There are a lot of TV show spoilers in this post. However, most of the shows are older, so it’s likely you’ve seen them. If not, well, sorry about that!
I’ve talked about how infertility never goes away. Reminders of my inability to create a child are around me all the time. Reminders of how other people can just create a child with no thought at all are around me all the time too. TV shows are no different. I just want to see one with a different ending.
Here’s what I mean
Case in point: I’d seen many people giving good reviews to the Amazon show Modern Love. In fact, a couple of months ago I decided to finally check it out after receiving a newsletter from an author who has begun gathering women together around the topic of making meaning beyond mothering. (In other words, I thought this was safe to watch.)
I turned on the show and within the first 10 minutes the main character of that episode finds out she’s pregnant. And, she’s no longer with the father.
That’s my introduction to this random new show I thought I’d enjoy.
It’s everywhere. Sometimes I can shut off the emotions and just ride it through. Other times it’s a punch in the gut. No matter how I respond outwardly, there is a lot of mental and emotional processing going on internally.
I can’t escape it, you know? I would have to stop all connection with the outside world, with creation, with anyone I’ve ever known to escape these reminders that I cannot create a child.
It’s with me every day, in every moment.
Another show, same ending
Here’s another example: My husband and I have been watching Parks and Rec for the last few months. It was our “what do you want to watch?” “I don’t know.” “Ok, turning on Parks and Rec” show. (You’ve got one of those, right?)
Anyway, I’d seen most of the series but missed out on the last few seasons, so we’ve been watching the series together.
Last week we finally finished it. And when it was over I sobbed.
I didn’t sob because it was over but because most of the show characters ended up with children. That was how the show ended — with a reunion of the original crew and their children. I cried because after they did all the job things and all the friend things and all the married things… now they’re doing all the children things.
They got to have kids and I didn’t.
Now I understand this is a TV show and not real life, but in the writer’s minds the next logical step was for everyone to have kids. I will say Tom & Lucy and Donna & Joe did not. I do appreciate that there were characters not forced into parenthood; however in their cases it is likely because they didn’t want kids, not because they couldn’t get pregnant.
I’m not saying people shouldn’t get pregnant. It’s kind of a thing humans need to keep doing if we want to survive. I get that.
I have a different ending
But I share this for those of you who aren’t infertile so that you’ll understand why this is so hard. There is absolutely no escaping it. TV, movies, books, grocery store, family…it’s everywhere. It’s hard to heal when there are reminders everywhere of what I can’t do.
So maybe this isn’t something I ever heal from… maybe this is something I just learn to live with. I learn that it’s okay to cry when a show hits too close to home. I learn it’s okay to say no to being around pregnant women. I learn it’s okay to change the subject if the topic is too sensitive in that moment. I learn it’s okay to take a break from life and just do what makes me feel whole for a day.
I realize what I’m doing on a daily basis is creating a different ending. I’m creating a life that doesn’t follow the norm. A different ending looks like changing the purpose and intent of the room I thought would be the nursery. A different ending looks like planning a vacation with friends. A different ending looks like creating something other than a child.
For most of us, life doesn’t go the way we planned — at least not exactly how we saw it playing out in our heads. Stuff happens. Part of being human is learning to adjust as that stuff happens… learning to see life from a different perspective.
I have no idea what the last scene of my final season will look like. I do know it will be a different ending than I expected. However, I suspect there will still be love and tears and memories to cherish. In that way, I guess the ending isn’t so different after all.