One of my best childhood memories growing up in this beautiful country of ours, is of the wonderful sunshine and swimming that came along with it. I remember long lazy days spent baking in the sun, then dashing off to jump into the pool to feel the icy water cover your head as you tried to bomb dive anyone close to the pool’s edge.
We would swim and swim and swim. We’d play “Marco Polo” (sometimes even jumping out the pool and running a few steps and diving back in to ensure we weren’t caught even though we knew it was “against the rules”). We’d have competitions to see how could hold their breath underwater the longest. We’d play some silly game similar to charades where we’d have to act out a play underwater and have the other perosn guess what we were up to. We do handstands, backwards and forwards bollamakissies (rolly polly’s), dance, scream underwater, race, float – in fact we’d do just about anything humanly possible to do in a swimming pool as long as it meant we were wet and having fun.
We’d jump out the pool at regular intervals and lie on the hot bricks (my mom used to freak out cos we’d mess up our cozzies but having a towel between your body and the bricks was just.not.the.same.) on the pool side and get ourselves ready for the next onslaught of fun in the water.
Still to this day, when I swim I find myself doing some of what I did as a kid – lots of play and keeping busy. The one thing I never quite “got” when it came to time in the pool was treading water. I can do it and I can do it well but it used to frustrate me to no end. I mean you are working hard under the water to look as if you are not working hard to keep your head above water. It is hard work. And if you do it for long enough it tires you the heck out. In fact my dad used to suggest treading water competitions to see who could do it for the longest and I used to get so pissed off with it that I would just give up – cos honestly? Where the heck was the fun in kicking and kicking and kicking underwater to stay afloat and in one place. ‘Give me some action” I’d want to scream – let me swim fast and hard, let me try to lengths underwater with one breath – anything that meant I would actually have to MOVE and DO SOMETHING.
In many respects I’ve been likening our ttc break to treading water. It feels like we’re working hard towards something but we’re not involved in any *real* action. Yes we’re planning, yes we’re saving, yes we’re supposed to be trying to get our bodies in the best possible shape, yes we’re on the pill keeping my ovaries nicely quiet – BUT THERE’S NO ACTION GOING DOWN! Whilst I was in the thick of our fresh and then frozen cycles, I felt like we were actively moving towards our dream of becoming parents. We were in full action mode – get up early, drive to clinic, slip of panties, pop on bed, scan, yeeha follies, inject some shit into my body, feel ovaries aching. Lather, rinse, repeat. Retrieval, transfer, 2ww, bleed. Try to cry. Plan again. Lather, rinse, repeat. But we were DOING.
This break has been one of the longest we’ve had since starting this journey over 4 and a bit years ago. I *know* my mind needed it. I *know* my marriage needed it. But I feel like I’m wasting precious energy treading infertility water that could have been spent in action…
As we swim closer to deciding as to when exactly we start our next fresh IVF cycle, I have to wonder if all the “treading of water” whilst on this break will have made me stronger, better and more likely to achieve my dream.
One has to have faith in that, and the hope has to burn bright. Otherwise, what the heck is the point right? At least I’ll feel like we’re moving in that water and getting some action.