The Lonely Womb

Living and Learning through Loss

Tag: Depression

Wearing my guilt like a straight jacket

Yes, the guilt is strong with this one folks.   So, lets talk about it!

I feel like guilt is such a useless thing unless you have something to truly feel guilty about (like abuse or taking a life).  I think it is a control mechanism for things we cannot control or don’t want to deal with.  But, I think many of us, especially women are made to feel that we should carry guilt with us wherever we go and that we should say sorry for EVERYTHING!

We really do!  That little word that was supposed to be used for actual apologies is inserted so often in our vocabulary it is crazy.  Used often out of politeness we apologize when someone else bumps into us or when the waiter brings you the wrong dish.  There have been a number of articles, interviews and even comedy sketches that discuss why we say sorry so often and many times at the beginning of our sentences when it would be more appropriate to be direct.

I bring this up because I think this same propensity to say “sorry” must run in the same bloodlines as our guilty gene.  Now, I do actually make an effort to not overuse the term “I am sorry” but turning off those guilty emotions have been a much tougher struggle.  Although, as I type this I realize I probably should pay more attention to the sorrys I may be using in my text messages lol.  Anyway, back to guilt…..

Ok, so much of my personal guilt is wrapped up in this beautiful cocoon of infertility (surprise surprise).  I thought it might be helpful to just put it out there (the things I feel guilty about).  Perhaps, it will let someone know they aren’t crazy in feeling the same way or at least not alone in feeling that way (you might be crazy, I am not the right person to be your barometer for that).  🙂

So, here goes….  The many guiltisms of my life right now.  The Rational, The Irrational and the totally absurd.

The many ways that guilt wraps around me like a straight jacket:

Not giving my husband a child.  He will be an amazing father (hopefully someday) and I often feel like a total disappointment for not fulfilling this often assumed “wifely duty”.  I feel guilty that I made him wait until I was ready and wonder if we started earlier on if we might be parents now.  I feel guilty that I am the one in the drivers seat and he doesn’t have any control over our success.

Our parents not being grandparents.  It pains me to know how much they all want this and would enjoy being grandparents.  I think I actually have a clearer image of them all being grandparents than I ever had of myself as a parent.  Possibly because I was so close to my grandparents and would love to see our parents take our little ones to the park or teach them things I cannot.

Leaving without a legacy.  As an only child and knowing that my husband’s only sibling will not have offspring either we are the end of the line in our family unit.

The guilt over not having met several of my friend’s children yet.  It wasn’t an intentional thing but somehow time seems suspended in my life while it goes strong and steady elsewhere.  The obvious difficulties of baby showers and pregnancy announcements are discussed frequently in the infertile community but not “the after”.  In some of these instances we simply live too far apart and getting together can be difficult.  In others there may have been avoidance on my part or my husband’s part as it can be very difficult to see someone living out that dream in front of you.  Especially, the newborn and infant stages.  There have also been times where the sudden change from a friend who didn’t have children and has become a parent no longer feels we have anything in common and the separation starts there.  Either way you mix it I feel guilty.  I love my friends and family and therefore love their children as well.  But, as time seems to soar by I am shocked when those little ones are 9, 10, etc. and we have yet to meet them in person.  Those newborn and infant times that were too hard to share quickly turn to years and everyone gets busy and before you know it you feel like the horrible aunty.

 Having such a difficult time over mother’s day.  I often feel guilty for not being able to shove my feelings aside and enjoy the day for my mother and mother-in-law’s sake.

Wondering if I had been more of a girlie girl who couldn’t wait to have kids when I was little would have made a difference.  Yes, absurd but this thought does pop up from time to time.  When friends were babysitting and talking about having kids someday I was more focused on school and travel.  Sometimes I wonder if I should have put more of the mommy vibe out into the universe.

Guilt over my weight, my body and my hormonal issues.  This is often a gut twister for me.  The hormonal issues (PCOS) I have that we think contribute to our infertility can be remedied some by weight loss.  But, those same issues make weight loss a very difficult thing to accomplish.  Compound this with depression and it is hard not to feel like a failure.

Not living in the moment and enjoying the quiet moments with my husband more often.  I know many of my friends with littles envy our freedom and flexibility in life but I find it hard to enjoy when there is an empty space in my heart.

Lastly, feeling guilty for pushing off our last attempt at having a tater.  Another procrastination and letting fear get in the way.  I am truly terrified of having another miscarriage.  Not just for the loss but to also know we are really at the end of our journey.  But, when I turned 40 this year I was overcome with guilt for waiting this long and still not being ready.  It was one of the things that pushed me to start writing this blog in the hopes to deal with my shit and get it together so we can have a last attempt before it is too late.

