One in Eight

Down The Lazy River

Down The Lazy River (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

It’s summertime, my favorite season, and I love going to the water park. I wait all year for it.  I love just floating in the lazy river while soaking up some rays. I still end up looking like a vampire at the end of the day, but who cares? Actually, I decided today that I would not put sunblock on my legs because they NEVER tan and lo and behold, they are now red and crispy. Ouch!  No, I don’t begrudge the sun because it was a long time coming.

As I floated in the river today, I was scanning the crowd looking at the children in their colorful swimsuits with their hair plastered to their faces and backs. I noticed a group of girls, probably around 6 or 7 years old. I counted them.  Eight all together.  I couldn’t help but think that at least one of them, one day, will face infertility. The statistics say so.

I searched the faces of those little girls and found my own. I thought back to when I was that age and how innocent I had been about the things of the world. As far as I was concerned, I would grow up, get married, have babies and live happily ever after.  It never occurred to me that my dreams wouldn’t come true. For me, the world was black and white and I was safe as long as I lived in it.

If I could somehow turn back time and warn myself of what was coming, would I have done so?  Maybe I could have conditioned myself at a young age to be tougher for the heartbreak that would follow.  Maybe I could have steered myself away from marriage and children all together.  Maybe I could have instilled in myself the values that would have led me to a completely different life.

I wanted to approach those little girls today.  I wanted to hold the hands of the one or two of them that would face infertility, to tell them that things would be hard, but that they were strong.  I wanted to tell the remaining girls that they needed to be strong as well, strong for those who wouldn’t have it as easy as them.  I wanted to find their mothers, to tell them how lucky they were to have their daughters in their life.  To let them know that things could have easily gone the other way, but they were blessed enough to be on the right side of the statistics.

Of course, to do any of this would have been insane and I probably would have been ejected from the park for being creepy.  I guess I just miss being young (even being in my 20’s) and the carefree life I had.  I realize that nothing could have prepared me for this.  Not one piece of offered advice, not one lesson learned.  No class I could have taken, no degree I could have earned.  To be honest, I don’t think I would have warned myself at any age of what was to come because I look back on my innocence and I want to protect it.  I miss the world that used to be so large and full of promise.   Maybe someday life can be similar to that again.  Perhaps I will be holding the hand of my own daughter, hoping and wishing for her happiness.  Praying that she will never be 1 in 8.


8 responses to this post.

  1. Tears. I love this post! I wish we could have held on to our innocence. I wish we didn’t have to know what it feels like to be the one in eight. But you’re strong, too. Hugs to you, and I would hold every one of those girls’ hands with you. Just let them try to kick us out of the water park!


    • Thank you. I don’t understand why I was the 1 in 8. Ha–I’m going to try not to be kicked out of the water park. I would be kicked out by a group of teenagers and that would just be awkward.


  2. THis was very thought provoking for me. You make a good point about how our lives might’ve turned out different if we had always known we’d have trouble conceiving. I may not have prioritized settling down so much, might’ve taken more risks with my dreams. Maybe I’d be a singer or an actress like my dramatic 8-year-old self hoped… Either way, in the end I agree with you: I wouldn’t want to take away the innocence I had. And I really do like my life, even with the infertility part…


    • I think the only think I would have done differently is starting TTC the moment after I got married. I thought a few years waiting would be good, but now I am just doing more waiting.


  3. This is a beautiful post. I sometimes look at my daughter and think the same thing…will she struggle like I did? Will she lose like I did? I so wish none of us had to go through this, and that we could be young, innocent, and naive forever. Instead, I guess it’s up to us to pave this road…


  4. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (if I had one). It brakes my heart thinking of young girls growing up to feel this kind of pain and loss. No one should have to go through this.


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