Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holidays

I'm dreading the next couple weeks.

I know that sounds terrible, but the reality is that the holidays can be a really rough time for an infertile. Not just because they are fun family times that remind me that I'm lacking a family of my own (which, I might add, is a huge part of it), but also because the holidays are yearly markers of my childlessness. Another Christmas. Another New Year's. You all know how it is. And this will be my sixth since I was married.

And then there's my birthday. It's coming up on Jan. 2 and I wish I could just sleep through it. I am trying to be thankful to God for another year, but it's hard. Turning a year older, still with no children, is terrible. No offense to those older than me, but I just cannot fathom that I'll be 33, still with no hope of having a child any time soon.

I don't want to just complain here. I'm going to have to endure it, so I want to come up with a coping mechanism. I'm going to try my hardest to focus on the real meaning of the season the next couple of weeks. Try to get the focus off of myself. But, honestly, I don't expect that to lessen the heartache whatsoever.

I am so sick of having a cycle, of seeing mucus, of my mind playing tricks on me that I should even care! Hahaha.. I have clear mucus. So what!!!! I have never once, ever, ever, ever conceived. I have no reason to hope that it will ever happen. Clearly my body isn't capable of it whatsoever.

And adoption? Ha! You all know how that is going. I never in my wildest dreams thought that adopting would become just as unlikely as a positive test. Never did I imagine that the adoption wait would be so painful that I'd resort to turning my attention back to my charts.

I think that might be why I'm so tortured lately. I know that I can't conceive, yet I am forced to pretend I have a chance just to get my mind off of adoption not working out.

And, for those of you wondering whether we've considered fostering, we have looked into it but we really don't think we are capable of taking on a child with severe medical needs. And, unless I am looking in the wrong places, the only children we have found (we would ideally like to adopt a two-year-old or younger, but we're looking at those under five) require serious medical attention, some even round-the-clock nurses. Serously, a woman with depression is probably not their ideal care taker. Not even close.

So, for now, I will keep plugging along. Go through the motions. Cry a lot. Try to not bring everyone around me down (I've gotten good at that). Try not to be mean. Do my best to keep the pain inside and offer it up. Focus on the Lord's birth, and not my own heartache.

I am so sorry that this is what this blog has turned into, but I don't know what else to write. This is the ugly truth.

20 comments:

  1. K - Wow, that's like a super storm of celebrations all within nine days. Please do not apologize for your blog. By apologizing, you assume that others are judging you and that's just not true. I don't need to preach to the choir, but this is YOUR space to express yourself and it is not a forum for judgement. Please have HOPE - it is Advent, afterall.

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  2. I'll be praying for you this Christmas. We used the intentions that your sister had at our wedding last month! We tweaked them a bit to fit with our other ones... but you were thought of and prayed for at the wedding! Merry Christmas.

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  3. Thankful is right- you don't have to worry about the guilt that your honest emotions may be making others feel bad, on top of all the other horrible feelings you're having right now. Vent away, and know that through all of our typed words, we are lifting you up as best we can.

    (I sent you an email not too long ago... check it out when you get a chance.)

    New Year's usually makes me cry more than Christmas Day itself. (It's the beginning of Advent that's the worst for me, but NYE is a close 2nd.) I totally get those emotions.

    I am totally not convinced that you have never been pg. With the history of clotty periods, and that +hpt you had... I truly suspect implantation failure for you. Not that it makes your childlessness any easier knowing you may be conceiving, just not implanting (trust me, I know THAT!) - but at least it can give you hope that with the right treatment, a pg may occur.

    And adoption is not unlikely to EVER happen. It may be a wait, true. But it will happen. IT WILL!! I don't mean to be harping on that fact, but you need to know that you will be a mom, K! That reality in your heart will make things easier through these very difficult times coming up... and I hate to see you so distraught :(

    I wish there was more I could do but pray.

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  4. I had those feelings that it would never happen to me, and that is so hard. Depair can be so difficult, especially during a joyous season.

    When I was at my lowest, I would cry every morning and try to offer up my suffering each day, and try to visit the adoration chapel every day or every other day. It helped me at least get through the day.
    Have you thought about talking with your family doctor about some medication for your depression? Sometimes your brain chemicals just need a boost to get through the hard times.
    I don't think that your have the correct view of foster care. I know a few people at least in our area that have fostered and then adopted healthy infants. Have you talked with a social worker? I think that websites show the children that are the most difficult to place. I suggest you talk with someone that does placements to get a realistic view before making any decisions.

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  5. I'm filling out my homestudy right now and we as a couple have a choice how "severe" the disorders.

    We also pick the ages we are comfortable with. I know at this point I'm not capable to handle a severely disabled child and those are NOT the only children in the system.

    My thoughts on fostering were mainly what I "heard". I'm not really in the "system" yet, but every time I have called I have been helped out and then some. I can't form an opinion until I'm actually in it.

