Saturday, December 18, 2010

That woman

It has been raining all day and I am loving it. I feel like the rain always reflects my mood. When I am happy, I love the rain pouring outside while I feel cozy, secure, and warm inside. And when I sad, it feels right that it is dark, gloomy, and wet outside, and provides and excellent reason to curl up under a blanket with a good book.

We are so close to being done with trying to conceive that it is both terrifying and a relief at the same time. (More terrifying than relief-giving, though). I feel like such a minority. I am not simply facing infertility like roughly 10% of the population does, but I may be part of the tiny subset of women who were never able to conceive. In our church of about 600 people, I know of four women who fall into this group. I'm sure there could be more because I don't know everybody, but still - only four. Am I number five?

I have yet to be able to open the Adopted for Life book I mentioned earlier. I just don't feel like I am ready to embark on another journey, while my heart still longs and aches for the one we are getting ready to leave behind. I am not ready to accept that we have may have come to a dead end, but I have wondered why I can't step off of this road and onto another. Why is this so painful?

Earlier this week I eagerly searched for a book out there that would speak to me where I am at. Is there a book out there for people facing the pain of giving up on biological children? I was almost surprised and relieved to find Inconceivable by Shannon Woodward. I ordered it and sat down to read it the moment it arrived.

I sobbed as I read the introduction because it felt like I could relate to every single word she wrote. She was speaking to me. She writes that she has not written this book for the woman who "refilled her clomid prescription this morning", but "Instead, I am writing to the woman who can no longer afford medical treatment; the woman who has come to a medical line she can't bring herself to cross; the woman who can't bear to let her feeble hopes rise yet again, only to scrape them off the ground when they crash. I'm writing to the older woman who has just entered menopause and the young woman who has had to undergo a hysterectomy; women who know their battles have reached a decisive end." She ends the introduction with, "Had you told me the day would come when I could hold another woman's infant . . . with no shred of pain or jealousy, I probably wouldn't have believed you. I would have thought it...well, inconceivable. But that's what happened. Our God is the Healer. Here's how he healed me."

I sobbed at the pain in her words and descriptions that mirrored my own heart. I sobbed as I heard her reassurances that there is another side to all of this - one that is filled with the peace and healing of God. I know this to be true, and have seen it in a number of your blogs, too. But from where I sit today, it is so hard to imagine this dark cloud of pain ever leaving me.

But after I read the introduction, I put the book down and couldn't pick it up again. Am I really the woman she is writing the book to? Are we at the end? I don't know. And even if I do know we are close, I don't feel ready to admit it. I don't want to be that woman. The barren one. The one people can use as an example when a topic comes up, "Oh, I know this one lady who could never have children..." Number five at our church. I don't want to be her. I don't want the book to be written to me.

But does God want me to be?


Jess said...

This is such a touching post. I can feel your despair and how afraid you must be through your writing. Acceptance is usually the last stage of grieving, and it is always the most difficult. We need to know that we did everything we possibly could to conceive a baby before we 'quit'. Otherwise, the hope--albeit small--lingers.

It takes a brave woman to even consider her journey could be ending. No one wants to be a statistic. No one.

I pray you find strength and courage to begin a new journey through this book. God IS our Healer, our source for all things good. Sometimes we just need to 'let go and let God'. It is difficult. So difficult.


sarah said...

i haven't been where you are right now, but i can say that reading adopted for life changed me in a way i didn't know a regular book could. i really, really hope that you get to read it soon.

i have also read inconceivable, and i didn't want to be her either. i do understand that part of what you are feeling.

Melody said...

Not that you need validation, but it's okay that you don't want to be "her". He will conform your desires to his will and if that includes being that woman then you'll wear it well at the time to come. Love how you are true to your feelings and expressing them here.

Secret Sloper said...

I come at this whole experience from a really different place than you. I've conceived, more than once (though I don't have any children to show for it nor know that I ever will have any), so I can't feel your exact pain. And my relationship to God and faith is different, too.

