Monday, March 9, 2009

The Fork in the Road

It happened again. Another friend of mine was pregnant! This made two people in one week that I knew, and had to be happy for. I had just gotten home from hosting a baby shower for my best friend. I was happy for her, she was having a girl. She said I would be the childs' Aunt, which made me very happy. But baby showers drain me. Emotionally. The endless conversations about the miracle of being pregnant, of feeling the little life-being moving around and growing. The sonograms. The nursery and the proud daddy. It made it worse when people asked me if I had kids and when I said "No" with a straight face, they looked at me funny, as if quizzing to themselves why I would not, at this stage in my life, have children yet.

Eventually I quit telling people why and let them draw their own conclusions. It always helped ease the awkwardness when I stated, "I have two dogs, so I'm happy." That usually brought a laugh and they would move on, or I would say, "I have a niece and nephew. I spoil them, then send them home!" It worked every time, then I could better hide behind my bitter mask that threatened to slip and betray the longing that was always there.

It got old, and too personal too, trying to always explain the complicated hormone issue and taking the blame, over and over, that we do not have children because of me. I grew weary of people telling me of all the options and "Maybe you're meant to adopt?" It was too personal explaining the dreary regimen of fertility drugs that we attempted and failed at miserably. It was too challenging because I couldn't tell the whole story, about how many nights I sobbed quietly so that I would not wake my husband, because I felt so helpless.

There was a need so large in my heart: I wanted a baby and I couldn't make it happen! So many long nights...

The worst part is when we hope, but then I tell him I've begun another cycle or when I inform him that someone else we know has gotten pregnant. His face falls. It's only for a moment, but I see it. I see the hurt, the disappointment, the confusion and I feel the blame so heavy in my spirit it's like walking around with a weighted vest. I could see him being a good dad, and I know he desires it as well. How to feel... I can't give him what I should rightly be able to provide!

And the weekends that my husband works late and I am alone..
whole weekends that I exist under a cloud. It is a cloudy, rainy, windy day with nothing to do but stay inside and mope (not really, but that's how it feels). And cry. Walking the halls, talking to myself, yelling my frustrations to God, asking "Why? Why can't it happen to me?" and hearing only the hollow beat of my broken heart in reply.

My friend messaged me that she was pregnant by her boyfriend of so many months. She wanted a baby, and she got what she wanted. Simple as that.
I sat there, stunned, reading the message again.

"We're having a baby together," the words mocked.
A baby. Together..
Slowly I typed the words, "Ok" and hit send. It was all I could do.
My husband was sitting next to me. I heard hollow words telling him that our friend was pregnant. He turned to look at me quickly, his eyes wide with shock. Then, as usual, they faded to normal and he turned back to what he was doing.

I felt a numbness stretch from the top of my head, across my eyes, and into my thoughts.
The breaking point had been met. My heart had been stretched taut for too long and finally, I was letting go. The splintered shards of my soul untangled and fell around me as I fell with it and I cried to God. I told him I was angry, that it wasn't fair and how much more can one person take? Is this supposed to happen? Everyone close to me getting what I want in waves but not me? Just when I get through one person's pregnancy, there's another. How can I do it again? I can't, not again! What about my husband? He deserves to be a father! Why did he pick me? Why does this have to be my burden?
After awhile I looked around me. The green clock on the wall in the den ticked it's usual steady sound, as if nothing had happened, as if a storm of rage hadn't just swept through the house. The dogs lay in their usual spots sleeping and dreaming. The heater kicked off. All was calm and quiet. And I had no answers.

After I cried all I could cry, and then a little more,I messaged my sister (texted, not called. I was too emotional at this point). My sister had many miscarriages and just as much trouble conceiving. I remember when she finally birthed her second child we were all so relieved! I don't know that we could take the emotions we felt for her and from her again when the pregnancies failed. So much misery!

I asked her, "What did you do when you had all you could take?"

She told me she cried out to God in her anguish and despair and told Him "I can't do this anymore. YOU take it, it's in your hands now".

She said anytime she started to feel those feelings or think those despairing thoughts, she would say a little prayer and push them as far away from her as possible.

While I was out of town for the baby shower, we had to go buy cups for punch and balloons for the mailbox. I was looking around the little store when I saw a display of necklaces. They were chain necklaces with a charm on the end, that was shaped like a Bible and was a locket. I bought my sister and I both on a whim ( I say whim lightly. I was leaving when I turned around and decided to buy them).

Back to my sister, her advice sounded good. The next few days I wore the locket and any time I started to feel myself sinking, I mentally gathered all those thoughts and feelings, physically opened my prayer box, put the mental feelings inside of the box, and shut it up quickly.

It worked.

Then something happened....

To be continued due to the time change and it is now 2 a.m. and I have to be at work at 8 :)

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