The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The American Dream

Many's the time I've been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and I've often felt forsaken
And certainly misused

I am in a slump. It was hard to write those first words. They've been nestled deep inside me all morning. You think to yourself: anything I put in this blog will live on forever. People can find them months from now. But at the same time, haven't we all had our blue periods? What is the shame in admitting it?

On one hand, nothing is wrong. I touched base with my old therapist. How is Josh? He's fine. He has a new job. How are the twins? They're doing great. They just started preschool. Your family? Everyone is fine--my sister just got married. Melissa, I'm trying to figure out the problem. Adding to our family. Oh.

And, of course, I feel guilty for being consumed with this all over again. Not least of all because some of my closest friends--both online and off--have true problems. Have hardcore, no-way-your-heart-could-get-over-that problems.

"At least." This is one of those "at least" situations. I was speaking to one of my best friends a few days ago and she said, "at least you have a great husband." And I tell Josh, "at least we have the twins." At least is a diminishing sort of phrase. It is impossible to feel good about dealing with your problems when you've diminished them into crumbs beneath the table. When you've crumbled them until they are barely recognizable as a situation at all simply because you feel too guilty that you have so many "at leasts" in your back pocket. At least we have a home. At least we have our health. At least I have a great family. At least we live under a democratic government.

So I am not dealing with this diminished problem. Instead, I am dealing with my blue period.

Oh, but I'm all right, I'm all right
I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home

I am preaching to the choir, but it is really hard to see others doing for free what you need to pay tens of thousands to do. And it is harder still to think about how all of that money goes towards a chance rather than a given. We were discussing how we would feel this time with those negative beta phone calls and whereas the first time around, I felt this gutting sadness; this frustration. This time, I told Josh, I would feel a blinding rage. Just discussing the hypothetical possibility, I could feel my entire body tensing as if the rage were an actual organ inside my body, twisting itself up to spring into action.

I would hate myself for having the body that takes away opportunities from the twins.

Rational, no.

Everyone experiences angst with the decision to have another child: how will our world change; can I do sleeplessness again; how will I deal with children of two separate ages.

But separate from all of that is the thought that we could try and fail. We could try and spend thousands of dollars and walk away with nothing. We could walk away now and buy a single-family home and give the twins camp and vacations. We could give up the life we've built for ourselves and take on a different one in order to have it all or we could keep this life and accept that we can't have it all.

When I think about walking away, I get this image in my head of a dysfunctional, 1950's family. I am dressed in this full skirt and fitted blouse with an apron around my waist. Josh is across from me at the kitchen table wearing a suit with a loosened tie. The twins are grown up and dressed nicely. And everything is grey. There is this film over the whole scene. We are all acutely aware that someone is missing and the anger at the table is all directed at me. For letting down the family. They all understand on one level; you can only do so much with reality. But on another level, there is the fact that every decision is always a decision.

When I think about staying with my dream, I get this sensation of claustrophobia in this townhouse that already feels cramped with their four-year-old bodies. Except, with this scene, it's not really an image per se. It's more of this feeling of pressure, of being squeezed from all angles. Unable to breathe. Feeling like these is no out: that I am completely lost as I boost everyone else up.

The whole thought just makes me tired.

And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees


Nothing has changed in the last year. Financially, we're pretty much where we were. Fertilitywise, we're where we were. But where my dream felt floaty and exciting and attainable a year ago, it now feels unsafe. Unstable. And I'm not sure if it's me or if it's the dream.

There is this uneasiness when I look at the dream lately. I read this book during high school, The Fifth Child, by Doris Lessing. It is about a middle class couple who have four children and this idyllic life. You would think that they couldn't get by as well as they do--but somehow, they're making it. And then, they decide to have a fifth child. This fifth child is violent and unloving and hated by the siblings. He is simply difficult to love. He doesn't bring more happiness into the home. He sucks it all away.

And while I know life is not a piece of fiction, that the story is more in line with what happens when we make assumptions and how we love, it is hard to divorce it from my mind when the dream is already wrought with so many gatekeepers, all with their hands outstretched for payment. That part of my dream is just ugly--the lack of romance, the lack of unknown. It isn't a soft whisper. Trying again after assisted conception is like an angry shout. You loudly know what to expect.

