Monday, February 25, 2008

You Don't Know...


I just need to vent tonight. I need to get this off my chest so that I can sleep the remainder of the week and so I may also use this as a building block to a conversation I really need to have just once...but only once.

A statement was made a few nights ago that we have avoided the family due to our circumstance and that we shouldn't becuase we miss out on so much. I wanted to discuss this the night of but it wasn't the time nor the place. It has, however, been on my mind ever since. We are guilty as charged for aversion. No argument needed there, but a need for explanation and understanding is in order. I don't quite agree that we're missing out and you'll understand why by the end of this blurb.

I have questions, many of them...most are rhetorical:

What would you have us do? Would you like me to force my husband and myself through EVERY birthday party for toddlers and have me struggle during EVERY baby shower that comes up...and do it alone? Why should we torture ourselelves that way? Why should we have to endure that only to see the other break down in tears when we're finally alone. Why should we have to suffer through all the, "You're next!" lies...because truth be told, we are never "next!" Grant you, we avoided as many events as possible the first year due to the newness of this situation in our life. Everything seemed magnafied. It's not like this is a pain that we'll "just get over." This is a pain that will remain with us long after we're parents. We'll never know what it feels like to have a "normal" conception and a "normal" pregnancy. That elation that most couples get when they see that positive result on their pregnancy test is something that we'll never know. Not because I don't believe it won't ever be positive for us again but because we'll worry the entire ten months that that positive will die at any moment. Chris is already terrified of me being pregnant again. That innocense has been stripped from us and it's not fair.

You don't have to hurt the way we do. You don't have to watch your husband play with another woman's children knowing that he wants them to be his own and there's nothing you can do about it. You don't have to look into his eyes every month and tell him it's negative. You don't watch him stare at kids in restaurants and know what he's thinking. You don't blame yourself everyday for not being able to make him "World's Best Dad." You don't feel the guilt I feel for losing the only miracle we've had a chance at in two years. You don't have to walk by an empty nursery, that was created in faith, and feel as empty as it is and wonder if you should have been so bold to put forth so much effort into it in the first place. You don't have to wonder why God doesn't make you a Mother but instead makes it so everyone around you is pregnant at the same time and that it never fails that they tell you the "good" news the day you start your period. You don't know what it's like for someone to tell you, "Just relax and it'll happen..." as if you did't already blame yourselves enough. You haven't had to spend your entire savings of $8,000.00 on treatments for it to only end in a miscarriage. You haven't had to struggle through injecting yourself with hormones, humiliating Dr's appointments, and ten pills twice a day to make it so that your body is functioning properly. You don't know what it's like to have no one who understands to talk to except for the blessed group of "online friends" who seem to be closer to you now than your own family but you've never even met in person. You don't have a Father's Day Card hidden away in your desk becuase you just knew that you were going to get to give it to your husband this year only for the universe to smack you straight in the face the day of. You don't know what it's like to have nothing to say when conversations enevitably turn to talk of babies and grandkids. You'll never understand that this paragraph is only a minute explanation of what we feel on a day to day basis. You don't know what it's like to be scared to say any of this to anyone's face for fear of pity staring back at you.

We don't want pity, we want understanding and support. I realize that's a lot to ask when you are not and never will be in our shoes. All we need is a listening ear from time to time and support not in the form of "You're next" and "I know it will happen." We have never been "next" and you don't know that it will happen because you aren't God. Only He knows if it will happen and He's not divulging that information to anyone. We have faith, be it as small as a mustard seed, but it's still there. We do have days when there doesn't seem to be any strength left and we feel like giving up. It's those days when all we need is a listening ear and maybe a shoulder to cry on. We're usually better in a few days. We don't want to be left out of the loop nor for people to walk around on eggshells when we're in the room. If someone in our circle is pregnant, they should tell us. We realize that it's going to sting us like Hell but we'd rather know straight off than to find out through the grapevine. If there is a gathering, we want an invitation but the decision to come or not is ours and we reserve that right. We expect to not be made to feel guilty for not coming. You are welcome to ask us questions as long as they come with the understanding that this position we're in is a personal one and we may not give the enitre story and we usually try to leave the most painful parts out. We also need understanding that we are doing the best we can with the knowledge and finances we have. We are doing everything in our power and that should be good enough. Don't offer sage advice unless we ask for it because that usually just makes us resent ourselves for talking about this in the first place. We realize that the advice comes from a good place but nevertheless, it does hurt us in ways that you can't begin to comprehend. Don't pretend to know how we feel...just be there and make time for us without interruption if we express the need. Just a hug would do most days.

We're not missing out on family and we're not avoiding everyone when we intentionally don't show up for some occassions, we're simply maintaining our sanity. If that's what we have to do to keep a minor piece of normalcy intact in our lives and in our marriage, then that is what we are going to do regardless of what anyone else thinks we should be doing. Everyone seems to have their own opinion about what we should be feeling and what we should be doing when it's never occurred to them to just ask us what we think. I've never once had anyone ask me, "How do you feel about this and is there anything I can do to help you?" Not once. And that is sad. We've never asked for anything until now and all we're asking for is to be heard and understood. So what if we need days where there aren't babies surrounding us. So what if we need "us" time. No one has ever stopped to think why we don't want to come to certain gatherings. No one has ever taken into consideration that we've not missed one single Mother's Day and Father's Day lunch. Even when those days fell on days when I'd just started my period the day of...both times...for two years in a row. Yes, the universe is cruel. We've not missed a single milestone with regards to our neice and nephews. Not missed a single Halloween...when we don't even have kids to dress up and we are left to feel completely out of place even being there.

Again, and I can't say it enough, we are doing the BEST we know how to do and that should be enough even if it's not perfect. Don't expect more from us than we are able to offer. Don't walk on eggshells but everyone should think before they speak. We feel guilty enough left to our own devices without the added pressures from others. We have different feelings on different days and for now, that has to be okay and accepted. At times we are confused and disoriented and have been this way for longer than we'd like to admit. Other days we are very optimistic and hopeful. We can only wish this were a bad dream we could awake from but alas it is reality. Please understand where we are coming from and try not to resent us for feeling all these emotions that we never asked to have. It's not an attack on anyone, just things that have needed to be said for a long time. We've been through enough really without having to endure this on top of it all. But, as always, we're managing and we're praying that God will see us through this as soon as He can.

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