Sunday, March 29, 2009

The microphone doesn't work

Why does IF have to be so damn hard? Why do I feel like I'm speaking to a sold out show and the microphone doesn't work? Going through infertility is such a complex and multi-celled organism that it leaves us with empty hearts and wordless tongues.

I could simply say that I love my son to death, and his existence has brought so much joy that I cannot remember the pain and suffering of infertility. This is only a half truth. He is amazing, he is joyful, I am a mommy, and I cannot remember all of the pain and suffering of infertility. But, I do remember a lot. As you can imagine my inability to experience pregnancy or family planning without shelling out thousands of dollars still keeps me up at night. I cannot help but think of a sibling for Luv Bug. I cannot help but wish and hope and pray for another child.
It is always easier to focus on what we don't not have as opposed to what we have. It is human nature. Infertility brought me to a point where I believed that I had nothing; my future and identity were on hold. My losses far outnumbered my wins; IF pointed out to me dreams I didn't even know existed in my psyche. I held many whimsical dreams and visions deep down about family and motherhood. I always wanted 3-4 children. I had beautiful and unique names picked out for each of them. There were no specific expectations of their abilities, but I presumed they would be thoughtful and smart and family minded. I saw their curly hair and green or bright blue eyes. Most likely they would be slight in stature due to both genetic sides.
These are visions I had that didn't rise to the surface because they were expected to happen. In one way or another our children would be born and carry the genetics and characteristics of mommy, daddy, or our grandparents. One way or another some of these traits would find their way into the being of our children.

When our third IVF failed, it was December 20th. Our Christmas was ruined and full of an exacerbated unholy grief. We had to be joyful around our beautiful niece when all we wanted to do was crawl in a hole and hide. There would be no presents for our awaiting little one. There would be no silent congratulations from our parents and brothers. There would only by sympathetic if not pitiful glances from family and friends who knew we had suffered yet another unbearable loss. I imagined our mothers sadly putting away a token gift in hopes of a positive pregnancy test. My heart was broken.

A family friend asked my mother (out of my vision) if I was pregnant, knowing that we had done IVF. I didn't hear what my mother said, but I knew it was sad. Something to the effect of it, "It didn't work. They have no hope of bearing children." It was an extremely painful time in our lives. We had met the crossroads. To be or not to be- parents that is.

When my Nana, my tough as nails 87 year old Nana, found out from my mother that our test was negative, she looked me straight in the eye, her green eyes watering and said," Something will work out for you." I was moved by her pain for us but had no idea was the resolution would be. I so wanted her to see me be a mother and I know she felt the same way. It was so hurtful.
The pain was all around for us. We were walking zombies that Christmas. We were lost souls and inconsolable. We would remain this way for many months as we grappled with the reality that biological children were not our fate. ART was not in our future. Pregnancy was not in my future.
Adoption would be our alternative. When, Where, How were questions that had no answers. And, we were not in a huge hurry to find out. We were simply absorbing our loss, feeling the pain daily, and trying to make sense of our lives together and as individuals-
without the dreams we once had of parenthood.

Fortunately, after all of this, we have seen the light. We have seen that parenting is more than just about a pregnancy or genetics. This came from months if not years of evolving thoughts on the subject. And, things can be still be unbearably hard. I still ask myself the questions, why can't I just have a baby? Why can't I easily have more children? After all we have been through, it is still hard to comprehend that having a baby is not an option for us. We must do so much more to give Luv Bug a sibling. We must sacrifice so much more. We must make very hard decisions. We must face our reality over and over again. We are infertiles. Our family building is different and pays a heavy price both financially and emotionally. Thankfully adoption has showered us with happiness and we experienced its ability to bring together those that desperately need each other- children and adoptive parents. Oh, how I love my son and everything about him from his pudgy toes and wavy hair to his brilliant smile. Oh, how I dream of my future daughter or son.



I have witnessed that a smile can cure all that is hurtful and unbearable.
I have endured long enough to learn that unrelenting joy
can come from the ashes of dread,
I have whispered somewhere to someone
my gratitude for aligning my heart with my soul once again.

12 comments:

Flower said...

IF is so unfair. I still don't know why so many have to suffer. ((HUGS))

luna said...

this is a lovely post. losing that genetic connection and ability to carry and nurture your child IS a big loss. I imagine it doesn't magically just disappear even with all the joy of a child. it's like losing one and gaining another -- one doesn't make you forget the other.

Lori said...

You really captured the "multi-celled organism" well. IF brings so, so, so many emotions. You and I have experienced both the heights and the depths. They exist side-by-side; they do not cancel each other out.

May your dreams come true, Erica.

Lisa said...

I read this once.....walked away and busied myself with daily Mama tasks and household business....I played with both of my angels....absorbed and delighted in their laughter....gazed with pride at their beloved and cherished faces......and then in a quiet moment, came back to read again your moving and beautiful essay.

And I cried just now....only a bit....and not for myself, not really....but for all the parents who already love a child in their dreams/hearts and imaginations, yet await a babe to hold in their arms.

Our path was different, as I think they all are....but common threads link us all. Threads of defeat....of joy...of anguish...of blessings...of anguish.....of hope

Thank you for helping to unite these threads into a tapestry of shared community.

I so hope your dream of a sibling for Finn comes to fruition.....and that in writing, your grief is made easier to carry.
Hugs, Lisa

blueviolet said...

It breaks my heart knowing that people have to suffer with IF and I know it's a pain that is felt every single month, not just once. ((hugs))

Shari@aPsychMommy said...

{{{hugs}}} Your beautifully written essay moved me today and brought tears to my eyes. I have close friends who are learning about IF right now and I know how painful it is for them.

3 Bay B Chicks said...

Great post! Your ability to tell your story through your writing is truly a gift. I am continually humbled by your words.

Did you notice that something has been missing from your blog? It might have happened around the time I stopped commenting? I’m sorry about all that. I took a little hiatus from the blogosphere, but I couldn’t stay away too long. After a break, I had to come by again and see what you’ve been up to.

Glad that I did.

-Francesca

lassie said...

I'm speechless. All I can say is, Ditto. I feel exactly the same way.
Thanks for putting it into words.

Alison & Jason said...

DITTO again! beautifully, and truthfully said....

Noah's Mommy said...

What a profound post...I enjoyed reading it....to have an honest...non-sugar coated view into the mind of someone dealing with infertility....I think so many of us take our abilities for granted...

Tammy Howard said...

I am an adopted person, myself - so I look at this issue from a different angle.

You will be in my thoughts - thank you for so eloquently sharing yours!

Michelle said...

This is such a painful topic for so many, and I am glad to see you're bringing light to it. A very good friend of mine just suffered her second miscarriage in her less than a year old marriage a little less than a month ago and just found out that it was chromosomally abnormal, which is most likely what caused the miscarriage but doesn't know more than that and doesn't go to the doctor for another couple weeks. It's so painful for her, and I'm doing what I can to help her, but... it's just a nightmare for her and her husband.

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