And speaking of books, this has been turning over and over in my mind for days. When my grandmother brought me to the lunch table, she didn't cry that her granddaughter was such a great mother. She was in tears because she thought I was so smart. And the feminist in me, the tiny small version of a feminist in me, wondered how she saw me with my graduate degree and work. I always thought that some of that stuff seemed like such a waste, especially in light of the strong sense of family that was instilled in me since birth. Was I the American Dream she didn't get to achieve because it couldn't have happened this way in her time period (not perhaps writing, but being a mother and paving your own career)? Is my life right now my version of the American Dream? And how do I not know the answer?

but it's all right,
it's all right

for we lived so well so long
Still, when I think
of the
road we're traveling on
I wonder what's gone wrong

I can't help it, I wonder what's gone wrong

You just don't think that you're going to be infertile. We get these images of family in our head before we've ever tried to conceive. I was speaking to someone without children and she was going on about the big family she wants to have. And while all may go according to plan, I wanted to say to her: what if.

What if you hate parenthood and don't want to go through another babyhood? What if your partner hates parenthood? What if you can't afford the number of children you want? What if you simply can't produce them?

Then you are stuck like me: with the children who should be here free-floating around your head asking why they aren't here.

You're not here because everything is out of whack.

So override it. You did it once before. You could at least try again.

But if I try and fail, it means the twins get nothing and you're still not here. There are routes that are more of a sure thing, but still. Something has to give.

Aren't I worth that?

Yes.

Yes. You are really worth everything in the world.

It's just that you never expect that you're going to be infertile when you're skipping back down the aisle at your wedding, your heart literally traveling out of your chest like a released balloon.

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above
my eyes could clearly see

The Statue of Liberty

Sailing away to sea

And I dreamed I was flying


I think about it all the time. When we were on the Staten Island Ferry, I was staring at a swath of the ChickieNob's pink pants between her father's jean-clad legs. She was standing at the railing, waving to the statue. And I was thinking about my great-grandmother.

She came to Ellis Island twice. The first time, she came over and said, "feh" to America and went home. Isn't that a crazy story? So many people were trying to get out of the pogroms and she went back to Europe because she just didn't like America. That's the sort of stock I'm from. Opinionated, passionate women. We know what we like and we know how to make ourselves happy. Or, perhaps, she simply wasn't ready to let go of the dream she had inside her head of a life in Europe--a life in her home. Perhaps getting to remain at home was her third child.

She came back a second time and settled here and had four children. And they each had multiple children and multiple children. I have a very large family. And I'm not doing too poorly myself. Two children. In my grandmother's nursing home, we felt like a loud, raucous crew. Preschool twins running around the lobby. A woman said to me later in the day: "you must have your hands full."

So why do I feel like all of Ellis Island was jeering at me as I went past on the ferry?

I feel like my relatives were all saying, "this is the generation we went through everything to produce? Seriously, we escaped the pogroms and concentration camps for this girl who is writing the longest post in the world about having a third child? Just do it. Or don't do it. But thinking this deeply about life isn't going to make the chicken soup, if you know what I mean."

Get over it.

But this is the only life I get to live. I don't want to have any regrets. I want to do it "right."

A soft quotes--I am well aware that right changes from day to day, minute to minute.

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon

We come in the age's most uncertain hours

and sing an American tune

The point is that we can't know. We just have to dive in and do it. Or we have to assume and stay away. But you can't test out most of the important things in life. We took a leap of faith the first time that all would work out. We can take a leap of faith again.

I would like to think that even if there is quite a bit of navel gazing that my elderly relatives would never understand ("who has time for this much thinking?") that my generation was worth the struggle. This time period in Judaism--between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur--is this time of deep reflection. Where you do take stock in your life, decide what you are leaving behind in the past year and what you are taking with you. It is a time of deep apologies--not only to others--but to ourselves.

