Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Life's Dynamics

I just recently returned from a trip back home to see my family. It is always wonderful being back on the farm, surrounded by the familiar sights, smells and sounds of my childhood. The comfort of knowing that my parents are in the next room and that my family is safe, all gathered in the farmhouse we grew up in.

It was during this trip that I realized just how much infertility has changed the dynamics of every aspect of my life. Of course it has been difficult in the past to see my nieces and nephews that are the same age as my babies that I miscarried, but this trip...was different. It was difficult.

The first day was great. I excitedly played with my 6 younger nieces and nephews while Pace did "manly" stuff with my older nephews (in their 20's), my brother and my dad. I smothered my nieces and nephews in hugs and kisses letting each one of them know how much I missed them and how wonderful it was to see them again. That evening my sisters and I decided to take the 6 younger kids to the movies and that was the first time I had a pain in my heart as I saw my sisters each load up their 3 children in the car while all I carried was my purse. I quickly put that aside and just decided to "steal" one of my nieces and focus my attention on her. It worked - we enjoyed the movie and headed home.

The second day I wasn't around my nieces and nephews much, Pace and I went to town and then I went to the races with my brother, older nephews, dad and Pace that night. That is when the second pain in my heart occurred. I was the only girl to go to the races. Why??? Because I had no children to tend to. Sure, this could be seen as a good thing, I was free to go and do whatever I wanted because I had no children, but truth be told...if we had children, they would have come to the races with us. As I sat in the stands of the racetrack, I watched fathers with their sons bonding over the smell of racing fuel, dirt and speed. I desperately wanted to give that to Pace. For the first time of the trip...I cried and then blamed it on the dirt blowing in my eyes.

The third day was Sunday. Sunday has always been a family day at our house and this year was no different. We all got dressed and headed to the church we all grew up in. For those of you that don't know, I grew up in a VERY small community. Everyone knows each other and each others business. I know that everyone in the community knows about our infertility and miscarriages. I know this because my mom has us on every prayer chain known to Southwest Kansas. This was where the third pain in my heart hit...and it stayed for the remainder of the trip like a lump in my throat unable to be swallowed down.

We walked into church, into a community of friends and neighbors and as they all looked at my 6 nieces and nephews with joy and anticipation, I saw the look of pity in their eyes as they met mine. My heart sank, my anxiety skyrocketed and I just wanted to get as far away from it all as quickly as possible.

I don't even remember church itself, I was too focused on calming my breathing and not having a full blown anxiety attack right there in the middle of our tiny little church. But I remember the children. Not just my 6 nieces and nephews sitting next to me, but every child in the church, every pregnant woman in the church, every coo and cry during the entire mass. I felt like the brick walls of the church were coming in around me.

After church friends and neighbors gathered around my sisters asking them about all of their kids, what grade they were in, what their names were, how old they were now etc. I busied myself with watching after the young ones making sure they weren't crawling into the baptismal font or crawling all over the altar. Then...I just kind of snapped. I told Pace I was going outside and I just left. Everyone followed quickly after and we went back to the farm. I felt exhausted like every bit of emotional energy had been drained from my body.

It was then that I realized I had not had 10 minutes to visit with my sisters. I did not have 10 minutes of their time without kids interrupting or them talking about their kids or planning something for the kids to do or It left me feeling incredibly sad. I had nothing to add to their children conversations. I felt like crawling under a rock as memories of my 3 positive pregnancy tests and my 3 horrific miscarriages following flooded my thoughts. I needed to get out of there. I could not be surrounded by children, bottles, diapers, pacifiers for one more minute or my head would surely explode.

Indeed, it did not explode. We came home on Monday and I survived. However, it has left me in a different place. It left me feeling very raw, extremely vulnerable and just exhausted. Then, to top it all off, yesterday was Pace's little sister's 6th birthday. Her party was at Peter.Piper.Pizza. We went, and for the most part I was able to plaster on a fake "this is wonderful what a great birthday party" smile until we were finally able to leave and I let the tears slowly roll down my face on the ride home. I couldn't speak to Pace, there was nothing to say that hadn't been said in the last six and a half years. There was nothing that could change our present situation and therefore nothing to speak of.

I am feeling extremely distanced from my family right now, extremely alone, abandoned by some of my friends and just utterly forgotten. And I turn 30 in 3 days.


Jill said...

Nichole, I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I do not have sisters but I too have struggled with family members having child after child and not knowing if I would ever have that. There is also something about turning 30 that strikes that ticking clock fear. I will pray that your diagnosis will help your next pregnancy to be successful and that that pregnancy is SOON! I think of you often and hope you are doing alright. I know the fact that you "get to" do certain things because you're not pregnant or a mom is really no consolation prize but have some sushi and a cocktail for your birthday and then vow that your 31st year will be different!

keeksaz said...

I remember not even being able to go to Target some days because all I would see is every single pregnant person and child. I am so sorry. I am always here rooting and praying for you.

stink-bomb said...

i don't have sisters but i've drifted from nearly all of my friends because we just don't have much in common anymore, they ALL have kids, i don't. i hate hearing how 'hard' their lives are bringing up their children, it makes me physically hurt inside and takes all my efforts not to let the tears out.

i remember when i turned 30, there was something about not only turning 30 but having been married for 9 years that year and yet there we were still only the two of us, it was the same when we had our 10th wedding anniversary last year, all those years on and yet it was still just us.

and being able to 'do things' because you don't have a child is NO consolation for fact it just rams home the fact that i DON'T have a child.

sending big hugs...


"His Perfect Timing" said...

I am so sorry. I have tears in my eyes reading your post and commenting. I am just so very sorry that you hurt so much. I can understand some of what you went through when you went home, as I have felt the Very.Same.Way over the 4th of July weekend with my husband's family. Ugh. Its a nasty, horrible, heartbreaking feeling. I keep you in my prayers. As I haven't ever miscarried, I cannot even imagine the pain you felt knowing you couldn't have those same experiences with your own children. I just think fertile people don't give a second thought to suffering like that - and I really wish they did. I keep you in my prayers and wish I could make you feel better. :(
P.S. I just turned 30 last month, and my bio-clock is in hyperdrive! I know 30 isn't "old", but it sure feels like it. :)