Saturday, January 30, 2010

Frazzled

I've been feeling frazzled. This week has been trying for me.

I have done a pretty good job of filtering what I say on this blog.  Keeping a positive spin on things. Only showing the happy stuff.  And there has been happy stuff.  Lots of it.

But as with anyone's life, there is unhappy stuff woven in there too.  I try not to dwell on it.  Many times I am not successful.  Like this week.  When a bunch of stressful situations happen all at once I become overwhelmed.  Angry.  Sad.

My husband is still unemployed.  It is coming up on 14 months since he lost his job.  I'm not even sure of the right words to describe my feelings about this.  Frustrated, sad, worried, and scared don't even begin to cover it. 

I guess the best word to describe my feelings right now would be weary.  I am so very weary.

I have been fighting all week long with my doctor and my insurance company over a medication that I need.  It's too expensive.  I can't afford it.  I have made countless phone calls and still there is no resolution.  It is maddening and frustrating.  I'm not trying to start a political discussion and I'm not even giving my opinion on the fight over health care reform, but there has got to be a better way.  There just has to be.

This next portion of the post is for my friends who have traveled on this journey of infertility with me.  I often find that those who haven't been down that path just don't get it. They feel like I'm whining.  I do my fair share of whining. I will admit that.  But what I'm about to write are my feelings and I have a right to them.  No judgements please.

I have a counselor.  I'm not ashamed to admit that. I have been seeing her for awhile.  She is pregnant(again).  I am happy for her.  It is possible to be happy for someone yet still be sad for yourself.  Sometimes it is hard to sit across from her every week and look at her pregnant belly.  I wonder is she realizes how lucky she is?  ( I think that she does.  And we are very open and honest with each other and we talk about my feelings as they come up).  It doesn't stop those feelings of envy from popping up now and again.

I mentioned last week that I had taken on a second job.  It is as a Mother's helper a couple of nights a week. It's for a friend actually(hi J!).  We met through an infertility group a few years ago.  She has 9 month old twins(boys) and a three and a half year old boy.  She needs some help on the nights her husband goes to school.  The job consists of feeding the babies, and filling bottles, and getting them to bed.  And I am really enjoying it.  The babies are so sweet.  (Her 3 year old is pretty awesome too.  What a great kid)

When I left my last job I distanced myself from all things kid related, aside from my niece and nephew. No babysitting.  Very few kid's birthday parties.  I think it was my way of protecting myself as the wait for China lengthened.

Being with babies again has brought up a lot of old feelings for me. 

Last week as I sat in someone else's darkened nursery, with the soft sound of waves from the noise machine in the background, sitting in the glider, rocking someone else's baby to sleep, I felt the tears start to come.  I swallowed them down as best I could, because I didn't want my friend to see them.

Sitting in that dark room with a baby in my arms, I came to a realization. 

It's possible  that I will always be rocking someone else's baby to sleep.  It might not ever be my baby in my arms.   

I think subconsciously I have know for some time that this was a possibility.  I'm not certain we will ever see a referral from China.  If we do it will be many years from now. A lot can change in 3 years. I never intended for us to be 42 and 44 and first time parents.  We've been trying for this for 8 years already.   I'm not a quitter but so far all signs have pointed to the fact that I will not be a mother anytime soon. If ever.  So I care for other people's children.  And I am good at it. 
These are the thoughts that came to me while I rocked my friend's baby.
Maybe that's why I'm here.  Maybe that's my purpose.  Maybe I'm supposed to be important in the lives of other people's children.

Maybe it wasn't in God's plan for me to be a mother.

I don't know it that's the case.  Only time will tell.

I know that I am blessed in so many ways.  I have a wonderful family.  I have a loving and supportive husband. I have an awesome sister, who takes me on cruises, and a great circle of supportive friends.

Sometimes all of the other stuff, the worry and the stress and the longing for something I'm not sure we'll ever have, gets to me.  I have a tendency to hold it all in.  I don't talk about it and I hope that the feelings will  go away.  I (try) to hide it from everyone.

And then I end up like I did last night, sitting in the bathtub sobbing uncontrollably and  causing my husband to come running into the bathroom scared and bewildered, asking if I am ok and what in the world is wrong?

