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Harder.

14 May

This weekend was hard. Much harder than I expected it to be. Mother’s Day always sucks for the infertiles and this one was no different, but yet, it was. It was much more of an emotional, anxiety-ridden clusterf*ck.

Didn’t help that I was in the wedding of one of my best friends, already setting myself up for emotional heaviness (in a good way, but still). Didn’t help that my mom was in town to babysit the dog and to celebrate Mother’s Day with me, making it impossible to forget it was happening like I wanted to do. Especially didn’t help that during the reception, the bride’s new 2-year-old niece, cute as a button, decided to make me her new best friend. She just came over to me on the dance floor, put her arms up, and from that point on didn’t want to let go of me. Even when her mommy (25, 3 kids, gorgeous, skinny, happily married – wah!) tried taking her away, she curled her little fingers around my arm and continued reaching out for me even as she was carted away. They thought she was bothering me, and it’s true my arms were aching from holding her and dancing, but my heart was aching so much more and something in me broke.

I wanted her. In the least creepy sense possible, I wanted to go off and snuggle her close and kiss her face and tell her stories and teach her lessons and show her the world. Each time after they’d take her away (she kept finding me, again and again), I’d dance with DH and bury my face in his beautiful shoulder and cry. Cry for everything we’ve been through, cry for everything we want and don’t know if we’ll ever have. I know there was probably nothing special about me. Sometimes little ones just latch on to someone. But she helped my heart so much and forced me to touch everything I was really feeling around Mother’s Day, in a way I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Even though it was hard and I was crying at my best friend’s wedding, I’ll be forever grateful to that little girl for the love she showed me on Saturday night. And now I know for certain that I could love any child, no matter how they came to be in my arms. I just need them to be mine and then maybe my heart can rest.

And as I sat there at the bridal party table, teary eyed and choked up, I thought, this is infertility. This is the ugly, brutal face of infertility. If anyone was ever wondering, they could have just looked at me in that moment and known the whole of it.

I never outed myself in full during NIAW. DH wasn’t comfortable with it so I didn’t push it. But I did post this one Facebook yesterday: “To those who have loved and lost, and for everyone still waiting for their own little miracle, to anyone for whom this day is bittersweet, my heart is with you all.” To my surprise, 17 people liked the post, people of all ages, people with kids, and people without kids. Maybe the pain of Mother’s Day isn’t as misunderstood as I thought. Or maybe they were just being nice. I appreciated it nonetheless.

I think this is going to get progressively harder, each Mother’s Day that passes without a child to call my own. This was my third. The first time, I wasn’t even considering myself an infertile. It was two months after my D&C and I didn’t realize going in how hard it was going to be. It wasn’t until I saw people wishing other pregnant friends on Facebook a happy Mother’s Day that I realized, that should have been me.

And now we’re two losses, two dozen failed cycles, one failed IUI, one cancelled IUI and one IVF plan into our journey and it’s heavy. It feels like I’ve been carrying a heap of cinder blocks for miles and I just want this to end. I need this to resolve, some how, some way. I’m ready for my resolution. It’s time to find a way out.

How will you mark National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW)?

23 Apr

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably well aware that this week is National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW). While this isn’t my first NIAW as an infertile (it is in fact my third), it is my first one as an infertility blogger, and therefore feels like my first one ever since I wasn’t very aware of them in the past.

The theme for NIAW this year is “Don’t Ignore” and I can’t think of a more powerful message to connect with infertility awareness. Some of my favorite IF bloggers have already begun writing about what they wish people wouldn’t ignore about infertility.

I absolutely love what Her Royal Fabulousness at Waiting for Little Feet wrote about not ignoring the woman beneath the label. I’m so guilty of this. I’ve let infertility change me in a lot of bad ways. I’ve gotten away from my true self, the one who loves to work out, and read, and cook, and do so many other things. HRF really grabbed me when she asked, If you don’t care for the woman peeking out from under the label, what will be left when your TTC journey is over?

My friend Cristy at Searching for Our Silver Lining encourages us to not ignore our accomplishments, which I think is such an important point. Any woman who is facing infertility and still finds the strength to go about her daily life is a warrior in my mind. Because this disease is debilitating. Let’s not forget how far we’ve come and how strong we are. We rule! RAWR!

Then there’s Jay at The 2 Week Wait who writes about not ignoring the power of humor. Sometimes I find I have to give myself permission to laugh, especially when it comes to the oddities of infertility, the extreme lengths we go to. To me, finding the humor in infertility is finding perspective. The perspective to step back and realize that you’re bigger than this. This is part of you but it doesn’t define you.

There are so many other great “Don’t Ignore…”s out there. It’s amazing to me how many of these are not designed for the world outside of IF, these are lessons to our fellow travelers along this rocky road. I’m not sure how many other meaningful Don’t Ignores I could offer to the already stellar set that my fellow bloggers have set forth.

Instead, I started thinking about how I could mark (dare I say, celebrate?) NIAW and what I’ve come to is the realization that I need to come out. I need to emerge from the shadow this has cast over my life and own it. As I’ve mentioned, I have a blog post written on my personal blog about the lessons I’ve learned from IF that I have been stalling on. Sometime over the course of this week, I’m going to publish it. I just want to run the entire thing by DH first to make sure he’s comfortable with it.  I’ll be sure to post it here as well.

I won’t link my public persona to this blog. I still don’t want to do that because I still want to share all the down n’ dirty details with you all that I’m not willing to share with the whole world. But I owe it to myself and to the infertility community to make my struggle known. Because I know now that there is nothing to be ashamed of and that people always appreciate when someone shows their true colors, especially when it’s hard.

What about you… How will you mark National Infertility Awareness Week? Do tell.