, my mind started to wander the other day about how afraid I am that this journey to conceive and how having another child may have more bumps along the way. I am so scared of going through all the appointments and medicine and hope and not having a baby in the end. I am so fearful that our dream to parent a child or children may not come true. I worry that we may choose adoption and then have to "compete" against other couples who want nothing more than to parent a child. I am aware that some of my fears are not even rational, but that's what fear is sometimes.
I wrote last week about losing hope and I think so much of that is just plain fear. Fear can cripple you, if you let it. Many people don't fly because they are afraid. Or don't like bridges because they are afraid of heights. Fear is very real and all around us.
For me, the best way to cure my fear is to face it head on. Look it in the face and and make it stand down. So to my fear of infertility, I say back off! I am not afraid of you. To my fear of never parenting a living child, stand down! I will watch Gary play catch with our boy or dance with our little girl...I know I will. I will know a whole new realm of fear when there is a baby that needs us to make his or her world whole.
So I stand by, tall and mighty. I stand up to fear. Many fight battles with a shield or a sword, but I think I will do it my way - with a plunger in my hand. That will show my fear! All kidding aside, it does not matter how I do it, just that I do. I know that I will conquer it. I just have to remind myself every once and a while that I can.