letting go and wondering

There are so many things swirling around my head at the moment. I want to be able to articulate these thoughts, but then I find I have nothing to say. Strange that. 

First, I’ve been thinking about the comments on my last post. The thing about the stump on the “family tree” is not how others view us. I can be a good “auntie” and I can have a special relationship with my nieces, nephews and little cousins. It’s about how I view myself, how I feel. It’s feeling stunted from my own growth and evolution as a person and as a woman in that tree. It’s being thwarted from every conversation and plan involving children. It’s not being able to participate. It’s feeling dis-connected. It’s life going on without us. 

I know we have to find a way to go on. We’re distracting ourselves with work and making time to play when we can. We’re taking day trips and bike rides, planning weekends away, concerts, baseball games, watching movies, funny TV and NBA playoffs. We’re gardening. We’re stopping to smell the jasmine, wisteria, lilacs and roses. 

But we’re not talking about the future. In some sense maybe this is a good thing — trying to stay in the moment. But we’re not really even doing that. We’ve got at least one small thing planned each month from May through September. This is a huge change from just a month ago. We weren’t planning anything because we hoped the FET would work and I’d be pregnant and high-risk and cautious and not going anywhere. Wrong. 

We need something to look forward to. But we’re not looking ahead, past the point at which all the busy plans end. It’s just too painful to look there yet.

After my FET failed, I cried every day for two weeks. Not constant bawling can’t get out of bed tears, but oh fuck I can’t believe this is happening and this is my life tears. I miss my baby boy tears. I miss my animals tears. How am I going to face the future tears. I miss our life tears. Just a few moments at some point every day the tears would come and I would sob — in the shower, in the car, on public transit, at my desk, watching a movie, lying in bed at night — they wouldn’t last for long but they came from deep within, and there was no escaping it. I wouldn’t say I felt good afterwards, but maybe a little lighter. Letting go of the pain one drop at a time. 

I wondered whether I would ever overcome this sadness, whether anything could ever fill this emptiness.

The tears still come, but not every day. My heart is heavy. I feel anxious. Right now I just can’t see how I can just give up on becoming a mother. I don’t know how to let go.

I wrote about how I feel “lost” without trying to have a baby after four years. After all this time, we know it’s not likely to happen on our own. And we’re done with treatment.

Yet here I sit, half way into my cycle and wonder if I’ve ovulated yet. I wonder if my tube is open on that side. I wonder whether M’s morphology is good enough to send one strong swimmer that can make it back out without getting stuck in a diseased tube and causing an ectopic. I wonder if my lining is thick enough on its own to enable implantation. I wonder if my hoohah is healthy enough to support a pregnancy. I wonder should I self-medicate to correct my luteal defect. I wonder if my eggs are even still healthy at nearly 39. I wonder why I’m still spending time and money on acupuncture and ass-herbs to regulate my cycle. I wonder if the sex we’ve been having is out of desperation. I wonder if think I’m crazy to have some delusional hope that it could still happen “naturally.”

The time for false hope is long gone, this much I know. So why can’t I let go?

Finally, while I mourn my fertility I’m also struggling with our decision about adoption. I’ve done the research. We started the paperwork before and set it aside. We don’t regret that choice. I’m frustrated that it costs so much money and effort to try to bring a child into our little family. The enormity of our debt is already overwhelming. Yet I’m ready to consider cashing in my IRA (for half its value after taxes) to help with an adoption fund. It’s not a smart move financially, and it’s not really enough anyway, but I’m just feeling desperate. And I don’t know how to let go. 

Please, no comments suggesting medication — I hope to recognize if I get to the point when that might be necessary. For now, I think I just need to find a way to work through this. If I can’t, I’ll be seeking help in some form. And please, no comments about adopting an older or special needs child or foster care because it’s more affordable — every person has to decide what situation is right for them. I’m not looking for those kinds of suggestions. I’m just trying to muddle my way through here… thanks though.

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~ by luna on April 23, 2008.

22 Responses to “letting go and wondering”

  1. you know that i hear you…and i’m walking right along with you….
    peace
    shlomit

  2. I agree, you don’t need meds. Sometimes we just have to grieve and be heartbroken, and you’re handling it extremely well. Perhaps once the first swell of pain is past, you’ll have a little extra room in your heart to hear what your new dream should be (sorry, this came out really cheesy). But seriously: it will come to you. It will just take time. But you’re a very insightful person with a lot of heart, and you’ve still got lots to do in this world.

  3. No advice from me, just an “I hear you.” I understand the uncertainty, the sadness, the fear, and the anger (though I never hear that in your words, I know it has to be there sometimes). I do believe that ultimately we find our own way and we find peace. Pollyanna, maybe, but it’s my get out of jail free card. Wishing you peace and direction and healing.

