To those who have seen me cry, watched the anguish wash over my face, witnessed the sorrow in my eyes as I love your child, whole-heartedly, as if they were my own –
I’m sorry I can’t be with you all right now. Life is just all too much for me. I don’t know how my husband has the strength he does, to not only carry on but to continuously pick up all my broken pieces. Every single day. He has stood by me through our journey to try to have our family: countless procedures, given me shots four times per day (with a massive phobia to needles!!), monitored me to make sure I wasn’t needing to go to the hospital for overstimulation complications, held my hand and hair when I have crumbled onto the floor and felt as if I couldn’t keep going anymore. He has stood by me through everything – I still don’t understand how. His arms somehow always make me feel like he has miraculously put all my pieces back together again. For that moment in time.
Hundreds of needles and even more thousands of dollars. 2 retrievals. Seven failed transfers. 2 surrogates. One potential extortion crisis averted. One miscarriage and countless tears cried. Five years of trying everything possible. Still, we are not holding you. Another year passed, numerous holidays, anniversaries and still –
I’m sorry I lost the light I had within me. I’m sorry I can’t be that annoyingly optimistic, compassionate and huge ball of energy that I was known to be, by anyone who met me. I’m sorry to say that light has burned out. More like been snuffed out, after facing one disappointment after another.
I tried to stay strong. I tried to keep going when I hit rock bottom and couldn’t bear to pull myself any further… weighed down by my grief and sadness. I only put positivity into the universe and have helped, given my all and attempted to heal every person I came across because that is who I was. I loved more than anyone could ever imagine possible, to those who may have only been in my life for a snippet of time.
I honestly am thankful for my husband, the life we have created together, our fur baby and our extended family and friends. But inside I’m empty. And it’s something that can’t be fixed, replaced or carried on from – it just is that. The emptiness in my heart, I always felt would be filled one day. That day never came to us. We have come so close, so many times, but it’s just out of our reach.
Lots of couples encounter this. 1 in 6 are the stats. They can see past it and accept the cards they were dealt. Lead healthy and happy lives, exploring the world’s most beautiful landscapes and scenery; all the wonders this earth has for us to appreciate. But it’s not enough for me. That aching, longing, emptiness of being a mommy will always remain with me.
I had my whole life to come to terms with this. Science though, right? I wish I could have continued accepting my fate and not been given this false sense of hope that has now utterly destroyed the being I once was.
I feel bad that I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself, when there are others who would give up everything to trade places with me, in a heartbeat. I can’t. I don’t want to right now. And that’s okay. So please don’t think I don’t love you all or you don’t matter. I do. You do. But now is time for me to focus on me. The good, bad and ugly. Let myself feel these raw and powerful emotions. I chose to be around children and to try with all my might to make a difference in their lives daily. Now I question myself, my choices, my decisions. I’m not sure if I can continue doing this honestly, because it will be a constant reminder of what could have been. The one thing I’ve always felt I was supposed to be. What I can’t have or give to someone else. That hurts immensely. It’s unimaginable really. A loss that can’t be captured with words.
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Will I emerge as the same person? Only time will tell. I have a feeling that person no longer exists. It’s okay. It will all make sense one day, right?
So please, stand by your loved ones going through these difficult times. Don’t try to understand. Just be there for them when they reach out. For you, the ones who need to hear this most –
Don’t go to the ‘effing baby shower, read the baby blog or cling to the success stories of intended parents who have their little miracles in tow or be guilted into attending the gender reveal party for your cousin, because your family doesn’t understand how you’ll feel being bombarded by people who ask the same heart-wrenching questions repeatedly.
Don’t spread yourself thin to show face or pretend to be feeling something you’re not. Let go of those pressures and just be present. Feel the pain in your heart.
Try not to let others impact you – with their cliché bits of advice, Like god only gives you what you can handle, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, don’t force something that’s not meant to be, it will all work out in the end, you should get a second opinion and not lose hope, there is a higher purpose for you. It seems right at the time – but there is something so insensitive, inconceivable to us on the receiving end of these empty hopes or affirmations. It doesn’t help (ever), and we know it’s coming from a good place, but on any given day you aren’t quite sure what state of mind we may be in for a response.
I can’t say how many times I’ve closed my eyes to envision myself karate chopping someone to the throat or worse. So be prepared.
Hang tight with me while I work through the next phase of life. Be gentle and kind to others, always. From me, please Pass on the pity and instead go out of your way to help others. Don’t ask the questions that hurt so much. That is all I ask.
Because I will remain your baby-less friend or family member… yet try not to look at me with sadness in your eyes. Be grateful for what you have. Always and forever.
But that’s the hand I was dealt… so don’t forget that –
I didn’t go down without a fight.
Photo by Charley on Unsplash
About the Author: Christa is an intended mother of one in heaven, who is still trying for her earth-side angel with her husband.