The end of our break that is. 2011 is a new year. Our fresh start. After two years of struggling with infertility, we needed a break. And a break we are taking. Parts of this break have been such a relief. Can I say for just a moment how wonderful it has been not to pee on anything?! To not go to the doctors office once a week? Other parts have been challenging... I'm not certain that I'm 'healing' myself as much as I wanted to during this time. We've been so busy and by nature I'm a procrastinator, so that hasn't boded so well for the self-help portion of our break. I am not the woman-on-the-edge I was in August and that is a huge relief.
In 2011 we will resume our fight.
Now for the reason I'm writing today. I read a lot of blogs. Some I pop in and out of occasionally. Others I read religiously. I'm not always the best commentator, but I promise I'm out there reading your words and laughing/crying/praying/celebrating right along with you. I love this community and and so grateful for its many connections. Today I was visiting Lindsey (and her super cute new blog layout!) and she wrote something that really struck a cord with me.
Please read her words. I cannot say it better than she did. Don't worry, go ahead, I'll be here when you get back.
Infertility is like cancer. Each month that we are not successful at conceiving we suffer a loss. I don't want to diminish the significance of cancer or the experiences of those who have suffered miscarriages or preterm loss. However, each month, the feeling of loss, both at the child we haven't conceived, the loss of control, and the uncertainty of our future is damaging. I struggle with controlling those aspects of our experience. I can juggle appointments and schedules, try to eat right, etc. But month after month of being kicked while you're down? Questioning whether or not you can keep fighting for another two years!?
I learned something on Oprah a couple weeks back (she's a smart lady!) and that was, by not owning up to something, by not talking about it, you're letting it control you. While I frequently shoot my mouth off 'round these parts, I don't talk about our struggles with infertility a lot in 'real life'. My in-laws don't even know. While that was a decision we made together and it made sense at the time (I mean, why worry them unnecessarily?), I'm not sure that policy still makes sense for us now. We're struggling through something major in our lives.
J and I both have dreamed of being parents since we were kids. Being a mom is the only thing I've ever known I wanted to be. What if that isn't in the cards for us? What if it is and we're just not there yet?
Last week, J's great aunt died. They were not terribly close and I had only met her at our wedding. She was a nice lady and at 68 she was too young. She was J's grandmothers little sister. She died of cancer and she had never told a soul that she had it. No one. Not her children, cousins, or her big sister. No one got a chance to grieve with her. To hold her hand and tell her what they meant to her.
Is that what we're doing to our friends and family? By not sharing our experience, am I letting it control me? Am I denying my family the opportunity to support me? To adjust and acclimate to the idea that we may never give our parents a grandchild? What if someone else in my life is experiencing this and not sharing with me? Could I help someone?
(as I type this I'm having an odd out of body experience. is this really my life? just being honest with where my mind is this evening...)
I don't know the right answer to those questions and I'm not certain there is one right answer. I do know that I'm ready to take some control back. I'm ready to own up to what has become a major part of our life.
As we start our new year I'm going to be talking a bit more about my experiences with 'coming out'. Writing about talking with my friends and family. It will probably be a slow process. I mean when really is the best time to tell your mother in law that her oldest son married an infertile and that wife may not be able to provide her with a grandchild? (Can you tell that's the conversation I'm looking forward to the least? Ouch.)
Join me while I come out of the Infertile Closet? There will be some interesting changes around these parts in the new year. We'll just have to wait and see how this goes.