Saturday, March 23, 2013

Infertility Feet

Yup, feet. As in my feet, which really have nothing to do with infertility, but the items I cloak them in do. I swear this will make sense shortly.

I have these black shoes:

See? They're still reasonably
cute on, despite their age.
Battered shoes by themselves
I love these shoes. I actually have them in brown suede, too, which are less beaten up looking (probably because they are suede and so I don't wear them in inclement weather, and I live in Rochester, NY, so that is pretty much NEVER).

Here's the problem with these shoes. Take a close look. They are obviously well-loved and well-worn. The insoles are totally cracked and offer zero support. The stitching is frayed and fuzzy looking. The toes are turning white and no amount of Payless black shoe polish will keep them shiny and black again for more than a day or two. And, they are Aerosoles, which used to be wildly popular (I think, I have never really been much of a fashion hound), but now I'm not sure that they exist.

That's because these shoes are easily 10 years old. I bought them and their brown counterparts at a DSW when I first moved to Rochester (I've been here 12 years now, so 10 years is a guess) and my friend Lynn bought the same ones. They are like getting away with wearing bedroom slippers at work. They have seen me through several moves, two marriages (one bad, one for keeps), and the lovely transformation of my feet as I age. I should thank them and scoot them into the garbage, since they aren't even remotely supportive anymore, and this lady needs arch support and shock absorbency. Because I'm moving into my late 30s with my next stupid birthday (hello, 37) and my feet are fairly abused. But I just can't get rid of them.

Why? I can't justify buying new shoes. Isn't that dumb? Your feet are super important (I know this because my mom has had horrific issues with her feet in the past few years, including several reconstructive surgeries, and so I know not to take feet for granted!). I am on them all day long as a teacher, and the halls I walk are a very hard, unforgiving linoleum. I should spring for the more supportive and yet attractive shoes. But I just can't.

This goes along with my pants conundrum. Why don't I buy new pants unless mine are tattered beyond repair? Because I want the next pants I buy to be maternity pants. I have been hoping for that shopping excursion for years. Ugh, it hurts just to say it...YEARS. I've been close twice, and I am the proud owner of two belly bands (which I mostly used when stimming and bloated beyond belief, and wore when bloated from PIO and early pregnancy, and may possibly wear on days when my pants won't button thanks to infertility fat), but still no stretchy waisted maternity pants in sight. So why no shoes? Because, in addition to the fact that nice, supportive, grown-up shoes are pretty freaking expensive, I don't want to buy shoes right before my feet change. That's right, I've had enough friends and exposure to pregnancy magazines and American Baby and Parents and everything like that to know that when you are pregnant, your feet swell and change. And they often don't go back to their pre-pregnancy size. So why should I buy new shoes?

Actually, the crazy in me thinks maybe I should buy the new shoes. Maybe, if I buy the new shoes, the Universe will laugh and say, "HA! She bought nice new shoes! Now we'll change her feet because she'll be pregnant, pronto, haha!" and little will the Universe know that that's what I really wanted. So I will trick it. (Sound crazy? It should...) Except I've tried tricks before. And really, there is no logical correlation between the purchase of shoes and the possibility of pregnancy. I would be buying shoes like mad if that was the case. Nope, I just don't want to retire these shoes until I am going to need to retire them in favor of a slightly bigger size. And honestly, they're a little stretched out and would accommodate swollen pregnancy feet pretty nicely. So I really shouldn't get rid of them anyway.

Do you see how exhausting it is to live life this way, always hoping for that event to occur and keeping things on hold in the meantime? That shoes could be such a complex issue? Everyone says you should just live your life at this point in the game and if you need new shoes, well hell, you'd be thrilled to have shoes you can't wear anymore! But I just don't work that way. I've tried, and it is just not me. I want to live my life, but this infertility nonsense is like a shadow I can't get rid of, tinting all my decisions and thoughts with but, what if what if what if what if this works out finally? which doesn't seem all that insidious, but those what ifs just keep going and going and they take over my thought processes completely. Especially since at the moment we are in what seems like a never ending holding pattern, waiting for all the pieces to come together so that we can even just get started on our next attempt. I am surrendering a lot of control (control I never really had, but at least I thought I had some) in this next process. So, I guess it's not so crazy that I want to control my shoes. My beat up, worn out, faded, but comfortable old constant friend shoes. Maybe it's like not changing your socks during playoffs or something. I have let go of so much, it's not so weird to hold on to this one little thing.
Lucky wanted to get in on the
photo shoot. Isn't he cute?
Then I realized I was wearing these socks.
Those are hospital socks that they give you
during retrievals and unfortunate tappings for
OHSS. I love these stupid socks, too... and
apparently Lucky is a little too interested.
So, shoes, you get to live another day. Just hopefully not for too much longer.


  1. I too have played this game! I lost a considerable amount of weight after getting married and my wedding ring doesn't fit. Hasn't for over 2 years, but I refuse to get it downsized, because I just know one of these days I'll have fat sausage prego fingers. Oh the things we do! :) Here's to a maternity shopping spree in both our futures!

    1. It's true! So many rituals and what-ifs. And I fear the retail damage that will occur when that maternity shopping spree is a reality... I did break down and use coupons and buy two pairs of summer shoes that could easily accommodate prego feet... ;-)