I don’t know if this is common among those of us infertiles who stop TTC before we’re really ready to, but I’m noticing myself putting walls up in places I formerly left open. I’ve removed myself from a message board I’ve posted to for a long time because the new pregnancies and impending newborns are too much for me. I’ve removed a couple of blogs from my reader because ultrasound pictures and belly photos are too much for every day. I visit those blogs, but I do it when I am in the right space rather than have them pop randomly into my blog reader (and I hope this doesn’t offend or hurt anyone who reads here who’s pregnant, I promise I am still reading.) I’ve hidden some folks on facebook, like our friend’s “oops” pregnant 21 year old daughter, because I don’t know how to deal yet with ultrasound pictures in my daily news feed. The kids watch the Dis.ney show Good Luck Charlie, and the mom on the show is pregnant with kid #5, and the storyline has been really difficult to have even on in the background of the house noise.
I don’t like closing myself off. It’s not how I want to live my life. And I’ve never been particularly good at taking care of myself emotionally. I put my own things away to be there for others, regardless of where I am. It’s one of the things I think that makes me a good friend. But it’s one of the things that also means I’m really good at compartmentalizing and that’s not always a positive thing. And I struggle with taking the time and space to take care of my needs without feeling like I’m letting others down in the process.
This weekend my best friend and I took our kids to the local splash park and of course it was inundated with hugely pregnant women. One in particular was chasing around a barely walking toddler and looked about ready to pop again. I started to wonder when seeing pregnant women will stop hurting. When ultrasound pictures will stop stinging. When holding a newborn baby will stop making me cry.
It’s hard putting things like this out there. And trust me, I’m working on setting up some therapy appointments because I know I need to talk this through and get to a point where this blog isn’t just about how hard this is. I’m also looking at a yoga class, in large part because of Mel’s discussions about the emotional aspects of her yoga experiences. I feel like not only do I need to up my game in terms of getting myself into shape physically, but that the mind/body connection in yoga may be just what I need.
I know sometimes that the more you write about how hard something is the more power you give it. And I certainly don’t want to live the rest of my life feeling like I gave up on myself and my body. What I struggle with in this space, in being encouraged to write about how I feel, is the balance between digging deeper into the hole where I feel like a failure, giving power to those feelings; and ignoring them to write more about the positive things in my life. Does that make sense? I don’t want to seem like I’m NOT dealing with how I feel, but I don’t want it to be the only thing I seem to feel (or write about). Does that come with time? Is it just something that starts to fade into the background? Those of you who’ve lived this for longer than I have, is there an answer?
I sit with my kids and I savor every hug. Every kiss. I feel guilty when I get frustrated with them, guilty when I get angry over something silly. I go to bed at night wanting to bring them to my bed knowing that I won’t get any sleep if I do it but not caring because I feel the passage of time so intensely right now. Soon they will be graduating from kindergarten. How did this happen? How are they such big kids? As much as I feared that another cycle – an IVF to end it all – could serve to pull my focus from them, now I wonder how much I’ve missed already over the last few years. I feel like they were bouncing in the jumper and now they’re almost 1st graders. What did I miss while I was busy focusing on making another one? How do I make that up to them? How do I forgive myself?
I’m learning how to live without TTC in my life. But how do I live without infertility in my life?