Here we are again. Trying to pick up the pieces of our broken dreams and move on.
I have a weird dichotomy of feelings right now. Part of me feels dejected, weary, downtrodden and beaten down. This part screams out at the world, “Seriously? Seriously?! How can this be happening again? You’ve got to me kidding me.” And, I am tired. Tired of feeling at all. Tired of being let down, time and time again. Tired of being betrayed by my uncontrolled sadness at inopportune times. I feel like a ticking time bomb and don’t know when I’ll go off. At work. At the salon. At church. At the grocery store. Anywhere. It’s embarrassing. On the plus side, nobody can accuse me of not allowing myself to feel what’s happening. I feel it alright. I feel too much. I’ve always been emotional, but…this.is.a.bit.much.
The other half feels a strange half-hope. Not hope that this will actually happen — that a child will call me mommy. I truly can’t visualize that. I don’t know if I believe it. But rather, I have some strange cloudy, unknown hope because everyone else has hope for us. I have hope because I know that God loves us. I have hope that even though I feel so disheartened, I know I still won’t give up, as much as I’d like to sometimes. I have hope in Erick and for him. I don’t want to let him down.
Throughout the last year or so, I have turned to my faith to get me through. This after I had shunned God and was openly angry at him. I have directed my anger at everyone and everything through the past several years and I’m sorry for that. The hormonal tornado inside of me didn’t help. It’s not natural to take all of those drugs and it’s not natural to miscarry four times in the span of 18 months. It’s rough on your body physically and chemically.
I don’t have anywhere to direct my anger now, but I don’t feel as angry any more…just sad.
I don’t blame God any more. Even though I don’t agree or understand. I know that he weeps with me.
These two verse continues to speak to me:
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
For me, they acknowledge my pain, they acknowledge a constant struggle and they offer hope.
People say that you come to God in a time of need. When things are going great, you don’t need him. I don’t know…maybe that’s what happened. I guess infertility brought me back to God and closer to God.
They say that tough times are a time of growth. Would I like to become a better person? Of course I would. But, this way? No. No.
I think, “Am I a particularly bad person if I need this much time to learn and grow?” and “To grow, do I really have to go through such devastating losses?” Even though I have been an unwilling participant in this life struggle, I have learned things along the way.
I have learned greater compassion for others. In situations that I have no firsthand knowledge of.
I have learned that I am not in control. I can’t plan my life.
I have learned that I am strong. Stronger than I knew.
I have learned that worrying gets me nowhere. I know this, yet I still can’t practice it. But, at least I know it.
I have learned to be thankful for what I do have. I really struggle with guilt for feeling so sad about our situation. Sometimes, I think I should just suck it up. I have a great husband and family (parents, grandparents, brother, sister-in-law, niece, etc.) and that should be enough. I think about those with no families at all…
And, the most important. I have learned that I can’t do this on my own. I need God to get me through it.
So, I have a question for you. How has your faith (if any) played a role in your journey?
Thankfully, we got away for a few days after we found out that the gestational carrier was backing out. We went on a fabulous trip to Las Vegas, courtesy of Erick’s employer for 10 years of service. (I’ll post on that soon.) We really enjoyed ourselves and I realized one morning that I had not even thought about it at all the previous day and I just couldn’t believe it. One whole day of freedom from my mental prison. It really was perfect timing and after several days of intense sadness, it was great to be somewhere different, do something different and leave everything behind me for a while.
Unfortunately, it all caught up with me on our last day in Vegas. It was the day we were flying out and we were just planning to get room service, eat, pack and then go. While we were doing these things, we were watching the Today Show on TV. Guiliana and Bill Rancic were on. They shared their big news that they were pregnant via a gestational carrier. I just knew what they were going to say before they said it.
And, I lost it. I mean lost it. The sadness just came flooding out. Don’t get me wrong…I am happy for them. They have been through tough times, infertility and breast cancer, and they deserve some good news.
However, it was just really bad timing for me. It was like a targeted attack right to my weak spot. It wasn’t a regular pregnancy that we long since gave up. It wasn’t a medically aided pregnancy that we gave up. It wasn’t even an IVF pregnancy that we gave up. It was a pregnant gestational carrier. Our last hope. Our path to parenthood. On the heels of our loss, this news just crushed me.
It also served to illustrate perfectly the concept of financial infertility. Lots of us suffer infertility. Lots of us will have success with treatment. But, lots of us can’t afford treatment. It’s not fair. It’s just not fair. Something this important, this God-given basic life force desire…to build a family…shouldn’t be about money. So, it makes me upset. Not at Guiliana and Bill, but just the situation in general.
I feel like these stories in the media, even though this is a positive one, don’t really paint a true picture. It seems too easy, too tidy. That’s just not reality for most of us. We don’t have loads of cash that plows the way for us. Loads of cash that makes things happen. To know there’s treatment available, and to not have access to it–that’s heartbreaking.
Erick and I are very thankful that we’ve had the financial means to do everything we have. We know others aren’t as lucky. Even though it’s been a hardship and way longer to do things because we had to save slowly, we’re lucky that we could do what we have. But now, finances are playing a big role again with what we can afford to do and it’s hard to cope with. We lost a lot of money with our surrogate. We had to pay for blood tests, exams, personality tests, gas money, counseling and attorney fees —that money is GONE! And, we have NOTHING to show for it.
So, not only have we gained nothing, but we have been set back.
We can only afford surrogacy with lots of things falling into place. They did with this previous situation. We felt so blessed, we couldn’t believe it was happening and we finally felt real hope again. I finally visualized that baby. Something I could never do before. And, something that I have lost the capability to do again now. We really thought it would work. We had high hopes. We really were excited. Maybe more excited than we’ve been this whole time. Even more than our first IVF when we had more hope.
Well, you know what happens when you’re high in the clouds? You fall really hard. I did. I fell really hard. And, it was so unexpected. I didn’t just fall. I was knocked out of the sky.
I cried the whole way from Charlotte to Roanoke on the plane. I don’t know what came over me. It was just a torrential downpour of emotions and tears. Just one of those moments. Luckily, the noise from the propellers drowned me out and the cabin lights were off, so nobody could see me.
Not fired up
We got home from Vegas and it was time to turn right around and drive to DC for Advocacy Day. But, I couldn’t conjure any fire in my belly. I was just too emotionally weak. Usually, these types of things are a good outlet for my overflowing passion, but I just wasn’t feeling fired up. I felt like I needed emotional crutches, but I went up there and I got through it. It was a great experience for Erick and I to share and I’m so glad we did it.
It was great to meet everyone there, but most of them have “resolved.” Meaning they have resolved their infertility. Meaning they have a child or children now.
So, in my downtrodden state, I’m not gonna lie…it was hard. It’s difficult to be the last one standing, especially among infertility friends. You, the general you, are not alone in this. But, me, and a scant few others, kinda feel lonely in our little ever-dwindling corner watching silently year after year as everyone we know around us, even those that struggled with infertility have children.
And, I apologize to all of those that I met at the reception who had to witness my waterworks. As I said, feeling a little raw right now.
So, what’s next? I just don’t know. Will we try for surrogacy again? I don’t know. That’s out of my control. We can’t just snap our fingers and do it. And, how could I go through that again? Will we pursue adoption again? I don’t know. I just have no idea. And, we have to save money.
I guess God has more plans for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
– Jeremiah 29:11