The Almost Ending


Over the last year or so, I’ve found myself curiously obsessed with the endings of stories. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the ending of Deep Down Dark, and even before that, I critiqued the ending of the Harry Potter series. I’ve started a couple of drafts considering the endings of the Hunger Games series and also The Lord of the Rings, and that’s not counting the drafts I’ve started in my head about the endings of other novels or memoirs.

I spent a good deal of college reading, critiquing, and deconstructing literature. Rarely, however, did my essays involve a heavy focus on the endings. Instead, I was generally more interested in various bits of symbolism, feminist critique, or delving into specific characters. I began to wonder where I’d developed this newfound fascination with how and at what point authors choose to end their stories.

After some consideration, the best reason I can come up with as to why I’m examining the endings of stories so closely these days is because I’m convinced that if my life were contained to a novel or memoir, it would start with trying to conceive and probably end with E’s birth or perhaps when she came home for real from the NICU. I’m at a natural sort of ending point for the journey. I’d like for that to be the case: write “the end”, thank all the lovely people in my life, and close the book.

It’s the neat, tidy ending to complete the infertility story arc.

But it’s not an honest one.

It leaves out the fact that infertility still affects me. It leaves out the wholly-predictable resurgence of my old nemeses depression and anxiety as the dust surrounding my pregnancy and my daughter’s prematurity starts to settle. It leaves out the tension-filled question of what we do with our two frozen embryos and whether or not it’s advisable to even seriously consider another pregnancy at some future point. It leaves out a body that still has issues from PCOS that need addressed. It leaves out so many things, some of them more serious, some just small wisps of half-formed thoughts.

The idea that I’m still somewhere lost in the plot driven by infertility and PCOS scares the h*ll out of me. Some part of me thinks I can remedy this by essentially writing “the end, the end, the END!”, shoving the book on the shelf, walking away, and pretending it’s the decorous ending I described above.

Yet, almost in spite of myself some days, I keep writing.

Clearly, the story isn’t over.

If you want to read more Microblog Mondays posts, head over to Stirrup Queens.  Thanks to Mel for originating the idea and hosting.


7 thoughts on “The Almost Ending

  1. My personal story is far less dramatic but no less unfinished. The PCOS that still plays with my head, making me wonder. After we reached a safe point with my second child I remember declaring loudly and to everyone that would listen that I would NOT be going back for more treatments, even though I’d always wanted more kids. I think that was my way of shoving the book on the shelf, incorrectly and inappropriately “finished.” Now with some time and distance I can see that my ending, and not exclusively in terms of family-building, is still unwritten.

  2. Clearly not — the story being over, that is.

    I wonder if that is why I sometimes have such trouble with the end of a book. Because I sense that there is more there, more happening, and I want to know what happens next or how things bubbled back around.

  3. Emma

    A very poignant post… I’m not sure if you’ve read the blog ‘A little pregnant’ – it’s a classic… But she had a terrible pregnacy and was afraid to do it again, but she went ahead (in her case with donor eggs), and her second pregancy was smooth. I realise it’s a different case… Anyway, I wish you well with the rumblings… I agree that infertility never leaves you…

  4. I’m not surprised that you don’t feel your infertility story is over. I think it takes a long time for us to be at peace.

    I’ve never been comfortable with the endings of stories. I always felt short-changed with “and they lived happily ever after” because I just knew that Snow White and Prince Charming had arguments, and problems with the castle falling down (or needing maintenance), and that their kids weren’t perfect (because whose kids are?), and sleepless nights and worries about family and … etc etc. And I wanted to know what happened!

    Oddly though, I’ve just written a post about how I feel that infertility, for me, is over. It doesn’t mean my story is over though. It’s just not focused on infertility, although it is what it is largely because of infertility. I think we can be at peace with it, yet the story continues. Or maybe it’s just another story.

  5. You’ve beautifully put into words something I’ve been wrestling with. 2 hrs old from the birth of my twins and a decision to be done with family building and I’m still coming to terms with the scars and impact of this trauma.

    You’re right: there are seemingly points where it feels like “the end” could easily be inserted. Yet, it’s not the end. I’m so changed and still have so much I need to make peace with.

    May this next chapter be one filled with peace and healing.

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