And this anxiety has come to a fever pitch as I go into Yom Kippur tonight. It feels like a decision must be made now even though I know, in reality, that nothing needs to be decided. I could literally sit on this decision for years. I could make it today and then remake it again two months from now and remake it again two months after that. Even the final word won't truly be the final word unless my heart deems it so.

Oh, and it's alright,
it's all right, it's all right

You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day

And I'm trying to get some rest

That's all I'm trying to get some rest

It is possible, I've heard, that you can change your dream. You can adapt to anything. These are just the growing pains of holding a dream away from your heart and examining it closely. Dreams don't like to be separated from the body; they howl. They cry. Just like something else I can think of as a comparison.

And the fact is that I do feel blessed. I can write without qualifiers, without belittling the blessing in the same breath. I have a lot of blessings and this decision is not the hardest one I've ever had to make. In writing it out, it seems silly to think of it as monumental in my life. There is a lightness and release in putting it into words and holding it away from yourself; even if it howls in protest. It is sort of the same feeling of love that can come hand in hand with the frustration of an inconsolable baby.

I apologize if you're reading this and thinking, like my ancestors in line at Ellis Island, "lady, you don't have problems. Let me show you this tattoo on my arm and then you'll understand problems."

And they're right.

And they're wrong.

And I apologize too--to you--for any times that I have inadvertently hurt you this year. For any times I have not been there for you. For any times you wrote and received no answer. For any times I was sloppy in my wording. For any times that you read a post and walked away with your heart hurting--I had a lot of fears about that with this particular post. For any times that you felt overlooked. For any times that I couldn't give what you needed.

For all these things.

I am not writing this because I'm seeking an answer; I know that the answer has to come from this house and that no one else's thoughts should be considered. Beyond the small echoes of people affected around us, we're the only person who will be living out our choices, after all. I was writing this to get it off my chest. To go into Yom Kippur with my heart weighing 10 ounces rather than the three or four pounds of baggage I've been lugging about.

I'm sorry if I go quiet for a few days. I am feeling very quiet. This time of year does that. It's hard to have to look at your whole year, look at all of your choices, look at all of the words you said. And own them.

64 comments:

Jamie said...

Thank you for this post. You say so many of the things I think and feel but don't have the right words to express. Thank you for saying it and sharing it. I do understand and struggle with many of the same issues you face. I hope that eventually you find your peace with whatever decision(s) you make.

Laura said...

Mel...you do indeed sound blue. But we all know where you are coming from. I hope that you find the time to nurture yourself, and your soul. To find what's right for you . Many hugs....

Shelli said...

Oh Mel.... this is the first post I read this morning, and now I am crying into my coffee.

The words you wrote express so much of how I feel. So much.

People tell me all the time to be happy for what I do have, and I feel guilt-ridden for reducing them. I am so angered at the people that walk around with the wool over their eyes, planning away their future as if nothing will thwart their plans.

I think I need to blog about this today.

Hugs to you. Its okay to be blue. It evens out the flip side.

N said...



Much love and hugs coming your way. I hope that you can make a decision, and be at peace with it, inasmuch as possible.

Wordgirl said...

Mel,

First -- I often read but rarely comment -- and for that I should apologize -- I read and marvel at this network you've put together, your inventiveness and drive --

The second thing that comes to mind is a question -- who soothes the soother -- who comforts the one who does all the comforting -- I am sorry -- for I feel like I took you for granted somehow and didn't see the pain behind it all.

Mel, I will be thinking of you -- you are an amazing,gifted person. I suspect you're harder on yourself than you would ever be on a friend.

My thoughts and love are sent your way,

Pam

loribeth said...

Oh wow, Mel, so much here to ponder & comment on. I totally agree with your feelings about "at least" -- I sometimes catch myself saying it & wince, because they ARE diminishing words.

I could tell you some stories about real-life babyloss/IF friends who have wrestled with the same decision & what they did -- but as you said, ultimately, the decision is yours alone to make. I wish you peace with whatever you decide.

No apologies necessary. : ) (((hugs)))

Hope2morrow said...

Listening. Thinking. Listening.

BethH6703 said...

Thinking of you

Kristin said...

