Monday, June 7, 2010

Recycled Packaging

I am all for saving the environment. I love the song, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" by Johnson. Min man knows when to put things in our recycle bin, and I always make a point to bring my reusable shopping bags to the store.

What I don't like is the fact I am now experiencing a bit of deja vu in the form of old emotions drying up my existence. These are emotions that have run through me, run over me, and run my life. Is it possible to feel the same amount of pain due to infertility all over again? Better still, is it possible to feel a more intense pain? I didn't think so. But after feeling quite shitty for a few weeks, the emotions spilled over in the past few days and my mood has plummeted.

Sadness, feeling helpless due to my inability to conceive, grieving over not having the number of children I long for, never experiencing pregnancy to term, and not being able to give Min man a sibling. Seeing pregnant women, families with more than one child, women walking their babies together in strollers, posts on, pregnancy and birth announcements are all tough again. I wonder if I have simply been suppressing my inner desire to scoff at all of these things and now I am burnt out. At this time I may not be able to hide the fact that I am bitter.

My analytical side wants an answer. If I figure out a reason for this overwhelming sadness, maybe it will go away.

In part I feel alone in my sadness again. I find it hard to tell anyone how bad I still feel about infertility when I have such a beautiful son. I meant every word when I said I would never change one thing about the four years of trying to conceive because it led us to adopting Min man. I'm really not sure people will understand why I am still grieving. I also feel uncomfortable talking to most women because I don't want to make them feel bad. By this point most people I know have two children if not more. I do not want to put them in an awkward position. And I certainly do not want pity.

Putting away Min man's high chair, changing table, onesies, and cutesy clothes from last summer has been very difficult because I cannot help but wonder, will I ever need to use these things again? How long should we hang on to these baby items before we know there will be no other babies in this house? My heart hurts. All over again my heart hurts so badly that the tears well in my eyes several times a day.

I thought I had this figured out. I became a mom through adoption. I love our family. I started a non-profit to channel my energies and experience in order to help others. I lived by the mantra that everything works out the way it is supposed to. Why has that mentality slipped?

I don't want all of these emotions back and being reused and recycled. How about reduce- REDUCE.

I just want to know why I cannot have a baby. Why?

Is it really never going to happen for me? Will I be 50 and still feeling sad I never was able to experience pregnancy? I will never have that connection with my child, feel my body change, anticipate the birth and be with my baby the instant they breath? Will I always have to avoid conversations about labor, breast feeding, and cute maternity clothes?

Lately I cannot fathom how we would have a second child. Nearly 3 years into our international adoption we are still waiting for INS clearance for Min man to go across the border (gov't red tape that cost us another $400). Coming up with a plan to do any adoption seems extremely daunting and the cost would put off many plans we have for our house. That's a great choice- brand new kitchen or child? Why do we have to make these decisions? Domestic adoption is wonderful but would be brand new to us. Anything brand new is scary and we have been through so much. ART? Ugh. The time, money, emotional roller coaster- none are appealing and there is not a strong enough pull mentally to move forward with medical assistance on a pro/con list. I feel stuck. Options, yes. But not the options I really want.
2 more babies and yes, maybe even a mini-van. New baby wearing Min-man's hand-me-down jammies and socks. New baby riding on his beloved bus that now sits in the attic. New baby...

I feel very empty when I hear names that would be great for another child. I am a big name person. When I was younger writing my stories, I toiled over the character's names. A name makes a person. I have several names tucked away for a boy or girl. They have been on my mind for seven years. Every once in a while I would think of something new and reorganize the list. Trying not to hold on to the names any longer, I find myself with a pang of solace when I hear a great name for a future child. Why torture myself further? I tell people my names now. Maybe they can use them.

Because of what I am trying to do for others I should be in a better position mentally. Maybe I am wrong about that. I know that part of why PFM has helped many people is because of my ability to understand and relate or at the very least empathize. I hope it is not a disappointment that I too struggle almost daily with infertility and how it has changed me. I hope that people who look to me for hope do not want to close out of my blog and never return. Who needs one more reminder that this sucks?

I wonder if this rekindling of feelings is a form of shell shock. There has been several years to reflect on the devastation of our experience. Emotions and thoughts I could not bear to feel may now be surfacing. There is only so much disappointment and anguish one person can take. Last night it occurred to me that I have created life with my husband. Yes, they were only a few days old but they existed. They could have been a real live baby. We have six lost embryos that lived for days, a week?, and in one case, seven weeks in my body until we had to terminate the pregnancy.

Not thinking clearly acting all on emotion I frantically searched through boxes in our attic to find the picture of our embryos. I could hardly see I was crying so hard. I knew I had saved one of the pictures. After rummaging through several of my memory boxes there they were. The 3 beautiful embryos we created on our first official IVF cycle dated June 2006. I was so relieved that I did not throw the picture away out of sadness and anger. Because in that picture is the embryo that I carried for seven weeks. My only official pregnancy. Perhaps the only time I will ever be able to feel my abdomen and whisper the words, "I'm pregnant."

Grief does not cease. It is an emotion that resides under the skin, at the nape of the neck, and within the heart. Knowing I have to learn to live with this grief seems impossible at times. I want peace with this portion of my life. Peace in understanding the big picture.


Another Dreamer said...

Beautiful powerful post hun (*hugs*)

As we step closer to the close of trying biologically, I find I've been worrying about these things too.

