Sobbing on Thanksgiving morning

I know I am supposed to be thankful today for all that I have. I guess that makes me feeling even worse, that it is difficult for me to feel gratitude right now. I mean, it’s there, the gratitude. Especially for DH. But the crushing sadness is also there. We had planned on telling certain people in our families today about the baby.

I used to feel excited for holidays. I remember that—it feels very long ago. From about 32 or 33 on, I guess for about 7 years now, holidays have been difficult. And more and more and more difficult in the past three of those seven years.

First because I was separating and divorcing my first husband, whom I had been with for 14 years, and the separation was very sad and hard, because we loved each other but just weren’t right for each other; and then I met DH and we fell in love but his Korean parents did not accept me because I was “old” (35) and would only give him “Down Syndrome babies” (they accept me now) and they did not want me to come to their home for the holidays (really); and then all of the pregnancy losses came. We took jobs in NY because DH had to take the first job that came his way, smartly, but which meant we were not able to move closer to my family in the Midwest, as I’d hoped. And then still more pregnancy loss. I had thought that this September we were making the move that would take us into healing territory. That holidays for me would not be sad and difficult because of loss. That I could get back to looking forward to celebrations, not thinking of them as something I have to endure with my strongest face, and then spend days processing later. Today we are going to DH’s friend’s family’s gathering, and there will be children, babies. No one will know us so they will ask all of the unintentionally painful questions. I am going with him because I don’t want him to be alone, and I don’t want to be alone. DH is officiating this friend’s wedding in the spring—I’d hoped to be 8 months pregnant by then. So I will go. Drink wine, etc. His friend is a dear, and it was so kind of him to invite us. He knows we are holiday orphans.

I used to be a different person—I remember her.   She loved holidays. She loved new situations, new people. And she LOVED holding those babies and playing with those kids. In fact, she would bail out of an adult conversation in a heartbeat to play with the kids. She would not touch her wine in favor of pretending to have a tea party with six year olds. “You are amazing with children,” the parents would all say to me. That sort of thing.

I honestly don’t know what happened to my life, what happened to me, to wind up here, like this. When did life become something to survive more than enjoy and celebrate?

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29 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry you’re feeling crappy. It seems like the holidays always bring equal parts joy and sorrow – it’s like we’re supposed to always be so happy and grateful and peaceful and loving – and that’s just not how it is. And that girl is still in there somewhere. I’m thinking of you today, and grateful for you and for your strength in sharing your story. {{Big hugs}}

    Reply
    • You are too kind. I’m grateful for you too! Ever since I read the words “hope is something you pee on” I knew I had a soul-sister out there in cyberspace. Friday, Sat, and Sun, that girl is knocking at my door—she does not want to be forgotten. I am feeling better. I think it takes almost letting go of her to get her back a little bit, you know? What the fuck IS all of this? A crazy trip indeed. But am listening to music and dancing again. Okay. Okay. Breathe…

      Reply
  2. This post breaks my heart. I am so sorry for all that you have endured. Mel’s post from a few days ago spoke to me: http://www.stirrup-queens.com/2013/11/how-to-get-through-the-holidays-when-youre-not-in-the-mood/
    I am glad that you’re going with your husband together to his friend’s gathering. It’s tough with strangers not knowing your situations asking insensitive question. Sometimes we don’t have to be brave and we don’t always have to celebrate. We give ourselves time to grieve and to feel.
    I met my hubby at 34 and his Indian parents were also not happy about the relationship because I was older and they also thought that I was too old for a baby. It’s quite a few years ago now. Anyhow, I really hope that things will look up again for you in 2014.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much, and that post you listed is fantastic! It broke my heart a little to read it, but also made me feel so much less alone. And some of the tips are really stellar.