While you do sounds a bit blue, being contemplative is not a bad thing. And, please dear, don't feel like you have to apologize to us. You do so very much for this community.

This was a beautiful, thought provoking post.

Searching for Serenity said...

We are entitled to our blue days. They are what make us learn and be humble.

Take this time to breathe, think and find solace.

Thinking of you.

S4S

Kristin said...

Oops...I hit enter before i was done. I remember when we started having problems when we were trying for our 3rd child. I remember being told, "You shouldn't be so desperate to have a 3rd child. You already have 2." Now, we've decided to try for a 4th. I felt a lot of angst about this decision but I chose to chase the dreams of what if instead of the fears of what if. I'm at peace with this decision. I hope you come to a decision that brings peace to your heart and soul.

Sue said...

Reading this makes me feel quiet. there is no noise around me but the hum of the radiator and my own fingers on the keyboard.

There are so many things I would like to respond to, to say, "yes, me, too." To say, "that's okay." To say, "you'll figure it out."

One of the nice things about this period in the New Year is that time of reflection. To just sit quietly with these things.

My husband and I just beginning to talk about these things: what we're able to risk, what we would like our family to look like in 5 or 10 years. What we can or maybe can't have, no matter how much we want it.

You are always so kind and thoughtful, in your writing, in your correspondence. Please know that -- at least from me -- there is nothing to be forgiven.

Good Yom Kippur. I'll be thinking of you.

Delenn said...

Mel,

I so understand where you are coming from (preaching to the choir, yes). Having a child(ren) doesn't mean that the pain of not being able to have another one is any less. And it is hard sometimes to just deal with life--even when it is good. I often was faced with the "at leasts" and it really did not help sometimes. Your heart wants what it wants.

I have been thinking of that Paul Simon song a LOT lately. Thanks for putting it meaningfully in your post.

Thinking of you.

Grad3 said...

(enter soft gentle voice...)

Forgiveness of yourself.

Mel, that's what I hear in your post. I hear that you feel like you are hurting the people you love no matter what decision it is you might make.

If you can find a way to forgive yourself for any decision you may make, no matter the outcome, you will end up where you were always meant to be. I deeply and truly believe that.

You are a beautiful, loving person and are worthy of your own forgiveness. I think that it's a gift we often forget to give ourselves because we think that we don't deserve it. I encourage you to remember that as you enter the one of the holiest times of the year and as you reflect.

I hope that peace finds you, your family, your home, and your heart soon... ~Big Warm Hugs~

Kim said...

Mel,

I wish that I was there to give you a hug. Or maybe just sit beside you and be quiet, too. You have nothing to apology for. You're human, and humans can't do everything and be everything to everyone. We feel things and want things and do things that can't always be rationalized and don't always make sense. We're faulty. No one is perfect, even those who think they are. But you do so much for all of us, and I can speak for all of us in saying that there is never a day when anyone considers all of the things you don't do instead. You're one woman. One incredibly courageous, strong woman. And I know that your heart is broken and you're left confused... and I'm glad that you feel comfortable with all of us and comfortable enough within yourself to come to us for support. Or to vent. Or whatever it is you wrote this post for. Because in the end, all of the posts in the world won't mean a thing... it's who's there reading on the other end when it really matters.

Joanne said...

Mel:
I don't usually comment because I usually don't feel that I have much to add to this amazing community. But this post really touched me deep. Having been through secondary infertility problems - I had well-meaning people tell me that I should just be happy with what I have. There is truth to that statement, but it doesn't hurt any less.
I have been going through periods of ups and downs myself, but I believe that - like the tides going in and out - it's all meant to be.
Good luck in your decision.
- Joanne

Feliz Dianne Flutter said...

Wishing your angst away. Be gentle with yourself, reflection is a difficult process.

bleu said...

Sending love.

Jess said...

Mel, dear, it's not stupid to think of this decision as monumental and life changing. I mean DANG, it IS! It's the decision to go for another bio child...or not. To go instead for adoption...or not. I'm glad to see you sharing here more, but also sad that you're feeling down.

