The Lonely Womb

Living and Learning through Loss

Category: Womb Takes a Village

The important people who are there to offer support. My tribe, my family, my community.

You ARE a Father and all the other things I should tell you more often

At some point I knew I would write a letter to my sweet husband on here.  As he is having a difficult time this year on Father’s Day I figured what better time to do it.  So, here it goes.  This one’s for you honey.

Kevin, you are an amazing man an amazing husband and yes, you are a father.  I know you have not gotten to hold our six little angels but you loved them just as much as I did.

I want nothing more than to see you playing with a little one of ours much like you do with our dog.  With exuberance, excitement, laughter and joy.  I haven’t lost hope and I think seeing you with our child someday keeps me going.

You are not only amazing but you are my heart, my smile, my soul mate and my everything.  When I see pictures of us together the joy in my eyes is all because of you.  12400530_10208649476300052_6981468527821211259_n

I am proud to be your wife and your partner for life.  Even when we may drive each other crazy I know we will always love each other no matter what.

To watch you as this strong man who is capable of so many things I don’t tell you enough how great you really are.

You support our family.

You do immeasurable things around the house and our property.

Your love for me and our fur babies is pure and warm.

Your talents and knowledge extend well beyond your years.

My world revolves around you.

I love that we still act like teenagers around each other.13432275_10209986923135387_4822682362351901572_n

You make me laugh and take the time to enjoy life more.  Pausing to look at the view.  Laughing with you as you play on the floor with Shelby.  Taking the extra time to cuddle.  Hiking and Camping and watching your enjoyment for all things in nature.

As I write this I don’t feel I can adequately express how much you really mean to me and to our family.

Shelby isn’t the only one who waits with anticipation for you to come home from a long day away.  I know I am not one to show it enough but I cannot picture life without you.

Thank you for supporting my dreams and I am so happy that you get to start a new adventure soon as well.

You have been my partner for over half of my lifetime and I want to spend the rest of our lives celebrating each other.

I Love you!  Thank you for being you and making me a better me.

Forever and Ever!

Oh look, a squirrel! And other reasons to avoid your feelings.

I am back from my two week unplanned blogging hiatus.  With the impending gloom of Mother’s day I found myself coming up with any excuse to not sit down and blog about those often unpleasant feelings.  So, I did what I sometimes do all too well and avoided it.  I did get some serious binge-watching done of The Good Wife though (addicted in the last season is so my way).

Mother’s day was a surprisingly lovely day.  We hosted a brunch at our home. 13164318_10209691599432479_601703592544690628_nThe typical breakfast items and a few 13095918_10209691599752487_4841128265586030777_nfun things like fruit kabobs, chocolate covered strawberries.  My mom brought an adorable veggie choo choo and my dad made homemade easter bread (sweet bread with saffron).  Our house was filled with love and laughter with my mom and dad, Kevin’s mom and brother and my aunt and uncle who live locally.  It was a nice day with family.  I am exceptionally lucky to have a wonderful mother and mother-in-law around and that we not only enjoy spending time together but that they are healthy and a strong part of my life.

I actually think the week leading up to and the week after are harder for me than Mother’s day itself.  The week prior is all about how are you going to celebrate and social media, tv and radio are inundated with all things mom.  The week after this year was full of all the cute things all my mom friends did or received so it actually bummed me out more than the rest.  Thus, avoiding all things having to deal with my feelings including the blog.

As this can be a tender time for myself I tried to focus on self care and things I both needed and wanted to get done.  The weather finally warmed up enough for me to plant the garden.  As I discussed in a previous post this is both a very exciting new adventure and has me quite unnerved as well.  The link between not being able to grow and baby and hoping I can at least be successful growing a garden are strong with me.

