Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The long road less traveled

I've been at this for awhile now- it's been 29 months, October officially marks the 2.5 year mark. I find that the longer I travel this long dark road, the harder it gets. Not just with finding the inspiration, the courage, the strength to continue- I mean the motivation, finding bravery in the face of all this loss, failure, and fear.

See, so far I have ovulated 3, maybe 4, times. I have experienced that positive pregnancy test twice now. I have experienced that excruciating pain of pregnancy loss twice as well. I have learned that fertility treatments can make dreams come true, but for some of us they feed false hopes.

There are a great many things this journey has stolen from me, things I will always miss. I will never again look at a positive pregnancy test with a sense of joy. I will never feel excited and carefree as I tell people that I'm pregnant; I never even had that, and I never will. I will never have that naivety in pregnancy back. My first pregnancy will not be remembered with joy. I will never feel confident that I am having a baby until I have a living breathing child in my arms. Holidays are filled with dread, because I fear that someone will happily announce their good news- and I will have to hide in the bathroom because as strong as I am, I am not strong enough for that. I resent that I can't be happy for other people the way I used to be, because I feel too sorry for myself and I can't seem to get past that anymore.

Our family relationships have been forever changed- I will forever resent the way my family decided to treat me after my first miscarriage, and how hard it was on me. I will resent how my husband's family act like all this is so easy, how all of them knew about the miscarriages and that only my mother-in-law said anything, and how even she did not speak to me after the second one. I will resent their insinuations that we should adopt even though they can't begin to understand how difficult that really is- and how they seem to think that we will just let them in our lives when we have children, even though they have nothing to do with us at all as we suffer. I'm resentful because they love their grandchildren so much, and they dote on them so much at Holidays that I feel even worse, because I can't give their son a child. And because I know they didn't like me to begin with, I can't help but wonder if they hate me even more now because of this.

I'm resentful because I am so bitter. I don't want to be.

I used to be confident that I would be a good mother. The longer I walk this road, the more I doubt this. I haven't changed personally- I mean, I'm more weathered and my life situation has improved since we started- but I doubt my future parenting skills now. And it all boils down to this- the longer I have to think about what it means to be a parent, the more terrified I get.

I mean, watching my niece run around like a wild-child who doesn't understand the word "no", and getting worn out from just spending an hour with her- I have to ask myself, do I have what it takes? When I actually think about my entire life focus would shift (Well, not entirely- right now it's all focused on becoming a parent. It would just shift to being a parent.) I mean, afternoons watching television with my husband would be out, sitting on the computer and playing online as much as I do would be out, reading books and being absorbed in an art project, going out on a whim... all out. How would I handle situations that come up? What about stitches, school issues, babysitting, etc... We don't have a good extended network of family, I have to figure most things out myself. Illness, weaning, potty training, child safety proofing my house, an active toddler getting into stuff, and the horrible horrible teen years... it scares the beejeezus out of me.

But then I remind myself, it all comes in it's own due time. You adapt, you trade off. A night sitting in reading a book, becomes reading and learning time together. Working on an art project becomes arts and crafts time. Going out on whims becomes date nights, or family trips, or family nights in. Life would become different, but in a way you have (if you're like me) desired for years. You learn as you go along- most people don't have it all figured out before they become parents.

And then I stop hyperventilating.
I want to be a mother- even if it scares me now more than ever.

I wonder if most people even think about what is really involved in becoming a parent- I mean truly think about it- before they take the plunge.

I am thankful for some things on this journey- I know that I will be a better parent now, I have had plenty of time to prepare, plenty of time to be more gracious, plenty of time to acknowledge that this isn't going to be easy at all. I have longed and suffered so much in pursuit of this dream- I know it will be worth it. I now understand how much my husband truly loves me. I count my blessings, and mourn my losses, and keep walking- I have become stronger, more resilient, because of it. I've realized that my life really is wonderful, and even if it doesn't work out the way I want it too- I can still be happy.

Am I glad I have infertility?

