Four years ago today, I wrote, "If I can't have a baby, at least I can have a blog." I thought I was being cheeky, not realistic.
It seems very strange that I ever really thought I could have another child. I look back and see black, but I try so hard to not look back.
I also try to not look away when I am behind a baby in the grocery line. I do not deny her when my son's 3yo half sister asks me to pick her up. I am trying to live in this world of other people's children.
In situations like this, I've come a long way. In many ways, though, I haven't. Before, I turned the infertility on myself with self-blame for the unknown, which I realized I really didn't deserve. Now I turn the infertility on myself a different way: that I was daft enough to believe, to think I'd have or find a partner wanting to and worthy enough to procreate with me, to hope it might finally work again after years of trying. Feeling foolish feels awful, as does failure.
Back when I was about 30, I once did an exercise during a lunchtime talk about the Inner Child. Me of the rare tear had to rush from the room sobbing; I could not talk to or visualize me as a little child. All I could do was cry for the naivete of that poor, optimistic little girl who was so clueless about her outcome.
I feel that way now, looking back on my years of infertility. I sob with sadness at how I put so much into thinking I might get what comes to the rest of the world so naturally and effortlessly. The grief is doubled in the sense that I am still infertile, I have no hope to ever succeed, and the hope I did have almost disgusts me now. I don't know what I would say to my Inner Infertile. Give up? Don't prolong the grief? Cut your losses, because you will not succeed?
At 46, I know I'm just too old. I manage, sometimes as if walking though water, conscious of each wave and labored movement, yet putting on the good face, even on this blog, which was a secondary infertility blog. For years, I didn't even try to put on the good face. Now, I don't know if I am wearing a mask.
I measure my community by my Bloglines lists. Used to be, I had lots and lots of people in my IF/SIF/Adopt category. Those were the people I understood and very few remain. These days, I might get 3-5 posts per day there to read, because I cannot not seek out the newly infertile to expand the list. All but a very, very few (who probably no longer blog) graduated in some form or fashion to my Babies/EDA section. Right now, there are 19 messages waiting for me, but I always have to be strong when I read that category, putting on that brave face as I am conscious of each wave and labored comment.
Thanks to Mel for hosting the Show and Tell.