It is NOT well with my soul

I truly wish I were built like some other women.  Other bloggers I follow.  Other attitudes, beliefs and outlooks.  I’ve even tried.  But it was more work than anything positive and though it’s not the work that bothers me, it was the work to portray an image which is not true.

I am incredibly grateful for many things in my life.  My husband.  His family. A recent rekindling of sorts with my only sister.  I am grateful for our comfortable home on a little bit of land.  For a small handful of good friends. And I am grateful to live in a free nation.

I may have more than so many.  But it is NOT, nor it ever will be, well with my soul that I’ve – and thereby we’ve – been denied a family of our own.  I do not wish to live out the rest of my days in a miserable slump, but I will not pretend that my life is complete.

I find no matter the effort, I am not able to move forward solely in gratitude for all that I have, but rather most days I trudge through grand disappointment in that which I do not.  

There are days I wonder where the other people like me are. The ones who things didn’t work out for and who are damn mad about it.  Those days I wonder why the only people I run into, read blogs from or see in the news are those who kept the faith, stayed positive and came to realize their dreams.  Go ahead and tell me that if I would change my outlook and be positive that my rotten uterus will just magically create our perfectly healthy child.  Newsflash: A change of outlook will not change the reality.

We did ALL of the positive thinking, the keeping of the faith, the praying.  For years. And then the doctors said it would never be.  And now what?  I should live in constant bliss waiting for that “bigger plan?” I should accept my consolation prize as the best Aunt ever to walk the Earth and be satisfied for the rest of my days?  I should watch my husband dote over our nieces, nephew and godchildren and ignore the tears for the father he desperately wanted to be and should have been, smile and think how lucky we are?

What a load of crap.

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(Un)happy Father’s Day.

I would’ve posted mostly the same words…..Fathers Day is WORSE than Mothers Day. The reason my husband will never be celebrated is because of me.

alwayshope2014's Blog

Mother’s Day, I hate it.. It’s a reminder that I am not a mother. My grief overwhelms me, and it takes every ounce of energy I have to even wish my mum a happy day. I see posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter wishing new moms a happy 1st Mother’s Day and the pain in my chest becomes almost unbearable.

this is my grief, and sometimes I wear it well, other days it consumes me, but I see it, I mourn it, I feel it and I get on with my life the best I can. I have no choice.

As much as I hate Mother’s Day, the day of the year that kills me the most is Father’s Day, I love my daddy, he has supported me throughout my whole life, he has comforted me, he has encouraged me and he has made me the person I am today, but…

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Family Vacation Sans a Family

We are currently on vacation. We vacation a little differently than most people. We don’t do exotic getaways or room service…but it’s vacation none-the-less. It’s time spent away from work and the usual stresses.  Time spent as husband & wife where we can reconnect, charge our batteries and stop hustling from one obligation to another.

We have a large and interchangeable group of friends we travel with to various places on annual trips to do some camping (or “glamping” as it would better described in our 35 foot fifth wheel RV with all the amenities).   This particular trip has been spent on the Oregon coast, eating all sorts of yummy seafood, campfires, lots of dune riding in our side-by-side UTV and quite a bit of reading, napping and relaxing.

Back home, the temperatures have been over the 100* mark.  Here, it’s been downright chilly.  I despise the hot summer months and welcome the cool, coastal weather with open, albeit bundled, arms.

There is this one, small hiccup.  Everyone else here is on a FAMILY vacation.  With kids upon kids upon kids.  This group is primarily made up of young boys.  9 to be exact. Only 3 girls.  Of the dozen, the age range is from 2 1/2 to 14 years old. I can hear a group of them now, at the campfire, giggling.

My husband and I brought our dogs.

I suppose I could focus on how we might be getting to do a lot more relaxing than our friends who brought all these kiddos.  I suppose I could be happy that the cost of our trip isn’t as great since we don’t have to buy souvenirs, extra ice creams or clam chowders.  But if you’ve read any of my previous entries, then you likely know I won’t say that no children = a better or more relaxing vacation.  

When I see the smudged face and dirty little hands on a 4 year old blazing by on a bicycle, an empty water bottle shoved under the rear fender for the cackling noise effect, the wonder & excitement in a 9 year olds face after searching, finding and catching a crab on the rocks and the pride in showing it off in a water bowl to everyone in camp….when I see one of the Dads patiently teaching his son how to better maneuver a steep hill on his motorcycle and the Daddy’s pride when the boy makes the hill, or when I see all the children run to Grandma J’s RV for her famous deserts…and watch her love on each of them before they run off with the goodies….I do not feel relaxed. I do not feel the everyday stresses going away. I feel sad. Again. I feel robbed. Again.

