The Lonely Womb

Living and Learning through Loss

Tag: sadness

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

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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