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How Big is the Elephant in Your Room?


a blog by Pamela Tsigdinos

Constance? Earnest? Stalwart? Fred?

I haven’t named my elephant yet, but I really should since it’s been with me in whatever room I seem to occupy for quite some time now. Yes, infertility comes with its very own elephant – as if we need things to be any more crowded in the waiting rooms and doctor’s offices, right? (Can you just picture it? A room full of couples and their elephants??! . . . )

Sometimes my elephant is quite small -- chihuahua puppy sized -- easy to miss. Other days it dominates the room, so large that I can barely breathe, let alone move.

I suppose most major life-altering conditions requiring serious time to confront and work through come complete with their own elephants, but do they always stick around so long? My elephant arrived the day of my infertility diagnosis with a loud stomping, crash and lots of broken china. On the worst of the early days it trumpeted, charged and all but ran me over, one day missing me by just this much with its tusk.

Who knew an elephant could be so mobile? It comes with me to work, to the grocery store, to the library, the airport, the dressing room, even to church. Even when I don’t want to think let alone dwell on infertility (and that’s a conscious wish each and every day), it’s there, hulking in the background.

If my elephant could proof read, provide just the right metaphor or make a cup of coffee on those mornings when I’m up way too early to write that would be, well, fabulous. I suppose I did my elephant a disservice by not including it in my acknowledgments in Silent Sorority.

Be that as it may, it’s been loyal and it never forgets – one trait that I wish it wasn’t quite so good at mastering.

Since I stopped trying in vain to chase it out of the room I’ve found we’ve been getting along much better. Now the elephant seems content to graze over in the corner. I really should give it a name. That way I can call out to it and make sure that it is following me when I want to lead it to a new place.

One day soon I’d really like to help it find its way back to Africa. I’ve always wanted to see Africa, so it’s a trip to look forward to in more ways than one.

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