The Lonely Womb

Living and Learning through Loss

Category: The Empty Womb

Living a childless Life

The Last Barren woman, kinda like the Last Unicorn without the magic

Or, the horn and I don’t poop rainbows.

I know I am not the LAST barren woman in the world but sometimes it can really feel that way.  The main reason I named my Blog “The Lonely Womb” was due to the fact that infertility can be so very isolating and lonely.

I am the last infertile and childless of all of my friends and close acquaintances.  At least I am the last who still is trying to have a child (that I know of).  There have been many friends who I have bonded with over this struggle.  The primary change is most of them have gone on to have their children and are not in this struggle any more.  There is a certain loneliness that I think only those who have gone through this struggle might understand. The difficult part for myself has been having those friends who have children forget what it was ever like.  I equate it to what women say about childbirth and how after the baby arrives and you begin that next phase of your journey you start to forget about the bloated feet, the contractions etc and soon are trying for number two.

Now, don’t get me wrong I would love nothing more than to have a child and try to put all of this behind me.  Honestly, though it has been such a long and difficult struggle that it has changed me and I don’t think I will ever forget.

In some ways I am grateful.

Grateful for the many things I have learned about myself.  How to advocate for what I need and express my feelings.

Grateful for so many amazing women who have opened up to share their own journey.  A journey they may not have ever told anyone else.

Grateful to know so much more about the medical community.  Often I have learned more about the downfalls but hey, knowledge is power.

So much more grateful for my husband.  He has been so amazing throughout everything.

And, grateful for such a wonderful and amazing family.  They lift me up and support any decisions we have made along the way.

I have to say too that I am so happy for those friends who have been able to make this dream come true.  I don’t wish you anything but joy and happiness in your parenting journey.  Certainly, I may distance myself at times or shy away from events with tiny children but it in no way reflects my love for your.  It is simply too painful at times and while it often feels selfish I have learned that I need to do what is best for my well being.  I may not remember to reach out for your child’s birthday but trust me I have them all written down because they matter.  I probably stalk you a little on social media.  It is a safe way for me to see the faces and activities of your littles without maybe hearing about it.  Probably one of my biggest triggers is hearing that complete and utter joy in someone’s voice when they talk about their child.  It is wonderful and completely heart wrenching.  I will often show Kevin pictures of a friends child doing something really cute or share stories I read about something funny they said.

What I wish from my friends who have moved passed this infertility struggle is to remember what it once was like.  Often I have had friends who not only shared this journey with me at some point but we would bond over the uncomfortable situations we had gone through.  Only to have those friends do the exact same thing once they are pregnant.  I wish they would remember::

Don’t complain about your pregnancy to your infertile friend.  I get it, I am sure pregnancy isn’t all happy happy joy joy but of all the people who don’t want to hear about your heartburn, morning sickness or that your feet are swollen it would be me.  How did you forget that we used to say often how much we would trade with those people in order to have a child.  Yeah, I am still in that position.

Don’t complain about your lack of sleep, lack of privacy, lack of freedom now that baby is here.  Yep, I get that one too.  I am not sure why you thought that having a baby after such a difficult journey to get them here meant that raising said baby would be easy.  Again, trade ya!

Do announce your pregnancy with some delicacy.  Luckily, I have had several lovely friends who have fallen into this category.  I know their pregnancy isn’t all about me but it is nice to have some prior knowledge that an announcement is going up on social media or via e-mail blast.

Do have candid conversations with your infertile friend.  I want to hear about your new life as a parent (maybe not ALL of the time).  I want to know how your little one or little ones are doing.

Don’t forget that my journey isn’t over.  Maybe you don’t want to be reminded about how difficult it can be or you really no longer relate.  Please remember you may have been one of a handful of people who ever “got it” and knew how I was feeling.  It may be a memory out there in the shadows but please remember to talk about my journey too.

