Wednesday, July 31, 2019

For Those Suffering

Recovering from infertility without getting to raise children is a long, hard undertaking. It can be lonely, traumatic, and feel almost impossible to survive. But life CAN get worth living again. It might take a long time and life definitely won't look like what you thought it would, but it is miraculously possible to want to live again.

That's why I appreciate Life Without Baby's post called Who Are You? so much. You slowly but surely go through phases as you recover from life-altering loss and this post does a nice job of summarizing some of those phases.

There was a time, a very long time period, where I definitely did not think it was possible to ever want to live again. I spent years alternating between feeling like walking death and feeling like all of my emotions and nerve endings were on the outside of my skin and everything was extremely painful.

Who was I? A tortured soul. Grieving the loss of my children. A woman who was involuntarily alive.

Who am I now? A changed person. Healing from the loss of motherhood. A strong fucking woman who is happily surprised to be content, at peace, and even excited to be here.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Infertility in Pop Culture

Did you know Norm on Cheers is infertile?

(Er, was infertile? I'm not sure what verb tense to use with a tv show character...)

I'm currently rewatching the entire show, beginning with the first episode, and, WHAT DID HE JUST SAY, there it is in the middle of season one.

Coach asked Norm why he and Vera didn't ever have any kids. Norm said, "I can't." And then in typical Norm fashion he made a joke out of it by saying, "I look at Vera. I just can't." But I know the kind of humor that can underscore infertility. And I was elated to learn that infertility was mentioned back in 1983 on one of my favorite tv shows.

It got me thinking...
What other cultural references are there to infertility in tv shows, books, movies, etc.?

The first reference I learned about was The Flintstones. Barney and Betty Rubble were unable to conceive children which led to the adoption of their son, Bamm-Bamm.

The next reference I learned about was Dr. Suess. He and his first wife were unable to have children and so they invented a daughter named Chrysanthemum Pearl, about whom they made up wild stories. (Have fun going down an internet rabbit hole with that one!)

What about you? Where have you heard infertility referenced in pop culture? I'd love to expand my knowledge on this topic.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Taking My Time

If you are dealing with infertility or recovering from infertility, please take whatever time you can for yourself. An hour here, a day there. Fifteen minutes, a quick bathroom break, whatever you can take. Take your time.

That's what I've been doing lately and I don't take a second of it for granted.

I am taking some time off before starting my new job. Even just a month ago, I was in no shape to take on the rigor of learning a new professional position. I suppose that's one thing that has served me well in life: my self-awareness. Thank God. Because I come from a family that does nothing but invalidate my thoughts and feelings. Anyway...

I've been taking my time. And I've been explaining myself to no one. I simply do what I feel like.

Reading, sleeping, cooking, quilting, sitting outside, calling old friends, cultivating gratitude.

I hope you do the same for yourself. Do what you can when you can. And go easy on yourself.


Takin' My Time by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

My Last Name

I was never going to change my name if/when I got married. But my (now ex) husband wanted his children to have his last name and I wanted my children to have my last name, so it just made sense for me to change my name. Plus, I liked his last name and so, after a lifetime of saying "I would never," I did.

I changed my last name solely for my children.

And now I am divorced and in the process of restoring my old name.

Every task related to changing my name back irritates me. Frustrates me. But I know what this is about. I've been here before. It's not about changing my name, per se. The irritation and frustration is about infertility. It's about shedding the last physical remnant I have left of my children.


Well, that makes sense why it's so hard.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Cost of My Freedom

I see it in their eyes.

We will be standing there, both of us in our late 30s/early 40s, meeting each other for the first time. It may be at a work event or when making small talk while out and about town. They tell me about their kids and ask me about mine. I say I don't have any and there is a brief pause while I watch so many thoughts flicker across their eyes.

No kids?
Why not?
How old is she?
Is she married?
What does she do??
Oh wow, what does she do with all of her TIME???
Good gawd, what does she do with all of her MONEY???

It doesn't always happen like this, but it happens enough that it's worth writing about.

I know these parents love their kids. They love their kids unconditionally.
They just don't love the constant act of parenting 24/7.

They hear that I don't have kids and their overwhelming thought is: FREEDOM.

But their initial thoughts sell me short. Aside from the fact that I have the same 24 hours in a day that they do and that I make the same low salary as everyone else in my field...

Their assumptions leave no space for my losses, my trauma, my grief, and my hard work.

I'm not looking to turn every interaction into a teachable moment with friends and strangers alike, but I do appreciate having this place where I can vent about what annoys me. ;)