The Lonely Womb

Living and Learning through Loss

Tag: the lonely womb

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

Deja Vu To Happiness – Micro Post

The Good News is things have been going well in our household and I am Happy!  The Bad News is this is why I haven’t posted anything in weeks.  Ooops.  Between new medication and an upswing in how life has been going I just haven’t felt like dwelling on my lonely womb.  Of course the guilty side of myself keeps berating me for not posting anything lately.  So… Here I am.  Hi!  Howdy!  How Are ya?

First off a definition of Déjà vu for those who may not be familiar.  Per Wikipedia: Déjà vu, from French, literally means “already seen”, is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past.

Anyhow, I have been experiencing Déjà vu a lot lately.  This makes me exceptionally happy.  “Why, you ask?  A long time ago (probably 16 years at least) I read that before our life begins we have set a predetermined path for ourselves.  This path is intended to have us learn something within this life time and Deja Vu moments are there to tell you that you are on the right path.  I have never been a “religious” person but have always felt a certain spirituality and that we have a purpose.  This concept us having set let’s say a Learning course for each lifetime (yes, possibly more than 1 lifetime) was written by the now deceased Sylvia Browne in her book “The Other Side and Back”.  I’ll put more information and some excerpts from the book at the bottom of this post.

As a person who has never really been sure of what I want to make out of this life it was comforting to think that during those times of Déjà vu that perhaps I was on the right path.  Anyhow, this whole concept stuck with me and it usually seems to parallel times when either things are going really well and my life is gaining something of value or even tough times that turned out to be a necessary stepping stone to something better.

In the last 3 or maybe 4 years Déjà vu has not happened all that much and in that time we have gone through a lot of heartache and a ton of change.  It was definitely a time where I have felt somewhat lost in the world (more than my usual).  So, when I started experiencing Déjà vu over and over again last month (June) and it keeps happening I feel like the world is somehow righted again and we are on the right path.  This has also helped me in feeling that maybe this time our happiness can last a bit longer before “the other shoe drops” so to speak.  Numerous times in the recent past we might have something really great happen only to have it quickly diminished by an equally intense low and negative experience.  Yes, life ebbs and flows but damn this girl needs the happy for longer than two minutes on occasion.

I choose to believe that perhaps we will be in a happy upswing for a while and can breathe a bit.  So, Happy Happy Joy Joy and all that.  As when I am happier I tend to neglect the Blog I am going to have to come up with a bit of an outline and just follow it.  Hopefully my writing will improve when I am happier as well.  Those darker times sure help with my creativity for sure so my writing, painting and all other creative outlets have suffered some lately.  I think I just need more practice during those happy times.

I hope you are experiencing some Happy times too.

Blessings, Lara

As promised here is more information about Sylvia’s book and a couple of excerpts.  I really do love this book.

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“Almost every religion on earth accepts the fact that our spirits survive death.  But tell people you can communicate with those spirits and they will think you are nuts.”

“The Other Side is right here among us, another dimension superimposed on our world, some three feet above our version of “ground level.”  Its vibrational frequency is much higher than ours, which is why we don’t perceive it.”

“Our purpose in coming here is to learn and to gain knowledge”

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

 

Taters

As I was brushing my teeth this morning and trying to decide which topic to write about this week I was thinking about the unique language my husband and I have developed over the past 21+ years together.  Those nicknames we call each other, terms for random objects that nobody else would possibly understand and you should hear us talk to our fur babies.  I will admit, I am most guilty of this and Kevin has had no choice but to find himself speaking oddly at times for the simple fact that he has been with me for so long.  (smile).  I am lucky as well that he can finish my sentences and understand what I am saying when I trail off before finishing or start in the middle of a story that I started in my head.

When we began talking about having a baby we somehow started referencing to babies as “Taters”.  It was all about “let’s make a tater” and “I can’t wait to have a tater”.  We are even that cheesy that I bought a baby potato head toy and glued a pacifier in its mouth to tell Kevin I was pregnant (2nd time around).  I still have it stashed away with various baby paraphernalia.

So….. It is with humor that I find myself venturing into my first garden (ever) and of course I will be growing a variety of “taters”.  At first I wasn’t going to mention gardening or other “off topic” things on this blog but it dawned on me that just about everything I do I mentally relate to infertility.  It isn’t a choice but just my reality.  I actually have found that this infertile journey has made me much more passionate about things like writing, making things (I sell various handmade items in my own Etsy shop) and now gardening.  12932597_10209449090489907_8528610916427360666_n

This whole gardening concept I have found quite overwhelming.  Recently, as I was overthinking it (my usual) I found myself fearing that this little garden wouldn’t be successful (thus the overthinking).  I think I need to prove to myself that while I haven’t been successful in making a baby (tater) I can grown real taters (and all the other various vegetables I am planning on).  So, I will probably post tidbits hear and there about how this whole garden is going.  It has been rewarding watching some of my seedlings actually grow.

Now you know a little bit more about our quirky little family and stay tuned for how those taters turn out.  Sorry for the shorter post this week but it is a gorgeous day out today so we are going to go play.

Support and Resources

As I mentioned in my last post I feel it is important to share some valuable resources that I have stumbled upon over the years.  This is by no means a comprehensive list but I hope it offers you a place to start.  I welcome you to share additional resources in the comments and I will do my best to amend this list accordingly.  All links will open a new page so you can return here for more resources.  Please feel free to share.

The Internet Health Resources Company:  Exclusive to fertility organizations this is a great starting point to educate yourself about infertility, deciding if and when you need help and where to find it.  Tons of information here.

Books about Infertility:  A large database of books that can help you anywhere along your journey.

The National Infertility Association – RESOLVE:  Their goal is to improve the lives of women and men living with infertility.  A huge amount of information here from educational resources to finding support groups.

Live Strong Foundation Fertility Services:  LIVESTRONG Fertility is dedicated to providing educational information and access to resources that support cancer patients and survivors whose cancer and its treatment present risks to their fertility.

American Pregnancy Association:  Pregnancy calendars, learning about ovulation, tracking tools and many resources on fertility.  They also have a shop with tools and supplements to aid in fertility and a healthy pregnancy.

The Endometriosis Association:  Their website is a bit goofy but has useful information for treatment and dealing with infertility as a cause of endometriosis.

Infertility Network:  An interesting site that provides news coverage from around the world about infertility.  They advocate for reform as well.

PCOS Foundation:  Resources and support for those suffering with PCOS or trying to get diagnosed.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Association:  Another site dedicated to those suffering with PCOS.

PCOS Challenge:  The support system to help women beat PCOS.

Path 2 Parenthood:  a site dedicated to reproductive health, infertility prevention and treatment, and family-building options including adoption and third party solutions.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Infertility:  Even the CDC cares about Infertility.

Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology – SART:  This site is dedicated to Assisted Reproductive Technology with emphasis on IVF.

The Fertility Institutes:  A world leading fertility center with resources and information on locating an IVF clinic near you.

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine: I have linked to the section of the site for patients.  News, research and educational videos.

Again, this list isn’t meant to be comprehensive but I hope you find the information you are seeking.  Please feel free to share this post with someone you feel may benefit from any of these resources.

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