So, my husband is a big fisherman. His catch of choice is redfish. He will go out all day and come home with his prize catch… some times he will “limit out” and once or twice he has “skunked” aka…he needed to stop at the fish market on his way home from fishing! But unlike most common fishing expeditions, in a fishing boat (like with a motor)…his specialty is kayak fishing. His passion is spending the day in the Louisiana Marsh, up-close with nature. Every now and then I will tag along. It is work y’all. Sunrises are beautiful out in the marsh though, that is my favorite part of waking up at dark…I know what’s coming; the Louisiana sunrise. But once in a while, with the marsh, comes gators and wildlife that, normally, you just like to look at in books or photos. We are in their territory. My husband respects that and typically has no run-ins with the local wildlife…typically.
I remember one day though, we made the turn on this beautiful waterway and we were coming in from a long day of fishing…Well, he fished and I basically just paddled my kayak around in circles. But, we’ll go with, WE fished all day. So, there we are, we have been on the water for HOURS, which in a kayak, is basically hours of back and shoulder workouts. So I can see the truck (hallelujah) and just as we are on the home stretch, my husband instructs me to “stay to the right.” Of course I immediately start questioning why, because all day he has just let me float around wherever, but I could hear something in his voice. He replies, “just keep paddling”…Y’all can guess my response by now. I paddled, oh did I paddle…I pass him up, as he stayed back to make sure I got ahead of him and then SPLASH….it sounded like something jerked around in the water and somehow jumped and cannonballed back in ferociously. But my short little arms were moving fast, like you had just wound them up and let go. The next thing I hear, “that was the biggest alligator I have ever seen and he was NOT happy. Good thing we did not see him on our way out.” Let me just say, it is a VERY good thing we were ending our fishing trip, because if I had to pass by our gator friend’s house again, I would have been finding another route to the truck.
But in that moment, I realized that the alligator did not just appear magically at the time we were rounding the curve to head home. He had been laying in wait. He had probably watched us and every other boat and kayaker that had passed by. We get to the truck and my husband proceeds to tell me, “That must be the giant gator they talk about in these parts…” what?! (first of all, what is this, an old western where we use the words “these parts”… he is so cute y’all) I just reply, “Well, that’s nice. Guess I have seen all I will see of that fishing spot!” We went home that night and cooked up our catch and laughed nervously about the “legendary gator that almost ate us…” haha…(dramatic much)
But it dawned on me…
That is what infertility was like for me. It laid in wait, to one day, just jerk me around and ferociously rear it’s ugly head. I remember the day that word was first used to describe me. I felt the same way I did with that sneaky gator…it was always there and I never knew. My “diagnosis” or lack there of, is unexplained, as far as why. So, often when I find myself questioning this journey, I sit there quiet and reflect on how; had I known my diagnosis of infertility as a young college 20-something, would my life look completely different? Would I have been scared to meet my husband, fall in love and marry him? Would I have tried to save him from the grief of infertility and a wife that can not easily give him a child? Would I have immediately isolated myself from any real relationships, knowing that one day I would be jealous of those best friends, that seem to effortlessly grow their families?
But then I think about that gator. Had I seen that sucker on the way out, I would have cried until my husband surrendered and forfeited the idea of fishing that day. I would have missed the fried fish we cooked that night (or I would have had to just go buy it lol)…but I would have also missed one of the most beautiful sunrises that I have ever seen. We still talk about that day and while the alligator makes it a humorous memory, the sunrise makes it a beautiful one.
Infertility is ferocious. It throws us around like it is in control. But infertility does not control our lives. It does not control our moments to make memories and it certainly does not control our sunrises. Next time you feel you are being watched by a “ferocious gator in wait”…know that another sunrise is coming…be brave, because it might be the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen.
**the photo on this post is the actual sunrise I am referring to! It was a beauty!**