It's ok to feel blessed and to feel the anxiety and fear and worry that maybe you won't get that one last thing. We're not talking cupcakes here, we're talking MEMBERS of your FAMILY.

It's not silly. Don't think it's sill or feel bad about it.

Really.

luna said...

oh melissa, what a beautiful and heart provoking post. there is so much here. I know the decision must come from your own heart(s), so I am wishing you some clarity and peace as you ponder and reflect.

I love the story of your ancestors too.

chicklet said...

So much of this speaks to where I'm at right now too.

I too feel like I could walk away and have all sorts of great things, and be okay that there's just some things we don't get to have. But I also feel like I think that more because I dont' want to try and fail than that I don't want kids. I do want kids, I just don't want to fail anymore. I want to take the "at least's" and be happy with those things, but I worry what if in 10 years I wish I'd done it differently?

Like you, I feel like I need a decision now, like it can't wait, like I just need to have a direction. I dont' like limbo and I've been in it 3 years - I need it to end.

But the ending's the hard part? How do I choose to give up and hope it's the end, or choose to carry on and get sucked into it never ending.

It sucks that you're here too. It relaly really does.

MrsSpock said...

I've been wrestling with similar issues, but more related to working, staying home, giving writing a go, and having the means to give our son what I want to give him, as well as expanding our family in the future.

It seems like so much of what can become is left to chance, and when you're betting so much on an outcome, leaving it to Lady Luck is too much. I keep shaking the Magic 8 Ball, hoping for an answer, but all I get is ink. It's a suck place to be.

ms. c said...

I'm listening...
Shana tova to you and your family.

Jen said...

I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you.

Michelle said...

No apologies necessary. You do so much for others and this community. You are beautiful strong woman and I hope that you can find peace with whatever decision you make. You know we will all be here to support you and listen any time. I thank you! Sending lots of hugs!!!

Kristen said...

I too am thinking of you Mel and sending some hugs your way. I wish I could be there with you to give you a hug and buy you a drink. You give so much to all of us and I wish there was a way I could give back even half as much. XOXO

battynurse said...

While I can't truly claim to understand what you're feeling, I can say I've felt some of these feelings lately. I try not to think of how much I'm spending just for a chance and how else I could have spent that money differently. I'm trying not to think about what if it doesn't ever work. Hugs to you and I hope that you find peace with your decisions.

Cara said...

Mel - go quiet. We'll all be here when you find your voice again. Wordgirl got it right, "Who sooths the soother?" and that would be us...the soothees.

xoxo

kate said...

Oh, such an elegant presentation of the struggles that we IFers ALL go through. It's weird, 'cos at times, it feels like infertility should only affect this one slice of life, this one question- will I ever be a parent? But truthfully, it just pushes so far into every aspect of our lives. Even when you aren't trying to conceive, infertility is there, barking at the door, to remind you that there are things to be considered.

That promotion? Well, maybe you shouldn't take it because you need to have more flexibility for RE appointments. But then again, the money would be awesome.

That trip? Well, if treatments go well, you'll be pregnant then, and you won't be cleared to fly. But if you aren't, then getting the hell out of here is really appealing.

Education? Well, you better hurry up and finish whatever it is that you're going to do, 'cos unlike everyone else, you really don't have forever. Your biological clock is rigged up to a bomb that will shortly explode relieving you of any remaining ability to produce a biological child.

House or condo? New car? Move to a different city maybe? Train for that marathon? Even whether or not we should put built-ins in the office that could, someday, make a great nursery...

No decision, no area of my life, is untouched by infertility.

And I HATE it. The "what-if"s will kill you every time. And I hate that, because I love pondering "what-if"s, but this always feels way too serious to play those games with. I hate it.


I know, I know. Big revelation, Kate- you hate being infertile. Big whoopdie-doo. Everyone hates it. It's just so rare that I really acknowledge those could-be-kids floating around in my head, and thus so rarely that I acknowledge the incredible opportunity costs of infertility.

Suck. Just suck.

Ah, well. I wish you peace as you hash through the decisions, however long the process ends up being for you (or how many times you remake the decision, two months or even two years from now).

calliope said...

you, my dear friend, have a stunning and amazing gift not only with words but with painting with these words.