Now, I have to admit that until just a couple of days ago I really felt like all of my previously infertile friends had just moved on.  Never to revisit their losses or struggle ever again.  But, I have an amazing friend who sent me a message (she has two littles now) asking how I was doing etc. but she also shared that she finds it difficult that people want her to forget about her prior losses.  That she isn’t able to freely discuss them or feel them anymore as there is this feeling that either she should get over it now that she has her little ones.  It was a good reminder for me to know that perhaps not everyone just moves on forward never looking back.  It was also a reminder that our society just doesn’t seem to accept feelings of any type unless they are tied up in a pretty box with a little polka dot bow.  I know that loss doesn’t just go away or get replaced by a new baby.  But, I too need to remember to revisit my friends prior struggles even after they have their babies too.

My hope still remains that someone who feels similar finds this blog and at the very least it makes them feel less alone.  Of course I hope that you find more here but if you smile or think to yourself “yes, that is exactly how I feel” than my mission is accomplished.  Or, if you find yourself thinking differently about how to approach a friend that too means my mission has been accomplished.  I know for myself I have sought out several infertility blogs in the past only to have the blogger find themselves pregnant and suddenly they are infertile no more.  Certainly, I hope this might someday be me but as the clock ticks by it becomes less and less of a possibility.  Even if this does become my path I hope I will have the words and intention to not diminish your feelings and to not trigger you with a surprise baby announcement.

Thank you for reading!  I was reminded recently that there are people out there who are reading so Thank you!

Blessings, Lara

Just have the dog spread the ashes with a fertilizer spreader

Lately, I have found myself thinking more and more about what life might be like if we don’t ever have children.  Recently, we went to a yard sale and the woman hosting had clearly lost her husband and had recently sold their property of several acres.  I turned to my husband and told him this is one of the reasons I nag him to take better care of himself.  I don’t want to have to do this some day if I can help it.

There are so many things many of us take for granted when we are younger.  Having someone there to help take care of you is one of them.  Now that we live on acreage ourselves and after turning 40 I think of the what ifs a bit too much.  I worry about dying alone, about having to sell our beautiful property because I have lost him and can’t manage on my own.

My husband and I have some fairly peculiar conversations at times.  Being a person who has dealt with depression so much I have though too 12987201_10209524619138076_45620885004744364_nmuch of what I want when I die.  One of the things I have always requested is should my husband die first that he put my ashes somewhere (in a mason jar for all I care) and that he leave instructions for us to be mixed together and spread somewhere.  Recently, he brought up the question of where do we want to have these mixed together ashes spread?  To that my first response was well, who is going to spread them?  I mean we spread his father’s ashes and will most likely be the responsible parties when my parents or his mom dies but who is going to be there for our ashes and affairs.  This is where the peculiar comes in.  Kevin has always maintained that our dog Shelby is going to live forever (denial is a wonderful trait) so the plan is since she will surely outlive us that a fertilizer spreader be tied to her and she can spread our ashes all over the property.  Of course this immediately brings images of her panting and searching anywhere for shade should it be summer or running in circles trying to figure out what is hooked to her backside.  We had a nice laugh and I am pretty certain if she understood what we were talking about this is the look she would give us.

We have actually come a long way as Kevin normally won’t talk about death or what shall happen at least at any length.  I am the plannerly one though and have always thought of things like this.  Especially, with things that would help him should anything happen to myself.  Keeping updated lists so he knows how to access accounts and what we even have (I handle all of that).  Part of it has been reinforced by a previous career in Insurance.  It was heartbreaking to have clients who had lost a loved one and not only were dealing with their grief but didn’t know where to begin in handling their affairs.  So, if something were to happen to me I want the things I can make easier for my husband and family to be easier.

It does bring up questions for our future however.  I think many people have younger extended family they can rely on to fulfill those last requests and even someone to leave your estate to.  Without nieces or nephews I am not so sure what we may do if children aren’t in our future.  I would love to read your comments about how you see your future if children are not in it.  I will do a future post about the many things that childlessness can mean to a person.  For now I wanted to toss this out there and see what you think?

Until then…..

Blessings, Lara

Belated Bunny Blues

A bit late on my weekly posting goals but better late than never.  Originally, this post was going to be about Resources for those going through fertility hardships.  That post will come soon but I am trying to write this blog organically as much as possible and not just write a bunch of content that will automatically post.