Perhaps for my husband's sake I need to let these feelings out before I get to that point :)

I was texting with a friend today(thanks M!) and she said something that struck a chord with me.  I was explaining this longing I have to be a mother and she was describing what she longs for.  Here is what she said:

"I think everyone has something they long for.  I am learning to just take in what I have and celebrate that.  I get stuck in what I wish I had.  That is not healthy."

She's right.  It's not healthy.

I suppose what I'm learning is that this is(still) a process. Even after 8 years. Just because I think I have moved past a certain stage it doesn't mean that I won't ever go back there.  It's fluid. It ebbs and flows. As long as I can ride the waves and not get mired down in the negative parts for too long I think I'll be o.k.with whatever happens.

That's what I'm hoping for, anyway.

Thanks for listening.

13 comments:

Debz said...

Ahhhh, Yes I have been where you are...so many times during the wait and when we were trying to get pregnant.....it seemed like every time I'd get excited thinking just maybe this time I might be pregnant I would stress out about it so badly that my body wouldn't allow my monthly to start! I would go purchase a preg. test and a big fat (-) would show up. Then someone else would tell me they were pregnant. It seemed everytime I turned around families were being built with what seemed to me little ease. After a few years of trying we finally decided we better figure out what the trouble was. I honestly didn't think it was me, I really thought it must have been something with my husband. After a few VERY painful tests we found out it was me...I remember coming out of anestisia (sp) and the gyno. was standing at the foot of my bed saying sorry. I was devistated. For three days I stayed in my room crying while I popped pain killers. My husband was a wonderful support (even tho I only felt like half a woman) being the ears and shoulders I needed him to be. Shortly after that we decided to adopt. I hadn't expected the wait to be so long and was wondering if it would ever happen. We were confronted at one point by someone who wanted us to adopt their grandson. I almost went for it until I spoke with our Provincial Adoption Cordinator and she said if we did I would have to pull my name from the China program. I thought about it and we just couldn't do it...even though I potentially could have had a child in my arms within two weeks as opposed to another 2 years in the China program....it was one of the hardest decisions we were ever faced with! Something in my heart just knew I had to wait it out. 2 years later and a couple of months we finally got our call and now that I look back at the wait and all we went threw I know we had to endure all we did for the perfectly suited child. Sugar Pie was there waiting for us all the while. Three weeks after we decided to adopt a little girl was born in China...her mom loved her and I believe wanted to keep her but couldn't so at 14 months this little girl of ours wandered the park in a bad area of her town but God and a fleet of angels watched over her. The right person came and picked her up and she was brought to an orphanage where I know she was loved. In the mean time back home the two of us were praying for our little girl, that she would somehow feel our presence and that one of the care workers would have a heartbeat that sounded like mine and she would hear a soft sweet voice that sounded like her mommy's. I prayed that she would be able to express love easly and you know she asks for a hug and a kiss at least 20 times a day!
Michelle if you feel your little girl in your soul then she is there somewhere on the perfect path heading in your direction. I know all too well te wait is painful and hard, heck I want more children I still feel the emptiness and the envy. I totally believe in a higher power and if I am to be a mom of another child it will happen.
The feelings you are having are very real and I admire that you were transparent enough to share them.
Bless you,
(((((HUGZ))))))))))
Debz

Beth said...

I hear ya.

HUGS.

Kiy said...

My heart breaks for you. I have been in *exactly* the same place. All I can tell you, and yes I know you've heard it before, is that the wait is worth it. I too worried and 'knew' that our referral would never come (and we *only* waited three years ... I am not at all sure what the 'estimate' is right now). Until they placed Emi in my arms (even while IN China) I was sure we wouldn't receive our little gal - yes, even after referral. Knowing what I know now, doesn't make your wait any less hard, any less real, any less heart breaking.

BTW, when they laid Emi in our arms I was 44, hubby was 52. We also didn't plan that. At all. We were married for 12 years before we submitted our paperwork to China.

I think I am rambling. I guess I just wanted to say "I'm thinking of you and folks that you don't even know ... care".

Hugs and special thoughts,
Kiy

Briana's Mom said...

I know exactly how you are feeling. I was there. I remember the fear, sadness, yearning, anger, etc. Every time I saw another friend get pregnant, my heart broke into a million pieces. I distanced myself from everything kid related. I couldn't handle it.

I hope and pray that your wish to be a mother comes true. Because I honestly think you are meant to be a mom. And when it does happen, you will appreciate every single moment of it.

Rhonda said...

I SO get everything you're saying, and you know how I feel about it, from our many conversations.

