Infertility, Miscarriage, Our Infertility story

How to move on?

August 21, 2011

I’m having a hard time lately. After my latest miscarriage, I think I rushed things and tried to be “normal” too soon. You can’t run from grief and heartache. It always finds you.

Right now I am feeling in the midst of two worlds — the world of infertility and the world of adoption.  I am done with one, but not yet in the other. We are finished with treatments and trying, yet I don’t feel I’m really “pursuing” adoption right now.  We want to, but we have a few obstacles in our way.

It’s just a weird place for me.  I desperately want a child and I’ve spent the last five and a half years actively battling for that.  Now, I don’t know what to do.  I feel helpless.  I want to move forward, but just can’t seem to right now. I know what I need to do –I need to find an agency, but I just can’t seem to dive in. I know I need a break.  But, I also feel like time is ticking and I can’t afford the luxury of taking a break.  I also feel afraid that after doing more research or picking an agency, I will have my hopes way up and then we won’t be able to do it. I guess its like not going to look at cars, houses, shoes or whatever, because you’ll know you’ll want them more, but you know you can’t have it.   So, I’m afraid to look at agencies.  All I know is failure, so it’s hard for me to move on.  It’s hard for me to actually imagine bringing a child home.  So, I am one of my own barriers right now because fear rules me.

How do I move on from losing Baby Anderson #5?   What closure do I get?

The most awful part for me is that a life that was created with much love just slips away silently and unceremoniously.  I know it was just a tiny fetus, but it had a heartbeat at one point and was a living being.  That life is now gone.   That little life is the closest thing to a child we ever had and it was flushed down the toilet.

I’m pretty sure nobody wants to hear that, but it’s the truth.  And, all the while, life goes on all around you.  And, most people just don’t understand how hard it is and how deep the wound is.  But, no matter what, I am so thankful for my husband, my dogs and my family.  If that’s all I ever have, then I can consider myself a very lucky girl.

I found out this morning that my sister-in-law is in labor (one day after her due date).  My very first niece or nephew might be born today.  It’s so bittersweet for me.  I am so happy for them on a deep level, but on the surface, I don’t feel capable of joining the celebration.  I want to.  But, my feelings of happiness for them are drowned by my own sadness.  It just hurts.  They will become parents today.  To a living child.  Something I cannot do.  It’s just a very real, tangible reminder of my own shortcomings and failed journey. And, it doesn’t help that I’m already feeling down lately.  I feel guilty and awful for feeling sad on a happy day.  Again, bittersweet.

Please pray for a safe delivery for them. I’m hoping this is just one of those trigger moments and that things will get better from here.  I get to be an aunt to lovely little person — that is a blessing.  At least there will be a child in my life that I can love and spoil.

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  • Once again, I relate completely to everything you’re going through. It’s a sucky, sucky situation and I hate that anyone has to be here. Good for you for facing it honestly – I hope writing about it is helping you like it is me. Go easy on yourself, dear. Allow yourself time to heal. It’s been less than a month. It takes at least 6 weeks for the body to heal after a m/c and the hormones to return to normal. That’s how long it takes just to heal physically — your emotions may need even more time, and that’s OK. You’ve been through hell. You don’t need to make any decisions about your next step yet. Take all the time you need to catch your breath.

    I know how you feel about your SIL. One of my best friends had her baby on the very day that would have marked my transition to 2nd trimester and I still haven’t been able to go see the baby.

  • Whitney, I am sending you the biggest (((hugs))) and prayers today. I completely understand what you are going through with becoming an aunt today. I, too, became an aunt this summer for the first time. The selfish part of me kept saying this was suppose to be me but the rational side of me keeps reminding myself of the many blessing a child brings to life and that too am blessed to be able to share in this experience as an aunt.
    Just remember, we, the blog world, we are here to listen and to remember with you. Ashley

  • I wrote in one of my blog posts about nudging our baby down the shower drain with my foot, so I know exactly what you mean. Take it easy getting started and explore your options. Your baby is out there somewhere and you’ll find a way to do it. Now that I’m into the adoption process, I feel less of the ticking clock hanging over me – hopefully eventually you will too.

  • You have been through so much, Whitney – your heart will tell you when you are ready for the next step. Nothing about this is easy, but I so wish it could be for you, right now. This heavy burden weighs us down too often.

    Being stuck in the middle is definitely a strange place to be – I’m there, too, and I don’t quite know what to do with myself. Sending you lots of good thoughts, encouragement, and support. One step at a time, my friend…we’ll get there. xoxo

  • This is such a bare and honest post. I think you’re right, that it is going to take time. It’s a hard transitional place to be in. I haven’t been there yet, but after my fifth loss I did spend a lot of time contemplating the “moving on” aspect, which for me would have been *maybe* DE or maybe childfree. And it was really hard to think about. I have a close friend right now who has made the decision to get off the miscarriage train and live childfree, and though she decided months ago, it’s still a daily struggle for her. IT’s such a difficult thing to let go of and find closure for.

  • ((HUGS)) Thinking of you!

