Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's Not You, It's Us

It's hard to believe, but we have been trying to have a baby since March 2009 -- which means we are fast approaching the 3 year mark. It started with a very quick pregnancy after going off the pill and that pregnancy ended in an early miscarriage.

Since then we've tried two different medical fertility treatments (clomid and IUI) and continue on our own. We have changed our diet, we've changed our sleep habits, and we're taking daily vitamins. Kelly is doing weekly acupuncture for stress relief and to improve fertility. Scott has cut back on coffee and long, hot baths. We have made these life changes to try to help our efforts in a more natural way. We are also pursuing adoption. We want to grow our family and we are not particular whether that is with a biological child or with an adopted child. This is not about a pregnancy; this is about growing our family. We have love to give and a yearning in our hearts to hold our little child.

The processes of infertility and adoption both bring with them a roller coaster of feelings that change on a weekly basis. We range from the despair of another menstrual cycle to the hope of an ovulation through the tedium of the two week wait and back again to the disappointment that is a new menstrual cycle. A month is a very long time when it is punctuated by a period.

On top of this, we are finding it emotionally overwhelming to be surrounded by our acquaintances, co-workers, and even our friends who are consumed with being new parents. We don't begrudge them, this is exactly where they (as new parents) should be -- but it's not where we are.

We are trying to not think about our empty arms. We are trying to focus on our work and artistic endeavors. We are trying, as so many people have recommended, to "stop thinking about it." We try to be the supportive and caring friends that we want to be. But it's hard. It's hard to ignore what we don't have and what, it seems, everyone else around us has. It's hard to hear the complaints of no sleep and crying babies, when we pray each and every day for the joy and trials that come with a baby. It's hard to not really have a part in the conversations around us because we just don't understand what these new parents are going through.

How can we? We are not where they are.

We don't want to burden anyone with our sadness. Because, ultimately, we are not sad until we think about it. We are very blessed and praise God for that. We try to focus on all the good in our lives. We don't want to make anyone censor themselves and we don't want people to walk on egg shells around us. We try to step outside our own vulnerability and acknowledge that maybe people don't know what to say. We try to forgive people for saying or doing things that we perceive as inconsiderate because we know they don't mean it that way. They don't understand.

How could they? They are not where we are.

So we find that are we are distancing ourselves from certain social situations. We've given ourselves permission to go on as many date nights as we want (and can afford). We've given ourselves permission to skip the baby showers of all but our closest friends. We've given ourselves permission to be lazy on Sabbath and just spend time together.

It's all we can do to stay sane in these trying times. We only have so much emotional fortitude. So if you're someone who's in our personal life, sorry if we seem distant. It's not you, it's us.