July 19, 2010
One day at a time…
Wow, a lot has happened since my last real post. I’ve been trying to keep myself insanely busy so that I don’t have the time or energy to think or feel…but it’s not really working. The minute I stop GOING, I feel sad and anxious again. I’m constantly surprised – and not in a good way – by the depth of the emotion I’m feeling this time around.
I’m really not enjoying how I’m feeling right now, so I’ve been trying to do everything I can think of to get myself in a better place. Last Monday I had my first in-person meeting with the infertility therapist, and then on Saturday I went to meet with the priest that married us. Both were extremely helpful and wonderful conversations, although I still have a long ways to go on both fronts.
Some of the key takeaways, from Ellen:
- I need to allow myself to grieve…not only the potential loss of biological children but the loss of how I’ve always seen myself and what I thought my life would be. I told Ellen that I’m having a hard time dealing with how sad I’m feeling – I literally NEVER used to cry (which is a whole post in and of itself) – and now I cry all the time. She explained that there has been research done that shows the only thing more devastating than infertility is the loss of an existing child, and I need to cut myself some slack.
- I have to protect myself. Apparently infertility has a lot in common with post-traumatic stress disorder in that sometimes you can be perfectly fine, and other times the sadness can come crashing down out of nowhere. I need to be able to say no if I don’t feel comfortable and shouldn’t feel guilty about not being able to do what I used to/would like to do.
- Since I’ve been relatively open about what we’re going through, I have a responsibility to tell people what I want them to do/say/etc. I’ve been upset lately by some people (not my closest friends, but more than acquaintances) mentioning adoption in conjunction with taking a break from treatments and just “relaxing”…and getting pregnant. Ellen pointed out that the underlying message there is that I’ve been doing something wrong throughout this process…as she said, stress doesn’t cause infertility, but infertility certainly causes stress. One thing that she said that I really liked is to ask people not to try and find a solution but just to “join me in my sadness.” If there is a solution that can be found, that is between S and I, our doctors, and God…but for now, I just need people to tell me how much this all sucks. (P.S. All of my IRL friends who read this blog already have the right idea. ;-))
My former priest, Fr. Chris, also had some valuable words of wisdom:
- It’s understandable, and okay, not to want to pray. That maybe the best I can do right now is to say “God, help me want to want to pray”
- It’s okay to be angry, and okay to pass that anger on to God. He can handle it.
- God doesn’t keep score. I told Fr. Chris that sometimes I feel like I’ve used up all of my luck by meeting Shane and getting married so early, and he literally LAUGHED at me. 😛
- That at the end of the day, God’s will will be done, so I need to work towards accepting that. It sounds harsh, but he didn’t mean it that way…it’s just the truth. Fr. Chris talked a lot about adoption (after acknowledging that if he were me, he’d be sad and angry as well) and about families who “can’t” get pregnant but have 2, 3, 4+ kids post-adoption. He approached the conversation in such a way that I really didn’t take offense, and made a cute comment about how he sometimes thinks that pregnancy post-adoption is God’s way of saying “thank you for taking care of one of my children who needed you.” He also reminded me that (even though I hate this phrase) I’m still young, and who’s to say that God’s plan doesn’t include biological children in 5, 10, 15 years.
All in all, I have a long way to go towards resolving my emotions, but I think I’ve made a few important steps forward. As crazy as it sounds, I don’t really want to stop feeling sad, because that feels like I will have officially given up the hope of ever having biological children…but somehow, I have to find a middle ground that brings me back to myself a bit…