Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I think it was Mother's Day that finally got to me.  I've been holding it together until now.  One unsuccessful IVF cycle behind us, and while I'm pretty despondent, I haven't quite lost it yet.  We're planning on doing another cycle and this time, I'm going to turn on the spiritual spiggot all the way.   Praying, Tehillim, taking on extra mitzvot, asking other people to pray for us, praying for other couples struggling with infertility, etc.  We are focusing like laser beams.  I cried briefly when the first IVF cycle failed, and then I gathered myself up and said, ok, done crying, we're trying it again; what can we do differently this time; focus focus focus.  We are focused, we are beams of light, we have our eyes on the target, our ears to the grounds, our noses to the grindstone, our heads in the oven...

And still, no matter what transpired, I didn't lose it, wouldn't, refused to, not me.  Not even when my friend who was aware of what happened invited us for a Shabbos meal and promised it would be just us two couples and ended up having the other family with six raucous kids and the wife who would not stop talking about her children.  No, not even when another friend who is a year older than I am shouted over the phone "Mazel tov, I'm a grandmother!" in completely oblivious, well-deserved joy.  I held it together.  I kept it in.  I'm a trooper. I'm focusing on the positive, not dwelling on the negative.  I'm a laser beam.

But Mother's Day, for non-mothers is, well, challenging.  And I lost it.

"Do not, under any circumstances, log in to Facebook today," my husband warned me.  So of course, I did.  And FB was brimming with well-wishes and love, happy MDay proclamations, links, pictures of outings and luncheons and thank yous for the crayon cards and breakfasts in bed and shmeary, shmutzy hugs and kisses.  The world is full of mothers and children and spilling over with babies and diapers and formula and today, today is the party that celebrates the sacrifices that I will probably never get to make, the love and connections that I will probably never feel, the babies that will probably never be mine.  Today is the party to which I'll probably never be invited.  This Mother's Day, I am feeling the nasty twisty scorching pain of unmotherhood more than usual.  And so I lost it.  "I guess it's about time" said my husband as I fell hysterically, completely and totally apart in his arms.

Well.  All better now.  No, not really.  But we are trying again soon.  We are not yet in that abyss of hopelessness, but we are certainly tottering on the brink.

It's funny that going through this really does make you feel a little closer to God.  A little angrier perhaps, but still, there's a closeness, a dveykus there that wasn't there before.  I feel very helpless, like He is propping me up and therethereing me along.  Other friends of mine that have gone through assisted reproduction have had similar experiences.  One friend of mine, Eva, told me "I remember that when I was going through IVF, I felt very, very close to God and I am not really that type of person.  And now, years later, I can't really attain that kind of closeness again, but sometimes when I want it, I say to God 'God, remember back then, when I felt so close to You? Remember what that was like?' and just being able to even refer to that time is enough for me."  It's interesting what this sort of thing does to your psyche.  You introspect all the time.   It's exhausting and a little nice.  I read about the women in the Tanach that struggled with infertility, Sarah, Rachel, Chana, and I feel connected and strengthened through their stories.  My infertility has undone and remade me, sea-changed me.

And so we are trying again soon.  And because of this past cycle's failure, we are more able to comprehend that it might not work, that as unacceptable as it might be, we need to accept that we might not become parents.  And we are still hoping and praying that God changes His mind and remembers us, but we are a little closer to accepting that if He doesn't, there is simply nothing that we can do about it and we need to live and move on.  But I still hope, and I still believe there is a chance, no matter how small.  "Yeshuas Hashem k'heref ayin."   God can save you in the blink of any eye.  And as we cling to that last little gasping molecule of hope, we are slowly, quietly moving through our grief.  

5 comments:

frum single female said...

may hashem answer your prayers. may you be a mother next mother's day.

Anonymous said...

Although we don't know each other, you are in my thoughts and I hope you are able to have children and make those sacrifices, very soon. I remember when I was single I had to stop looking at onlysimchas because it was so painful to see people over ten years younger than I getting engaged and married...and as I have commented before, I think that having trouble having kids is much harder than being single. Maybe on Father's Day you can do something just the two of you, secluded from the outside world...like go hiking or something where you are not bombarded by the Hallmark aspect of the day. And for the record, IMHO, your friend the grandmother should have kept her news to herself. It's something the rest of us call tact.

SuperRaizy said...

Please don't lose hope. My friend just gave birth to healthy twins after 10 years of heartbreak and infertility treatments. Miracles like that happen every day. I will continue to pray that it happens for you too!

MK said...

The worst day of the year for me was Simchas Torah. All the fathers would be dancing with their little boys...

Chazal tell us that the Hashem yearns for the prayers of the righteous. You must be a very special person.
May Hashem answer all tephilos very soon.

jbirdme said...

My wife and I expereinced four failed cycles (two IVF and two IUI) before we were successful with IVF. We now have two three-year old twins. Hang in there.