Category: Coming to terms

LISTEN UP! This movie script bites!

Published / by sandymichelet / 2 Comments on LISTEN UP! This movie script bites!

We went to the movies over the weekend and one of the main characters died. What the heck!? I was 100% convinced that she’d pop up at the end in a dramatic “taaa daaaaaa” fashion. In fact, the lump in my throat kept growing because I just knew that she’d miraculously reappear. Nope. Didn’t happen. The credits started rolling, the over-the-top-sad-music played and I kept staring back at the screen, a little surprised. I mean, there are always happy endings.

The next time you are in an office or crowd…do a slow pirouette (or, like me, turn in a clumsy circle and try not to hurt anyone) and take a minute to absorb this fact about the people you are seeing.

One in 8 couples struggle to build a family. Think about that magnitude. One in EIGHT of the people you just saw could be a warrior at the office…kicking butt and taking names…and then spend their nights curled up in ball of tears on the living room floor.

Happy National Infertility Awareness Week, April 23-29th

 

Well…..not happy….but….you get my point.  The NIAW campaign was started to help those in the infertile community feel more empowered by providing tools and resources to help them build a family.

LISTEN UP! Infertility impacts millions. MILLIONS. OF. PEOPLE. And like cancer, diabetes and sarcasm, it does not discriminate.

There is a lot to be said about feeling empowered. I remember years ago the innocence of it all. “When we have a child” rolled off the tongue so easily that I never imagined it wouldn’t happen. But as time, procedures and hope passed I realized that I had ZERO control of any of it. It is difficult to feel empowered when something as “easy” as conceiving wouldn’t happen.

Some of the strongest people I know have been unable to conceive or adopt for one reason or another. They would give up everything (and sometimes have) for the chance to have a child. 

In our every day life we are all expected and conditioned to solve every problem in our lives. The miracle stories, the support groups and even the doctors can sometimes cause us to continue. To continue the treatment. To continue the hope. To continue the pain. And because the prize is so great we rightfully continue to grasp at any hope that exists.

But sometimes it just doesn’t work. And attempting but failing again and again is why many of us in this situation feel like losers everyday. Because we always hear that someone’s cousin’s mail lady’s hairdresser was able to conceive a child when all of medical science said it wasn’t possible. Well, wahoo.

So….like a project manager on cortisone, we mapped out our life’s plan so we could control our own destiny. We decided what types of fertility treatments to try…..when to start (and then end) the adoption process… and when to begin sharing our struggles (and then heartbreak) publicly.

In the quest for feeling 100% empowered over controlling our destiny, I found another piece to this….acceptance. After years and years and years, I didn’t give up but I DID make the decision to stop. My body couldn’t handle anything else and my heart was in pieces. It was time for another plan.

We are each in a different fork in the road. Some are just beginning this journey. Some have walked the path and have the battered feet, hearts and bank accounts to prove it. It is up to each of us to decide next steps. NO ONE can make the decision for us. And it is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make. But one step that I never considered until recently was just….acceptance.

Every baby story doesn’t end with a baby.

Every adoption story doesn’t end with a child.

Every infertility story doesn’t end with a happy ending.

But just because the movie ended differently than I expected doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good movie. I will never know what would have been. THIS is my new normal. Being childless is a whole new world. It is nothing that I ever planned. But, LISTEN UP! I plan to rock it.

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Visit www.infertilityawareness.org

 

 

 

Am I going to hell if I am mad at God?

Published / by sandymichelet / 5 Comments on Am I going to hell if I am mad at God?

For 99% of the week I am unbelievably happy. Great husband, great family, great job, great friends. My family is healthy, we have a roof over our head, we have food to eat and we feel safe everyday.

But for that 1% of the week when I am in complete silence and stillness I…ooooooo…..I. Am. Mad. In another post I shared that there is no explanation as to why I couldn’t get pregnant….so it just kinda hung out there…..with no answer or resolution.  Medical science and all of your miracles, kiss it.

My anger is usually directed in one of two places. My body who betrayed me. And God.

Some people turn to the church in times of sorrow…I do the exact opposite. If things are rocking, then I never miss. Absolutely nothing is expected of me during that one hour a week. Except to sit. To think. To listen.

But after 15 years of sitting in church every week while horrible things were happening around me…one after another after another I started asking WHY?

Knowing my struggle Craig convinced me (after about 20 conversations), to go see The Shack….even after I realized that there were no car chases or gun battles (my two usual requirements to see a movie).

The main character, after a personal tragedy, had a lot of questions…and asked them over and over again…..

I am sure there are people who would never question God….who would never admit they are angry at God…who would think that the mere thought of either of those would send them straight to hell.

Is that right? Or wrong? I have no idea….but the movie seemed to bring me some peace….which, other than a baby, is really the only thing I’ve ever wanted.

Rant. Peace. Breathe. Repeat

Published / by sandymichelet / Leave a Comment

I finally have the strength to post this.  This is long but ooooooh so needed. ((I went back and read this….it gets angrier as I go…ha ha…)) It is my therapy….I am not losing it or having a breakdown…this post is actually the first step to me accepting it, recovering and moving on. I don’t need comments and I damn sure don’t need your pity.

