Now, let me just say that I have watched Up at least four times. I adored it every single time. It is a beautifully-executed animation that is sad, but also funny and hopeful. I was heartbroken for Carl and Ellie when they didn’t have a child and was devastated when Ellie died, but I also quite happily wiped my face after and floated off with Carl and Russell for a Paradise Falls adventure.
Which is probably how I kind of didn’t fully grasp the ‘Life After Infertility’ subplot.
I’m guessing that you, dear reader, belong to one of three groups right now:
1. You haven’t watched Up (what??) and have no clue what I am talking about.
2. You’ve watched Up and were completely aware of the infertility subplot (along with the Phyllis/neglectful father subplot, and the Muntz/colourful bird subplot). Your literature teacher would be very proud of you, and you’re wondering if you should unfollow this blog because we’re a bad intellectual match.
3. You’re going: Wait. Wasn’t the movie about floating houses and balloons and talking dogs and… Squirrel!
But of course, you’re here and I’m here, in the infertility corner of the universe, which means that you’re probably watching the opening sequence again, and finding stuff in the script that you didn’t quite realise before.
And then there it is: dreams of babies, no babies, doctor’s clinic, heartache, depression, the need for new dreams in the absence of the usual time-markers of parenthood, oops, still chasing, oops, still chasing, oops, sickness, death, loneliness, childlessness, regret.
That’s some pretty deep commentary to have missed four times. I don’t feel terribly smart at the moment.
That said, I watched Up many, many cycles ago. I was 32, and (wrongly) filled with confidence about my fertile future. I hadn’t thought about what my life would be like if the children I counted on having failed to ever materialise, or that I would need some kind of alternative life script. I didn’t think I would ever be Ellie. Which is probably why all the opening sequence was at that point was the precursor to the film.
But it is now so much more, and I relate more deeply than I ever could have. I might be Ellie. I could end up being Carl, too.
This, incidentally, is not the kind of epiphany one should be having on CD7 of a Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle (first lining scan Friday, transfer probably next week if all is well). Right about now, one should be brimming with positivity and fertility meditating one’s womb into the next dimension, and not writing oneself into animated films and lifes of fictional characters who cannot have children and then having to cry oneself to sleep.
But here I am anyway, wondering what will happen if this cycle doesn’t work.
This is, incidentally, the second time this week I have managed to back myself into the same hole. I also picked up a book about infertility* without having properly read a review and only realised, when I got through it, that it had an ending I didn’t need right now (it wasn’t the ending she needed either, but you know what I mean).
I’m wondering at this point if bumping into those endless streams of pregnant people that seem to find me during IVF might be preferable to this sudden slew of infertility-related encounters. Hopefully, the universe isn’t saying something.
Will try not to overthink this, said no woman on hormones ever.
*Short version: Silent Sorority by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos – brilliantly written, very funny at points, completely relatable up until our paths diverge (for now), longer review coming at some point in my life, maybe, AND don’t read while pre- or mid-cycle, it can be quite depressing.)