So, I have a bunch of posts in draft form. All on pretty "deep" spiritual topics. All just needing a paragraph or two to finish them. But I've been stuck on them all for a while now. Some longer than others, but I just haven't been able to finish them.
And then Simcha posted a request from one of her readers for someone to write about infertility (secondary infertility specifically) the way that Simcha writes, in a "real way" that isn't all Holy and that says that infertility sucks. (Edited to add: this certainly isn't the way that Simcha writes, she's awesome. But this will say that infertility sucks. Points for meeting 1/2 the criteria?)
I was convicted about what I do here in a way that made my "stuckness" about the draft posts make sense. I realized that if this here blog is giving the impression that I am "holy" and perfect at "offering it up", well then you all have a very different picture of what infertility is like, for me at least. I also realized that what all of those posts in draft form are missing is a paragraph that goes something like this:
"I've just written all of these beautiful (I hope), spiritual thoughts. And I want to believe them. I want to feel them in every fiber of my being and I want them to be true. Occasionally, for fleeting moments, they are true. But honestly? I just want to be a mom and infertility sucks. It sucks big. fat. donkey. balls."
So, in hopes of not negating posts that exist and that are to come regarding the spiritual journey I'm trying to go on - I give you my "keeping it real post."
It attacks everything I am - as a woman, as a wife, in my femininity, in my ability to use my mothering gifts, as a daughter, as a sister. Every. single. thing. is tainted and attacked because my body is broken. It doesn't work.
I am jealous and devastated over pregnancy announcements.
I've avoided baby showers and bridal showers for the past 3 years.
I used to love children, being around them - I was a teacher for goodness sakes, a preschool teacher - and now I avoid them. I sit far away from them in church and I long for daily Mass with the old ladies and me.
I have anger, deep-rooted-want-to-yell anger, lots of times, but especially when there is an intention at Mass for "mothers".
I sob before and after intercourse with my husband because, well, in our world sex does not equal babies. (Not every time, but at least once per month. Once ever is cruel, repeatedly is devastating.)
I see pregnant teenagers and I wonder why God lets them get pregnant and not me.
I am having a second surgery next week - to determine the extent of my brokenness.
I spend hours crying myself to sleep - asking God "why". I walk a very thin line of understanding that I did not, in fact, do this to myself because of being on The Pill for so long.
I have moments of insight, moments of reprieve, moments of clarity and understanding, but they don't last - and they are always replaced with deeper questions, deeper fears. It is the largest onion to be peeled in the world.
I don't want to be a spiritual mother - I want to be a physical mother.
I don't want to "have" to adopt - I want to make a baby with my husband.
I don't want to have to explain why one does not, in fact, "just adopt."
I don't want people to feel sorry for me - or not know what to say to me - or feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me - or talk about me behind my back.
I don't want to snap, hard, at a new priest who was truly just trying to be helpful.
I don't want to plan infertility retreats and start FB groups.
I wish not a single one of us knew each other because of infertility, but rather because we met at "mommy and me" groups and in Catholic moms groups online.
I hate this as badly for you, my infertile sisters, as I hate it for me. In fact, I hate it for you more. If I could fix it for you I would. Which only makes me hate it more, because I cannot fix it for you.
I don't want to ponder how our marriage is fruitful in other ways.
I don't want to dig deep into Church teaching and documents to answer questions about a marriage that is childless being fruitful, and full sacramental.
I dread small talk. I'm an extrovert - I love people. I dread being asked the "getting to know you questions." I avoid meeting new people for this reason.
I have no motivation to run because I am having surgery again and won't be able to run the Pittsburgh half after all.
I feel invisible. Alone. Left behind. Useless.
And I could keep going, but if you've read it this far, to spare you, I shall stop.
I truly do not write all of this to make anyone feel bad, or uncomfortable or even to ask for your prayers (though prayers are always appreciated). I write it because I think I need to get it out. I know it's harsh and rough.
It is real.
If I've hurt you by these words, I am truly sorry. If you've read this and for even a moment thought that you are less alone, then maybe it is worth it.
Or maybe it just contributes to the notion that infertile women are crazy. I don't know.
For those fleeting moments that I believe and feel all of the spiritual stuff that is here, I will continue to write them. To explore them. To try to make sense of all of, this. If I don't, the pit of sorrow, self-pity, and despair that is waiting to swallow me up will win. It will not win. All of this will not win. I'm too stubborn for that. (Hey, maybe I do have a bit of fight in me after all?!?!)
But, for those nights when the tears come, those moments when I want to run and hide, if I am to be honest about this road on which I am, then I must write this as well. Otherwise, I deny that girl who feels all of this, and I make myself truly invisible.