Friday, June 10, 2016

Infertility Mind Games

Infertility can drive a person mad.

Did I take all my meds today?
Is my mucus good quality?
Are we having sex often enough?
Is this feeling like a chore?
Are we having sex too often?!
Choking down 14 pills
Did I chart this correctly?
Feeling: this is our cycle!
Counting, counting, counting the days
Surviving a pregnancy announcement
Wondering: is my diet holding me back?
Certain Saint's Feast Day: yes, a sign that this is our cycle!
Wondering: is this coffee delaying conception?
Berating: why can't I just stop eating carbs and drinking coffee?!
Deflated: this is not our cycle
Using sick time to get blood tested
Surviving another pregnancy announcement
Not hoping
Not hoping
Not hoping
Not hoping
Day before period begins: hoping
Cycle Day 1: furious with self for hoping

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Thoughts This Week

Last Thursday, I took a pregnancy test because I could not stand the wait any longer.  The need to know started drumming in my soul so loudly I couldn't concentrate on anything else.  Who cared what I needed to do at work, what we should eat for dinner?  I needed to know.

It said not pregnant.  That was about 2 days before my period would start.

And, because with my first and only pregnancy, I'd taken a test and received a negative result, my mind still hoped, "Well, this could be wrong.  Its been wrong before."  My husband said the same thing, without any prompting.

On Saturday, my period started.  Hopes dashed.

This Thursday is the due date of my little one in Heaven.  I feel so strange and alone without her this week, even though it has been so many months since she was with us.  Little one, I miss you.  I wonder if you will be our only child; you are so far away, and I don't know how I will bear it.

As month after month of trying goes by, my belief that we will one day have a living child wanes.  The idea becomes so foreign.  Me, a mother with a living child?  What would I do with him or her?  Just three years ago I used to dream of having a big, imagine me having six children!  I have to laugh.  As if I could have one.  As if maternity and me belong in the same sentence.

Despite this waning of belief, despite the foreignness of motherhood, I still long for a child.  To be a mother is all I ever wanted in life.  I have no career ambitions; I find no solace in work.  I don't know what to do with myself.  My existential crisis thanks to infertility.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Facing Infertility: A Catholic Approach with Jean Dimech-Juchniewicz

Jean gives a wonderful explanation of the struggles Catholics dealing with infertility experience.  She seems like a kindred spirit!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Downton Downer {Spoiler Alert}

The series finale of Downton Abbey had me in tears.  Happy tears, at first.  

A kind, loving, wealthy husband for Edith.

A child for Anna and Bates.

Personal growth and a growing family with her new husband for Mary.

All good, beautiful things.

But that night as I lay in bed, I couldn't fall asleep.  How nice to have a series finale that gave these characters, who have all suffered greatly at times, their happy endings.  

Would we have loved the finale as much if they hadn't?  Or would we have felt discontent, robbed of something?

I thought of my dearest friend who prays faithfully to meet her husband.  I thought of a different friend who suffered multiple miscarriages.  Will they get the ending we're all hoping for?

Maybe yes, maybe no.  The future is frustratingly unforeseeable.  Is that why we enjoy television and movies so much?  Because through them, we can experience the finales that we all long for?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Fiercest Fight of My Life

The tendency of this or that novelist...may represent suffering as wholly bad in its effects...And, of course, pain, like pleasure, can be so received: all that is given to a creature with free will must be two-edged, not by the nature of the giver or of the gift, but by the nature of the recipient. 
- C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

The experiences of infertility and miscarriage have been the hardest, most painful experiences in my life.  I'm starting this blog as a place to put all the thoughts that keep me up at night, to help lessen the pain in my chest that no echo-cardiogram or stress test can find reason for, to provide a safe spot for someone else going through these situations, and as a gentle challenge to the Catholic community to become more sensitive and aware of couples carrying this cross.

Unfortunately, I can't promise this blog will be theologically dense or holy.  My faith has suffered greatly.  Most of the time the only prayer I can muster is, "I do believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9: 24)

There have been times when these experiences have tempted me to bitterness.  To rage.  To envy.  It's the fiercest fight of my life to not be all three.  How can I accept this pain and experience it as something not "wholly bad in its effects?"  How do you do this in your own life?

Please journey with me.  Having a companion makes the road much easier.