Wednesday, May 2, 2012

You Don't Know Me

I don't know where to begin.  So much has changed the last three weeks.  My favorite priest at our parish announced Sunday he is leaving to go to, of all places, Jack's childhood parish.  He would joke they made a play on the name and called it Our Lady of the Ghetto.  Jack was the only white kid at the school so I guess that's how he distinguished himself.

Motorcycle riding is becoming a bigger part of my life lately.  I'm easing myself out of my fears and riding my own bike again.  On Sunday, we rode to a breakfast place at the local community airport.  The parking lot design is a bit tricky.  In the past, I would have attempted turns and wiped myself out if I couldn't negotiate the curb.  This time I stopped, assessed the situation, backed up with my feet and stayed upright.  I consider that a major victory.

Speaking of Jack, I told my husband just how disappointed I am that he and other friends with kids have apparently dropped us.  Even Afina has gone AWOL on me.  She's easier to get back than Jack.  I'm an infertile that actually loves visiting friends' kids.  It's like being a grandparent, you spend time and spoil them, then give the kids back to their parents.  I guess I could reach out to Jack and ask him how fatherhood is treating him, but I hate always being the one to initiate.

I've regained the weight I'd lost on the Peru trip.  For a couple weeks I was unhappy but I'm starting to embrace the idea of a naturally fluctuating weight.  I've gained and lost the same five pounds the last eight years.  It's just life.  As long as my clothes still fit, I'm willing to ride the wave.

I cut my hair into a chin length bob and lightened up the color.  I think I do "cute" much better than "sultry" with the long, wavy hair.  And there's no more layers which makes styling much faster.  I love experimenting with my hair.

TCIE posted something that really bummed me out and sadly, confirmed some feelings I've been ruminating over the last few weeks.  I know my comment on her blog didn't suggest how bummed I was, but this is really how I feel.  [The following comments are MY FEELINGS and in no way, intended to attack or belittle anybody so please don't take it that way.]  It wasn't so much what she wrote about what she thought about childlessness, but the comments from mothers who appeared to patronize the deeper spiritual meanings of childlessness.

I have a big problem with the comments that said [my paraphrasing], "Gosh, it's so touching what you wrote.  Not that I have any concept of what it means to face a life with no children of your own, but it's so cute of you to look at the sunny side of life."  Now, this is probably not at all what these women meant, I know because you're not mean-spirited.  But, that's what it read like to me.

And here's why.  There's a schism, a vast divide between those who are now mothers or actively seeking treatment to have a child and those who made the gut-wrenching decision to stop trying or reconcile with yourself and husband the fact that no matter what you or doctors do, you will not get pregnant.  For some, this is a stark, biological fact.  It's painful.  It's a pain that goes beyond temporary infertility.  It is a permanent state of a two person family.  It's a pain that I will always carry and sometimes will have pangs of regret when I'm 37, 40, 45, 55, 65, 99, 103 (yes, I expect to live that long.)  I'm not saying that childlessness is all pain, all the time.  It's most definitely not.  I had an impromptu karaoke session at a local bar last night while you were home with the kids.  I'm sure you had a great time with your kids.  I had a great time at the bar.

It's just that you don't get me and I don't get you.  I've wanted to diversify my readers and the blogs I read but can't seem, at this point, to get past married, Catholic women blogs.  It's not doing anything for me anymore beyond masochistic entertainment.  I know that's a strong statement but it's true.  I've got to get away.  That doesn't mean leaving my ATC blog permanently.  I don't know what it looks like right now.  I'm disenchanted.  I have to move on.      


  1. Honey... SO BEEN THERE (or, ummm, not so much "been" as, well, um, "there.")

    Thank you for having the courage to write this.

    I particularly love this part:
    "I had an impromptu karaoke session at a local bar last night while you were home with the kids. I'm sure you had a great time with your kids. I had a great time at the bar."