      The gathering ended up being fun during—with a few trips to the bathroom to blink back tears. There was an 8-year-old there who was a very special person and we were obviously magnetized to each other (it just happens! no matter what!). I loved meeting her and spending time with her, talking to her, playing games with her. A gymnast, an animal-lover, a cook, smart, funny. She just kept looking at me and standing near me and asking me questions. She was simply beautiful. I was okay during it, but on the drive home, in the quiet of the car, depression came crushing down—I felt her absence. Then I came home and screamed at the top of my lungs several times. It was a real low point. But I started to feel better the next day—a kind of enough-is-enough feeling…

      Anyway, it is good to hear that I am not the only one who has had to deal with crazy in-laws ! I’ve always wanted to write more about that experience in this blog but have worried about violating DH’s privacy. But he says he is mostly okay with it as long as this blog is anonymous.

      I’m wishing the very best in 2014 for you as well, darlin. xxoo

      Reply
  3. Jen K

     /  November 28, 2013

    Sending you a hug! I thought just today how much this process has also changed me….. I think we all start out intending to remain in control of this process. But then somewhere along the way….we get lost. We lose ourselves. The small changes accumulate. I understand.

    Reply
    • Yes, you’ve put it so well. We don’t think it’s going to end up like this…we do get lost, in little bits and pieces. I’m trying (once again) to find my footing, myself, now. Thanksgiving night was a real low. I’m sorry you understand so well what I am talking about.

      Reply
  4. Mrs. McIrish

     /  November 28, 2013

    The biggest hug ever. I feel your pain.

    Reply
  5. I think these feelings get worse and worse the longer we go through IF. I used to be ok on holidays, but I’ve been feeling lower and lower as this Christmas approaches. Maybe it’s not just the fact that it’s a family holiday, but also the marking of the passage of the time that we’ve been struggling. So sorry you’re feeling this way. You’re not alone.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much. Yes, it’s such a clear marker of the passage of time, isn’t it? Like a birthday. I’m sorry you understand this feeling. Yes, each year is harder. What can we do?

      Reply
  6. I just recently stumbled upon your blog during my own emotional journey in dealing with infertility. I am moved by your journey and how you have used it to reach out and hopefully help others. And I am so very sad that this life can be so very hard sometimes. I am so very sorry.

    Reply
    • So glad you commented. It led me to your blog! I love the bit about dancing. I’ve been dancing all day. Your story is inspiring and am grateful to you for sharing it. Am feeling better in past couple of days…I think I hit a nadir and bounced up. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through, too. x

      Reply
  7. awww girl hugs for you :/ I know you feel like you have lost a part of yourself but don’t let infertility change you or define you. It is a part of you but not who you are. You will get through this. You will hold your own babies one day. Stay strong and never give hope! hugs to you!

    Reply
    • In the past couple of days I have started to allow myself to believe, again, that I will hold my own babies one day—without feeling super foolish. Thank you for the hugs!

      Reply
  8. Danielle

     /  November 29, 2013

    I absolutely agree that the holidays are particularly rough bc they become a painful reminder of the infertility struggle. I can’t tell you how many times today I thought about the miscarriages and how old each child would have been at this point. You are in my thoughts.

    Reply
    • You’re in mine too! I’m sorry you relate. That is so hard, thinking of their ages. For some reason, my mind doesn’t go there often, to the ages—I think that is just because I simply cannot handle thinking about that.

      Reply
      • Kali

         /  December 2, 2013

        I also think about how old each child would be if not for the losses. The holidays mark the passage of time, which is painful when it’s a reminder of how long you’ve struggled, how long your seemingly simple longing for a child with whom to share the holidays has gone on. Yet another Thanksgiving, yet another Christmas, and last Mother’s Day was the day I’d decided to announce the pregnancy, my cousin and I had discussed how. . . but instead I was in the throes of grief over the last loss. Sending much love to both of you.

