Tuesday, August 19, 2008

beaten

Sometimes the going gets tough and the tough get going. And sometimes the tough get tired.

Generally speaking, infertility doesn't beat me. It doesn't keep me home and night, wailing about my sad, barren womb. I don't cry at A Baby Story, wishing it was me begging for the epidural after 3 contractions. I usually don't begrudge celebrity pregnancies and am more often than not genuinely happy for friends/family as they announce their impending bundles of joy.

For some infertiles having a baby-based business would be excruciating (and I don't blame them). But I started mine at the year anniversary of the loss of my twins, about a month after learning of the MFI that meant IVF was in our future. I didn't do it to torture myself, but rather because I enjoy knitting baby items, enjoy giving baby items, enjoy seeing the glee on a new mom's face when she receives a handmade keepsake. And it allows me to feel just a little more included in that world; a world that is so distant in so many ways.

I like to touch pregnant bellies. Call the infertility police if you must, but it's true. I hate the movement among the bellied that shrieks about the injustices of the dreaded "bump bump". I can't get one of my own - is it too much to ask you to share yours? I even still like babies; still *love* babies. I especially crave the little ones, the moldable ones, the ones who ask nothing of you but a cuddle or perhaps a light bounce. I would happily sit in a maternity ward with a baby pressed to my body, gently rocking without realizing it. Admittedly there is a baby age at which I become completely inept: they aren't old enough to tell me what they want and I'm not experienced enough to know. But I still enjoy their company.

I'll be fine, happy, outgoing for months. And then, suddenly, when I'm not looking, I'll lose all my healthy balance and perspective and just want to live in a baby-free world for awhile. I'll dread a trip to Target, knowing that the bumps seem to congregate there. I'll wish my business was in knitting chemo caps, not baby hats, as cancer seems less depressing. And I'll wonder how in god's name I'm going to buy one more baby gift for one more pregnant woman for one more shower. I'll wonder how I'll force my feet to cross the threshold into a baby store or the children's section of a bookstore. I wonder how I'll wrap one more present in pretty pastels representative of the genitalia that is to come. I wonder how I'll manage to crawl through the door of another celebration for another woman who cradles her full and twitching belly as I watch the presents mount.

A woman whose early pregnancy I've happily cheered along at every step posted an ultrasound photo today of her beautiful perfect baby. She spoke of the bobbing and weaving her little one did, moving hands and feet and bringing her to tears. She's worked so hard for this pregnancy and lost so much along the way; I delight in these happy moments. But seeing the caption of the photo "9w1d" became too much to bear. 9w1d. A joyous milestone for someone with a happy ultrasound. But a terrible reminder for someone whose pictures at 9w1d weren't moving. A reminder of how beautiful those babies looked, how perfect and pristine and beautiful they were. And how still. How heartbreakingly still.

So today it is all too much. Today I am beaten. Tomorrow is a new day, a new beginning, a new hope. But tonight I'm just so tired.




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I am hesitant in writing a post like this for although this is my space to say what I feel, I know that people who I love and adore will read it and wonder if I'm speaking of them. I'd hate them to think that my excitement for them has been anything but genuine (although if they really know me they'll know that I don't say things if I don't mean them). And so if you're reading and wondering, know that it isn't you. And even if it is you, it's me. But that it doesn't make *me* any less happy for *you*.

26 comments:

Emily said...

big, huge hugs...

eggorchicken said...

(((Big, warm hugs to you.)))

G said...

i love you sweetie. you are so good at articulating this stuff. it is so complicated and not at all black and white. it's like a web of complex emotion, where you can be genuinely happy for someone and simultaneously devastated. you are such a giving and inspiring person. never stop being honest. it's posts like these that make people realize they are not alone.

sending you (((HUGE HUGS))) and wishing you a speedy wait for the start of stims - i have beyond great feelings about your upcoming cycle :) :)

xoxo

Leslie Laine said...

Amber - thanks for your comment on my blog.

I really loved your post today. It's so easy for me to identify with because sometimes I truly do feel happy for others, and sometimes I just have a down day. So, I understand. I appreciate your honesty, and know that this post moved me. On the eve of a major day of IVF pre-tests, I really needed that.

I'm glad you were able to express yourself here.

l.l.

Lifeslurper said...

Amber: Speaking positively for a moment (how unlike me!) I am going to beat this IF, get pregnant and order some of your gorgeous knitted goods. I will wrap them around my babe and know they were made by a woman who understood. Like the babies we long for, they are made with love.

