Top 9 Ways Infertility and Involuntary Childlessness Prepared me for a Trump Presidency

The morning after last week’s election I lay on my couch, practically immobile.  As it did with many, the election results struck me sideways.  First, I felt all of it.  Confusion.  Anger.  Sadness.  Sadness for people on both sides of the aisle who don’t feel seen and heard by our society and are not having their needs met by this country.  Disheartened that things crumbled to the point where someone who I truly believe is not an intelligent, decent well-meaning human being could be elected.  Upheaval.  Concern for the future – mine and everyone else’s.  Numb. Violated. Discombobulated.

Wishing deep in my heart of hearts that Trump does a good job is much like wishing for a pregnancy on the heels of multiple failed fertility treatments; you want it more than anything but know on a level it’s probably not going to happen.  Most of all, I was shocked that I was shocked.  When one loses their children to infertility after years of trying and doing everything right only to walk out into a sea of indifference (please read the “you can have mine”, “you’re lucky”, “you can always foster or adopt” “it wasn’t meant to be” and “at least you can travel now” minimizations), one’s list of what will shock them in life from that day forward becomes severely truncated. Read more

The Paradox of June

An infertility survivor’s early summer musings

I had gotten through Father’s Day without much flinching.  These milestones, or non-milestones, depending upon how you look at it seem to, in me lately, provoke the question:  Does it get easier, or am I getting stronger?  Read more

Precious Resonance

The Global Sisterhood Summit Part 2

Wrestling with the feeling that the other shoe is always about to drop was unavoidable – my subconscious associates anything infertility with the reasonable becoming a debacle, things going wrong when you do everything right and, most of all, deprivation.  I was concerned that my flights weren’t real, that my boarding passes wouldn’t print and anything else non – sensical you can think of.  Read more

A Week in the Life of an Infertility Survivor Pt2

Aunty Sarah

It was three days after Easter.  I awoke with a slow bleed into consciousness.  I know there are those dramatic shoot up from the pillow in the still of the night bursts – this was not that.  But something was…..wrong, amiss somehow. Read more

A Week in the Life of an Infertility Survivor Pt 1

Hi All –

Wanted to remind those of you in the IF community about Justine’s #MoreThan1in8 project over at Ever Upward.  She’s asking for our photographs and stories of surviving and thriving that she’ll compile, in some surprise way I hear, for National Infertility Awareness Week.  Which is next week already!

I submitted mine a little over a week ago.  I wrote whatever came to mind (shocking, I know) and focused more on the survival aspect as I myself have barely entered the thriving part.  I sense I’ve got a ways to go before that takes hold.

Like Justine I do believe we have power and voice in numbers, and that it is past time for us to be seen.  So if you are in the place of being ready, have your submissions in by this Friday the 22nd.

My writing this week comes in a few parts, so buckle your belts and off we go……

 

The Pause

Musings of an Easter Scrooge

“Cover your left nostril with your right hand ring finger.  Inhale to the count of five through your right nostril.  Pause for one.  Cover your right nostril with your thumb, release your ring finger from your left.  Exhale through your left side to the count of five.  Pause for one.  Inhale through your left side to the count of five……”

I’ll never forget the first time I was instructed to pause between the inhales and exhales of my alternate nostril breathing.  The suspension, for me, was unquestionably luxurious.  I thought I had been introduced to a utopia of sorts, where neutrality and all else that is coalesced, emerging as the perfect cocktail.

In my current life, I’ve been having a decent stretch lately.  I have regained some of my ability to see into the future, at least a few months into it anyway.  What an oddity to have my future vision yield something besides dull blobs of blankness.  I’m slightly busy again, busy for the first time in six years with something other than baby making, surviving and grieving.  And more importantly, it seems I’m actually ready to be. Read more

“CELEBRATION”

This, and all posts this week are in loving acknowledgement of our children that never got to be and of the dream and life we had to start to let go of on January 31, 2014.

The flickering candle light bounced off the twilit room as sounds of festive chatter surfed through the air. Just as I sat down again at “my” table, my behavior voice beckoned. “Come on S, you’ve got to get to ALL of your guests.” I rose up and dragged myself through the warm, celebratory party space.

As is common with someone who has been traumatized, the gut instinctively pulls you to where you are safe and away from where you may not be. And as is common for someone with such prolonged visceral experiences, remembering to think at all is your version of an afterthought. Read more

JOY

The Trauma and Loss Survivor Version

“I know, I get it……Just one more thing infertility ruined.”

This simple yet all – encompassing phrase came from a support group member back when I was TTC (trying to conceive). She lived in the same town where my husband’s restaurant had just finished the construction on its expansion. And I, in the meager 6 weeks between IVF #’s 2 and 3, having just learned that our medical obstacles extended well beyond endometriosis and age, had not been in to see the outcome. Cannon balling my way into what was my most fragile, devastated time, I didn’t want to see people in my husband’s restaurant world. Read more

PILGRIMAGE

The Horse Whisperer and an infertility survivor’s journey

I’m not a big movie person. I confess I typically stick to my usual action and comedy genres – James Bond and the American Pie series are some of my favorites, to give you an idea. So when my husband, who rode horses throughout his childhood, and I sat down to watch The Horse Whisperer a few nights ago, I was expecting a good movie with beautiful cinematography and that’s about it.

Well.

About halfway through I started releasing full body sobs. The same again ¾ of the way through. Not the kind where, after a poignant scene tears seep gently from one’s eyelids. No, not that kind at all. It was the kind where you experience something so connective it’s as if you are witnessing the very core of your being in movie form. The kind where, at the end of the movie, you are gasping for air because the impact of its significance stole your breath.

“They – got – everything – I – don’t – know – how- they – did – that” were some of the first words I choked out, hoping to offer some explanation to my sweetly abiding husband. Read more

The Emancipation of Forgetting

My post baby making cycle problem

It was one of the most significantly underestimated pains of moving forward without children. Every 3.5 weeks or so (although sometimes I was spared by a few more days), it cascaded through its to do list: Menstruate, prepare to ovulate with estrogen surge, ovulate, progesterone surge to prepare body for pregnancy that won’t happen, hormones plummet to menstruation. Repeat needlessly and incessantly. Read more

Pain In Progress (Part 2)

A flashback to this past June, I guess this should have been part 1. But that’s not how I roll.

This past late spring, a peculiar thing started to happen. My physical symptoms of the losses and trauma I had endured started to wane while the “typical” on goings of life became less of an abrasion to my nervous system.

Whispers of normalcy shone through as if they were new inventions. One day while food shopping, my first reaction to a baby crying on and on in Whole Foods was an internal affectionate “aw, someone’s having a fussy day”. It was only 20 minutes later I started to become mildly triggered, which was hardly noticeable in the face of the absence of the gut wrenching feelings of death and despair a baby’s cry used to incite. Read more