So…. why what do I mean by Belated Bunny Blues?  Well, in honesty it was supposed to be Bunny Blues and be written prior to Easter but aah well, that didn’t happen.  I found myself feeling rather sad during the last week or so and it took me a minute to figure out why.   I thought due in part to putting this Blog out there (more on this below) but, the sadness was more than that and it dawned on me that it was Easter.  Thus, Bunny Blues and now Belated Bunny Blues.  😉

I am sure that many of us are affected in some way by holidays especially in association with losses.  Holidays come in all shapes and sizes and include various memories.  From a fertility standpoint there are not too many holidays that don’t remind me that I am childless.  While many of them are often painful times for me I have found that the holidays more geared towards children are definitely the toughest.  I am not a religious person So Easter is far more about getting together with family now.  Easter as a child always involved getting together with our large family.  As children we would hunt for the Easter eggs hidden by older cousins, we would play games like tag and yard darts.  It was a light and joyful time.  At home my parents would make the whole Easter basket thing a huge treasure hunt which I loved.  As all of these childhood memories were formed and I would smile back fondly remembering them as an adult I often would dream of doing those same things for my future children.

As Easter was fast approaching television and social media became flooded with the newest trends in Easter Bunny festivities.  Cute ideas for Easter baskets, fun and creative ways to dye eggs, colorful little dresses.  In addition it was paired with all of the fun spring break activities many friends were doing with their little families.  As each day would draw closer to Easter I found myself more and more weighed down by sadness.

While Kevin and I haven’t totally given up on having a family we aren’t getting any younger and after 9 years I really don’t know that we will get the chance to create these memories and traditions with children of our own.  We aren’t blessed with nieces or nephews to dote on and many of our close friends don’t live nearby.  Those who are close have their own family traditions to carry on and it makes it difficult to join them without feeling we are pushing ourselves on them.

My overall sadness I found later had been intensified by my cycle that was beginning and resulted in me spending some quality time with the heating pad.  What is it about times that are already difficult in the fertility land that we must be reminded physically that we aren’t pregnant.  I know I am not the only one who experiences this.  Such a strange thing.  Side note, that was my main cause for the delay of this post.

I can say however that I did do well on Easter.  Despite my cramps I made a conscious effort to stay off of social media and kept busy binge-watching various programs on Hulu.  We had spent time with family earlier in the weekend so it was just a low key day and honestly mentally preparing this blog entry in my head helped as well.  So, it is being therapeutic I guess; It is sort of Funny too I guess as bunnies and eggs are so representative of fertility and procreation.

I wanted to finish this by acknowledging how terrified I was feeling after publishing my first post.  The moment after hitting publish my stomach was in knots.  I am a fairly open book and I know sharing my story may help someone out there and is definitely helping me so why the fear?  My biggest fear when thinking about starting a blog was all about my writing abilities.  I don’t find myself particularly witty or cerebral in my writing.  Now that I am writing and putting it out there the next fear is all about being and feeling judged.  Ironically, I am more fearful of this by those I know than someone I have never met.  Luckily for each friend who wasn’t supportive of this idea and often made me feel like they are tired of hearing about my losses I have a friend (often more) who is there to say “you can do it” and that my story is worth sharing and will help someone.  Those friends who cry not only with you but for you when you no longer have tears.  Friends who remember to ask how things are going.  Friends who are like family.  There are also some amazing bloggers out there who have done this for so long and yet recently one of my favorite bloggers Hannah Marcotti shared about her own fears of being judged by what she is putting out there.  It was after reading her blog post “Please, stop reading my words” that I knew I had to get this post under my belt and move on to the future.

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Funnily enough this little guy was just hopping past my office window.  Couldn’t help but wonder if his ears were burning.  Pardon the picture quality as they are fast little buggers.

Well, I’ll take that as a sign that I needed to put this out there.  Maybe the rabbit left me some eggs too.

I hope if you have found my little blog that in some way you are reminded that you are not alone.  Whether you are trying to get pregnant for the first time, recovering from a still birth or miscarriage or suffering through secondary fertility your journey means something.

Baby dust and blessings to you, Love Lara

 

 

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