Thursday, August 19, 2010

Reaching out

I have a really hard time with friendships. I've had things happen in my past that make it difficult for me to allow anyone into my world. I didn't realize until recently how much I hold back with the friends that I have now. A lot of it has to do with my past, but there is a significant portion of my discomfort with other people that originates with infertility.

I have a hard time making new friends because most of the people I know already have kids and there is just no common ground with them. It hurts a lot to hear them talk about having something I want so badly too. I was never a real eager friend getter, but now I actually find myself sabotaging potential friendships just to avoid the heartache.

I hate that I do this. I really try to push outside of my comfort zone and reach out, but I just can't. I miss having a really close friend to share my true secrets with. I feel isolated sometimes and lonely, like something is missing.

Today I got really brave. I called an old friend of mine. We were really close. Some things happened and I pushed away from her completely a few years ago, but I miss her terribly. She always understood me before, better than anyone. I could tell her stuff I can't even tell my husband because she just gets it, how my crazy mind works. We met at the park today and talked. She invited me to her house, but I wanted a neutral place where I could feel safe. It was great! There was no awkward silence or discomfort between us. I felt like I always have with her. I could tell her anything and she did the same.

We talked for about two hours and I felt as if someone had lifted a huge weight from my chest afterwards. I finally felt free from some of the crazy thoughts I store up because most people would consider me insane if they knew half the stuff I over-rationalize and internalize. It took a lot of courage to call her up, but it was worth it and I know it won't be the last time.

I'm sad that I can't open up with the other people I call my friends and I am going to try to work on that a bit, but for now I'm just happy for small steps. Never underestimate the power of a friendship!

Friday, August 13, 2010


I'm usually really good at distancing myself from my own pain when friends have babies. I genuinely share in their joy and I have no trouble wishing for their own happiness despite my own painful journey. Their journey is different and I would never ever want anyone to walk this path.

Today things were different.

I fully recognize the blessing that my friend and her husband have gotten and I truly feel nothing but joy for them, but there is a dark shadow that hangs over her name in my mind.

We've been friends since middle school. She lived an hour away and I only got to visit her when I stayed with my grandmother, but when we were together we were great friends. When Hubby and I got married Hubby went to basic training and I stayed with my grandmother while he was gone. When he came back we got the only real positive pregnancy test I have ever gotten. My friend at the time was pregnant and I was overjoyed to be able to share such a special time with her.

By the time I got to the doctor I wasn't pregnant anymore and she still was. It made my loss even more painful. I felt like the only girl in class that didn't get a birthday party invitation. I haven't talked to her since. I follow her on facebook, but I carefully avoid all of the pictures of her little boy, and I don't actually talk to her, I just keep up with how she and her family are doing.

Yesterday she gave birth to her second son. I'm so happy for them. He's beautiful and I couldn't help but look at her new profile picture. I clicked on it to see it in full size and all I could do was stare.

The new baby didn't upset me, but looking into the eyes of that new big brother took my breath away. All I could think of was "My baby should be that big."

I looked at his hands and his ears thinking about how our son or daughter would look now and a familiar ache settled into my heart. I hate that I can't be as close to my friends as I used to be. I hate that pang of jealousy I feel and the anger and frustration that almost always follows these moments.

It's days like this that I realize infertility robs us all of so much more than just holding our child in our arms.

As if that wasn't enough.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That Which Makes You Stronger....

Almost always sucks!

Aunt Flo has landed and she sunk her claws in deep this time for a nightmarish week of red. Sometimes I hate provera and all that it puts my body through. There is no option anymore though. I can't just say "Oh I wanna take a break for a while." The provera is my lifeline. It is the only line of defense I have against cancer right now.

There are days like today when I wonder if all of this is really worth it. I wish I had a crystal ball and I could see a fuzzy outline of the future. If I knew there was no chance of a live baby in my future, I think I would beg the powers that be to remove this mess and let me move on.

Hope is a dreadful thing sometimes.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Family Affair

We recently went on vacation with Hubby's family and of course the first question from everyone was "When are we going to have little people from you guys?" Every single person pulled us aside or brought it up at the dinner table at some point throughout the ten day vacation. Hubby has always been great at fielding these questions for me and he went to bat against his family for the millionth time. We got lots of wonderful advice and many suggestions like take a cruise or forget about it or stand on your head.

This time was different though. We got brave this time and tested the waters a bit with adoption talk. One of our main fears for a long time has been his family's reaction to us adopting, especially if we chose to adopt internationally or if we adopted a child of a different race.

At first the conversations were okay. Everyone agreed that it didn't matter if we adopted or where we adopted from. They all encouraged us to do what we felt was right and assured us they would love any child of ours no matter what.

This lasted about two days.

Then we found ourselves pulled aside from time to time to discuss the issue. "Why couldn't we at least adopt in the US?" "We'll support whatever you decide, but we really wish you would choose a child that would fit with our family." We understand your feelings about adoption, but don't you owe it to yourselves to try again for a biological child?" "We'll love whatever you bring home, but you owe it to the child to try and find one that looks like you."

We both fielded these questions as politely as we could. I was proud of hubby for not losing his cool. He held his own which surprised me because I often feel like he doesn't listen to me much about this stuff.

It took about a week after I got home for everything to really simmer.

To be fair, we have enjoyed many opinionated conversations with my grandmother too and at one point I decided I would refrain from any family expansion attempts until she had passed because I couldn't bear to have her say something to me or my child. Since then I have realized that it isn't up to her or anyone else for that matter. This is our child. A child we want and ache for every single day.

It infuriates me to have someone give me permission to parent a child much less under certain conditions that make them feel more comfortable! At the same time my old fears surface. I am terrified to bring a child into our family that may be subjected to these opinions and feelings. How do I do that? Is it fair to my child? Do I truly consider these close minded opinions on which child will be most preferred in our family? I want my child to feel equal and loved and cherished by every one of his or her family members. Even though we see most of these people two or three times a year, I don't want my child to feel different or unloved in their eyes. I know in our house, no matter where our child comes from or what our child looks like, that child will be ours, is already ours in God's eyes. The stork just took a different route.

Has anyone else dealt with these issues? How did you manage to keep your anger and frustration at bay? Did you take their feelings into consideration or did you find a way to tactfully tell them to kiss your tush?