Sunday, October 19, 2008

Show n Tell: No gifts for this anniversary

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.

18 comments:

Bridge said...

Wow... I really wish I knew something to say to make you feel better. I really don't. I am coming up blank. /sigh I hope you feel slightly better now, or at least soon. My thoughts go to you now...

Cricket said...

Thanks, Bridge, for writing anything at all. There's nothing anyone can do, except digest for a bit what it means to be infertile and what it feels like to fail at something taken for granted by the rest of the world.

Gianna said...

I'm infertile Cricket. I understand...

I also don't have a child and have to deal with the reality that I will not be healthy in time to ever have one by trying to deal with the infertility, being that I'm 43 and still struggling to get healthy....the odds are so completely against me that I too have to let go of those final hopes and dreams of "one day."

I do enjoy other people's children as much as I can. The pain is fairly dull most of the time at this point...only every now and then reaching an apex...

I think sometimes if I come through my journey of healing in the next year or two it will come crashing down with much pain, as I have other things to worry about now...

it actually scares me...that day when it truly sinks in that it's all over.

peace be with you, Cricket.

Kristin said...

{{{Hugs}}}...I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I wish I could make you feel better.

Cricket said...

Thanks Gianna and Kristin.

Also, silly me. All week I thought today was the day, but it was actually last Monday, Oct 13. In reality, Oct 19, 1999 is the anniversary of my ex husband first 1) saying he wanted a divorce and 2) pulling out of IVF by default, as we exited the hospital where I had my HSG performed, admittedly one of the most painful and nauseating experiences leading to blackout (and not involving alcohol) of my life.

I'm glad I wrote this, though. I had been stifling it for a quite a while. I'm grateful in one of those falling progesterone leading to true emotions spilling out sort of ways which brings my guard down every so often.

Aunt Becky said...

Oh Cricket. Wow. What a post. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us.

orodemniades said...

I'm so sorry, Cricket. Now that I have the Chieftain, I understand your pov so much more...sif is a crappy ballgame, too.

/lurking

Cricket said...

Thanks, Becky. It's been my story since 1998 and for the first three years here.

I'm glad, Oro.

Just wait until your kid is 11 and you know no siblings are coming from you and he'll be graduated from HS in a blink of an eye. Mine growing older only makes it worse.

I fear for him as the only child, as I will not have the military insurance promised by ex. I do not want to be a burden on him, but I have so much misc crap wrong with me. I doubt I'll ever remarry. He's my only link. That's too much to dump on a kid who won't even have the support of sibling(s).

I hate this crap.

JuliaS said...

I wish I had something brilliant to say.

Eloquent, heartbreaking and moving post - you had me in tears.

Wishing you many good things to come.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I have just been sitting here for a long time with this comment box open, trying to say something as eloquently as you wrote this post. And coming up empty handed, I only leave a hug.

littleangelkisses said...

Thank you for sharing this. I wish I could say something profound, but I am not eloquent. My thoughts are with you.

Michael, Karen and Morgan said...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for sharing your raw innermost pain. I am glad that you feel at least a little safe in sharing your emotions.

Churlita said...

I'm sorry for your heartbreak. I'm glad writing it down has helped you. It's the only way, I can ever sort anything out and figure things out myself.

DD said...

Trying to run through water is an excellent analogy. And Cricket, for what it's worth from me - which is very little to be sure - being stripped of the choice to have or not have more children is a hard, bitter pill that only another person in the same situation can understand.

Val said...

Very profound, C - I can esp relate to the "to think I'd have or find a partner wanting to and worthy enough to procreate with me" ideation, on those days when I seem to delight in smacking my face against the wall...
Of course I chose this reality for myself, even though "feeling foolish feels awful".
I was almost in tears in the Halloween store the other night, as I surveyed the reality that my Z has outgrown all the kids' costumes - I've missed so many Halloween's w/him, DAMNIT.

laura b. said...

I don't even know what to say, Cricket. It is paiful have a hoped for option begin moving further and further out of reach until one day it is just gone.

It isn't ideal, but it is good for your son that he has his half sister. Hopefully they will care for one another all of their lives.

NoRegrets said...

Aw, sorry.

brite69 said...

Another comment from someone who wishes she had magical words for you. *sigh*

I think the reason I collect cats the way I do is cuzz I will most likely never have another baby of my own. The boy has been requesting a sibling and it breaks my heart. While I know I can never know exactly how much it hurts you to not be able to have another child, I can somewhat empathize.