I see my husband watching these kids make these lifelong memories and I watch his heart break.  I can see the longing in his eyes and I can see his shoulders drop the moment the realization smacks him in the face that this will never be a family tradition for us as it is for them.

Even on vacation, infertility is there. Even on vacation, it is painful. It is ALWAYS there. 

I have no life

I feel like life has been taken from me because I am not able to create a life.

Where do you find the strength to find a new purpose in life when the only purpose you knew was to be a Wife and a Mother?
How many hours of wasted time and energy we have collected when we realize the one thing we’ve been working for will never be within our grasp.
What a sadness to know the best thing that was ever going to happen to us has already happened?
When someone references that “bigger plan” theory….I think “have you lost your ever-loving mind? What bigger plan, besides death, could possibly await us?”  
We could hit the lottery, retire early and travel the world, but we’ll never have children to share the photos with.  
We could inherit a beautiful piece of land and build a dream home….but to whom would we leave it?  
There are many upon many people who live child free.  They live happy and wonderful lives.  And yet, for those who did not chose this way of life, for those who were dealt a different deck of cards, I simply cannot understand how to move on.  I was meant to be a Mother and my husband, a Father.  How can we possibly live a life and call it “full” when it will never be? What a lie it would be.
I am angry.  I am sad.  I am many things.  But I am NOT a Mother.  

I Remember 

I remember…

I remember Senior year in High School & wanting that Toyota pick up so badly. And my Dad sitting me down at the patio table in the backyard one Sunday morning explaining to me all of the reasons why I could not afford it and thinking then that my heart was broken.
I remember driving home after my first year of college having left my roommate to drive the opposite direction – crying & singing along to the mixed tape that we had made in duplicate so that we would be listening to the same songs on the way home and thinking after all that we had been through and survived our first year as college students how it was that I could possibly make it through the summer without her and thinking then that my heart was broken,
I remember coming home to the first place I ever shared with a boyfriend after spending the night with girlfriends to find him with another girl in our home. I remember him introducing me as his “roommate” and after somehow standing my ground and putting them both in their place, I remember hiding in the bathroom as he gathered his things, silently crying and thinking then that my heart was broken
I remember, years later when another boyfriend who I learned too late was strung out on drugs disappeared. I stayed up all night, driving around,  calling friends and racing home to see if they had just been a misunderstanding – only to find the house exactly the way I had left it. In the wee early morning, I packed my things and drove 50 miles back home to my mothers house. I stayed in bed for weeks crying – refusing to eat or talk with friends. And I remember then thinking my heart was broken.
I remember the day my Grandfather died. How I spoke to him the night before, promising to bring him a crossword puzzle when I visited the next day. I remember the sound of his voice clear as day, “Hello, sweetheart” as he answered the phone in his hospital room.  And I remember my Father calling early the next morning to tell me his Dad had passed away in the night. I remember the sound of my Father inhaling a cigarette and picturing him sitting on his back patio all alone on that cool spring morning.  I remember the funeral. Sitting between my father and my husband, feeling my strong, bold, Father shaking beside me.  I remember feeling sad that my Grandfather was no longer with us, but even more sad that my Father had lost HIS Father. And I remember thinking then that my heart was broken.
I remember the day I brought my sweet puppy Maggie home. How small she was, how from the very beginning she was my best friend like we’d known each other our whole lives and like she wasn’t a dog yet just another person. I remember how smart she was how she always knew when I was sad and how she would cuddle up in a ball right alongside me. I remember she loved to go on car rides and to visit friends. And I remember the night that we went to bed just as always. But in the middle of that night she had her first seizure of six that by middle of the following day she would be gone forever. With no explanation. I remember I lay on the couch, sobbing in wretched pain for days. And I remember feeling then that my heart was broken. 
I remember the day my RE called for the last time. To tell me our final embryo transfer was not successful and based on what we knew, I would never be able to achieve pregnancy.  I remember how kind, but matter-of-fact she sounded.  And how I couldn’t speak at all in return.  Not a word.  
And I KNOW my heart was completely, irrevocably broken.  For I have felt nothing since but anger, sadness and despair. Things I know do not come from a heart, but the empty space which remains. 

The best thing that’s happened to me….