*hugs*

Pam and Jeff said...

You are not alone. I am with you. Feeling a lot of the same things!

Stacey T. said...

Hey girl, I know it's been rough lately, and probably ONE of the things that is bothering you would be "enough" for most people. So think about how strong you are to be dealing with them all at once! For a LONG time, I lived in the "dream" of "what ifs" and then I realized, what I think you are saying you might be coming to peace with (or trying to come to peace with) and that is what you have now, and what is great about it....and not what is bad about it, or sucky about it..... I think you can do it. In fact, I KNOW you can do it.... AND, I'm here for you, if you need to chat!

3D said...

I wish I could you wrap you in my arms and hold you. I have no words other than I am sorry that life is kicking you right now. I hope and pray it lifts you up soon and things get better.

Keep smilin!

Journeywoman said...

I hear you. I hear you.

Hugs and stuff.

Janice said...

My sister is pregnant for the second time, both time unintended (though my nephew is a kick and we wouldn't trade him for anything!) But it just kills me evertime I think about it. She waited for a long time too. Two husband with fertility issues and then the one who'd just finished chemo gets her pregnant! LOL. Still, it really doesn't feel fair. DH and I have been waiting for years, thought we were going down the right path and now... well, we still have hope but I haven't started on Lorelei's room yet because I just cannot stand another heart break.
May you find peace and joy in the blessings you do have. This I wish for myself as well.
Bright blessings,
Janice

Jenna said...

Michelle....
You are always in my thoughts... I wish that I had some way of making everything better for you. I know that doesn't help... but I really hate knowing how much you are struggling. I know that even with so much else going wrong in your life infertility is always at the root like if I had a child I could handle the rest of it. I know you used to read my blog... like most infertiles I took infertility so hard... it really changed me. I have been in contact on facebook with friends I had 10 years ago and I think about me 10 years ago and I think about how I don't even recognize that girl they knew. Infertility shook me to my core and I really didn't know if I was going to make it through it. I also had many crying fits in the bathroom where I couldn't control anything, and I took a year off of work, life, everything, saw a counselor and no matter what I did nothing made it better. I really hate the person that I had become... I am so bitter.. I am still so bitter.
I know me saying this doesn't help... I don't have a answer to make it better.
I pray so much that you will have your child one day.

Blogging Friend said...

Michelle,

I just found your blog from another blog that I follow.
I know all to well what you are saying. All my life I dreamed of having kids of my own. Never in my wildest dreams did I know I would never be given that opportunity. My sister is older than I am and actually I grew up with her kids. Therefore I was given the opportunity to help raise their children which were my great neices and nephews. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to help raise 7 of them which included a set of twins that basically lived with me until they were 3. I still however longed for my own children and unfortunately even today knowing that I will never have a child that will call me Mommy breaks my heart.
I am now nearly 50yrs old and I still have times that I cry over this.
Yes when I see someone that is pregnant I am envious of them. When I hear of a baby being abused I just want someone to tell me why that person could have a sweet little child but yet someone like me who would have given anything to have a child cannot.
Funny thing is if I had of known about 15yrs ago or less about international adoption I most likely would have tried to adopt since they seem to be okay with single woman adopting babies. Unfortunately now it is to late for me. I have serious health issues that would stop me, and also I just do not have the energy to do it anymore. However, it does not stop the hurt. I am not sure it will ever go away.

Do not ever feel sorry for your feelings. They are real and it hurts so bad. Others do not understand unless they have been through this.
Do not give up on adopting internationally, for it will happen. Have you ever considered another area other than China?

I wish you all the best of luck.

Sheila

fuzzandfuzzlet said...

I strongly believe that infertility has no cure. Once infertile always infertile.

We all have our own resolution to infertility. Some go on to become pregnant. Some of us successfully adopt, others stay child free. But I venture to guess that 5..10..15..20 years from now we will all have some of the same issues, we will all still consider ourselves "infertile"

I do believe that that strong burning desire to be a mommy comes from somewhere. I do believe it is what leads many of us to eventually parent. Face it, without such a strong desire most of us would have given up the minute we realized it would no be easy. For others it leaves them as childless mothers. I know several women who have stayed child free after long, long battles with infertility. All with varying degrees of resolution. ALL would have made great mommies. ALL will forever have an empty place in their hearts. Most have used that "mothers love" to be the best darn "aunties" a child could ask for.