Monday, May 11, 2009

Essay/Blog Entry Contest Winner

Thank you to all who submitted entries. Each one was beautiful, and we had a difficult decision to make. We will continue to hold contests because we feel that telling personal stories of infertility and adoption is the best way to educate and offer a candid view into the life crisis and struggle of infertility, loss, and adoption.

The winner is Mr. Shelby. The following is his entry.

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the “weight of the wait.” Shelby and I are in a precarious stage of part acceptance, part denial. Acceptance; we’re pregnant, and about to hit the second trimester. Denial; it’s too good to be true and fate is cruel. After 5 years, 7 IUI’s and 1 IVF, we’re pregnant. It has not been an easy road. We had miscarriage a year ago. Shelby carried our bean for a month longer than it was on earth, and it was a crushing blow. A second loss, this far along will be devastating to us. I try not to fathom it but I can’t help but go over the future and how it would change.

Losing our last bean brought my world crashing down. I was unable and unwilling to take part in family events. I couldn’t bring myself to see my cousin’s new baby. It was a harsh reminder of something that came so easily to them. Our bean would have been born early January, and theirs was born in September. We talked about how wonderful it will be to see our kids grow up together. Now, to me, their baby is just a physical reminder of our loss. Times like this make me hate the way infertility has changed me. I’m petty and selfish and missing my cousin.
Today, I feel that there is so much riding on our little gummy. There’s major life events coming up, and Shelby’s pregnant belly plays a huge part. It completes everything.
Mainly it’s about my brother who is getting married in September. They’ve announced their intentions to conceive immediately. The part whose been trying to have a baby for so long will be crushed by being robbed of being the first. If they don’t conceive quickly, I’ll hurt knowing their pain of infertility. It’s something I don’t wish upon anyone, let alone my brother and his new family. I’m in a constant state heaviness, but none of it could compare to the agony of a second loss.

Mostly, I fear for myself, and for Shelby. We’ll withdraw from life. We’ll take part in none of these events. I’ll be angry at myself for letting infertility claim even more of myself. I won’t want to go anywhere, do anything, or see anyone. I fear how long that will last. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years will be non-existent. I’ll be a hermit. It will kill family to see this, but it will have to be done.

On the flip side, the timing is perfect. I’m euphoric. Even spending that 15k more than we needed to (shared risk) seems fitting to me. The infertility gods wouldn’t give up the opportunity to stick it to us one last time, but surely this is where it stops, right?

Fate, I’m on my hands and knees, begging you to let me experience this year of happy times.
You’re not cruel enough to rob us of these happy times, and of parenthood.

Are you?

For an update on Mr. and Mrs. Shelby's journey read their latest post.


Thank you to the following friends who also entered wonderful submissions. Here is a blurb from their entry.

This is from MarcandMegan

"While it is true that we've experienced real heartache in our desire to have a family, I want to be perfectly clear about a few things.
Yes, dealing with infertility has been painful.
Yes, the wait for adoption can be hard.
But, I want to also be very clear that in the midst of our trials, we have found so much beauty. I'm learning that the most wonderful of life's blessings often come in the most oddly wrapped packages."

From Wiseguy at Woman Anyone?

"I cherish my freedom, but not at the cost of giving up on having children and rearing them into individuals, I want to be proud of. I want to love. I want to say to somebody that these are my children and that I gave birth to them. And even though I am not the best mother ever, I am definitely blessed."

From Christine.

The line from the entry speaks of their adopted daughter Belle.

"We took a “family nap” today in our bed. While we were lying there, I was holding Steve's hand on top of Belle's tummy. I opened my eyes and looked over. My eyes welled up with tears, and I said to Steve, "Something’s come between us..." He said, "What?" I said, "A Family.”

"Three years of nothing (TTC)and many disappointing, frustrating moments we came to the answer we had been looking for, ADOPT. This was our FIRST BLESSING, peace came over our home. No longer were we concerned with my broken body, and negative test results. We began a new journey to build our family, and it felt good."

Read the entire post here.

From Lara

"Seventy-six times now. Seventy-six negative pregnancy tests lying somewhere gathering grime, the little pink line dulled by film of time. It’s the only number I can count. The only number I can wrap my head around. I can’t estimate the tears that have dried and flaked away, the sobs heaved, the prayers prayed, the nights un-slept, and onesies bought and boxed away. So I count the times my heart has broken."

From Yaya

"We are officially into month 67 of wanting a baby. This thought depresses me. I feel bad for my husband, I feel bad for myself, I feel bad for my body. I'm a failure. My husband can do his part and get me pregnant, now why can't I fulfill my end of the bargain? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with my body? What have I done so horrible in life to deserve this?"

From Kristin at Dragondreamer's Lair

"November 11, 2002, February 12, 2003, April 15, 2003, November 24, 2003, June 17, 2004, January 13, 2005. What do these dates share in common? These dates represent our journey through infertility. Each of these dates represent a day my heart broke into a million pieces...a day we lost one of our precious babies. These dates represent growth and opportunity. These dates represent a blessing."

Read the entire entry here.

To read the first winning entry click here.


Kristin said...

Thanks for the mention and that is a beautiful essay Mr. Shelby wrote.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that winning essay is amazing. How rare to hear the male perspective and have it speak to true to the female perspective. My husband doesn't have a clue. None. He was not attached to our babies we lost. He doesn't realize all I go through with fertility treatments. He doesn't realize all I grieve in accepting adoption over bio-baby. He doesn't realize why some days I just can't bear to be around friends and family. I'm gonna have him read this.

Marc and Megan said...

Mr. Shelby's essay was very well-written... and so refreshing to get a man's perspective. Thank you for sharing it and for sharing other entries, too. Your efforts to educate others about infertility and adoption are wonderful. Thank you for all you're doing.

WiseGuy said...

Thanks for the blurb Erica....Mr. Shelby's essay is totally amazing....The male point of view in this IF tales is often little understood. I know this, because I am myself a occasional whiner for lack of empathy. But this guy's entry really is an eye opener...But I demand one does he look with pretty clips in his hair...I want a photo that! : ))

Great! Thanks for the opportunity, I hope you continue holding these kind of thought provokers..!

Mr. Shelby said...

Thank you for the kind words, all.
Haha, No hair clips here. Those are going to my better half, though I *might* be convinced to post a picture.

Mr. Shelby


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