  4. I hear you too. I don’t have any advice to offer. I just think your feelings seem completely normal to me. After so much time and energy, it’s naturally hard to let this go. I hope that you eventually come to peace with it.

  5. I understand where you are and what you are feeling. I am in a similar place – trying to fill the upcoming months with distractions, not looking much beyond those plans, and wondering if there really is life after my dreams of motherhood.

    You describe it all perfectly. Thwarted is exactly right. The question is, how can you work your way around it to a life that is fulfilling? And the answer is different for everyone. For some it means adoption, for others it is something else. I *think* that the first step is to believe that you can work your way around it. Of course, I am still working on that one.

    Hang in there. You are not alone.

  6. My dear Luna, TTC has been an important part of your life for such a long time now. You have spent so much time wishing and hoping for a baby that you cannot suddenly let go of those dreams. You are grieving for all that might have been.

    I agree that you don’t need medication or advice at the moment. You are simply trying to find a way to begin to process what coming to the end of treatment means to you.

    I wish you peace and strength on this long and difficult journey.

  7. Just adding my voice to the chorus. ; ) I agree, you don’t need meds — you are having a normal grief reaction. You’ve spent your entire lifetime until this point assuming you would have a family (& seeing that it happens for just about everyone else, it seemed like a reasonable assumption…). Even if your head tells you it isn’t going to happen, it’s going to take awhile for your heart to catch up & start moving in a different direction, whether that be cbildfree living, adoption, whatever. (((hugs)))

  8. Yet another thoughtful and moving post from you. Thank you for sharing the process you are going through. No advice from me, either, just wanted to tell you that you are not alone. I also agree about the med issue- I get frustrated with that suggestion, too. Doesn’t it imply that we should NOT be grieving the loss of our ability to have a biological child of our own? That is ridiculous, not to mention unhealthy.

  9. Luna,
    No advice on any issue from me. I think its good you aren’t bottling up the sadness. All your emotions are normal (even the it can happen naturally with the reality check that it probably won’t)
    Its very hard to let go.

  10. I don’t think anyone in your position can “just let go.” It’s a big grieving process, stress big, like any grieving process. And I don’t think you ever really “let go” — at least I don’t think *I* can. My personal goal is simply to incorporate the grief into my life in a way where hopefully someday I achieve some balance. I think that’s all anyone can ask. It will take a lot of time, so please be gentle to yourself when you ask yourself and your body all of those questions.

    I used to want to live in the moment, and now I can’t get out of the effin’ moment. I have no horizon either. Let you know when I figure that one out.

  11. It pi$$ed me off to no end that we didn’t get to swim in the gene pool.

    You will know the right path, and the resources will be there when the time is right. Somehow.

    And this post, this wondering, this setting the intention to let go? This is forward movement, too.

    Abiding with you.

  12. No assvice, just coming to keep you company.

  13. I see so much courage in where you are right now – honesty, integrity, not hiding from the grief that is shaking you to the core. I don’t know what the future holds either, but it seems to me that by going through this grief as you are, you are setting the foundation for the future. I don’t know what else you could do, that would be a positive thing. It is just so terribly painful and unfair.

    Andie

  14. No suggestions. Just hugs. Lots and lots of hugs.

  15. What you’re feeling is so normal, so rational. I had the same feelings, oh, it makes my heart ache. I even became a lovely ball of rage and for a while that helped. There is nothing to be done, you are where you are, keep breathing.

  16. […] Many thanks for the kind comments on my last post. I guess it’s not surprising that just as I begin to struggle with forward movement, I am […]

  17. I’m here, too, just to be with you. Having faced the same experiences, the same thoughts, the same tears, the same what ifs, the same sadness and lost feelings, well, it may be small comfort but you are so not alone.

  18. Medication isn’t always the answer. Sometimes feelings NEED to be felt and expressed.

    And I completely relate to feeling like a stump even when others don’t view you that way. It is hard not to feel lost.

    wishing you strength…

  19. I am a proponent of meds only as something to help you get through, to help you be functional. It sounds like you are in a place where you are figuring out a new way of living, thinking, breathing. A new scary place, with few safe footholds.

    I will join the chorus, the group of cheer-ers on. I am with you, knowing you can find your new path, hoping it won’t hurt too too much to get there. Hoping that knowing we are there, with you, cheering you on will help, just a little bit.

  20. just to clarify — even as a proponent of meds, I don’t think they would help you right now, in the part of the journey you are in. You are getting through, it seems, just struggling with the purpose, the new direction.

    All my best, luna

  21. […] planned this little escape after my failed FET, along with my birthday weekend in Big Sur (which sadly has […]

  22. […] began with lost hope and led to more failure and a cycle of despair, confusion and depression that lasted for months. I’ll spare you the details, you’ve read it all […]

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