Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grateful in spite of it all...

First of all, I want to start this post by saying thank you to the lovely comments that have been left on my blog lately - you will never know just HOW MUCH they mean to me, how much they give me strength and make me feel like, somehow, somewhere...Someone understands. My heart goes out to all of you who, like me, face this difficult situation armed with nothing but hope, everything riding on a wing and a prayer so to say...I am with you all in my thoughts.


Lately it seems that, everywhere I turn, it's not the married women my age that I "fear" because of their happy pregnancies. Rather, it seems that, increasingly, more and more teenagers between 15 and 17 are getting pregnant. This is, of course, where I sometimes think I have to tread lightly, carefully - because I know that my own very strong opinion on these issues is probably not shared by all. I think we all are products of our upbringing - of the time and place we grew up in, the relationship our fathers & mothers had; not only with each other but with the world around them.
For me, the idea of a teenager (who isn't even yet legally entitled to vote or drink) being flies in the face not just of my current dilemma, but of EVERYTHING I believe in and hold dear. It seems ridiculous to me - like some sort of cruel joke Mother Nature is playing on me and on others like me. How can you sit there, contemplating the emptiness, the void in your life that can only be filled by something which, undeservedly, happens to someone so much less well-equipped and prepared for the challenge than you are? It makes me ANGRY.

Yet, at the same time, I wonder if, despite my personal feelings about teenage pregnancies, this is the way of the future. Increasingly, there is talk of an infertility epidemic - as even arguably healthy women in their mid- to late twenties face problems conceiving. It makes me wonder what's in store for us all, for the world at large...

And then, of course, there's the issue of celebrities - and their babies. Until about a year ago, I went through this period of reading all the gossip magazines almost religiously. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I got some sort of voyeuristic pleasure out of catching a glimpse into the often much less-than-perfect lives of these people who, arguably, have everything they could ask for. After a while, though, I realized that reading these magazines made me distinctly unhappy - that being constantly confronted with these people who live in the lap of luxury and STILL somehow find ways or reasons to be unhappy, do drugs or otherwise do some of the most stupid, ridiculous and inconsiderate things, made me look at my life and find myself coming up short. Where was the money for ME to buy a dozen quilted Chanel bags or drive a 6-figure car? And how come Britney - possibly one of the WORST celebrity mothers - could have not just one but TWO babies, when she didn't even care enough to strap them into their car seats?

So it happened that, yesterday, for the first time in a while, I picked up some of these glossies as I was waiting for a friend I was meeting for lunch. And, lo and behold, they've all been so busy - having MORE babies! I found a familiar heaving in the pit of my stomach - sick with envy at this people who just seemed to have it so damn easy. Every page I turned, there was someone else who'd gone and had another baby since I last perused these magazines of dubious content and low quality - in the case of Brangelina, even TWO!

But then the strangest thing happened. Amidst all these feelings of loathing - myself, all these rich people, pregnant teenagers...YOU NAME IT! - of inadequacy, of fear and failure...I found comfort in the kind words of strangers on my blog; hope in the email from my husband; joy in the simple fact of a sunny day.

Life isn't perfect - and that fact doesn't change, no matter how much money or how many kids you have. So often, we keep looking to a distant future and set high expectations instead of realistic goals. I am weak in that way - I keep looking forward in anticipation of something intangible, something that I think will or must necessarily make me happy. And all the while, life is passing me by. Instead of living in the now, enjoying what I DO have - I keep pining over what I've lost and waiting for things that may never come to be. I am reminded of a maxim I read somewhere a long time ago:

"Blessed are the flexible - for they shall never be bent out of shape."

So simple, yet so true. Life is like a river, ever changing as it goes - I think those words are even incorporated in a song somewhere. The true test of character, of your own worth, is not metered by an easy life but borne out of adversity. I often think that, so many times, as women we have this unrealistic expectation of ourselves: that, somehow, we have to be able to fulfill a multitude of roles - and excel at them ALL.

The other day I found out that someone I had known a long time ago died. I didn't know this person well or seen them in years. But the death was unexpected - came without warning. And it made me realize, once again, how FRAGILE life really is - and that there are no do-overs. I am so often caught up in daily trivialities - getting upset about this or that, bemoaning our infertility issues, feeling so down. Yet, most important of all, I have my life - and the lives of the people I love and care about. I have the ability to do almost anything with my life - yet it has been YEARS since I've truly felt that I could "dream in possibility".

So maybe, what I really want to say today, in this post, is THANK YOU. Thank you to my family who loves and cares about me; to my parents and my husband, who would give me the shirt off their backs. Thank you for my best friend, who has stood the test of time and is still my greatest champion.

And thank you - to those of you who read this blog and find yourselves walking along this journey with me; offering your comforting thoughts and advice. Thank you for being you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The title of this post just about sums it all up. I am unhappy. Not happy. Happy no more.

Today, I watched a bunch of soldier tributes on YouTube. Don't ask me why - I have no idea. Sometimes I just feel the need to connect with something outside of this little bubble of sorrow that I live in. To look outside and say, you know what - there are much, much bigger issues and problems out there.
So I watched these heart-wrenching tributes, reunions and so on...Crying as you saw soldiers walking through and airport and people standing up clapping. And then, suddenly, I realized something else: all of these people had one thing in common - aside from the uniforms, the tear-stained faces of joy as a loved one returned to safety: kids. Lots and lots and lots of kids. Proudly waving flags, sleeping in strollers, hugging a returning parent.

And so I cried some more.

I'm almost getting to the point where I feel like I should just give up. I feel like I'm dealing with this by myself - like Kenton doesn't even GET IT. I mean - I know this is going to sound so incredibly horrible: but how come he doesn't feel guilty? How come he doesn't feel BAD?

