Monday, January 9, 2012

It's baaaaaack...

This post is going to seem like a simpering, pity party, but I assure you I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me. There are just days that I have to write it down or my feelings will eventually give me an anxiety attack... If you don't want to read this post, or are worried you won't know what to say or how to handle it, just please stop reading. I really don't want to make anyone uncomfortable, or feel like I am trying to get sympathy in any way. I assure you I am not.

8 years ago, I wanted a baby. I knew I was supposed to have a baby. But, well, it just didn't work out like I had planned. Then almost 7 years ago, my grandfather who meant the world to me, died suddenly, around the same time that my husband and I started trying to have a baby, (a year after I decided I wanted to start trying).

A few months later I would learn that I have infertility issues from the mouth of a fertility specialist, confirming what I already knew: My life will NEVER be how I planned it. No matter how much I thought things through, or made lists, or how many goals I wrote down, my life was not going to follow those plans. I wasn't going to be one of those people who thought, "Hmm, I would like to be a mother and get pregnant in two months and then have a baby nine months later and then have another child in exactly 24.6 months after the first baby was born...etc...etc..." And month after month I became more and more bitter about it as friend after friend became pregnant and I sat there crying on the toilet with another negative pregnancy test in my hands... weeping and cursing everything and everyone who didn't understand anything that I was going through.

And things got dark for a while... I stopped going to church, found every excuse I could think of not to go, and started feeling betrayed by God too. And let me tell you, that is a lonely, desolate place to be in. There is no end of darkness in that pit, and it is hard to climb out... but eventually I did. Eventually.

A year and a half went by, and somehow I had managed to find some sunshine to get me out of that rut. And things, though still difficult for me, were looking up. My husband and I started considering adoption, and then, as we were seriously considering it, I got the positive test... As I sit here remembering the feelings that were going through my body and my mind when I saw those two lines, I am overcome with emotion and my heart leaps in my chest. It was all I ever wanted, and here it was, staring me in the face. The wait was over. God had blessed us with a child.

I thought that my troubles in that arena were over. I thought that I had found my answers so that I would NEVER have to go through that again. But, as usual, I was wrong.

When our son was born, there was so much healing in our family, but especially in me. He was and always will be a miracle. Not just because I couldn't have a baby and then I did... as miraculous as that was, that isn't the miracle that I think of when I say it. I say he worked miracles in me. I felt closer to God and to my faith, to my husband and to this little person who was ours. The love that grew when he was born is absolutely indescribable.

Here we are, over 4 years after the birth of our son, and have never prevented pregnancy since, and here I sit, still the mother of one. I do NOT dismiss him as unimportant, I do NOT think that I can't be happy without another child. I do NOT discount the importance of my son in my life. Just because I want another child doesn't mean that I am not grateful for the one that I have. I know I am lucky. I know that there are thousands of people who wish their infertility woes would end in just one child... I am TRULY AND SINCERELY grateful for my son. Every single day. He is amazing.

Having said that, I am going to continue the thought... Last year, about 6 months ago, we decided to adopt a child to add to our family. We are still on that path, but have been informed recently that our wait time has been extended to AT LEAST three years. Do you see my frustration? I try to turn a negative in to a positive and I get another door slammed in my face. NOTHING in this area of our lives has been easy. NOTHING. Growing our family is just going to be difficult, and I'm having a hard time with it. I AM HAVING A VERY HARD TIME WITH IT. For months I have been smiling through my pain and laughing through my tears. I am trying to be brave and I am trying to be strong, but all this trying has made me tired and weak, and right now I am going to have it out with these feelings.

I AM SICK of having to deal with this. I HATE IT. I feel that there is something wrong with me. Do you know how hard it is to feel like you are to blame for something that causes so much heartache?! Do you know how hard it is to sit on one end of a phone hearing someone you thought cared about you telling you that God is punishing you for your pride?! Do you even comprehend the hurt feelings when you have to stand there and endure looks and thoughts from nosy people asking you if your one child is all you've got after 10 years of marriage, and then have them tell you that you need more?! Do you know what it is like to go to church in a family oriented community and be made to feel as though you are somehow less or your feelings and insights aren't valid because you don't have children, or only have one?! I've been called selfish, prideful, and a handful of other things because MY BODY DOESN'T WORK RIGHT. I'm selfish because we put ourselves first before having children. I'm prideful and that is why God is withholding the blessings of parenthood from us. My opinion on family values doesn't hold water because I don't have any children, or (more recently) only one child, so how could I truly know what REAL family values are?

I have tried all of the tactics before too.  Smiling, and telling myself that they are just ignorant and don't know everything. That it isn't their business anyway. I have even gotten angry and said things to people so that next time they open their big stupid mouths they might think twice. I have even tried to pray the feelings away. I have been open and honest with most people about my struggles with infertility, but there are times when it makes me so tired. I just want to be okay with things, and the constant talk about it sometimes is hard for me.

But, here I sit... I have a beautiful 4 year old, who is simply magic. I have an international adoption that is going to be a lengthy process ahead of me. And I have this desire, a very strong one, to hold another baby in my arms that I carried in my belly. And I sit here, even with the magic in the next room, and even with the dawn of bringing a child in to my home on the distant horizon, with the thoughts of holding a baby in my arms, and I cry. Some days it is ALL I can think about. It's all around me. It seems that every friend I have or have had over my life that I am still in contact with is pregnant or just had a child... and I am, admittedly JEALOUS. But, not ANGRY at them. Just SUPER JEALOUS. Why can I not be numbered with those who have it easy in this area? Why do I have to continually endure the hard road on this one? This ONE area where my heart aches the most. I love being a mother. Doesn't that count for something?

So, to all my friends out there who are reading this and enjoying the pregnancy, or cuddling your newborn, I don't mean to go on like this. I don't want to upset you, or make you think that I don't care deeply about your life and the joys you experience. I just needed to write out these feelings because my sadness is there, and I can't shake it no matter how hard I try. I don't want to make you feel uncomfortable. That's not my intention. I just am tired of bottling this up right now.

It comes in waves. There are days when I am genuinely feeling good about everything, and then there are days when all of it really gets to me, and those days are coming more frequently now...

It is my prayer and my hope that this doesn't consume me again. I will go play with my son more, and try to laugh more, and focus on all that I have. Perhaps I need to draw closer to my Heavenly Father.

With Love,

1 comment:

Emily Leue said...

susan - you truly are, and always will be, one of my heroes. you are amazing parents, and some little child in the world is going to become the luckiest child ever. most people don't even know HOW to love as dearly as you do because you WANT someone to love. god knows that. he loves you for it. he knows who needs you, and he's just setting the stage for the most beautiful family to grow. i love you!