But reading this post, all I could think was that we just don't know what the future will hold, and God can take our lives in directions we never could believe. Still, there comes a time when we need to accept the reality of our current existence and find peace and love and comfort in it. Maybe God will bless you with biological children at one point in the future. We can't predict that. But I do believe you will be blessed with a family, regardless, and that is a special and beautiful thing.

Rambler said...

Early in my journey, I thought of all "those women" I knew growing up that had no kids for various reasons (I even wrote a post about it once). I don't want to be that statistical story either, but I know that I'm already a statistic in just the fact that I've doing/will have done 3 IVFs.

I only wish I knew what God wanted us all to be. It's a journey that we were put on for one reason or another.

I haven't heard of the book you mentioned, I will have to look into it, thanks.

Kakunaa said...

I was lucky to not have made it that, so I can only slightly relate. However, I have some inkling, and I feel for you. Maybe getting all the way through the book would help you with a decision? I don't know. None of this is easy, not even remotely. Finding peace is a journey, and you are on that path, however long it takes. That decision doesn't have to be made tomorrow, or even next week. Breathe, get through the holidays...and slowly work toward peace. HUGS.

Anonymous said...

A very thoughtful and touching post. All I could think at the end though is you're not that woman, keep fighting... this is obviously a deeply personal decision, but these were my thoughts, I am thinking of you.


Hillary said...

We grieved for a long time, but then moved forward with adoption because we finally decided that we were being led in that direction and it was time for us to feel happiness again. I think the grieving was necessary though.

Despite failing infertility treatment we refuse to give up hope, because what is the world without hope? We would love someday to find ourselves pregnant, and who knows, maybe that could happen. But, now it's okay if it never does happen, because I have the joy of being a mommy already.

Although I don't know you, I am praying for you.

kkasun said...

I am sorry for the pain you are going through.
I am thinking of you and praying for you.

Teresa said...

This is a beautiful post Hillary. I hope you find some comfort in the knowledge that with this blog you have become a voice for people going through these same feelings. I am thankful that you write with such grace. I will continue to hope and pray you will achieve parenthood in some way and the joy of that moment will eclipse these dark days.

A said...

I have been there. Or maybe I am still there, getting used to the idea (if that is even remotely possible). It is not an easy place to be, and it is very isolating and uncomfortable. Praying for you (HUG)

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I remember that place all too well. Your head feels like you should be ready to move on, but your heart just isn't quite there. I also had the same fears about being "that woman"...but I have to believe that God will eventually give you exactly the family you were meant to have, and I don't think that means you will live childless. Praying for you, and sending you lots of love...I am so sorry that things have gone this way for you.

gringa78 said...

I am always, always hopeful for matter what your path to motherhood is, I know you will be a mother one day. I will never give up hoping for you.

Leah said...

I always try to remember, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

The intro to this book made me cry too. I hope more than anything that all your dreams come true. But our God is a healing God, and I still have all the confidence in the world that whatever happens, you will find peace and joy in it.

Britney said...

I SOO relate to this. A couple years ago, after we adopted our son, a dear friend gave me a poem. It was about being barren. I was a little angry she gave it to me. It seemed ... cruel... and presumptuous. I couldn't get myself to read more than a couple lines. This wasn't me. I didn't believe we were BARREN. It seemed too soon.
And, it turned out that God had other things in mind -- we are pregnant. Albeit by embryo adoption and not by my genes -- but pregnant. Not barren. Carrying a child. Sure, not conceived by me, but growing and thriving in me.
You never know what God is up to. But we can rest assured His character never changes. it's always good. It's His activity that we are always surprised by. He's got GOODNESS in store for you, Hillary.

heartincharge said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. It's okay for our decisions to be a process and not always, a moment.

Heather said...


You are writing directly to me. Your post here has moved me to tears here at work and I am so in the same place as you are. The money has run out, am I really going to be childless? I feel like the only one alive- my heart is dying inside. I woudl love to really talk on the phone you one day and cry togather and be a friend who so understands your pain. if you would like to talk please contact me at heathermarsden117 at gmail dot com.

praying for you and me and our hearts to be healed. I am definitely going to get that book.

Love you--- Heather

Erin said...

I so sorry you are grieving so much. IF is so hard.

But, don't give up hope.

Maybe God is pointing you in another direction?