Andrea said...

I'm sorry you are having such a difficult day. I hope tomorrow is better.

Amy C said...

Hang in there. I am so sorry for sadness today.

On a side note...do you have a blog about your business...some pictures?

andbabybmakesthree said...

One of the things I've always admired about you since "meeting" you on the board is that despite your personal frustrations in this area, I know you periodically check out the parenting and pg boards to keep up with those of us who made it past our m/c and/or IF. I know a lot of other women in your shoes couldn't bear the thought of doing that, and I think it's wonderful that you're still able to offer your support to those people, even if it's just by keeping up with their journeys. That takes a strength that a lot of people just can't find within themselves, and I really admire that.

Hugs,
D

poppy.f.seed said...

I think it is impressive to deal so well, so often. And, it is important to let yourself feel sad when you need to!

Harmony said...

You my dear, are an amazing woman and I am glad you are my friend. Many hugs and bowls of creamy jalapeno for you...

Speaking of...lunch...soon?

Just Me. said...

(((((hugs)))))

seriously? said...

Thanks for stopping by. Now that I use google reader I find I comment less so I am being a bad blog buddy.

You have more strength then I ever have. It can all be so hard to be happy and jealous at the same time (been there so often). You are a wonderful person. You won't be beaten, you will beat this.

Rachel said...

That is a beautiful post. I've been there--I am there--and I don't think I've ever read it written quite so eloquently. We have to learn to allow ourselves to have those moments or days and then gracefully stand up, smile, and move on.

I look forward to reading about your upcoming cycle :)

Tab said...

I'm so sorry. This post was written beautifully, and I'm now officially addicted to your blog!

Jessatsea said...

I think you worded the "unwordable" perfectly!
I am sorry you had a down day and wish I could have been there to give you a hug or just order a margarita!

Love you,
J

Penny said...

You're a far better person than I, as far as feeling happy for others. Big hugs to you. Tuck yourself in with a movie and some wine if you can.

this one said...

We all get it, and you don't have to beat yourself up about it. It's the overall current of good feelings towards others that comes through, and counts.
You mentioned how your business allows you to feel included in a world that is so distant...I think that is a wonderful way to think about it and so important too. xxooo

JenM said...

Big hugs to you. You seem like such a strong person, you are allowed to have these days every once in awhile.

Cassandra said...

Here from ICLW...

Sorry to hear that you're having a hard time. Most days, you sound like you are doing way better than I am in dealing with others' pregnancies and babies. More often than not, IF beats me soundly. I hope that tomorrow is better for you.

The hats you knit are really fantastic. I will look forward to ordering some for myself, someday hopefully soon.

By the way, I think you may not be getting any ICLW visitors because the URL link has the wrong address. I tracked you down because I'm working on Iron Commenting, but I think most people get an error message and skip you. In case you were wondering why you're not getting any ICLW visitors!

nh said...

Returning your ICLW comment...

I'm sorry to hear that you are having a hard time at the moment - I think most infertiles go through those times when they can't cope with seeing another baby or hearing that someone else is pg. The important thing is to remember that you can and will come out the other side.

In Due Time said...

Coming over from ICLW...

Sending you big hugs! I sold diaper cakes for awhile and making them didn't hurt me either. But on my bad days seeing the little socks, outfit, etc sucked because I wanted someone to make a cake for me. I dont cry at a baby story ether.. but I do roll my eyes lol is that bad?

Hang in there honey. You're not alone. ((((((((Hugs)))))))))

Tyler said...

Hello there!

Thank you for the comment. I'm amazed at how straight-forward and heartfelt your post was. You're a great writer and you must be SO incredibly strong to keep your head up and be so honest with your audience and yourself. I admire everything you're doing!

Kristin said...

Lots and lots of {{{{hugs}}}}. I think its even harder when those dark feelings creep up on you. Hope to see you back soon.

sharonvw said...

We all get beaten by this heavy burden from time to time. And its usually the most innocent of remarks/images that makes me feel crushed by the burden of infertility.
Hang in there, tomorrow is a new day.
Here from ICLW

Jamie said...

here from iclw...

beautiful post. You say it so well.

Dawn said...

I wish I had words of wisdom or support for you but I am truly at a loss for words. Wishing you the best. Truly. And Hugs along the way until you get to that glorious 9w1d mark.