Because I am doing some meditating on my own I couldn't help but see a visual in your words. Right now I am focusing on labyrinths. And this post reminded me of that.

With a labyrinth you begin a journey and you think you know where you are going, but there are turns and turns and in some moments it feels like you are back where you started. But you always end up to the core.

Please know that all you have to be for us is your full and real self. Deciding to jump off a cliff into the effed up world of "trying" is scary, scary stuff.

I am beaming love to you right now and know that you will feel it in your bones when it is time to leap.
xoxo

Shinejil said...

I think those who went through some of the worst trials humanity has created would be delighted that you were here, that you didn't have to go through what they did. That you were thinking seriously about another child.

I think they'd understand.

I also think you needed to write this entry and to dwell in the blue for a while. You'll find the answer.

Jendeis said...

What a beautiful post, sweetie. I wish I was there to give you a hug. It's like you are able to express the swirling emotions in my head.

G'mar chatimah tovah, maideleh. May you have an easy fast.

Another Dreamer said...

This is such a beautiful, beautiful, post. Thank you for sharing what's in your heart right now. And I hope that putting it out there does help alleviate some of your feelings of heaviness.

Rebecca said...

Gmar chatimah tovah...whatever "tovah" may look like for you...and tzom kal. Thank you for all you do.

Meridith said...

(((hug)))

A.M.S. said...

Ah, Mel. I can't be there, so know that I'm sitting here in a sphere of quiet, thinking of you, hoping that some of that quiet reaches across a river, the mountains, a continental divide and wraps around you.

Turning calendars bring introspection, sometimes whether we want it or not. Our own hearts are often the hardest things to know.

You know where I am if you need me. I don't have much, but I have quiet to share.

annacyclopedia said...

I'm having one of those cries that only happen when something touches your heart unexpectedly, and I don't know if I'm crying out of compassion for you or for myself. Both, I guess.

This pain of wanting to do it right (when right is slippery and nebulous and mercurial) runs so deep in me, too. For me, it makes it so hard to be gentle on myself - who else is going to lug around my three or four pound heart? And I guess I always find it painful when I see, or am shown, how much I do this to myself. This post is a mirror, Mel, in addition to being a beautiful and rough jewel of your own experience. Thank you for that.

May you find peace and forgiveness for your own tender, hurting heart this Yom Kippur.

B said...

I wish you peace and lightness this Yom Kippur.

angrycanrn said...

Ah Mel,

You have done so much for so many. Time to take the time for you. To listen to the silence and do the pondering that you need to do. I wish you peace in that process.
Your hope to add to your family should not need to be qualified. No one else has a limit to the number of "things" they wish for in their lives. Obviously you are grateful for the family you already have, that does not negate your desire for a larger one.

You can be thankful for all that you have fought for and for all you have been given. AND. Still have dreams.

K

Photogrl said...

Thank you for writing this post.

The idea of trying again is not an easy one to find an answer to. I question myself everyday on whether I should keep going forward with TTC a sibling for my little one.

Thank you for being so open and honest. I am often in awe of you and all that you do.

Many {{HUGS}} to you...

renovationgirl said...

A beautiful, moving and powerful post that clearly so many of us relate to in this community. Thank you for putting into words so eloquently what I have never been able to say, but have felt so deeply.

Jen J said...

Thank you Mel, for this wonderful, beautiful, emotional & raw post. Thank you for letting us in to your heart and mind right now. These are decisions that don't have to be made today, tomorrow or next week - maybe the answer will be clear the further you get along the journey. I will pray that you get your answer when your heart is ready to hear it.

Shana Tova to you & your family.

Aurelia said...

That apology? We forgave you before you asked.

Now go find some peace.

Happy Yom Kippur?
(Please read that as me trying hard, but unsure what the correct greeting is!)

Lori said...

Please treat yourself with the same compassion and kindness that you treat us (regarding the way you see yourself in the dreams.)

Interesting thing: the tune of this song is from Bach's St Matthew's Passion. Another lyricist used the title "O Sacred Head Now Wounded."