No- but life gives us what it gives us, and we have no choice but to either work with it, or to give up. So, I keep working with it- even if each step feels like agony.


Michelle said...

Ditto, my friend D I T T O!

Sending hugs your way!

WiseGuy said...

Ooooh, this is a superb post...not because of its objective, but because of how well you have expressed yourself.

I have had those doubts myself. And I do not have any solution to them. I just let them hanging in the air.

And I am craving like nuts to see two lines burning up on a pee-stick.

I hope that there is a happier landmark to talk of by 2010 October.

My best wishes are with you.

Kristin said...

All I can offer is support, prayers, and the hope that something wonderufl happens soon. I wish I could do more.

MK said...

Great post. You've described exactly how I so often feel. I hate this bitterness inside me that I've been dealing with for about 2 years now. How to be happy for other women when I find out they're pregnant? I don't even remember anymore.
Oh how I hope this is the month for you!

Guera! said...

I do not know what it's like to have experienced what you have so I can't pretend that I understand but you certainly have my respect and I'd give you a big hug if I saw you in person. Then we would have coffee or hot tea and share tips on how to avoid being around pregnant women. we could even practice our "I am so happy for you" faces together. My ultimate wish for you is peace and strength.

Turia said...

Here from LFCA.

I really appreciated this post- large portions of it I felt like I could have written myself (October marks two years for our journey; I've ovulated five times; no positive pee sticks yet though).

I, too, have found myself wondering about the person I've become because of IF. It's a big reason why we took a break this past summer- so I could rediscover the real me.

I really admire your courage in facing up to your fears about becoming a parent- I share them too, and I can't say I've conquered them yet.

I hope October proves to be the magic month for us both.

babyinterrupted said...

I can really relate to the worries about parenthood: sometimes I babysit my 11-month old niece, and I'm totally exhausted, and I wonder, "wait - why am I doing this again?" I wonder if sometimes that's my way of shielding myself just in case we never do have kids. That I can say to myself, "well, maybe I didn't really want it anyway" - which isn't true, but it somehow makes me feel a bit more in control.

I had no idea how much infertility could screw with your emotions until I was in it myself. I'll be thinking of you. You're not alone.

sunflowerchilde said...

This is a beautiful post, and I completely identify with it. I've gone through the exact same thought process, and the fear and everything else. Good luck with your IUI.

Deb said...

Thank you for not being afraid to express it like it is.

I have experienced those same fears. My husband and I have been on this journey for 6 years now. It is certainly hard to not become bitter when others have it so much easier but I try to see the good in the journey. At least we know that with all the garbage we will have gone through to get there, we won't be settling into parenthood with doubts that we want to be there... just doubts if we will be the best parents we can be, just like everyone else.

Hang in there!

Anonymous said...

This is a heart wrenching post. I can relate to so much of it. As someone who has also had two miscarriages, you are right, the next pregnancy will never have the innocence that the first one had.... the reactions of faily and friends shattered me the first go around... its so difficult. (hugs) hang in there.


Parenthood For Me said...

My heart is aching right now. I too relate to so much. I am so sorry you have not had the support you need. But you did mention the positives, you know how your husband feels about you, you have really thought about being a parent and it is still a great desire. I wish for you a happy ending- whatever that may be. It is gut wrenching that pregnancy and all its glory has been stolen away from us. I think about it every single day. I am forever changed. It is one part of my life though. Just as this does not define you either. Hugs to you. Would you mind if I put a link to this post on my blog? This is such an articulate way of stating just how difficult infertility is.

Bluebird said...

Thinking of you. . .


Sarang said...

This post resonated a lot with me...those same feelings of not wanting to be bitter and also fearing what actual parenthood may involve. So focused on the road right now.

I do think you're absolutely adapt, you trade off. And it works out.

My therapist says that a bad relationship I have with an old friend now (who was a baby) will likely be "repaired" once I have a kid(s). Like you, I wonder how easily past hurts will fade even once my future child comes into the picture.