Sunday, October 31, 2010

Celebrating Halloween

Well, friends, I wish I could say celebrating. I am more of a fall celebrater anyway. I don't feel like celebrating, so I am thankful instead. I am thankful that my hubby and I could bag some leaves today and trim some of our shrubs. We worked hard and our yard looks better.

We are watching Extreme Makeov@r Home Edition where they are redoing a school for the deaf's dorms and helping them with their annual haunted house fundraiser. I really love this show. It makes me cry, and I always think, I'd love to help out and make someone's dreams come true. Dreams are so fragile and so valuable.

I am thankful that I can hear. Just hearing some of these kids' challenges in growing up is really heart-wrenching. The experience of infertility on Halloween, a holiday exclusively for the kiddos, is heart-wrenching. We are downstairs this year, with our lights off. It is just too hard to open the door to the dressed up little ones. I asked my hubby to give it a break this year. Over time, he came to understand just how painful this holiday was to me. And it's the first of several family-oriented holidays to come.

So how do you cope? When the sadness of infertility is almost overwhelming, and the tide of kid activities threatens to sweep all the sadness of your infertility experience into your lap, what do you do instead? We ate a pizza and rejoiced in the joy of those who have suffered so much. And one day like them, I too will rejoice in the victory of joy in the midst of heartbreak.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Completely Alone

My friend Kate*, who had her son at the end of July, called me out of the blue this week. The phone lines run both ways - this is true. To be honest, sometimes the loneliness of infertility and multiple miscarriage is positively haunting. It's like I'm the only one who knows my thoughts or has the capacity to care. A lie, straight from the evil one, no doubt. But exactly how I feel.

I could have called her to let her know I was thinking of her. I have been so much. Her son is nearly 3 months old, and it is getting quite cool here with the changes of fall. The changes of the seasons elicit a marked reaction in me now - more of a mourning. Ah, yet another red maple in its glory, and no little one in my arms. My driveway is filled with yellow gingko leaves and green maple ones, and no tricycle to guide across them.

Halloween costumes are the worst. I always imagine what my children would dress as - a pumpkin for me the first year, maybe a turtle or ladybug the second. Then they would maybe help pick - Spiderm%n or what character is 'in' for young girls today? I am sad that I don't know that.

We ate at a local hamburger and taco eatery, which filled to bustling with families, which were all I seemed to notice though I know high school kids were on dates and guy friends were pigging out, too. A guy with 4 tattoos on his arms - I am not against tats, quite the opposite, though I have none (I will so regret EVER saying that!) - walked by guiding out 2 little ones, with mom carrying another.

Our conversation was going well. I tried not to feel sorry for myself though I spoke with laryngitis. I've been working extra hours, my dad lost his job (a whole 'nother post), DH is out of town, I got my flu shot this week - a shock to my otherwise barely-making-it immune system, apparently. Actually, other than the occasional bout with insomnia, all things considered, I've been making it pretty well - ok, maybe not.

Then I mentioned that today was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. My friend, in her love for me, tried to stay with me, but her phone rang. It was her DH - little boy is crying and won't stop, so it was time to go home. I asked her about that, as I clinched my heart shut in the hopes that her sharing her life with a bambino wouldn't leave shards of glass in mine.

Yes, this is my first night out, and he is trying to get comfort and get down for the night (for a few hours). And the last time I was out, for not even 2 hours, I walked into the house to him screaming for me, said Kate.

I said something harsh like, well maybe that could change one day, wink. She handled it well - it was only a defense mechanism on my part. I would never want to judge her, or be ignorant on this issue. But I don't get to decide if I ever experience this.

She said 'so what was the rest of your thought?' but my words sounded hollow to my own ears. How can they stand against the cry of your own flesh and blood? Apparently, they cannot.

We left the restaurant, giving each other a hug. She said she would pray for me, and I silently knew I'd pray for her, too. She said I know I don't really understand or know what to say, and I told her thank you for listening.

An adventure in friendship and infertility, part 2.