Today I took part in a study on infertility. During the phone interview, I recounted my entire experience, from start to finish, and you know what was the only part that made me tear up? When the researcher asked if I ever thought I might be infertile when I was younger and I told her about the first time I knew.
I was a freshman in college, sitting in my dorm room, watching an episode of Party of Five. I remember it was at the very end of the hour, when Kirsten tells Charlie she can't have kids. I remember crying. To this day, although I hadn't watched the scene in years, I could still picture it - it was nighttime, the music was playing, Kirsten was lying down, teary eyed, depressed. I can remember the fear, the heartache I felt for a moment. I remember thinking that being in that character's shoes was the worst thing ever.
I don't think I had ever before contemplated the possibility of not being able to have children until that moment, watching that episode. And then once it became a possibility to me, something that was out there, I just knew. I knew that it was my new worst fear, and I knew it would happen to me. I cried and cried, and my roommate probably thought I was nuts (she was my friend from home, though, so she already knew I was nuts).
That scene has always stuck with me, and recalling it would make me well up with tears. So today, after getting choked up recounting the episode (and being totally fine talking about the five years of infertility we dealt with, oddly enough), I decided to google it. I had tried before with no luck, but this time I found it. Skip ahead to 5:48 to watch the exact part I'm talking about:
She was sad. I don't know what it is about that word, but I just feel like it really sums it up. Yes, I was jealous, bitter, angry, depressed... I could go on and on and on. But something about being sad just captures it all. Sadness was really my predominate emotion during those five years. It's so simple, yet so complex.
I don't remember the first time I got worried that I wasn't yet pregnant, or the first time a doctor mentioned infertility. But I have always remembered this episode. I think it's because for me, this was the first time I knew.
So nine years before I would discover I was infertile, before I knew what it was really like to be in that character's shoes, and fourteen years before I would have a nearly six-year-long struggle behind me, somehow those two minutes struck a chord in me. And for some reason, they still do.