Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Good Friend

When I got a text from a friend last Wednesday, I just knew that she was pregnant. Kate* and I have been friends for over 3 years now, and she's a keeper. I knew that she and her husband were 'trying,' and they have never had reproductive challenges, as I refer to them.

I wanted to give her as much space as I could, since I'm going through a rough time in the wake of the termination of our infertility treatment heroics. And it was a good thing, for when she broke the news to me, I handled it really badly.

About 20 minutes into our lunch, I said 'you're going to really laugh at me when I tell you this. I thought you wanted to have lunch with me so you could tell me you're pregnant.' A relieved bit of laughter from me couldn't cover her response of 'I am'. Oh shit.

I bumbled around for something to say, and it wasn't congrats. I scraped through my rice and beans and cut up the rest of my chicken burrito mindlessly. My appetite was gone. As I swirled the food around on my plate, I hoped the check would come, SOON. I wanted outta there.

Tears filled my eyes. Here was the one person I could turn to in my journey who was now ripped from my hand. She said many good things like, I have been thinking about you so much lately and I feel the closest I ever have to you here recently and I love you and I could never hurt you. But my mind couldn't take it in then.

You may say, the one person in your journey? Well, I have distanced myself from so many acquaintances during our years of failed IUIs and failed IVFs and miscarriages that people have stopped trying to be my friend. And while I know you have to have a friend to be one, I haven't done so well on that one. I am just trying to survive here, and making nice just isn't in the cards.

Enter Kate. She came along in my life right after my first miscarriage, right at the time that her mother died. We had a kinship right away. She wasn't trying for a family then, and I was so grateful. It was too good to be true. A few years younger and a schoolteacher, Kate had her feet planted firmly on the ground of work-church-hubby. And I liked it that way.

I knew this day would come, and on one hand, I am grateful. Walking through infertility with a friend would suck. Watching her highs and as for me, mostly lows, on this road would scrape against the skin of my soul leaving wounds only the Almighty could heal. On the other hand, the dreams of us being pregnant at the same time are gone. The dreams of me being the mother first have been gone, but I could have helped her through some of this.... if only. My first child would be 2 and 1/2 now, and what advice I could have given! What joy I could have shared!

I want to be the friend to walk down the road of pregnancy with her, but I can't be. I want to be the one...... I can't even finish this thought, it hurts so much.

But I told her today, I don't want to know anything. I can't know what's going on. Of course, I'll nearly die if something bad happens..... but Lord willing, it won't.

So, dear Kate, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm going through infertility and that I can't share the sweetest time in your life with you.

*not her real name

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Cleaning Grief

Well, friends, today I'm experiencing 'cleaning grief'. Good grief, what now, you ask? Well, when you clean out your garage and find yourself making space for the kid stuff - when you don't have any kids yet - you get 'cleaning grief'. When you find your Girl Scout badge folder from 1984 that details the child care badge you completed when your brother was born, and you don't have any kids yet... well, you get the idea.

We've lived in our home for over 4 years, and when we moved in, my hubby was in a residency program across the country. He finished the program and moved here, but I was on my own at the house-signing and for the move across the country - quite a fun ride with my mother-in-law and 2 cats (15 hours of driving). Needless to say, I didn't organize so well back then. And my dreams were so different.

I began cleaning our extra basement room today. So much to go, but I must focus on what I got done. Always crafting ambitious, I had saved license plates and broken bowls, wooden boxes and greeting cards - each in the hopes of creating a masterpiece one day. I'm more of a hodge-podge putter together-er, as opposed to a true artist. But to me, this is my way to self express.

I realized today that I will not have the luxury to explore all of these creative options. I'm ok with it, I guess. Our trash bin is full for the week already. I had always planned to be a stay-at-home-mom. Well, it's a 'no' on the mom part for now and on into the foreseeable future, and a 'no' on the stay-at-home part, too. I'm a part-time pharmacist, and if you know any retail pharmacists (think Wally world, though that's not where I work), then you know why I work part time. I would lose my mind otherwise.

I'm blessed to have a job. I'm blessed to have a job. I'm blessed... (you can tell this is a process)

Something I'm Not is... through cleaning yet. Though I'm taking a major break so I can - go back to work. Yea!