I’m in the middle of a spring cleaning. The past couple of months have been a whirlwind of bad news–namely DOR, needing IVF, chemical pregnancy, grandmother dying, and a new diagnosis of a genetic abnormality.
On the incoming front, this has meant I’m really behind in responding to a lot of you. I spent this evening responding to more than 40 blog comments, some of which go back to June. Aïe-aïe-aïe! Next, I have more than 20 emails to respond to and am planning on writing back over the next couple of weeks. Please don’t think I wasn’t happy to hear from you or was actively ignoring you!
Outbound, I haven’t been as active as I would normally like on your blogs — I am behind in my comments on your blogs, and also need to update my RSS reader with your links (feel free to remind me of your blog in the comments section). I am working on that too. Thanks for your patience!
I was really moved all over again by some of the words of wisdom and empathy in the comments. As I re-read them, I felt the wave of emotion that I experienced upon first reading. Some of the well wishes for getting pregnant that month are a moot point, but lovely nonetheless. And some of the wisdom shared made a new impact on me. I am farther along in my miscarriage grief, and that experience has shaped how I am sometimes responding — and sometimes reacting — to the new-found truth of my own biology. It isn’t always pretty, and I can tell I have driven away some readers. Although I am saddened by this, I am also heartened by the number of you who have stuck around.
One comment in particular, from a regular reader who doesn’t have a blog, jumped out at me. Although it is written for me, I wanted to share it because the wisdom contained therein is excellent. I feel that if you are reading this, it could have been written for you too:
I’ve been keenly empathizing with you over the last couple weeks as I can FEEL your pain and sorr[ow], and also your turmoil, coming through your words. I also feel this immense strength coming from you, despite all that you are going through. You are truly demonstrating the strength of character that is revealed sometimes when people suffer. All this to say that–while you are struggling and feeling awful about your inability to be there for others in your life that are pregnant or having babies, and really disliking the person you’ve become, I can say with assurance that you will NOT always be that person. Your character, at your core, remains you- Lauren. And it’s being tested more than ever before, and so now you’re finding out your own limits. We all learn about our limits when we’re tested- regardless of whether it’s infertility, depression, job loss, relationship instability, and yes, limits exist when we have children. The critical piece is how we cope when we’re touching our limits. It’s not always perfect right away, but it’s like learning anything new- we test it out, we try to cope one way, it might fail, we try another way, it might cause reactions in people we care about, so we experiment until we land on something that may not be perfect, but it works, at least for the short term. And then we adapt again when we need to, but it’s more of an evolution and a process. I’m not being flip, I’m speaking from my own experience and that of others that I’ve been involved in infertility with. The good news is that you are clearly a person who, while struggling with your limits, you are ACTUALLY engaging them- you’re not ignoring them, or denying them, or insisting that everyone in the world is wrong while you’re right, or demanding that the world change itself to fit you. This doesn’t make it easier (sorry) but if there’s any peace you can hold in your heart, I hope that it’s to know that you WILL come out the other side, one way or another, and you WILL like the person you become because you’ll be able to be the rock for others that need it while their limits (whatever they are) are being tested. You are not permanently broken.
I recognise that we all have our limits.
For me, that means taking a break from time to time–from being an active blogger, to a self-absorbed writer, to creating visual art when I have no more words, to avoiding pregnancy triggers, to having toast in the morning instead of a bowl of berries. I think I am better at knowing my limits, even though I don’t always butt up against them gracefully.
For some other people, that means not continuing to read my blog, and I have to be okay with that.
For those of you who have stuck around, who continue to engage with me in spite of or because of your limits, I’m glad you’re here. Thank you.