    But they need fostering homes and foster to adopt homes in my county. When I talked to the lady she said that our age ranges were fine 0-2, but that is not what you hear. Everyone always says they need homes for teenagers etc.

    I'm just going with the fact that they don't know what God has in store for my family. So I can't say that they don't have children I'm going to be able to handle, until I see for myself.

    Also, others shady opinion of the foster care system hasn't phased me one bit. There are always good and bad stories to EVERY situation.

    It's not going to be easy that is for sure. I can't even imagine. But if it gives me the opportunity to share my home and shower those babies with love and give God's love to them forever or for a moment, I'm okay with that.....

    I don't want to sound like I'm talking you into it....Just trying to give you a beginners experience SO FAR..... :)

    Also I have read blogs that girls are certified within two months and have infants or 7 month olds...etc...

    So no one knows the possibilities. Right now it's hard NOT to imagine all of the possibilities.

    Oh and also, there is a place where we can check that we are ONLY foster to adopt home. That the parental rights are terminated before you take the baby or something along those lines, I can't remember. So it's worth a shot to get your name on that list, even though you said your adoption agency was on that list. They might not be the first to have that baby. It might go to the counties foster to adopt program first. But who knows, just throwing out situations....

    I do agree with Erin about possibly asking for some depression meds....It sounds like you could just use some help to get out of the rut, get the spark plugs boosted! ;) In the begininng of my journey my OBGYN offered to them to me ALL the time!

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  6. Sew - As far as I know, our county doesn't handle foster care for infants themselves.. it works with the adoption agency we're already waiting with. But I just found someone's email online who apparently handles it for a portion of our state, including our county, so I sent an email. We'll see. I just have no idea how people get newborns or even babies under two for that matter! If anyone has advice on who to call for fostering, please let me know. I'm really confused about it all.

    Oh, and as for anti-depressants, I'd love to take something to make me feel better (I wish I drank.. or that some kind of drug was safe/legal!), but I hesitate for a few reasons. Mainly, it's because I don't want to answer to it at our annual home study review. They'd probably make me go to a psychiatrist, and we can't afford that. Not to mention no fertile doctor is going to help me to come to terms with not getting pregnant. And, I've had weird reactions to drugs like that in the past. I'm hoping God/prayer will be enough to take the edge off, although clearly I'm not doing my part (whatever that is) to accomplish that!

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  7. This is YOUR blog, and you write your heart out... every difficult, painful detail. We read, we love, we pray.

    Hang in there.

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  8. Please, K, never apologize for your blog. We are here for you, through the ups and the downs. I know that I for one can say that your blog has been such a blessing to me and I don't just mean your ups or your spiritual insights, I mean in your struggles to. We can all relate and being there for one another can sort of give some purpose to all this.

    Praying for you.

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  9. All I know is that there IS a way through these roadblocks, even though, in our human minds we don't see how that will be right now.

    You could conceive. This cycle or next, or next year. You could sign on to foster to adopt, and much to your surprise, they do place infants, and the first one you get becomes your baby ... you could get a call from your agency because a birthmom chose you over everyone else, after seeing the website (even though it is rare they would do that, it is still possible), who knows? But God does have a plan, and it is probably not the one you always had in mind for yourself. (gosh even a pregnancy at this point, after all these years, was definitely NOT in the cards).

    I am so sorry things are so hard right now. I promise to keep praying for you to be able to get through this holiday season as easily as possible. I hope and pray for extra graces to carry you through, and for a sense of peace with God's plan, knowing it is a beautiful one.

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  10. When I said,"its rare they would do that" I didn't mean it would be rare they would choose you over the others, but that, I realize most birthmothers using your agency don't look at the website.

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  11. Don't feel bad for venting here.

    This time is hard and I know all of us start feeling so left behind. We're here for you.

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  12. Don't feel bad for venting. We all have rough times and need to get those feelings out without taking it out on our husbands. Praying for you and that you have hope in the waiting.

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  13. Hey, you're not saying anything scandalous with the holidays being hard. We're all RIGHT THERE. I haven't had quite the same holiday trauma as others, I guess - I have loved Christmas so much for so long, and it was never about babies for me. I do try to keep out the inclinations of others to make it about their babies. It's definitely not about other people's babies!

    I know I am giving advice I am poor at taking, but I have heard that hard exercise (jogging counts) releases endorphins in the same way as T.HC (mari.ju.ana). I don't feel my exhaustion lift when I exercise - in fact, it's hard to make myself exercise - but I do feel really, really good about having just done it. (And before my metabolism crashed, when I would be mildly depressed, running helped a lot.) Recently I did run a 5k, and since my speedy baby sister decided to martyr herself by running THE WHOLE WAY with me at whatever speed I wanted (just under 12 mins/mile!), I made my goal of running the whole way without stopping or walking. (I used to run 5-8 miles a day for exercise and I feel pretty pathetic that this was my goal.) But I really did feel good after that. So, if you have the energy to exercise even a little (run half a mile or a mile), that might act as a natural anti-depressant, and get you around drug side effects and having to put that on your history. I think there are also natural supplements (ginseng...? Ask callmemama!) that create an energy boost.

