I’ve been wrestling with the thought of posting something for months now. I am posting this today for a few reasons. The first reason is to provide support for those experiencing something similar. To reach out and hopefully encourage others to share their “if you see me” situations. The following paragraphs are only a snap shot of what I’m experiencing now. A post-it note version of the emotions that I have experienced since August of last year. The second reason is straight up selfish. I want people to know what I’m experiencing right now. I’m tired of acting like I’m okay when I’m not. My saint of a husband has been shouldering most of the load. It’s time for him to share. He asked me just this morning if I could give him some ideas of how to get me out of this place and feel better. The only suggestion that I have for him right now is to take care of himself because I’m exhausting. With that said….
If you see me…
Crying. Please know that there are eight months of emotions, hope, joy, grief and disappointment that are continuously moving throughout my mind. I can stay on one thought for a moment before I’m thrust into another. I am mourning on a daily basis. Today I mourn that I’m a month away from our original due date. Today I mourn that I should be celebrating Mother’s Day this year with a sweet baby in my arms.
Missing. If you see me absent from things that I would usually be at, please know that it’s nothing personal. It’s not an intentional ditch of something that was important to you. I care for you and for that reason, I’m finding that sometimes it’s better for me to be in my own company. I don’t want to walk out of your party crying. I don’t want to seem distant and unsupportive at your baby shower. Trust me when I say my company at this point is not usually a positive experience. I know I’m in a dark place and honestly…..if I can avoid exposing others to this, I will. I’m not taking joy in the things that usually get me up in the morning and keep a smile on my face. My couch and I are too comfortable with each other right now and I’m working on digging my way out of a pit that sometimes has become too comfortable. I’m starting to put up wall paper in my pit because on certain days, its suffocating walls can almost feel comforting. I don’t like the pit. I’ve been here before but it’s been a while. My best friend refers to it as “losing my joy.” If you see me missing, there is a good possibility that I’m in my pit. I’m either in the pit hanging up shelves and pictures frames or I’m tearing the down the walls from the inside. Unfortunately, I’m unable to determine which one it is day to day. My goal is to dig a tunnel like in Shaw Shank Redemption and come out on the other side like Andy Dufran. I invite you to come and dig with me, but unfortunately I can’t guarantee what the working conditions are going to look like. I’m digging as much as I can each day in the hopes of finding my joy on the other side.
Staring. If you look over at me and I seem like I’m in another place. Like I’m not fully engaged in the conversation. Please know that I’m interested in what you’re sharing or the picture of your new precious grandson. He really is adorable and those cheeks ARE amazing. I would normally be asking all types of questions and huddled with the rest around your phone to see the latest picture of tummy time that your daughter sent. Celebrate! Please bask in these moments of your joy. Also, please understand that something…..something that has been said has triggered those emotions that have been circling in my head for the last eight months. Something just reminded me that I’m not pregnant anymore. Like I need another reminder anyway. Something has reminded me that yet another person is celebrating the amazing gift of life while I’m fighting to be happy in mine. In the midst of finding joy in this dark time in my life, I’m also trying to figure out why I’m unable to support a life within me. I’m exhausted.
Pulling away. If you haven’t heard from me or I’m not responding to group texts, there are a couple of reasons why. The topic of conversation has touched on a sensitive area for me. Please don’t stop the conversation. You are not responsible for my emotional well-being. I am, however and I’m trying my hardest to get to a spot where the slightest things don’t piss me off or send me down a slippery slope of what if’s, why nots and what could’ve beens. I’m also really tired right now. Not a tired that I’ve felt before. This is at the cellular level. Everything feels difficult. Everything feels harder than it should. Yes, even keeping up with text conversations is hard right now. That may help you get a picture of where I’m at. Keep reaching out and keep leaning in. Yes, this is going to require more work on your end for a while, so if you decide to just back up for a while too, I won’t judge you for that. I’m not able to give back much right now and I’m taking a lot. I promise, I will understand. Most days I’d rather not spend time with me right now! I’m also really struggling to think about ANYTHING other than our losses. I would love to talk about your work frustrations, how to rid of gnats in the house or your trip coming up. Unfortunately, throughout these experiences of loss I’ve become proficient at turning the conversation to my loss. This is not something that I like about myself right now. I don’t know if it’s that I want people to understand why I’m not being myself or if I’m playing the victim card and just reminding everyone of how bad life sucks right now. Either way, I think there are healthier ways and until I figure them out I may be distant.
Defensive. My sensitivity level is at 20 on a scale of 1-10 right now. My sweet husband….poor man. He’ll update you on the scale if find that it may be helpful. How dare that artist talk about being a new mother….doesn’t she know that I’m in the audience? My mom came to stay with us after our second miscarriage and one of the many times I cried with her was when I was cleaning up one of our cat’s puke. I guess I started crying because I longed to clean up my little one’s puke and now for a second time, this was out of my grasp. Even puke makes me sad. Another example for you to maybe understand where I’m at right now.
Judging. If you hear a harsher tone in my voice, most likely one of thick sarcasm, please note that I’m tired of hearing myself too, so you’re not alone. Depending on how I’m feeling at the moment, I can highjack the conversation and turn it into a grief session or more likely, a discussion about who I believe deserves to be a parent and who doesn’t. That’s healthy right? Apparently, being robbed of the privilege of being a parent, has given me the position to place judgment on some of those who have not. I have no room to judge. Please don’t remind that I’m not a parent so I wouldn’t understand the challenges. If you can stand it, just tune me out or like I mentioned earlier, back away for a bit. Just know that I know this isn’t healthy, but something about placing that judgment makes me feel better for a brief second and unfortunately I’ll take it right now. I really am working on being healthier and not living in this state of bitterness. I assure you, I’d rather be on the other side of this.
Oversharing. If you find yourself “lucky” enough (I wish you could hear the sarcasm that’s flowing through my fingertips onto the key board right now as I type “lucky”) to find yourself in my presence, you may get an ear full. I’m angry right. It has been a conscious decision of mine to fully disclose to those who ask me when we’re going to have kids, that we have tried and have experienced losses. We’re officially at three. Although our most recent loss was very early, it doesn’t hurt any less. Yes, I realize we’re getting older. Yes, I know the challenges of conception at older ages. Trust me, the amount of research I’ve done over the last eight months is extensive. Be prepared to hear my frustrations of this process. I have found that I don’t just share them to make people uncomfortable for asking the question, but I really want people to understand the exhausting process involved with infertility. I never understood it before I went through the process. Apparently, I have taken upon myself to spread the news. This @&$!*$# sucks. I greatly appreciate the woman who have shared their experiences because for those few brief moments that I’m reading their stories I don’t feel alone and I even feel some hope when they report that after multiple losses then gave birth to a healthy bundle of joy.
For this reason, I’m sharing my story.