Car Trouble

July 23, 2008

My car completely died this weekend, exactly 30 seconds after my husband drove away in his car. I was on my way to pottery, and instead of spending a glorious 5 hours in the studio, I had to wait for my husband to get back with his car, and I ended up with only 2 hours. It wasn’t enough time to really get into the pottery the way I wanted to, so I ended up doing some housekeeping tasks in the studio (not literal housekeeping, but the kind of tasks that you have to do in order to prepare to do the actual work). As you might guess from the name, housekeeping tasks are no fun.

The car is fixed now, but it raises a larger issue in my mind. I bought this car just before I started TTC. It was one of the things on my To-Do-Before-We-Are-Ready-To-Have-Children list. That list wasn’t very long, and aside from a couple of other small purchases designed to comfort and support my future pregnant body, the list mostly focused on the car. Our only car at the time was a two-door sports car, which to me seems bad for taking babies in and out of car seats — not that I would know first-hand. I also thought that sharing one car was not going to be tenable when we had a child, what with day care and gymboree and, I don’t know, let’s say infant horseback riding lessons. So, we bought this car. Because we hadn’t even started TTC, but I was an Eager Beaver, I started researching car seats to fit the new LATCH technology that our car was equipped with, which wasn’t yet standard on new cars but now has been standard for years and years. (Baby Smiling in Back Seat foreshadowing???) At least I wasn’t so eager that I actually bought a car seat.

Only recently, when I started having more and more car trouble, have I started thinking of my car as a benchmark for TTC. Sometimes, when I forget exactly how long we’ve been TTC, I only need to think about the model year of my car — 2002, but we bought it late in 2001 — and then I have my date.

Certain things on the car were defective from the beginning, so I never associated them with the fact that I’ve been TTC for soooooo long. But recently one thing after another has started to need replacement. This weekend, when I sat in a car that wouldn’t start, pissed because I couldn’t get to the pottery studio for hours, it dawned on me that my infertility might outlast my car.

That was an important sentence, so I’ll repeat it. My infertility might outlast my car. Are you as horrified as I am?

Maybe I should have bought a more reliable car. Or maybe… I can’t think of any Shoulds with TTC, because I did everything I could possibly do at each point in time. Instead of blaming Fate for IF, which I do all the time, today Fate gets a day off. Today, Volkswagen gets the blame.

11 Responses to “Car Trouble”

  1. Tash Says:

    There is little I can say that wont sound trite or patronising as I have never been in the horrible situation of infertility (if only because I have never tried, being as permanently single as I seem to be!!), but…what seems to be important to me here is hope. You bought that car full of hope and I am quite sure that you are still hopeful today – don’t lose sight of that hope, it’s what keeps us going!

    A visitor from ICLW!

  2. emilythehopeless Says:

    ugh.. that is a painful milestone marker. you shouldn’t have to even think like that. infertility is beyond unfair. i hope the car stays fixed!

  3. sara Says:

    Over from ICLW. I just read back through your previous posts, and I really like your blog you’ve started! Sorry about the car trouble – that is always a pain in the butt. What post made me stop and reread it about three times was your one called Trade. Like would you trade all the infertility in for a child about that age. I’ve not been at it as long as some (we are pregnant after IVF and 3 yrs) – but it made me stop and think. I would trade in the last three years to have a toddler right now. As much as I’ve grown as a person and as a couple with my husband throughout the process, it is one I would rather have done without. Although I am stronger than I was 3 years ago – part of my innocence and happiness of childbearing has been destroyed and I’m not sure if it will ever truly recover. I think infertility changes us so much – that even if we do become pregnant – what is left of ourselves doesn’t resemble anything like where we started from. Sorry for the long ramble – you just brought up some really good points. I want to wish you the best of luck in the weeks ahead – and I look forward to checking back in to see how things are going 🙂

  4. HeidiM Says:

    Here from ICLW too. I can relate to the car thing — sold my 2-door car when I started TTC. Interesting way to think about the new car, as a benchmark for TTC. Well I do hope you get to put a baby in that backseat soon!

  5. LisaS Says:

    I’m another ICLW-er, and I say go buy yourself another two-seater. We conceived our son the week after we bought our Miata. Not saying it was connected, mind you, but we did. (and we still have it, 9 years later, and it’s been a fine 2nd car for a family)

    All joking aside … got my fingers crossed for a big fat +++++ for you SOON!!!!! because your child needs to get a chance to ride in the car you bought just for him/her.

  6. Kathy Says:

    Here from the future via Time Warp Tuesday and so excited that you decided to join us this week!

    What a bittersweet post to return to and how heartbreaking to think that back then you were bench marking the length of your journey through infertility with the car you bought in hopes and with dreams of driving your child(ren) around in it.

    I especially found this post moving because of its connection to the title of your blog, which I have always loved (in case I never mentioned that).

    I am so glad to know, coming from “the future” as I am today, that you did achieve your goal and have two precious children that smile at you now (and probably make many other faces too) from the back seat. Even if it isn’t from the car you wrote about in this post.

    I also really like the way you ended your post with some comic relief and shifting blame, at least for that day from Fate to the car maker!

    Heading back to the future now to read the rest of and comment on your new post. 🙂

  7. Here from the future. Love reading this post knowing the ending.

    Your babies and your car will be intertwined in a very Fateful way. And you’ll have the best possible outcome with both the babies and the car.

    And at this moment I’m remembering riding shotgun in your new car with your babies and my daughter in the back seat. And maybe I have some pottery in my windowsill that resulted from your housekeeping that day.

  8. jjiraffe Says:

    Here from the future too. I remember choosing my station wagon in 2003 with plans of happy kids and dogs in the back. It wasn’t until 2007 that we finally got to strap those car seats in.

    I remember thinking I would have an empty backseat forever. It made me so sad.

  9. Deborah Says:

    Here from the future! This post is so sad. I think if I were you, every time I got into that car i’d be reminded of the fact that there were still no children in it. I’ve always had old cars, and my first car was a station wagon, so I’ve never bought a car just for the children. But I do have a friend who got married, bought a house, a minivan, and then… nothing. She’s pregnant now, but i think everyone wonders whether she started trying the minute she got that car, and everyone knows how long it took. Ugh. So glad to hear your happy ending for the babies and the car!

  10. Ana Says:

    Also from the future. I was (am) too paranoid and superstitious to ever have brought something in anticipation of future children. In fact, out of our top 2 house choices, we put an offer on the less-child-friendly one (or so we thought at the time) the day before I found out I was pg. I just refused REFUSED to think about things like school districts and playgrounds…I didn’t want to make choices based on those attributes and then regret them… I KNOW, its stupid and goes against my otherwise very practical sensibilities, but it was a mental/emotional block for me.

  11. Elizabeth Says:

    Amazing what kinds of things become markers for time. Powerful post.

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