  • Jess

    As you know miscarriage 4/ IVF 4 was when I got off the train. That was November of 2010, I didn’t start filling out paperwork until March 2011. I couldn’t find the energy for a good, long while. And even since, there’s been highs and lows and I still grieve. I think the thing that helped me most with moving on with adoption is that I can move forward and still grieve. No one is going to blame me for grieving. But, you don’t need to get on the adoption train yet. That day will be there when you two are ready. I think, it’s hard to not feel like you are working towards something- but you are. You are working on becoming whole again. Sometimes you have to go down the rabbit hole again before you can come back out. You need some time. And I do think the bittersweet thing happening today will set you back a little bit, and you know what? That is okay.

    You will feel better someday, Whitney. I promise. But it’s okay not to feel okay today. This won’t be how it is every day forever. That I can promise you.

  • It does get better Whitney. My situation has many similarities (6 consecutive losses, 8 total) and many differences (I had 2 successful pregnancies and 2 losses before being plunged into secondary infertility hell). So, while I can’t speak to your particular situation, I can promise you that once you get past these big trigger events, it does improve. {{{Hugs}}} and prayers for you.

    ICLW #19

  • HAPPY BECOMING AN AUNT DAY!!! I know it’s over cast by your sadness right now, but you’ll fall in love with that baby, and you may feel sadness but pretty soon, I hope for you, the overjoy may overcast the sorrow..

    Losing a baby is NEVER easy, the grief can take over you, only someone who has been through it truly understands. I’ve had 15 miscarriages, most of them between 4-6 weeks, one at 11 weeks. It’s hard to truly enjoy a pregnancy once it does happen and sticks. You are constantly worrying what will go wrong… but when you are ready, that road will open – and I truly believe there is a baby out there for you, one way or another … have faith! It’s hard to find right now… but it’s still there.

    Happy ICLW from #86 😀

  • Oh Whitney… I just have no words, just tears. I just am so sorry that you had to go through this and your niece is a reminder of what you couldn’t have.
    Sending lots and lots of hugs.

  • Whitney, the limbo that you are in MUST be difficult. Even though I began following your blog not too long ago, I read your story and see a lot of strength in you. I think with some time that you will find the right answers.

    Re: your new niece/nephew. I feel your pain. My SIL and brother had a miscarriage shortly after I had mine and they are already pregnant and it kills me with jealousy to the point where I can’t talk to them too often. I’m sure you will fall in love with your niece/nephew in no time at all!!

    Hugs, hugs, hugs.

  • It’s so hard to know when and how to move from one world to the next and to make it a smooth transition.

    Best of luck on making through to next step.

    ICLW #100

  • It took me months to pick up and dust off that application and fill it out. And then weeks more to mail it. Grieving was so hard for me. And while I was in the thick of it I couldn’t march in anyone’s parade with them. I didn’t want to rain on it, but I just couldn’t bring myself to march in it. SoI can really relate to what your feeling right now.

    I hope your new niece or nephew brings things to an upswing for you.

    • Whitney

      Heather, that is a perfect way to say it. Yes, that makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing that.

  • Sarah

    I am so sorry for you loss.

    Give yourself time to grieve, your mind and heart will know when it is time to take the next step.

    A friend of mine has had multiple losses as well. She planted a tree in her backyard in memory of her babies that will never step foot on this earth. She has found it is a great way to remember them.

  • Whitney–I don’t have any great insights, but I am sending lots of hugs your way. I think you make a very good point about not being able to run from grief and heartache. That’s a lesson I seem to be continuously relearning in my life.

    “The most awful part for me is that a life that was created with much love just slips away silently and unceremoniously. I know it was just a tiny fetus, but it had a heartbeat at one point and was a living being. That life is now gone. That little life is the closest thing to a child we ever had and it was flushed down the toilet.”–that is the truth and it is an incredibly difficult truth–thank you for speaking it. I am so sorry for your loss.

    I have three nieces in the states and two nephews in Kenya–three of whom have been born while we’ve been going through infertility and rpl. Each of their births have been incredibly bittersweet for me. As time has gone on, it has gotten easier–I love them to death and am so grateful to have them in my life. I hope that your niece or nephew brings you as much joy as mine bring me.

  • That’s a hard place to be. It’s okay to give yourself time, to not jump right into the next thing after all you’ve been through. Although, for me, moving forward with adoption made me feel so much more in control than all the awful infertility drama I’d been through before starting down that path. Again, you’ll be ready when you’re ready, and I know it’s hard to let any time pass when you’ve wanted a child for so long, but taking a few months to heal isn’t unreasonable. Then again, some light Googling of adoption agencies might be encouraging. Good luck with your next steps!

  • They were never just fetuses. I think about the heartbeats of my babies all the time. They were living…we gave them life and it got taken away. I’m sorry you’re not knowing how to step forward…I can understand.

    Thinking of you.

  • I’m so sorry for your pain. I know that waiting and disappointment pain myself. You are right to keep processing it. You will know when it’s time to move on. Wishing you peace and healing. Visiting from ICLW.