Some blog posts provoke me, some make me think, some I remember for years, some make me laugh.

No post I’ve ever read since I started blogging in 2010 has ever gotten under my skin like “Submerged” has. I think it’s the single most powerful piece I have ever read about infertility.

PLEASE, go here and read this extraordinary essay. I will wait.

Esperanza alerted me to “Submerged” earlier today. We have both been marveling at its power. Obviously Tutti, the writer, is in a really sad and tough place, and expresses her story so eloquently and empathetically. But it’s more than that. Much, much more.

I think “Submerged” touches upon a universal truth that so rarely comes across. This truth is obvious but often obscured by the secrecy inherent in the disease and it is simply this: infertility is completely fucking tragic. It’s so tragic that the greatest romantic love might not be enough to withstand the heavy burden of loss and devastation that accompanies it. It’s so tragic that people so full of promise and life and beauty and love become invisible, caught beneath the surface of life.

Part of the power of “Submerged” certainly comes from the image of the author and her husband underneath the water. They look incandescent, not of this earth, timeless, eternal. It’s a haunting picture I will never forget.

I’m sure like great art, “Submerged” will mean different things to different people. Some will take away the metaphor of infertility being like you are underwater, suffocating, removed from life on the land. It reminds me of the great Hans Christian Andersen (not the Disney) story about The Little Mermaid, destined to watch her dreams and desires but always from a great distance, under water or at the surface.

For that is how infertility felt (and still feels) to me. I guess as an infertile, I am like a mermaid. It’s not possible for me to walk on land and do things that come naturally to the mortals who are earthbound. Bargains needed to be made, lessons learned, relationships tested in the most severe of ways for me to achieve my one dream of happiness. Infertility is a curse. And worse, so often it is a silent curse, one that cannot be revealed to those around us. So those who suffer from it are doubly afflicted.

I wish that the mortals happily walking the land could read this story and comprehend its truth. For infertiles are so often at the mercy of fate, of sea witches.

And so often, no one knows.


Filed under Blogging, Infertility

6 responses to “Submerged

  1. Thanks to you and Esperanza for the heads up about this post. Here is the comment that I left over there, that I thought you might like to see, though I suppose you can/could read it there too:

    ?Wow. Echoing others’ sentiments. This is a beautiful and heartbreaking post. Both pictures are awesome. The underwater one is so moving, but I also love knowing the backstory to what was happening beneath that ripple when the picture in your header was taken. Thank you for sharing and to JJiraffe for pointing me in your direction. Wishing you peace, love, hope and patient optimism for the journey, from another women who was submerged for many years (dealing with secondary infertility and loss) and eventually got to come up for air and stay on the land (most of the time).”

  2. I too was deeply moved by that post, and then by yours as well. Your analogy is perfect.

  3. Esperanza

    It was a hauntingly beautiful post, one that really gets under the skin. I’m still thinking about it, 24 hours later, wondering if my partner will ever let go of my hand along the way and drift off into the ether. So, so sad.

    I also sometimes feel like I don’t belong anywhere, though I guess now I should feel more like I belong in this community but I’m not there yet either. I wonder, if I’m not a “land-dweller” and I’m not a “mermaid” what am I? Maybe I’m just a fish… or a scuba diver?

    Interesting thoughts. Thanks for highlighting so others could appreciate it too.

  4. Your take on this is really interesting. I hadn’t thought about infertility affecting me the way that you describe – but it HAS. You are so right about the sacrifices, decisions, and challenges we go through that mortals have no idea about. Great post! And I’m off to read the essay now.

  5. I’m not often speechless. Your thoughts on my post touch and honor me in a way I’m not used to. Thank you for taking the time to read and offer your own insights. Insights that are just as true and provoking. Much love to you.

  6. “It’s so tragic that the greatest romantic love might not be enough to withstand the heavy burden of loss and devastation that accompanies it.”

    I have struggled with this for years now, it seems. The people who really understand what we’ve lost over the years are the people who have dealt with infertility as well. Even though I haven’t (yet) lost my husband’s hand in the water, our marriage is fundamentally different as a result of our infertility and years of struggling to create the family we envisioned.

    Thank you.


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