I am childless (not childfree bc it wasn’t a choice). I was never able to have children. We tried for over thirteen years and it just didn’t work. But…I realized TODAY that many of my close friends and family don’t know about the struggle. They obviously know there are no kids around here but I have been so ashamed to talk about it that I’ve never brought it up or danced around it.

THINGS I’VE LEARNED/LEARNING:

  1. I’ve blamed myself for my inability to get pregnant. Did I do something wrong when I was younger? Am I being punished for something I did? What is wrong with me?
  2. There is a lot of shame associated with childlessness (this is the biggest revelation). If babies are a blessing (which they are) and I couldn’t have any….what does that mean? My mom has only one grandchild (we lost my nephew Tanner a few years ago) because I couldn’t give her any more. My brother will never be an uncle to my kids because I couldn’t have any.
  3. Holidays/events can be a freaking nightmare. For Christmas or birthdays, everyone else has a child sitting in their lap unwrapping presents. And I am getting snacks. Everyone else is fixing plates for their kids…and I am standing there, lone plate. Feeling like there is a spotlight on my obvious failure as a woman. Mother’s Day is getting better but I still refuse to go out of my house. Some waiter at a restaurant who was told to only give the flowers to mothers will dangle a flower until I answer “yes” or “no”. GIVE ME THE DAMN CARNATION and just don’t ask me.
  4. People make friends through their kids – school parents, Cub Scout parents, baseball parents. If I don’t have kids in those activities then I don’t have a relationship.
  5. Yes. I used to get upset/pissed when I would see a high school kid get pregnant. Again and again and again. I have the love, the financial means, the maturity and the desire for a child….but a kid in high school (who’s mom still has to wash her clothes) is chosen to have a baby. WTH.
  6. I don’t need your helpful suggestions or questions. “You need to try a different doctor” “My friend got pregnant using ABC medicine…try that”. “Are you doing it enough”? “You just need to relax” “You need to see this nun.” “Just when you stop trying it’ll happen” “You need to adopt” “Have you googled surrogacy?” “What is wrong with you?” “Why don’t you adopt an older child” “Why didn’t that medicine work?” “Are you going to try the procedure again?” “You just need to pray. God answers prayers” “Why can’t you get pregnant?” <== which by the way, I still don’t know…which makes the guilt and shame 100% harder because I can’t pinpoint a medical reason…so it is obviously ‘something I am being punished for’ kinda thing….
  7. Don’t tell me that I can have one of your kids or ask me if I “really want to give up your quiet life for THIS!?”. I’d like the middle child with the brown hair and green eyes. AWESOME. Tell him I’ll be by later to pick him up. And you are right. My life is quieter than yours. And I’d give up every piece of it to have a kid roaming around here.
  8. Group sessions/therapy – meh. I gathered up enough will to go to a session years ago. The person who was running it had recently “experienced the miracle” and pics of the baby were everywhere….as if that wasn’t enough, the formerly childless woman next to me wanted to come to group to tell us that her agony was over. She was pregnant. And……SCENE. I picked up my bat and ball and went home.
  9. Church is VERY hard. It should be a place for peace…but the place is full of families with children and a constant reminder of my failure. Parents are holding kids, sneaking them Cheerios while the priest isn’t looking, baptisms, families walking to communion together, etc. A few years ago I tried a new church and the mothers were asked to stand to be recognized for something. O.M.G. Can’t even get a break here…
  10. My family tree stops with me – Everyone else has branches underneath them. Nope. Not me. As generations look back I will be dropped off the trees because there are no children to trace to me. There will be no proof that I ever existed on this planet.
  11. Childlessness NEVER ends. As I move into each phase in my life it means I am learning a whole new set of experiences that didn’t expect. The younger ones are easier to identify….being pregnant, giving birth, raising a toddler, teaching a teenager to drive, etc. But back then I was so focused on missing out on those parts of life that I wasn’t thinking my future life. i.e. Being a grandma, etc.

Thank God for Erica and Brandt. They have been a huge portion of my life/my life for 20 years. I couldn’t ask for any better. NONE of this is meant to take away my strong relationship with them. They are my E-ness and my Dude. But at the end, I am not their mom. (They have an amazing one BTW). Now that I am getting older I worry about what will happen when I am 80. I know Craig talks to them about that fear…and I know that they will love me and take care of me until I die…and reassure me all the time 🙂 but it is still there. (Actually, if Craig dies first I want to move in with Donna (their mom). First, it would be logistically easier for the kids…but damn! We’d have a good time!

I’ve said “I” throughout this post. It has been a “we” journey with Craig. He has gone through this too…and been at my side the entire time. He has watched me cry, scream, threaten, breakdown in public, mourn, wail, retreat, bargain with God, yell at God, cry, cry and cry. I have loved him through this, hated him and everything in between. But when I’d open my eyes from my breakdown….he’d be right there. Every time.

*Phew*. So why this post now?? I am not sure. One evening a few weeks ago Craig watched me curl into a ball in my bathtub and wail. It was one of my lowest points. The next morning I received an email from him with a link to resources on “childlessness”. Huh? I had always searched for help on infertility but not this. I ordered a book (more on that later) that focuses on life after childlessness. And I feel like I am finally on a path toward peace.