Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This isn't Me

If you're just getting to know me here, you might think I've always been like this: indignant and self-pitying, angry at the world.  Some of you might think, "she's never going to attract a baby into her life with an attitude like THAT."  Some might even think that I'm such a hateful person, I don't deserve a baby.

Well, I haven't always been like this.  I struggled, but through three and a half years of failed fertility treatments I remained largely hopeful for myself and generous towards others.  I tried to be the kind of person that deserved a baby.  I believed in positive thinking and karma and that whatever you put out into the universe returns to you.  I recited affirmations as I walked on the beach and visualized holding my baby in my arms.  I offered my experience, support and encouragement to other infertile women in an online forum.  I donated money to every charity that asked, especially anything having to do with children.  Gave double to the Children's Miracle Network because hey, it has both Children AND Miracle in the name, and that might bring double good luck.   You never know.

As the failures piled up, I faced each disappointment with my head held high and a fierce determination to try again.  I believed things happened for a reason.  I believed things would work out.  I looked for the bright side.  Because that's the kind of person I am.  Or was.

This miscarriage, however, has shaken me to the core and left me deeply sad and angry, hollow and confused.  Somehow I feel both empty inside and full of explosive emotions.  I don't know what I believe anymore.  I've gone through the looking glass and nothing's making sense and I don't like it one bit.

But I'm working on it.   I'm coming around.  I really am.  I'm slowly starting to feel like myself again.  The fog of despair is lifting, I'm less angry and I even did laundry for the first time in a month. (My sadness is like a magic wand with the power to turn household clutter temporarily invisible.  I managed to be utterly oblivious of growing mounds of dirty clothes for weeks even as I hopscotched around them to get down the hallway.)

Yes, I am still drowning my sorrow in baked goods.  Maybe I did wolf down half a dozen devil's food cupcakes while they were still warm, but I also made it through an entire hour-long TV show with an especially detailed subplot following a pregnancy from ultrasounds to afterbirth without cursing or crying or feeling bad about myself, so...progress.

I feel like I'm getting close to getting over it.  Until something hits me and I have to admit I am so NOT over it.

I was in the grocery store yesterday and realized that I was casting a petulant, resentful gaze not only at pregnant women and young mothers with little ones in tow, but also at college girls, whose burgeoning fertility I desperately covet, and senior citizens, who possibly have not one but TWO generations of offspring to love.   It felt like everyone in the world either has kids, could have kids, already had kids, or is just about to have one.  Except me. Never me.  

I read Jaycee Dugard's memoir, A Stolen Life, over the weekend.  It's exactly as heartbreaking and gut-wrenching as you'd expect:  there she is, abducted at age 11 and held captive in a backyard tent by a delusional sadistic pedophile rapist for EIGHTEEN years. She gave birth to the first of his children when she was only 14 years old.  Can you imagine giving birth to the child of the man who kidnapped and raped you?  The sheer horror of having a baby so young while terrified, alone, with no medical attention and imprisoned in a backyard tent?    

But God help me, some ugly and irrational part of me thought, "well, at least she gets to experience motherhood."  

That's seriously messed up.
That's not me.

I still have some work to do.

(PS - You should buy a copy of Jaycee's book.  You will be blown away by her resilience and ability to live through hell and come out shining.)


  1. Oh how I can relate! I had been through ALOT in my life before dealing with infertility and I have always thought well at least I am still a kind and compassionate person who is not full of bitterness and hate. Well three years of infertility treatments have turned me into what much more devastating tragedies had not done. I have lost my patience with people, I am not as kind as I used to be and do not smile as much as I used to and I am so bitter at times I become unbearable to myself. I think at this point after three years of battering my body and spending enough $$ to choke a horse that the bitterness is what keeps me going. It's the I'll be damned if I am not going to get a baby M!?*@$#%ker! one way or another it eventually is going to be me because if it is not I dare not think of spending the rest of my life with this bitter person I have become. ADKWMN39 (from infertility forum)

  2. Hey, ADK! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are so right. Part of what keeps me from giving up is the fear of having gone through all this and having nothing to show for it except an empty bank account and a bitter heart. Your cycle is coming up...I pray this is your time and that you will soon have a baby to replace all that bitterness with love!

  3. Thank you! I also wanted to tell you how much I like your picture on here of the Carolina Wren. We have a nesting pair in the garage and every morning they love to fly around making their tea-kettle tea-kettle tea-kettle calls. ADKWMN39

  4. Thanks! I love wrens, they're such cheerful and lively little birds. Kind of the opposite of me right now, but hopefully someday I'll be a happy songbird again...

  5. If you don’t reconcile this situation within yourself, the only person that you will be hurting is yourself. If these feeling consume you and rule your world, you could possibly cause damage to your marriage to Mr. Wren and your other personal and professional relationships. The hurt, anger, and resentment will always be there, but you have to learn to manage them and not let them interfere in your day-to-day life.

  6. Wow, I had to stop and take a couple of deep breaths before responding to your comment, Anonymous. Thanks for coming here and judging me. Comments like yours are supremely unhelpful and the primary reason why I have not been talking about my feelings with any of my friends or colleagues who might be tempted to tell me I should just "get over it". Thanks, also, for telling me that I need to learn to manage my feelings, as if I didn't know that...Hello, that's EXACTLY what this blog is for. It's a safe place for me to vent my emotions so that they don't interfere with my daily life.

    And my relationship with Mr Wren is just fine, thank you VERY much.

  7. If these feelings consume you and rule your world, you could possibly cause damage to your marriage to Mr. Wren

    Rest assured, this is not a problem.

    ...you have to learn to manage them and not let them interfere in your day-to-day life.

    I appreciate your concern, but um...I think that's the point of this blog. And while this has been a very painful time for Jenny Wren, I think she's doing great and I think this blog has helped her.

  8. Anonymous - I'm really happy that this blog has been helpful to Ms. Wren as she seems like such a wonderful person. I would also like to point out that it has been really helpful for those who are in the middle of their IF. Ms. Wren gives a voice to some of the things that we feel but can't express...either because its unpopular or because we're not insightful. Thank you Mrs. Wren for your honesty! And strangely enough thank you for your hope! I was you 3 years ago! Kirstyloo (from infertility forum)

  9. Hi Kirstyloo! Wow, I do all that? Thank you so much for those nice words. I'm blushing. It makes me so happy to think the things I write might be helping others who are in a similar place. It's been so helpful for me have a place where I can speak honestly about all of it, even the not-so-pretty stuff.