I know - I sound like the world's most selfish, petty and horrible wife every to (dis)grace the face of the earth. But I just keep thinking - if I were the one with the problem, I would feel so horrible, like I'd somehow let us down. I'd try to find some answers, talk to doctors, do whatever it takes to sort this out.
Not Kenton. He's so absorbed with the day in, day out of work, it's like this whole thing isn't even real.

I go between being angry as hell at him and being angry as hell at myself. Because, the embarrassing and sad truth is that, sometimes, in the dark hours when I feel most insecure and cheated - I wonder if I made a mistake in marrying him.

There, I've said it. Or, rather, typed it. Now, of course, I feel like the biggest bitch EVER. Kenton is, in so many ways, my soul mate - if there is such a thing. He is so much like me in many important ways, and complements me in others. Yet...there's this nagging thing in the back of my head that keeps saying, maybe this wouldn't have happened with someone else.

Of course this is all piggy-backing on some other issues in our marriage, but that's not within the ambit of my blog. So, all in all, I'm basically living in this inner sanctum of absolutely unadulterated HELL - going between thinking that I could never love anyone else the way I love Kenton; and wondering if I need to seriously, clinically, analyze my situation and my options.

So I feel like my heart is breaking all the time. I mean, I just about have gotten to the point where I don't feel like I might be violently sick at the mere sight of yet another big, proud pregnant belly or a peacefully sleeping infant. But I feel so, so lonely. I feel OLD. I feel useless.

I feel so, so, so UNHAPPY.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Forever Love

Today was one of those days that could've gone either way. Again, I saw one proudly stuck-out pregnant belly after another, some women practically bending backwards to show off their glorious protrusions. I could be cynical - in fact, I am, most of the time, when I see these things. I think of women who are unsuitable mothers of many - and then I grieve for those of us with so much to give, and nothing but a cloud of rain to pin our hopes on to.

But there was a turning point - that point where having a girly chat with my best friend and dancing in the kitchen with my husband made me feel...a little less wounded. Kenton isn't a dancing kind of guy - in fact, I think in his 30-something years on this planet, his tap-tapping feet may have stepped into a club not even half a dozen times. Me? I'm the reigning Dancing Queen supreme - just a beat on my car stereo and I'm bopping along like Wayne to a favorite Queen song (which, incidentally, is a group I really DON'T like...but I digress).

So there we were, bellies full of piping-hot apple crumble, smothered in Haagen Dazs Vanilla ice cream, getting our groove on like there was no tomorrow. It's those days that make me think - be still my beating heart. I ache, still - with so much confusion, so much frustration and envy, mixed in with a deep sense of injustice...but I'll be ok, one way or another.

Because this journey, I'm not taking it alone.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Trouble Bubble

It's been over a week since my last post. The problem I have is that I feel like I'm going in circles - that I have nothing new to say, and nothing I write is original either because I'm hardly the first, only or last person to go through this.

Kenton has an appointment in a few days to talk to the doctor about running some blood labs and other tests. I hope that he can make it clear to them that we've already waited FOREVER, that every single month we're put off is like rubbing salt in an open wound. I just want to move on, one way or another. I just want some answers, black on white - and I want to be able to make a decision of what to do next. As long as none of the basics have been completed and checked off the list, we're in limbo - and that, more than anything, is just killing me.

You'd think that I should be immune to it by now - or, conversely, in tears practically every day. There's not a single day that I venture out without knowing that I'm going to be confronted with the same, painful images of children - young and old, tall and short, thin and fat, cute and ugly, quiet and loud - assaulting my sensitivities. I feel somewhat taunted by these constant reminders - and yet so alone, so guarded, in keeping this sad, unfortunate issue to myself.

I've further contemplated whether or not I should broach the subject with my best friend, but it seems like such a burden to ask someone else to share. And, at the end of the day, what is she supposed to do? Miles away with a husband, children and pets - the complete white-picket-fence-life that we BOTH thought we'd have by now - how can I ask her to deal with this? But, perhaps, in some way, the truth behind my hesitation to tell her is what I'm afraid would be missing: a real understanding of the depth of pain we're going through. As much as I love her and trust her, there's a part of me that keeps imagining the conversation she'd undoubtedly have with her own husband - and what he might think of Kenton. I know - it's silly. But I feel so protective of him. I fear that, if I tell those closest to us, they will - albeit silently - judge him. I worry about the "talk" behind our backs - questioning his virility, his masculinity, calling our marriage into question. I know that, in most cases, it wouldn't be meant as mean or degrading - but just the idea of it makes me reconsider any ideas I've had about disclosing our misfortune.

They say that shared pain is halved pain - but I wonder if that's true in this case. Because, really? There's nothing anyone could do to help us. I guess I just feel kind of hopeless - and cheated. We were so careful, so "smart" about always using protection when we were still dating; never being "stupid" or taking unnecessary risks. Even when I'd known Kenton long enough to be able to say that he would never have let me deal with an unplanned pregnancy by myself, we were both on the same page: we wouldn't start a family until after we'd been married for a while and had a nice nest egg to fall back on.

What a joke.

So now I watch him sleep at night, restless, while I try to pretend everything is ok. I read for hours, sometimes until the sun is practically coming up - trying to somehow dull the emtpy, sad feeling. It's sort of like coming to someone's house when you have every reason to believe you were invited - and then having the door literally slammed shut in your face. You stand there, unbelieving - shocked, hurt. For a moment you think, no - there must've been a mistake. You almost convince yourself that this didn't really just happen. Surely you just had a day dream or something. But it's all too real.