Monday, 11 August 2014

Stepping out of the darkness...together

....This post was from earlier in the summer.... I am just getting around to editing and publishing it now. 

The winter and spring were dark times.  I didn't realize it at the time, but there was a quiet undertone in my thoughts, where I blamed myself for what I was feeling.

I chose fertility over adoption, again.  Maybe it was the wrong choice. 

My body failed us, again.  

If I had made my life fuller, and crafted more meaning and purpose in other arenas of my life, maybe this loss wouldn't hurt so much. 

I shouldn't need so much support.  

Why me, why us, why our baby, AGAIN? 

Today, I realize it wasn't all my fault.  We made choices together with the best information we had at the time to get here.  There were a lot of compounding factors.  There was just so much to grieve.   I remind myself that my three pregnancies and four babies were (and are) a big deal.   That our infertility is a big deal.   That is why I was (and am) grieving.    

I want to write it out here so that I remember.  So, if I ever have to visit those depths again I can re-read this.   They are not excuses.  They were my reality.

Note to self:  You can't control how you feel.   It is ok to grieve, even if it takes a long time.  There were compound factors to my situation.  

There was a recipe to my grief:

Winter weather


The cumulative grief of infertility and loss

A lack of social support

Social isolation

Hormonal manipulation &  pregnancy/miscarriage hormonal factors


No positive distractions


Grief, Depression & Anxiety

We have been at the cottage since early May. We've made plans to return home, which have changed again and again. Now finally, we have arranged to travel back in the third week of August. I love it here- and already I feel sad about leaving. We have been away for much longer than planned originally and we need to check in at home. 

Taking a fertility break for this long was not what I originally wanted, but it is what I got. It has been so tremendously healing. Eating, drinking, and no pills. Ahhh. 

I/we needed this time and place to recharge so desparately. I am still fragile but at least I feel that I have time to glue the pieces back together.  

Sadly though, this summer, D has sunk farther into his depression.  His anxiety has also grown. 

After a big talk yesterday, I understand now that he needs more support from me.  I am all he has, his friends and family only talk about only "level 1" topics as we refer to it.  He needs more support. 

He's grieving heavily.  He is sad about turning 38. He is very sad about not having children.  About the big changes that have happened in his industry.  About his loss of spirituality, and about the loss of mine.   I think he may be sad about being away from home, and his friends too, but he insists he likes being where we are, but yes, he does miss 'his people' at home.  

His grief is expressed a lot different than my grief, and it is harder for me to recognize.  His grief is angrier.  It is moody.  It is grumpy.  It is more frustrated.  It is lonely.  It is less sexual.  It often seems more mad than sad.  It worries, a lot.  All of those symptoms are hidden in other places and situations, and not necessarily discussed within the context of infertility and loss.  

At times, even when I do recognize his grief,  I've been selfishly shielding myself.  I am embarrassed and ashamed to admit this.  However,  I have been treading water for so long myself, I was exhausted.  I finally felt like I could see the shore.  Getting back in the water with him is difficult. I feel like I barely escaped it the last time. 

After our chat, I know he needs me to swim beside him. To be his lifeguard.  So, I'll be jumping in more.  

I wish I could waive my magic wand and make things all better for him.   It's so hard to see him suffer. 


  1. Sometimes seeing them suffer can hurt us the most. I'm so glad that you were both able to take some time away together, to heal, to regroup and to be able to have these supportive conversations. You've been so strong and brave through so much adversity. I wait for the day for you (and D's) joy to completely return. Keep taking care of yourself...and welcome back. You have most definitely been missed. xoxo

    1. Out of everything infertility and loss, I think you're right. It's the thing that hurts the most.

  2. I think guys often express grief a lot differently than we do, like getting angry or redirecting to other things. I've noticed that about M too, and sometimes I'm not even sure if he knows where it's coming from. I know exactly what you mean about having to jump back in and help someone out when you're feeling like you just hauled yourself out. It seems like we're always on opposite schedules too; when I'm down, he's up and has to help me, then he's exhausted and I need to help him. I guess that's what this whole marriage partnership thing is all about.

    1. When we get bad news, I turn into a puddle usually, while he stays strong. Getting meals, going to work. Helping us survive. I think this is why his grief is always a later onset, after things have quieted down. It makes it tougher to figure things out for me.

    2. It's similar for us, we're usually on different up/down patterns. When we lost the twins we both broke down, but in most other situations one of us remains "functional" and supports the other - and usually I'm the one who needs support (or shows that more openly). H has had a few really sad episodes lately, and it's so hard to see - I can be there for him, with him, but I can't actually make it better. I'm hoping you can both find a way out of this.


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