    I didn't read the comments as patronizing. TODAY. But give me 2 weeks, and I most ASSUREDLY will read them as every possible negative intention there is.
    But I do get a sense that those who have moved on from IF feel that they can relate to those of us who have truly accepted a life with no children... and I'm not sure they can. Again, no mean-spirited feelings in that, but let's face it - they were all trying to get pg or trying to adopt when they did.

    I don't get over here much... totally my fault cuz I never got around to listing your blog on my runner. But I'd be bummed if you left :(

  2. I ride the waves of fluctuating weight long as my clothes still fit...when they get's time to cut back right?

    You are sadly right...sometimes IF rares it's ugly head and when you are a family of two and have come to realize that is what it's painful. I dealt with that pain myself recently when I had to have u/s's because of a felt like IF all over again. I've been trying to get away from it and move on. Hard when there's reminders. I've come to realize that something will always remind me. I'm happy most of the time but there are those moments.

    I've thought about leaving the blog too. Do I belong here? I just take breaks from posting and whenever I feel like it...I will. I'm not as into it as I was when I was actively trying. I guess I want other IF'ers to know that life is not over because you don't have a baby. Life doesn't begin when a baby is born either. Life changes. My life changed when I didn't get pg. I got a master's degree and became a teacher of very young children. It's about living God's every fabulous moment there is and making every moment count baby or no baby. My life is certainly not over.

    Sorry I rattled on and on. I guess I felt your emotions in your post.

  3. I think this is really wise. I've tried and tried and tried to diversify my blog reading in any way that will get me to some significant (albeit minority) portion of childless women. When I started blogging, that was the majority. So later on, I figured I just wasn't searching hard enough. Now I'm not so sure. There are about four still-childless women blogging, and I love reading what they write, but as you note, they're always writing to an audience that doesn't get it. There's no point adding women who've been married and ttc 2-3 years. They feel that their world is ending every month, and when I was about there, I felt that way too, so I know they're not just being melodramatic. But their world is NOTHING like mine. I cope on a day-to-day basis fine. I never cry when a new cycle starts. I've been through the "avoiding the Target baby aisle" stage and back again, then in, then back. I don't have the same kind of emotional fragility, sadness, and pain. What I have is a deep grief that they can't begin to comprehend. I have mourned, a thousand times, that I AM NOT pregnant. That hurts more when it's fresh, and the newbies know that. But the newbies will get pregnant, soon, and move on, thinking that a victory for them is a victory for me. It isn't; we have relatively little in common by now.

    Yes, I enjoy my evenings out too - though less so as there are fewer people to share them, lately. (I need to move onward and outward in real life, not just blogging.)

    I hate to give up blogging, because I am always upset when another childless blogger vanishes and I'm left even more alone. But, it's stranger and stranger to be writing about this experience as it's more and more of an outlier.

  4. As this is your blog, and something you do for you ... well, you have to pay attention to your gut feelings (or nudges from God) as to what will best help you in what you need right now. I will miss your posts if you decide to take a break, or if you decide to stop blogging, though.

    I'm part of the married, Catholic demographic you mention ... and I agree, that you can't ever *really* know what it is like to be in a different life circumstance than your own. And things like being married vs. single (especially if you are single and you want to be married), or having children vs. not (especially when you really want, or wanted, to have children) - well, those are such deep, life-changing things that you really can't grasp what the other is feeling. You might be able to guess, or empathize, but to say 'I know just how you feel' - well, that really can't be said. Even if you were once there and are now no longer there, you can't truly remember what it was when you were there.

    I know I follows blogs (almost all are women - hmm) for people in different circumstances, but the ones I go to most are those of the childfree(less) after IF, and also single when feeling called to be married - but not having foudn the right person. I suppose I see here people who are living heroically through a circumstance that ca really tear you apart. somehow people of faith and people who don't have faith get through it, but we all have scars. I have different crosses and challenges, but I guess it helps to see how regular people are living heroically through the grief and pain, as well savouring the joy - moving forward with determination to make the world a better place. Another thing is that it helps me better 'get' what life might be for my DSIL and DBIL who are living CF after IF.

    Hoping for peace and healing for you.