So mix passion and a deep wound, and we have you, this moment.

There are many verses, but this one seems appropriate here:
The joy can never be spoken, above all joys beside,
When in Thy body broken I thus with safety hide.
O Lord of Life, desiring Thy glory now to see,
Beside Thy cross expiring, I’d breathe my soul to Thee.

Feel your sadness and quandary. Ask for the answers. Open to receive. Know there is love all around you. Know your path is guided.

theclam said...

Wow Mel, just wow. I hope that you know that for any hurt that you may have inadvertendly caused, you caused a heck of a lot more joy and happiness in this last year.

Sending you great big HUGS!!!

xxx

Leah said...

Understand this... you have never inadvertently hurt me. You have never failed to be there for me. You have never failed to answer my emails. Your wording is amazing and downtright awe-inspiring, not sloppy. If your posts ever made my heart hurt, it was only in sympathy for you. While I have often felt overlooked, it has never been by you. Your friendship and the attention that you pay to me feels like I've won the lottery. Like I'm BFF with a celebrity or something.

Sunny said...

It is like you crawled into my head and heart and pulled out what I wanted to say. I am quiet these days too. Quiet and blue. HUGS to us both!

towalkonfertileground said...

To walk on fertile ground is to realize we are never alone. We sometimes carry the burden to be strong for others and suddenly realize that strength is self-made. The God of all Comfort is our hope for living and walking on fertile ground daily. What is the fertile ground? Hope. Blessings. Breathing. Love. Faith. Forgiveness. Excitement. Friendship. Honor. Belief in things unseen... walk with me on fertile ground today. Abundant Joy to you always.

PamMadsen@thefertilityadvocate.com said...

Hi Darling...
There is no American Dream anymore really....there is only our dreams...what we truly want in our lives - and how devoted we are to getting it. It is possible that your twins are enough in your life and you are coming to that place..and it is possible that in order to be truly whole you need to continue on your quest. Sometimes it is our pain that drives us into getting what we want most. Perhaps it is time to really tune into that voice and listen clearly to what your heart is saying - and ask you mind to please be quiet!!!! PS. I added you to my blog roll. Love your writing and your heart. Keep rocking...keeping writing.

Happy New Year....
Pamela Madsen
http://www.thefertilityadvocate.com

Somewhat Ordinary said...

Mel, I'm sorry you are so blue! I think most of us on these boards have been in your shoes. I'm thinking of you and wishing you peace in your decision.

Kathy said...

Mel,

I am following Shelli (Bag Momma's) directions in her post and reading yours before I finish hers... :)

Thank you for sharing. I too can relate the "at leasts" and the struggle to determine how far to take my dream of having a living sibling for our son. I understand what it feels like to be so grateful for the blessings in your life and yet want more, especially another child(ren).

I liked your image of leaving your wedding ceremony with so many dreams ahead of you and not realizing that some of those plans may not happen as easily, if at all, as you assumed they would. I was thinking about just that last weekend when my sister got married, about how I would have never dreamed my life would have gone as it is.

Anyway, I am glad that you got your feelings out and I will be thinking of and praying for you and Josh as you decide if and when you want to move forward with trying to have more children. I know it is not an easy decision and as much as it can be helpful to talk about it with others and get their input, as you said, it is one that you have to make for yourselves.

Hang in there. Thank you for being you and sharing so much of yourself and your gifts/talents with all of us. (((HUGS)))

Dora said...

Mel, I've been thinking about this post since yesterday morning. (I could have left the first comment, but couldn't get my thoughts together.) I admit to not always having the nicest thoughts about those dealing with secondary infertility, but I was wrong. We all have dreams for our families. No one's dream is "wrong."

I have one sibling who I have a difficult relationship with. My parents both had one sibling. They both also had difficult sibling relationships. So I always thought one would be perfect. I figured if mine was the home where friends were always welcome, my child would be fine being an only. My dream was of a perfect triad, mommy, daddy and child. I keep having to amend my dream. No daddy, okay. Let's get the drs to knock me up. Oops, ovaries not cooperating. Amend dream again. Let go of a genetic link to a child. Not as easy as I glibly wrote.

