Infertility has stripped away the last of my innocence. But if I had to pinpoint a time when I lost my first piece of it, I was probably about ten years old.
As a child, I was a dreamer. I was the little girl who believed in fairy tales. I would watch old shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie hoping that, someday, I would be able to wiggle the tip of my nose or rub a lamp and make magical things happen. Our VHS cabinet was stocked with every Disney movie that involved princesses. At age seven, on my first memorable trip to the Magic Kingdom, I remember thinking that I could be a princess someday, too, and a wave of my wand would make everything okay.
One morning, when I was ten years old, I awoke to a surprise. The night before, I had placed a tooth under my pillow in hopes that the Tooth Fairy would leave me 50 cents. It was a "big" tooth and I knew that the Tooth Fairy would give me an extra quarter for losing a tooth of this size (as she had in the past). But this time, I had forgotten to tell my parents about this lost tooth. So when I peeked under my pillow to check out my fortune, it took me a minute to process the fact that my tooth was still there--wrapped in a tissue, exactly as I'd left it.
I promptly marched downstairs into the kitchen where my mom was making breakfast. I demanded to know why the Tooth Fairy didn't bring me money for my tooth. Was this tooth not good enough? Did she forget about me? Did she just not get the message?
When she broke the news that it was all make believe, along with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, I cried. I felt so betrayed. How could my parents do this to me? How could they let me believe that there was a pot of gold waiting at the end of every rainbow? How could they let me believe that when I wished upon a star, all of my dreams would come true?
I relive that day at the end of every failed cycle and at the end of every failed cycle of every IFer who I follow on this journey. I wish I still believed in wishes; that sense of joy I felt when I thought that anything could happen and a wave of a wand could make the world right again. More than anything, I want to go back to the day where I stood in front of the television and practiced wiggling my nose like Samantha. If I could only wiggle it just right, I would be able to turn all of my dreams into reality. I want to go back to the day when I was a ten-year-old girl, wrapping her tooth in a napkin and quietly placing it under her pillow--her mind still full of hopes and dreams and that innocent smile still on her face.
Instead, I forever live in the morning after. Tears streaming down my face as my mom tried to convince me that dreams could still come true, but secretly knowing things would never, ever be the same.