  …in at LEAST 3 months was the Taco Bell drive thru getting my order wrong today and after correcting it, still only charging me $3.67 for an $8 meal.  

Sad? Yep. 

At least no one can say I’m not showing gratitude for all the “positive things I still have in my life!” Because basically getting away with stealing a meal at Taco Bell eliminates all the bad shit I’ve been feeling FOR SURE! 

At least irony was not lost by the Mr. Smart E. Pants sauce packet…

“It” Happened

Well……it happened.  You know, “IT.”  

My sister had errands and appointments yesterday that my two-year-old nephew was not able to attend with her. So he was hanging out with Uncle and Auntie…. We were also doing errands but just normal stuff that he could go along with.  It was my amazing Father In Law’s birthday yesterday and we were hosting the family over for a BBQ dinner.  So our errands included things like picking up a new patio set we’d purchased and a Costco run for groceries.  Which is where “IT” happened.
I get to spend a lot of time with my nephew. His mama is at a point in her career where she must allot so many hours to finalize licensure and his daddy is a farmer, which means long & unpredictable hours.  They are also a very social couple. I swear they must get invited to 5 or six weddings a year!  They are great parents, but the busy schedules mean I (along with Daddy’s big family) get to hang with “Squish” pretty regularly.
I mention this only to validate my understanding of how “it” could happen any ‘ol time.  And though I can’t imagine “it” wouldn’t hurt too much less then….”it” took my breath away when “it” happened yesterday.  
I had picked Squish up fairly early in the morning and about the time we finished up our first errand, we were smack dab in the middle of his morning nap time.  I felt awful, but we had some drive time, so he snoozed for about 40 minutes.  
When we arrived at Costco, he was still sleepy but after rousing him and getting into the warehouse, he perked up and chatted with us, himself and every single food sample rep who told him how handsome he was & handed him a plain cracker or chip.
By the time we were ready to check out, our cart was over full (I knew this based not on my visual inspection of the cart, but by the way my husband was scowling about how much THIS trip to Costco was going to cost).  Also because I was holding an increasingly whiny Squish when we loaded the conveyor belt & paid. 
The checker asked if we wanted to add a donation amount to our total for a local Children’s Hospital. My husband begrudgingly obliged and they gave us the little tag to write our name on. My husband suggested we list Squish’s name, so I did.
The clerk handed the receipt to my husband, told us to have a great day, looked me square in the eye and said “and you have a very happy Mother’s Day tomorrow.”
“IT.”
The air left my lungs. 
I froze.  
My hearing & vision left.  It was like someone hit a “pause” button on my internal DVR. 
My husband nudged me and the vision and hearing returned. Squish was still straddling my hip and though  normally, I would’ve gone into the whole “oh, he’s not my son, he’s my nephew….” explanation, I couldn’t get words to form. I mumbled what I think was a “thank you” and we made our way to the door, my husband never making eye contact with me.  
Before we reached the “receipt scan” line, I uncomfortably shifted Squish to my other hip, suddenly very much aware of his weight.  I put one foot in front the other and as I begged my legs not to buckle from underneath me, I pulled my sunglasses from the top of my head and put them on my eyes to cover what I knew was there.  Shear shock.  Complete horror. Welled-up salt water. 
We loaded the groceries and Squish into my vehicle (we’d brought two to accommodate the patio furniture).  It wasn’t until then my husband asked if I was okay…..which served as the unlock mechanism for the tears to fall.  “I’m fine.” I responded.  He kissed my forehead and we parted ways.  
I know this kills my husband, too.  He can’t fix it. He hates seeing me so upset.  But I also know its hard for him.  I would never ask and he’d never say, but I’m willing to bet he had a little breakdown himself after we parted ways. 
Cool thing about a two year old? You can pretty easily hide a breakdown from them. Sitting in the car together.  In a parking lot.  In broad daylight. 
It wasn’t Squish’s fault. It wasn’t the clerks fault.  How easily would anyone have assumed he was my child.  That sleepy, whiny toddler who was wrapped around my neck and who might resemble me a little since he’s my only sister’s – who sorta looks like me – kid.
Today marks the first Mothers Day I know I’ll never be celebrated as one.  The prior year Mothers Days were tough – very tough – but back then there was still a chance. We were still trying. Now we know that it will not happen. 
And it’s been awful.  
I almost snuck through without “it” happening and I can’t help but think how stupid it was of me to be out and about with Squish and not even consider what could’ve happened. 
I hate this. I hate this. I hate this.