Kristin said...

That's what so many people never seem to understand. Infertility NEVER goes away. The emotions and turmoil of it fade but, every now and then, something stirs the pot and those old emotions come bubbling back up.

Lavender Luz said...

What's great is that you are feeling your feelings. And that you are clear on what you want -- peace in understanding.

I wish that for you, too. And that your emotions move through you and empower you further.

Abiding with you, E.

rebecca said...

Thank you for being honest about your feelings, however difficult they may be. Infertility is something that unfortunately leaves it's mark on our lives & no matter which way our journey's lead us doesn't let go completely. It is a scar yes, but something that makes us who we are & that ultimately leads us down certain paths. The amazing work you're doing & all that you give to others is incredible. Even through your own pain you are trying to be the change that you want to see in this world & that is so inspiring, don't let infertility let you forget that piece of you. That along with your beautiful son is the piece to hold tight to on those difficult days.
It's important that even though the feelings you're having are hard to discuss you let them out. You are acknowledging what a lot of us might not want to admit, that granted we all have things to be thankful for in this struggle with infertility, but ultimately it's not fair that our lives are so different from the majority. Thinking of you & sending hugs:)

Geochick said...

Great post.

Delenn said...

I have been there. I know that darkness that creeps in and that you feel guilt over. Seeing my son grow and boxing up clothes after clothes, wondering...hoping...despairing. I know that pain and frustration. And I wish that I could just take a sponge and gather it up from you. But I cannot. All I can do is abide with you.

Emi said...

I sometimes feel like I'm the most irrational woman in the world because I feel the same way. It's comforting to me to know I'm not the only one. I fear I'll never be pregnant again and I fear I'll never have a biological child. The longer I try, the harder it gets and the more weight it puts on my soul.

Thank you for sharing.

Alex said...

What a beautiful post. I don't know that infertility ever goes away, no matter what happens. Thanks for sharing your feelings - I think that what you're going through is completely understandable.

Kitty said...

Yes, thank you for sharing this. What a lovely post.

Not that it will help, but the feeling seems to be going around lately. I hope it passes for you soon and you feel at peace.

Heather said...

I so know where you are coming from. I totally get it. We are grieving the loss of ever being able to have biological children and stopping treatments on a note of failure. There are no words to adequately describe how devastating the loss is. And I too wonder if the pain will ever go away.

We are also building our family by adopting a baby from Korea, so I have enjoyed reading your blog.

Take care.

Barely Sane said...

Here thanks to Mel & LFCA.

I just wanted to say that I too have recently felt the same things as you. I struggle with it the older my daughter gets and issues I thought I had dealt with are now haunting me once again.

I think the hardest part of it is that people EXPECT me (us) to suddenly be healed. But IF isn't something that is cured the moment we have a successful pregnancy or adopt a child. I suspect it is something we will deal with for a very long time, much like the loss of a loved one.

I truly hope that one day both of us find the peace we are looking for.

nh said...

Here from lfca

I absolutely agree and understand with what you are saying. We are on the way to adoption (UK domestic) - but it doesn't mean that the desire for pregnancy has magically gone away - nor the grief. Sorry that you are feeling that way - but well done for writing it down.

JC said...

This was such a beautiful post and so honest. I'm so sorry all these feelings are back. =( I hope you do find peace. ((hugs))

Lisa said...

Great post, E. I do understand.

Stacey said...

Beautiful and honest post. Thanks for sharing what's in your heart about the really hard truths of this journey. I agree, IF certainly leaves its mark. Hoping you'll continue to navigate through these feelings and find that peace and understanding.

Shellie said...

Wow. I am 43 and infertile too. I've been married for 20 years. Yeah, you feel like something's missing and it doe hurt.

Stacy said...

I was emotionally entangled when I read your post. I thought first - I AM NOT ALONE. SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS EXACTLY WHAT I FEEL. And I was relieved. I have been feeling so guilty at being depressed over my infertility. I have been feeling like a total SH*T because how can I be depressed about it when I have adopted the light of my life? I am a Mom. I should be happy. But - infertility pain never goes away. And sometimes it appears to have gotten worse. Everyone else is on their second or third child. My son is asking for a brother or sister. His best friend is getting a baby brother or sister. Why not him? I felt like YOU were writing for ME. But then - I felt like a You-know-what again, because you just shared all of your pain, and I was rejoicing that I wasn't alone. How sick is that?
Bottom line - Thank you a million times for posting such honest, raw emotion. I no longer feel so alone. And I am so sorry that you have to feel this in the first place. Because I know how darn crappy it is. And I'm sorry for feeling at all "happy" that I found someone like me. I wish it wasn't so for either of us.

Von said...

The grief and loss of miscarriage and infertility lessen with time but are never forgotten.There's nothing irrational about deep biological urges.Painful as it is, there have been millions before you who know these feelings and understand.
The loss for adoptees of their families is another area of grief that never leaves.When that loss intersects with your loss you'll maybe need some help to make something good out of it.

Pixie said...

Thanks so much for having the courage to put your feelings out here with us. We understand them, and cradle them gently, knowing the fragility, pain, fear and heart-break behind them. And although you feel alone, we walk beside you through this.

Brandy said...

Thank you for this! I almost threw away the pic we had of the two embryos we transferred on our last IVF. I'm going to keep it now.



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