I sometimes come across blogs of women who resolved the infertility battle by not having children, not adopting children, and focusing their energy on other aspects of life. Despite having Emma, I often think about this parallel universe me that, in another world, not quite so very far away, in fact a lot closer than I would have liked, would have had to take this other path in life, the path of childlessness (wow, that was a long sentence). What would I have done? What would I have become? What would my days be like, my marriage, my hobbies, my work, my goals, my life's meaning?
I am sure that the reason these thoughts creep up on me is that I have spent a lot of time creating, in my mind's eye, this alternate future, so that I can survive the uncertainty of the infertility. In this other life, the other me has a close, cuddly marriage. We are close anyway, but having only each other to focus on in the past has brought the relationship to higher levels of closeness, so I am guessing it would have continued in this fashion, once the stress of not succeeding with the IVF's would have been left behind. Also, I am thinking that I would have had a lot of time for myself. I probably would have played a lot of piano, perhaps progressed to grade 8 Royal conservatory, and would have exercised a lot more.
The exercise bit is in particular something that I can see myself doing. Today I took part in a triathlon organized here in New Town. I am not an athlete, and am not very competitive either, but was invited to be part of a team that had another four people. I did about three quarters of a 1 km swim, and another partner did the rest of the swim, and half of the 10 km run, then another partner did half the run, and lastly the 40 km bike was split between two people. It was not very strenuous, because there were so many of us, and it gave me a chance to train for something for the past few months. What I have especially enjoyed (aside from cutting my 1 km time from 28 min to 23 min in the past few weeks of training) was to be surrounded by these ladies that did the entire triathlon by themselves, and to see how fit they were. Mostly, they were around 40-45 and had no children. One of them had two grown up children, but the really competitive ones did not. It was inspiring to see how they put their time into creating this admirable level of fitness. And who knows what their story is, perhaps they too have battled infertility, or did not have a partner to have a baby with, etc.
I am so psyched up after this triathlon that I want to do the whole thing by myself next year. Of course, if the IVF's work, that won't be in the plan, benched as I will be for the whole pregnancy, and then probably struggling to take off 60 lb again. But eventually I won't have to worry about this aspect of life and will be able to complete a triathlon. Or a half marathon. Or something athletic. In this universe, not in the parallel one. Who knows, maybe a girl can have it all?