The Lonely Womb

Living and Learning through Loss

Tag: Fertility struggles

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

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

 

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

 

 

The Lonely Womb is Born

Hey there, Welcome to my little ol’ Blog.  I assume if you have found me that you are here as a supportive friend or family member (thank you tribe) or you have found yourself affected by the TTC (Trying to Conceive) journey somehow.  Perhaps you are still trying to conceive, have suffered through pregnancy or infant loss or you love someone who has or is on this journey and you want to help by understanding.  Either way, Welcome to you!

After a lot of pondering and plenty of nudging from family and friends I am finally writing about my infertility journey.  This process I hope will be a help to someone out there as much as it will be a therapeutic thing for myself.  I find myself both excited and terrified to be writing a Blog but here I am.

I hope you find what you are looking for here or learn something new.  My hope is that sharing my story and journey of infertility, multiple miscarriage and being a childless woman will help someone or perhaps several someones.

I am no wordsmith and if it weren’t for editing software I assure you this Blog would be one run on sentence.  So, please know that my intention is to be real, to be honest, to be vulnerable and to be supportive.

I want this Blog to become a place where we can come together and share our insights, hope and those bitter moments too.  This isn’t going to be a sugar coated.  Fertility struggles are hard, emotional, isolating and painful.  Will I have posts that are positive?  Sure!  But, there will be posts that may be dark, sarcastic, bitter and some may bring you to tears.  Hopefully, some may make you laugh as well.

My goal for now is to post something at least once a week.  This little post will be my start.  I also need to learn how to build this website too so that gives me a little time but forces me to put this out there.

So, here we go!

 

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