Well, there you have it.  Not all of my guiltisms but the primary ones especially during this infertility journey.  Heck, I even felt guilty not doing my blog post “on time”.  Silly as I don’t really have readership and I am doing this mostly for myself and if it helps others than great.  If you carry an abundance of guilt I triphope you can find a way to pack it up and leave it on the curb.  This blog will have to be my curb for now.

Blessings to you!  If you are seeking infertility support you can always contact me and you can start with the many resources listed here.

xo Lara

The Hope has gone missing from my Hope Chest

This has been a tough week in the Caldwell household (actually, the last few months have been exceptionally challenging but that is for a different post).  This week I found myself plagued by the depression I have fought for as long as I can remember.

Depression for me can be triggered by a number of things and sometimes I don’t know what the trigger is or was at all.  What I do know is once I am depressed I will think even more about my infertility than ever which brings me to the hopeless chest.

When I was young child I couldn’t wait to have a hope chest all my own and always wanted to play with the items in my mom’s hope chest.  She had stuff from when she first dated my dad and when they got married.  Odd trinkets and a bunch of baby items from when I was born.  It was like a living scrapbook of memories.  I loved going through it and hearing the stories my mom would tell me about each item.  Fast forward to my 18th birthday and I finally got my very own hope chest.  I didn’t have a ton of things to put in it at that point but was excited to fill it full of the dreams I had for myself.  At first it was filled with things I was planning on taking to college with me like my first set of dishes.  Honestly, I don’t actually remember all of the things I kept in it early on or even when my husband and I finally had a place of our own that was big enough for me to not be storing the chest at my parents.

What I do remember is what I began to store in it when we decided to start a family.  Before we ever began trying I put some items from my childhood that I wanted to pass down to my child.  I had the dishes I used as a little kid.  If you grew up in the 70’s you probably remember the Peter Rabbit set.  vintage-peter-rabbit-in-the-garden-plate-bowl-silite-plastic-kid-s-dishes-094face17b39e8cd95d2ad12e2a09be3Some sentimental stuffed animals to be passed down and some artwork that I had kept that I wanted in a future nursery.  snoopy-sno-cone-machine-1My husband had even bought me an old school Snoopy Snow Cone maker identical to the one I had as a kid and I promptly added to the hope chest for our little to have those same snow cone memories.

The Hope chest didn’t have much in it until we got pregnant the first time around.  Of course with the excitement we couldn’t resist buying some baby clothes and a few cute things for a nursery.  After that first miscarriage there haven been a small handful of items we have added to the chest for fear of adding to the sadness or bad luck.  What it does hold are cute clothes and blankets, books from friends and a few adorable toys.  Oh! and a hoard of “I love grandma” onesies that my mother-in-law added to our collection.

There are also some baby gifts that friends sent to me AFTER my miscarriage (yes they knew of my loss before sending).  Now, I know that none of this was done out of malice but boy were they hard to get.  If you are reading this as one of my friends please note that was lone ago and I’m sure you didn’t understand that was a really hard thing to receive at the time.  Could I have said something, sure but why make them feel bad about an ill-timed gift.  While this post isn’t about that I did want to take a moment to remind anyone out there to that it is much harder to get these gifts as the hopeful “I know you will use this when you get pregnant again” rather than you just storing them until that appropriate time.  Same goes for those handmade gifts that people started for us and would mention as a type of guilt like “hey, I started a quilt for you back then so hurry up and get pregnant already so I can give it to you”.  Um, I’m trying but thanks for all of that support and sorry to keep YOU waiting.

Back to the Hopeless Chest… So, this beautiful chest sits at the foot of our bed and normally is just a piece of furniture.  Other times like this past week it haunts me and tempts me to delve into it and cry over the baby goods inside.  I will be honest, the picture of the items is actually an older pic taken long ago as I decided this week was not a healthy time to open the chest at all.  But, all week I kept thinking about it as the hopeless chest.  Mostly, because that was the feeling my depression brought on this week.  Usually, it is a dark sad depression that is dripping with sarcasm and anger.  This week it was hopeless hopeless hopeless.  Full of poor me and I’ll never have a baby thoughts and hopelessness for our current situation.

Currently, I am feeling much better and I would have written this post earlier had I had the energy to do so.  I am hoping by putting these feelings and dealing with depression on top of infertility will help someone out there who feels similar.  As usual, feel free to contact me or leave a comment.  I would love to hear how you deal with your depression and infertility too.  If you are seeking additional support or resources you can find some here.

Blessings, Lara

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