So, I can barely piece together a five favorites or seven quick takes post of late. Words, it appears, are my enemy right now. They defy me at every paragraph strophe and then mock me in others’ blog posts.
Well, it could be worse, right?
A friend who is also enduring secondary infertility (longer for her than me…her first and only child was born 10 years ago) and I were talking recently about life in general and how these seasons seem more difficult rather than less some years. We both recounted how during National Infertility Awareness week we got more pregnancy announcements and births than the rest of 2013 combined (this week Mother’s Day week, is a close second) and how exhausting it can be to smile with the invisible veil of tears on the inside and that exhaustion forces us to retreat.
And it doesn’t help in my case that Joey will go to kindergarten this fall and Will will go to pre-K so I’ll have all my kids in school and yeah, there is one still in diapers, but it’s not like it is with an actual physical baby.
I try to cheer myself up and stop the “woe is me business” and chastise myself, “But you have THREE kids! You were told one was a pipe dream.” But somedays it works better than others. It totally didn’t work the day a friend who is a state social worker told me on the strict promise of anonymity that we probably should focus our attentions elsewhere than adopting from foster care because not only is the goal to reunite the child with his or her biological family but we wouldn’t get placed with a child because of Shelby’s autism (autism, the gift that keeps on giving). And she wasn’t crass in telling me this, and not just stating a fact, she was trying to protect us and I realize that. After a lot of discernment, we decided it was the only way we could possibly pursue adoption and knew it was a long shot. Well, turns out it wasn’t shooting blanks, it was never loaded.
As my other friend (the one going ten years and counting between kids) said to me, “We practice NFP dutifully to conceive, we’ve been to the Pope Paul Institute, have a pro-life OB-GYN locally and there is no human answer. When do I get to assume God is saying, ‘no?’ When is it officially considered acceptance of divine will and not giving up?” I know her pain. I have no answers. I have been told it’s a lack of faith to consider myself “done” or consider that “no” might be the answer. I have been praying the same novenas for over three years now…with all this prayer, isn’t it possible God’s said, “Three is enough,” ?
How I started writing this about writer’s block and ended up here, I have no idea. Stream of consciousness, I guess. I try not to talk about these struggles because I know no one wants to hear them. Everyone wants us to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and soldier on. Get a British stiff upper lip and keep calm and carry on.
I wish it were that easy. I’m tired of feeling like an ungrateful child. And I certainly am not going to God saying, “Send us another baby or at least make my heart so grateful for what it has that any ‘want/need’ for another child is overwhelmed by the gratitude.” So, if I retreat, it’s to keep myself fresh for whatever challenge lies ahead and allow myself time to grieve and marvel over my blessings. To rest my smile and ensure it’s not forced. To rest my heart and mend the places it is broken.