A Cruel Irony

We have been going through lots of family photos, heirlooms, and the like over the last few months.  All kinds of stuff, even a “war trophy” my grandfather took from some Nazi.   There are pieces of jewelry I’ve been given (most aren’t worth a dime except to me) and even furniture.  Then there are the photo books, stories and so forth.

Then it hit me:  I care a LOT about family history, as in more than anyone else in the family.  The passing down of things and information is important. And I will have no one to pass it down to.

Its a cruel irony that the only one that loves history and family history will be the ONLY ONE without children.

Breaks my heart.

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Waiting Feels Like Hell

So we are waiting on the results from the hubby’s latest test.  Three months on a med that has unpleasant side-effects and we will see (hopefully this week) where exactly we stand.

Are his results good enough to put me on meds to try to coax an ovulation cycle? Or are we done?

We can’t afford to do much because infertility isn’t covered in this state, and although our insurance offers some coverage, its not even enough for a cycle.

So Im waiting. Looking at a road that splits and waiting to be told which way we have to go.

Oh money would solve a lot here, maybe not all, but a lot. But when you are middle class no one gives a rats ass. No help for the working man.

So Im waiting.

Its a special kind of hell.

Why I’m Not At Your Kid’s Game

Dear Parent Who Invites Me To Their Kids Games,

I’m not mad at you, let’s get that straight first off. I’m not.  I’m not mad at your child(ren) and I’m not mad at anyone really.  It’s not that I don’t care, or that your child(ren) aren’t important, they are, its something else entirely.

You see, as I battle (and yes it IS a war inside my head) infertility things in my life are skewed. I cant see much further than my grief and I’m swimming in regret, anguish, sadness, pain, and maybe even a little jealousy.  The anger I hold inside isn’t towards you or anyone, its towards God for gifting me with a great love for children, and then telling me I am not to have any of my own. It is a difficult glob of sticky, nasty emotions that I can’t always pull apart and I don’t fully understand. But it changes how I see the world in the now. That will change, I’m told by others who went through this. Right now, I can’t seem to bring myself to see past my grief.

I want so much to go to your child(ren)’s game(s). But when I look at your family, when I see any family right now, I see what I have been denied.  I see what God has said “no” to, and it hurts. It hurts in ways I can not fully express in mere words, and I’d never wish on anyone. When your kid kicks a ball down the sidelines I imagine what my kid would have looked like and how all of the things that go with it might have been. It hurts. (I’m choking back sobs as I write this)

When I hear your infant cry, and see you snuggle your toddler, I am reminded of my empty womb.  When your children are running about with their friends and cousins, I can’t help but to be tortured by the knowledge that I will never house a ruckus like that because our bodies betrayed us.

If we had the money or the resources or the ability or a million other factors, we’d adopt, or do IVF or something. But not this.  We wouldn’t grieve the death of a dream that we watch played out all around us.  We wouldn’t cry ourselves to sleep after each doctors report or negative pregnancy test. And I wouldn’t rot from the inside out with envy every time I have to go into a toy store.

Please understand the pain I feel is not going to last forever. When we get the “final” say on the matter, as it were, from the doctors (aka only unaffordable IVF is an option) I will grieve, but then I will have closure.  I will be able to move on.  I am isolated not by my choice, but because of the intense pain that being around children makes me feel right now.  We are doing all we can just to remain functional. We are doing all we can just to make it from one day to the next.

Eventually I’ll be okay again.  I’ll be full of fun and life and be back to teaching your kids silly habits.  I won’t cry every time I see a pregnant woman (like I am now as one passes my office window), I won’t avoid family time or events, and I won’t feel so anxious and stressed around children. At some point I will no longer be angry at God and I’ll move on.

I’m not mad at you. I’m just unable to deal with my emotions right now.

Anxiety

Being anxious is pretty normal.  Being overly anxious about every minute detail of everything all the time is not.

Im not normal.

But you knew that right?

The tough part is dealing with everyday things when your mind is on edge.  Imagine expecting someone to rush into your house at any moment and kill you. You’d be really on the edge and overly tense right?  Imagine that scared, tense and spastic feeling being what you felt all the time.  To the point that you really didn’t want to leave the house.  Or inside your mind is going through all of the horrific possibilities involved in a simple task like say, driving to the store. Or you have nightmares about horrible things happening to your loved ones (or you) and you think about them all day until the point you are afraid to go to sleep.

That’s me. Not every day, but enough that it makes things difficult.

The medicine knocks me out, so I can only really take it when I REALLY need it and only before bed.

They tell me I have PTSD from my time as a firefighter. They tell me the anxiety is related to that and to the string of unfortunate and tragic events that I endured for several years. They tell me people dealing with infertility have this happen too.

They also say medication is a good fix.  Well if you can stay awake, or if the side effects don’t mess you up.

So I try to avoid triggers. Like crazy parties, stressful events, and people that seem to say the wrong things over and over until its too much. I try.  But sometimes its not enough and I manage to get into something that is too much and then I’m back on the anxiety freeway without a seat belt.

I never have liked the anxiety freeway, just to be clear on it.  I hate worrying about everything and having everything set me into a panic when I once wasn’t like this.

Once upon a time I was brave and good and strong. Then the world imploded, and I was left in the rubble, and it imploded again, and I held fast to my love, then it imploded several more times, and no one came to help us. The shell of what I once was is all that I have left.  You see the strong outer case, but the inside is shattered and fragile.

There are days I don’t want to leave the house.  There are days I want to run screaming from my job before the end of the day.  There are days when I only want to be held by my dear hubby and not interact with anyone else.  There are days, like today, where I’m on the verge of tears for no good reason, but Im able to function.

It will get better.  I know it will.  Its like the sea with it ebbing and flowing. I just have to tough out a storm right now.  Hurricane Infertility.

No, I Don’t Hate Your Kids.

My reluctance to be around children right now isn’t because I hate them.  Its because I have none and its painful. (Or because you don’t deserve to be a parent because you suck at it. These cases are quite rare)

I don’t want to be around your children running and laughing and acting a fool because I will never get to have that in my house. I don’t want to see you dry those tears or patch up that boo boo because in my world that shall never be. I don’t want to hear your pregnancy stories, baby stories, etc because my body can not make a baby.

I don’t want to see you look at your child with the intense love that I will never know.

Its like when I get weirdly quiet at work when people talk about their kids. Because I hate being told to “wait my turn” or “you’ll know when you have kids”.  Or maybe even worse the way some who know of my infertility make it a point to tell me every chance they get about their kids/grand kids/great grand kids and/or point out that Im a fool for loving my cats as much as they love their children.

It sucks being left out. But when its something like not getting invited to the “mom” party because your body won’t work and you are too poor to do anything else, well it hurts. It hurts like a death.

Eventually I’ll get over it. I will. Just bear with me. Im grieving and struggling and hoping and all of the things that goes with this.

There is no map to how to handle it, and Im doing the best I can.

So, no I don’t hate your kids. I hate that I can not have any of my own.