13221735_10209742661869008_165413170229667865_nWhile I still don’t really know what I am doing I have had to just jump in with both feet.  There will certainly be things 13178596_10209742256698879_4493920136239476049_nthat don’t grow or are eaten by bugs etc.  It has already been rewarding as one week in I already have seedling popping up all over.  Now there are 1500 ladybugs crawling all over the seedlings and plants as well.  It is so fun.  This infertility journey has shaken my confidence in many of my abilities so being successful in anything but especially growing new life even in the form of veggies is a wonderful thing.  Here is a glimpse of three of the planter boxes including the one closest that holds our taters.

I am enjoying checking on this little garden each day to see how everything is doing and mothering it as best as I can.

In addition to getting the little (not so little) garden planted I also took some time to be alone.  As an only child I crave solitude and it can be like therapy for me.  So, when my parents were going to leave for vacation I jumped at the chance to house sit for several days.  They live about 25 minutes from our property so I was able to be local but get away from chores, responsibilities and get some alone time.  My super sweet hubby totally gets that I need this kind of thing from time to time.  Five nights and six days of zencation as I called it.  It was not only good for my soul but each time my husband and I are away from each other I think it sparks our connection even further.  We started out as a long distance relationship originally and have had to live apart due to jobs at various times so it was fun to send cute texts to each other.

My husband even took the time to let me instruct him over the phone on how to assemble a necklace order that came in while I was away.  It was hilarious and so sweet at the same time.  He knew I wasn’t ready to return home and it was a simple order so he happily got it all put together, packaged and mailed.

All in all I think I did the best thing I could have for this year’s mother’s day.  Self care whatever that means to you.  Each year, each holiday or difficult time it usually comes down to showing yourself some love.  This helps for me at least.  It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive or even overly complicated but taking the time for you is important.  This is true for moms as well.

For those of you who struggle on Mother’s day and I think there are so many of you out there.  I wish I could hug you.  Sometimes that is all we need.  So, if you have lost your mother, are trying to become a mother, have been estranged from your mother or whatever the reason this day may be hard please know that you matter, you are wonderful and you are loved.

My each day be a little less hard.

Blessings, Lara

 

The Infertility Tango

I want to talk about what infertility and this journey has done to my marriage.  Now, don’t let the title fool you as my husband isn’t about to actually dance the Tango but the title made me smile so there you have it.

I can honestly say that I feel truly blessed with my husband, best friend, lover and forever partner.  I know that not all marriages survive fertility and Kevin and I have been very lucky that this hike we have been on has made us stronger.  We haven’t gone unscathed and it has been work to survive everything we have been through but we are still here and we haven’t left the dance yet.

When we went through our first miscarriage it came as a complete shock to both of us.  We both cried, we held each other and as everyone told us it was completely normal to lose your first pregnancy we didn’t lose faith in having a baby.  I remember actually feeling lucky at the time to have suffered a early miscarriage.  I have a couple of very dear friends who each have suffered through a still birth and I can’t fathom surviving that and going on as they have.

After our second miscarriage I remember the fear starting to creep in.  Not just the fear of will we be able to have a baby and is this my fault but will my husband leave me if we can’t.  I remember telling my mom this later after probably our 3rd miscarriage.  She was angry with me and couldn’t believe I would ever think something like this.  Honestly, I didn’t have any reason to really think this other than so many movies that depict the man leaving the barren woman for someone who could give him the offspring he so desired.  My fear also came from knowing that my husband had wanted a child long before I was ready.  Insert guilt for why did I make him wait so long and maybe if we had tried when we were younger we would have a son or daughter running around the house right now.  I wanted to wait until we were ready, more stable blah blah blah.  I am a planner so it is hard not to overthink something as epic as bringing a new life into this world.  I certainly wish others put a bit more thought into if before they did but that is for a whole other blog post of the future.

I don’t recall if it were our 3rd or 4th miscarriage but I remember Kevin telling me he wasn’t sure he could go through this much longer.  At the time I wasn’t all too understanding as physically going through a miscarriage is no piece of cake and I was going through the mental aspects as well.  Anyhow, after my own grief settled some more I did understand that this was hurting him terribly too.  I later realized much of my reaction to him saying this and other things of a similar nature was a defensive reaction.  I still feel this way a bit.  I think if he were to come in today and say “I don’t want to try any more” and just want to be done with it then I would feel he was giving up on me just as much as giving up on having a child.  Now, this decision might happen eventually anyway but I hope it happens out of us discussing it and deciding together.