        Reply
  9. Sending big hugs, how it wasn’t too painful xx

    Reply
  10. “When did life become something to survive more than enjoy and celebrate?” Wow, that resonates, big time. I’m sorry that things are so hard. I’m sorry that it is definitely survival mode and that celebrating seems so foreign. The holidays are so tough to begin with, but right after a hideous loss that was supposed to be the silver bullet happily ever after it is just unbearable. I hope that there are things you and DH can do together to try to insert joy into this time. To try to heal. It’s so hard NOT to be hard on yourself for what you were capable of before and can no longer do, but it is ok to be kind on yourself and to avoid situations that bring pain. Or limit them. I am sending you peace and healing energy, for whatever that’s worth. I am here with you in this space of survival. I am here hoping (skeptically, as this hope is here EVERY SINGLE YEAR) with you that 2014 brings joy with no pain. Happiness with no caveat. Just good news. Period.

    Reply
    • Thank you, sister. Every new year really has been that way, for so long now…I am increasingly hesitant to think of the turning of the new year as anything good. God, how stupid this all is. I’ve been thinking of your recent post A LOT. The abusive relationship. I am better than this. I got into it with the best of intentions, and there was no reason NOT to go in this direction, but now there is. Am feeling self letting go of it all, slowly. Thanks for all you say about the holidays, and about it being okay to avoid pain. I needed that. Am feeling guilty. I had wanted to go home for Xmas so badly. And now the thought of being with my brother’s newborn, at time when I’d hoped to be round with pregnancy and celebrating new life myself…I just can’t. I think we will try to go somewhere, do something, I don’t know. Each year it is the same—avoidance of pain. I’m so sick of it. xo

      Reply
  11. I am so sorry you’re suffering through the holidays. We are fleeing family and friends for the Christmas holidays, when (God and Universe and my aging body willing) I’ll be stimming (I start the stims on Christmas eve – how trippy is that?). After 3 miscarriages this year, I am actually looking forward to leaving 2013 behind. Any chance you could see a new year as an opportunity to renew your commitment to your own well-being? I think we start there… This is always so hard for me because I’m not usually the top of my priority list (or anywhere near the top).
    As for doing what’s best for you – including ditching family to tend your own needs – please don’t feel guilty. People who love you will go on doing so even if they are hurt or don’t get it. One day you maybe can explain. Or not. Just be present for you. That’s a lot to ask already.

    Warm hugs.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. Christmas eve—that *is* trippy! But kind of awesome. A good omen, perhaps? I picture you giving yourself your first shot by Christmas-tree light. You know, yesterday and today have been better days, and I am doing a lot of thinking about my good self, how to take care of her (not that I wasn’t already, but it’s a continual process that needs to be renewed and renewed again). Each new year has seemed to be a signal of renewal, but I’ve just entered into more of the same. I don’t want to do that this year…but doing this next transfer I might just have to…enter into more of the same. BUT 2014 will almost certainly be the year I say goodbye to fertility treatments, one way or another. So that really *is* something to look forward to. As for Christmas we might go on a little trip somewhere. Shortly thereafter, I’m gonna go home and see my people, but I don’t think I can handle the kid-centric intensity of Christmas with them. So that’s another thing to look forward to in 2014–time with family. I can’t wait to put my arms around my maternal grandmother–Ma-Maw–and hear her laugh.

      Reply
  12. Thea Muso

     /  December 1, 2013

    I know exactly how you feel. Each year passes by and we r so hopeful to either be pregnant or wake up Christmas morning with the best present that life can give us! But another year( almost 6 years ) goes by and we are empty handed and alone on Christmas morning. I wish you much baby dust and blessings this holiday season. Never stop believing or give up HOPE!!

    Reply
    • Christmas morning—I know honey. Six years is such a long time, sigh. Thank you for shouting hope at me, I needed that. I posted a photo on Facebook last year of me unwrapping gifts alone by the Xmas tree, but it makes me ache when I look at it. This year I think we’ll go on a trip somewhere. I wish hope & good-things-coming right back at you. xo

      Reply
  13. I could not have said it better myself. This holiday was especially hard for me. I’m sorry it has been for you as well. Sending you lots of love this season and hope you can find things of comfort over these next few weeks till we can look to a new year.

    Reply
  14. Gosh, if you could read the words on my heart, they would be what you have written. This journey changes people.

    Reply

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