    I know you feel down and alone with this (obviously), but don't forget that there are dozens of other infertile gals out there, sitting around other Christmas trees, with thoughts those around them can't see - raising a glass in silent tribute to you and your uterus, and everyone's defective cycles and implantation failure, and another Christmas of not-so-patiently waiting.

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  14. Having to leave the room to sob quietly as I watched the nieces and nephews open presents - all the playmates I had envisioned for my babies growing up and yet another year gone...you are not alone or crazy to dread this time......You also are not without faith or not trusting by having these feelings. You are sadly acknowledging how deeply you desire to be a Mom and how hard it is to not be. Be gentle on yourself and it's ok to rail at God -- lamenting your situation is not the same as not believing that God is there with you.

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  15. i wish i could be the one who was able to encourage you and give you hope - but i can assure you that you are so not alone.

    while we were waiting, i didn't settle for just ruining the holidays ... i canceled plans constantly, made my husband go to dinners (that we had rsvp-ed) alone, opted to stay home ALL the time, and was just a plain old drag to be around.

    i don't have magic words. i don't even think i have words that are that helpful. except that you are in great company - there are so many of us who are/were baby-challenged. it becomes your ultimate focus. and everything serves as a reminder for what you don't have.

    but ... we all make it through. don't give up. there is a plan. there is a baby. there is hope. there is life. there is promise.

    suffering ... endurance ... hope

    hang. in. there.

    and let yourself feel what you're feeling. don't think you have to stuff your feelings down, set them aside, or hide them. FEEL them. they are feelings, after all. and they are ok. you, are ok.

    it was a long and crazy road ... but i'm on the other side now. you will be, too. god would not fashion a mama's heart for you, and then not use it.

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  16. like everyone else said, we are all there with you thinking the same thoughts and going through the emotions - you have to let it out somewhere, and no place better than where you are understood.

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  17. I thought of you today during lunch with a friend of mine who was holding her baby girl adopted from South Korea! She is absolute proof that miracles can and do happen! I will hoping and praying for you that 2010 brings you that precious baby that you so badly wish for!!!!

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  18. "...the only children we have found (we would ideally like to adopt a two-year-old or younger, but we're looking at those under five) require serious medical attention, some even round-the-clock nurses. Serously, a woman with depression is probably not their ideal care taker. Not even close."

    Your heart longs to be a mother. Their hearts long simply to be LOVED. I couldn't help, but wonder as I read your words... Are you certain that God is NOT calling you to this??? Please... You have SO MUCH LOVE to give. Please take this to God in prayer and trust the Holy Spirit to be your guide.

    My husband and I will also be celebrating our 6th Christmas without children and so my heart goes out to you. (I am 35 years old.) My day began in the doctor's office this morning. Even holding on to Hope, I still found myself sinking into darkness as the day progressed. By the grace of God, He allowed me to recognize this (as it is apparent He has also allowed you to recognize in your own situation). My day ended at the bedside of a friend whose world was turned upside down by a car accident on Ash Wednesday of this year. She will probably never come home and yet, as I held her hand and prayed with her, I saw HOPE! In the midst of all of her suffering... It meant the world to her to just hold my hand and pray with me! When I left her side to return home, I realized something... Loving my friend had lifted me out of the darkness!

    Then I realized... That is what LOVE does!!

    May God bless you! You have a beautiful soul and you have done so much for so many of us by simply sharing your story from the heart. Thank you!!

    You have the promise of my prayers, especially during this difficult time.

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  19. Sorry that you are dealing with a double whammy of Christmas and a birthday. We have all felt the same things you have written about this fall. You are not alone.

    We recently bought S.tephen C.urtis C.hapman's new CD, B.eauty Will Rise. I would highly recommend it. It is a collection of personal psalms he wrote after the loss of his daughter. Although some songs are directly about losing a child, there are also a lot of good songs about waiting, hope, and suffering. Maybe a good Christmas or birthday present.

    I second Misfit's thoughts about exercise. I can tell an immediate difference in my mood after a day or two of working out. Even if it is just a little. Especially since you want to avoid adding more meds to your system.

    I think the pituitary thing may be a good place to explore. I hope that Dr. Stegman can help you with that next month.

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  20. Oh K, depression is a hard enough cross. But the Christmas season makes it even harder. It's a definite marker of progress or lack thereof every year. I wish that we IF girls could have a party of our own instead of having to endure the stupid questions we get at this time of the year.

    Last night one of my long-time friends announced that she was expecting baby #2. She got pregnant so easily after being on th.e pi.ll for a long time. My heart just wanted to break, despite my happiness for her.

    Keep writing and most of all, keep going. Somewhere, somehow, something's got to happen. I'll be praying for you. I hope you find an outlet for your pain.

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