Anyhow, back to the whole marriage aspect.  Kevin hasn’t left me for some spry young woman to make babies with.  In fact, going through this together has made us much stronger as a couple.  I honestly believe if you can’t survive infertility than you probably wouldn’t survive raising children together either.  I think the latter has to be a much more difficult task.  Now, has our spontaneity and intimacy suffered, Absolutely!  For us this has suffered in two ways.  At first it was all of the counting days, ovulation tests, scheduling “tater time” that hurt our spontaneity.  The Intimacy I think suffered more when it became frightening to get pregnant by accident.  It is an odd thing to be terrified of getting pregnant when you aren’t a teenager and it is just the simple fact that you don’t want to go through another loss.

While we still need to recover our intimacy and spontaneity there are some things that I think we have done well that might help someone else going through this now.  I don’t claim to be an expert, these are just observations of what has worked to keep Kevin and I strong.

1.) Be there for each other.  There is no room for blame if you want your marriage to stay strong.  Chances are your partner may already blame themselves so they don’t need that from their spouse.  Listen to one another and find out what you can do to support your partner during this time.  Lift each other up and don’t stop doing things that you love together.  Be respectful of your spouse’s feelings with wherever you are in your journey.  They may need to take a step back or sometimes they might be ready to go full speed ahead and you want to cool the jets a bit.  Talk about these things.

2.) If depression, desolation or desperation start to impact you or your spouse it may be time to get some help.  This doesn’t have to be “professional” help.  Talk to a friend who is or has gone through infertility.  Seek out a blog that “speaks” to you.  Check out some of the many online resources out there.  Join a Facebook group.  Anything.  Infertility can be such a crushing blow to us it is important not to let it get the better of you.

3.) Talk about the “What ifs”.  I know, I know.  Taboo, run away don’t listen to her.  But, I think it is healthy to discuss what your life might look like without children.  Or, perhaps discussing if either of you wants to foster or adopt.  This is something we didn’t do until a bit later in our process and we still have new discussions the further we go on this journey.  I’ve known some people who have even made dramatic plans for the end of their baby making journey.  I heard one woman say that when she turned 45, if they hadn’t been successful they were going to sell all of their stuff and move to Europe and travel.

4.)  Take care of yourself.  Whatever this means.  Get a massage.  Start a new hobby.  Pick up an old hobby.  Volunteer somewhere.  Go back to school.  Plan a dream vacation (alone or with your spouse or maybe with a great friend).  Start doing meditation (this is one of the things I have been doing lately).  Exercise.  Eat well and if some idiot tells you “if you stop thinking about it, you’ll get pregnant” then eat the piece of chocolate or drink the glass of wine.  😉  We have to take care of ourselves so we can be there for our spouse and help take care of them.  I think we all seem to cycle through one of us being down so it helps to have those “up” times so you can pick them up off the floor or vice versa.

5.)  You do not have to listen to the village idiot, or your friend who just got pregnant, or your family, or a coworker who is being nosy.  If you have been going through infertility long and you have shared it with anyone you will know that advice and mostly unsolicited advice comes often and from just about everyone.  So, I repeat “you do not have to listen”.  Now, you may want to punch them in the throat, don’t do that either.  But, you can kindly smile and say thank you or tell them you aren’t in a space to talk about it or whatever you want.  But, it is your infertility, your journey, your struggle.  You don’t have to listen to me either but I assume if you are reading this that you came to my blog and it didn’t just pop up to give you advice.

Wow, I am so sorry that was such a long winded one.  Hugs to you and thank you again for reading this.  If you ever want to contact me you can do so here and I have been doing my best to reply to all comments (pretty easy now as there aren’t that many but I am trying to think positive to there being so many I can’t possibly keep up).

Blessings, Lara

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