There are some days that pregnant blogs and mommy blogs are too hard to read. No one's fault, just where my head/heart is at that moment. There are other days that they give me great hope. We are all sisters in this battle. Good sisters lovingly support each other's dreams.

You, my dear, are an extraordinary sister!

Heather said...

Great post. Hope you feel better soon, but I understand exactly how you feel as I work on having our second child. My daughter's eighth birthday was quite bittersweet. Not just because my little girl is growing up, but because she doesn't have a brother or sister yet and it's been 8 years of waiting.

Vacant Uterus said...

You are carrying so many heavy burdens. And you're right, no one else's opinion *should* be considered.

Even so, our problems mean as much to us as they do. They aren't quantifiable on an objective scale. You can't say "This problem weighs more than that one." Situations differ but emotions, perceptions, none of those fit a set scale.

It's the hope of my heart that you leave your burdens behind with the close of Yom Kippur and begin again, lightened.

JamieD said...

It should be me apologizing to you . . . I have received so much comfort from you since discovering your blog. More than you could ever realize.

It's okay to go quiet. Take what you need.

Barb said...

Oh My. It is NEVER easy.

"But this is the only life I get to live. I don't want to have any regrets. I want to do it "right."

-That blurb is me to an absolute T. I feel you on this. It's one of the reasons I have such a hard time "giving up" on my body. I had to do everything the "right way," in my life, and I'm terrified of regrets.

Piccinigirl said...

I understand the need to process, to be still. I have been quiet a lot this year, and it's because I have things to say but don't know "how". I don't want the regrets that come with writing down, logging, summing up feelings of shame, inadequacy, love and pure joy.
The decisions are never easy. I used to say "at least that my decisions about 'this' are over" but everyday I am reminded that they will never be, because everyday brings new questions about those decisions.

Much love and hugs to you. wishing you peace, quiet and decisions that make your heart sing.

Samantha said...

I think your post rings so true to any time we think about taking risks when we are situation where we know we could remain comfortable. Things could turn out beautifully or horribly wrong. It's hard to know where true happiness lies or when we have caught up with our dreams or pursuing them no longer seems worthwhile.

I hope this yom kippur will give you some time for peaceful reflection.

Pamela Jeanne said...

We can be our own worst enemy at times, can't we?

Each day I try to be a better person. Some days I succeed more than others...

Cassandra said...

Fascinating post.

I won't deign to offer you any wisdom, since as you say this is a decision that must be made in your own house. But I invite you to continue to share your thought process in blog form. It hopefully will be helpful to you, but I guarantee it will be helpful to hundreds (thousands?) who experience many of the same dilemmas.

I wish you all the best, always.

Alyson & Ford said...

Reading this late at night (I am NOT complaining about sleep deprivation!), you are very thoughtful and gracious. Quiet times, let's me thing too much.
Life goes by quickly; seek your dream. Define it. Don't wait. Life is to be content and dreams aren't helping if they take away your joy and blessings you do have; dreams should make it better; bring more joy. Hear your story. Hear from God. You are right, infertility is a problem; overriding is a good word, but don't force your will. Maybe since I have been infertile for so long and no hope; one must face our own purpose and find contentment and joy - they do go together. (I do want to write some comfort for you, so sorry for your blues, you write beautifully)

Alyson
Celebrating 25 days as Alyzabeth's Mommy

Gypsyhick said...

Giant hugs to you and your amazingness the eminates all the way up to Canada to open my mind and warm my heart.

Bea said...

And I apologise for not keeping up as well as I should be lately.

"And they're right.

And they're wrong."

This is a gorgeous post. I started it many times and kept getting interrupted and have only just made it to the end. I hope you get to live the dream that suits you best.

Bea

Julia said...

I want to suggest to you a different way to word things. You are right that "at least" diminishes the problem you are talking about. I found a different way to talk and think about these issues. Instead of diminishing a problem by talking about the blessings I tend to say "it could have been worse if [I didn't have the blessings I do have]." Maybe semantics, but it helps me, and to me it seems more respectful of the problem and the blessings both.