What I’ve learned from infertility.

I learned what grief is.
And I learned that as deep as my pain and grief is, God’s Love for me is deeper still. And that you can only trust to the extent that you know you are loved.
And I learned how to be comfortable with others in their pain as I became ok with my own. I learned what the Father must have been feeling when he created me. And why everything in society and life comes back to Family. And all that has taught me to hope.

Six years and we are still in the middle of our story. You know what? I think it’s going to be a great one.

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It’s Not Too Late…

I got my hopes up.. again. I swear I tried not to but when it was four days past the usual start of my cycle, I woke up early and couldn’t sleep. I tried not to count the months and imagine the joyous announcing and relief. It was 4 am and I waited until my husband left for work around 6:30 and went to the nearest 24/7 walgreens that would be open on a sunday. I milled around the cosmetics trying not to head straight for the aisle I wanted to go.. picked up some bobby pins and panty liners I figured I could use them either way… and got the walgreens brand pregnancy test. I found myself gushing to the cashier way too much. And she wished me luck no matter what outcome I was hoping for. It was negative and I told myself that I’d wait a few more days and use the second one. I didn’t want to even tell my husband that I had bought one because he would tell me not to get my hopes up. And when he called asking why I had spent $20 at walgreens, he did. He understood and said that I didn’t have to keep it from him. But I just didn’t want to make it a big deal. Later that afternoon, right as we were heading out the door I got my period. I was numb and stuffed any feelings away as much as possible to make it through a family reunion. But today it all came crashing down and the aching hole in my chest found new flames. I have been learning guitar and all the songs I write are sad. I feel like I must be one of those people who you scroll down and try not to read on Facebook. I don’t mean to make others uncomfortable by talking about it all the time but I am sad. And I can only compartmentalize my feelings so much and so often. Therapy tomorrow. I hope it helps. Thanks for reading. It really does make me feel less alone to see people are taking the time.  If you like, take a listen below.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to process through not being able to have kids. This was recorded on my iPhone and it’s not perfect but here it is.

It’s Not Too Late

http://soundcloud.com/curiousjoelle/not-too-late-rough-draft

I want you to know…

I know I have been writing a lot about not being able to have kids lately. And I want to let you know there is more inside of me but this is in the forefront of my mind most days. I want to tell you that until the doctor said in January that he doesn’t know what’s wrong or how to fix it, I was holding out. Call it denial or misguided hope but this has just now become real for me. I want you to know that I’m grieving. I’m numb and depressed and in pain. I’m alone in my grief as we all are when it comes. It’s hard to not obsess when you feel you have the right. I want you to know that I’m angry. This was the one thing that I hoped I would never have to face. I remember the moment I was introduced to the idea that this could happen. I was four or five and I overheard my parents talking about how sad it was that some couple couldn’t have children. I was shocked. “That’s a thing?” I thought. “That can happen?!” I stopped and pleaded to God- “I can handle anything God but PLEASE don’t make me face that! Please!” You see, as long as I can remember, I just wanted to sing and be a mom. My mom says I used to sing to my baby dolls and pretend to nurse them like I’m sure I saw her drape a blanket many times. I’m the oldest of five kids. And babies run in my family. I have 27 first cousins- just on my dad’s side. And that’s before you start counting their spouses and their kids. And of all of them my grandma says I was the one who was always holding and loving on the babies. This is my greatest fear come true. So I’m afraid. Afraid that this is robbing me of the joy and hope I had for this stage in my life. Afraid that by needing space from being a childcare giver or baby shower attendee, I’m losing the carefree loving nature that is in me. This is changing me. And I’m afraid of what I’m losing. I just hope this season doesn’t last too long.

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The Two Minute Difference

Tuesday I left the house two minutes early- when you are not a morning person like me, you know EXACTLY how many minutes you have to get to work – for once, I was early. “Hallelujah!” I thought, “I’m getting off to a good start.” But as I merged onto the beltline everyone slowed to a complete stop. All three lanes. This had never happened to me before in Wi. On the eastcoast where driving is more like mario-cart, yes. But here- something was wrong. my sister called me a few minutes later,

“where are you? I just got off after i heard on the radio. i guess there were two separate crashes at the same time. westbound is down to one lane too. everything is packed, should i take broadway? oh, i missed it.. never mind this traffic is so bad, by the time i get to work and back home i will have spent two hours in the car. it’s not worth it. i’m going home.”

she was two minutes behind me two firetrucks, squad cars, one ambulance, and 40 min later  all passenger cars were directed into the left lane, and back the way we came- byway of the police u-turn roadbreak. It took me an hour and a half to make my 30 min commute. -I mention this not to complain or gain sympathy, but to illustrate the severity of the deadlocked traffic and the crash that caused all this mess.

my boss told me when i got to work that someone had been medflighted off the scene.

i went on with my day normally until my husband called me and said, ” you know that you were only two minutes behind that crash this morning, if that. they say it happened at 7:30. and someone died at the scene.”

(the full news article is here: http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/127299948.html)

my cousin was in a similar crash that took his life, and i started to feel the reality of how close i had been to something similar reverberate through me until i was calling my mom just to tell someone. she didn’t answer, so i called my dad. (that’s probably the worst thing to do to a parent- call them and say, “I almost died!”   not even joking.   sorry dad-)

i realize now that having my parents live 8 hours away makes me feel less grounded. tom says it’s weird that we can’t just go there anytime we want, and my sister says there isnt that home base anymore..   and she’s right. i have avoided driving by their house for fear that it would all sink in.. it took this crash to totally re-route me to do so. yes, they have moved. there are strange cars in the driveway. there is nothing on the porch.. my parents always had some seating and plants saying, come on in, their absence makes the house look hollow. maybe it’s just a projection of how i feel- hollow without them near to save me if my car runs out of gas or i have a bad dream… so many memories in that silly structure. it represented so much and now without my family in it- it will always look empty to me. (gosh i’m so melodramatic!)  day by day i face the change.  this is teaching me that home is where my loved ones are. family does equal home. i’m grateful we spent some time living there last year. people say that it is always harder to be the one to stay. i think it’s true.. when we moved to Connecticut, there were so many things to learn, everything was new and sometimes overwhelming. new city, new people, new culture, new climate.. new stresses, new discoveries. i was new. i had time and space to think and be in a new space. and i know that is what my parents are doing in Missouri, and it’s going to be so great for them. but adjusting to THIS new normal without them here is weird. and probably will be until i can see them in their new house and city. i heard an NPR interview once with the worlds oldest man and they asked him his secret.. 114 years old and he said that change is going to come and if you handle it well you will have a better life-

here he is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpOf6iqdPng

and a remembrance, he passed away in april-

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/04/oldest-american-dies-at-the-age-of-114.html

change. it really does take time.

It aches much the same

Infertility is like losing a loved one.

Your longing to see that person hurts and you grieve them over years just like a loss.

Wanting to see their face and hear their voice- it aches much the same. Its like missing a member of your family.

The only difference is that all hope is not lost. You reopen this aching idea -with uncertain potential for change- over and over again- even if you’ve given up.

You know it’s not over.

It lives with you as long as you do.