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

The Illusion of Back to Normal

“I only sobbed for a couple of hours.  And then I laughed because it was just so absurd.”

“Holy crap”  I said.  My friend who was unexpectedly and tragically widowed four years ago was in LA filming a movie this year in mid-February.  She got through the whole of Valentine’s Day without a trigger, and it seemed her chosen tactic of ignoring the day had triumphed as she was driven back to her hotel.  Looking forward to chilling out after an intense week of work, she arrived at the hotel only to find a Valentine’s extravaganza of sorts in the banquet room in proximity to hers.  She was greeted at the hotel by dressed up ladies in the arms of their dates and “relaxed” in her hotel room to love ballads galore and amorous prompts filtering through the walls from the over eager MC across the hall.

Kind of like unintentionally stumbling upon a church service or a restaurant on Mother’s Day in our world.  Triggering times a million?  Oh, I think so. Read more

I Did It

Speaking out on Infertility Survivorhood

The question came up suddenly with no warning.

“How are you a teacher in your daily life?”

I was in my first full day of yoga teacher training, the significance of which was not exactly minor. Although I’ve taken many unofficial and organic steps in my journey forward, specifically with writing and embracing the grieving process, this 200 hour training is the first tangible “goal” I’ve committed to since losing our children. And it’s something I would not be doing, at least not now, had I gotten to have children, and I can assure you this truth was lurking as the training drew near. It is, partially for me now, a blatant symbol of this new life I didn’t chose. Read more

Top Ten Reasons Why This Infertility Survivor is Not Intimidated By Menopause

Infertility Survivorhood Meets Perimenopause

Sitting with my feet in the stirrups things were notably different from the year prior. My first visit to the gynecologist six months after we had lost our children, though preempted by good “I’m getting back to taking care of myself again” feelings, ended up being served with a big fat panic attack. 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

MIRACLE??

A Party, An Infertility Survivor, and No Social Mishaps

Newsflash folks: It finally happened. I, I Infertility Honesty, attended a party where I hardly knew anyone and everyone had kids and…….wait for it……..NO ONE ASKED ME IF I HAVE ANY.

I repeat: I WAS IN A ROOM – WITH HUMANS, MIND YOU – A WHOPPING 15 OR SO, AND YES, YOU READ THAT RIGHT, ALL WITH CHILDREN…….AND NO ONE ASKED ME IF I HAVE KIDS.

Wow. I know, right? 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

Infertility Feature in November’s Redbook Magazine

And I’m in it….

Wow. I never presumed my last post on the way infertility has re-shaped my own personal perspective would resonate. Seems I had been feeling alone and isolated in this too. Thanks for all of the shares and comments. I’m hoping this perhaps leaves us all feeling a bit more centered in and aware of where we are – so not an easy thing – and especially validated on this tough, tough journey we are on.

I tried to write about this subject back in July (sans Huff Post Parents provocation) and it came out as a bunch of indiscernible garble, so, I let it go. I wasn’t there yet. Since then I’ve been struggling a lot with understanding how my experiences of the last five years have changed me and the way I now see life and relate to other people. This is not an easy thing to comprehend and then process when you never see yourself reflected out in the world – not in social conversation, rituals, acknowledged losses and rites of passage, or in the media anywhere.

When it comes to grieving and healing, a lack of available resonance increases one’s workload, and time in the trenches, exponentially.

Hopefully, that’s starting to change.

The November issue of Redbook Magazine did a feature on infertility. And I served as the source for the section that reported, FINALLY, on letting go of the dream of motherhood in the face of infertility treatments NOT working. Read more

24 Ways Losing My Children to Infertility Has Changed My Perspective

My answer to the piece in today’s Huffington Post Parents, “20 Ways Motherhood Changes Your Perspective”

Alas.

I try to be the better human, I really do. Today was no different as my eyes passed over the Huffington Post Parents article, “20 Ways Motherhood Changes Your Perspective.”

I fought the temptation. “Don’t read it, S. You’ve got things to do”. My (supposed) higher minded approach to rebuilding my new life I didn’t chose is to focus on myself, not on what’s going on around me.

Apparently, that goes better on some days than on others. And to be honest, my raw material in this department is pretty shabby. So I succumbed, gambling that this might be an opportunity to vent some justly earned smugness. Read more