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The Childless Mother

Dealing with infertility and finding happiness

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Christmas fertility

New Year, New beginnings.

I love NYE it brings with it a potential to wash the previous months away. A fresh start.

Every year as we desperately tried for our family, a new year would provide a new hope. An opportunity to say, “This is our year, next year we will stand here holding our baby or bump”

As more time passed, that New Years wish made on the stroke of midnight became more of a plea – Please let this be the last year I am childless.

As we move into almost the 16th year of trying there will be no wish this year. As the hope has now gone. I move forward with only the wish that my heart can heal. I no longer want to feel this hurt.

2019 has been a successful one in so many ways. There is so much to be thankful for in my life but yet this still eats away at me. It’s something I have no control over. It is what it is.

I hope that 2020, the start of this new decade, I hope that it can bring with it peace. A moment of happiness that is no longer tainted by the longing that can never be. An ache that won’t ever leave. If I could feel that peace I would be content.

My empty arms may always mourn the children I never got to hold, but I’m trying to not let this define the rest of my life. Finding a way forward is hard. But with a brand new year just around the corner. I’m going to do my best to try!

Well it’s nearly another New Year.

As Christmas disappears for another year, my thoughts turn to the new shinny year ahead. So much promise and unknown adventures. But I am hesitant.

I’m not one to make resolutions. I’ve never really understood needing to wait to do something at the start of a new year. I think if changes can be made, there is no time like the present, not waiting for Jan 1st.

It’s not always been the case of cause. I pinned so many of my hopes on “this will be our year!” To only be left bitterly disappointed as another year ended childless. I suppose in a way I’m tainted.

As I imagine the new year, I don’t imagine me cradling our new baby, not like I once did. I don’t get a warm fuzzy feeling of the promise of the year ahead. I get a feeling of almost desperate certainty that 2019 will not end with our baby finally arriving, but instead another year of trying to find a way to accept this.

I have had a lot of big changes to my life this year, leaving a career of 15 years and starting my own business, trying to fight to get to the IVF weight I just never seem to be able to reach. With this year being added to a number of difficult ones, loosing my cousin and loosing another baby, I do sometimes wonder how I can find a smile.

It’s true to say I’m not the same Sharron that I was four years ago. Like my family, I’m broken. I’m broken from the grief of loosing Gavin, something I never believed would happen until it did. I hate cancer for that. I’m broken from the missing heart beats from the pregnancies that couldn’t survive in my body. I’m broken the loss of the dream, of being a family with children. The effort of trying. The complete and utter despair that comes from trying for all these years. I could be lost in this grief and never smile again, but somehow we do.

Here’s the thing, it’s a cheesy meme waiting to be posted that we don’t know how strong we have to be until that’s all that’s left. Focusing on the good in our lives. My wonderful husband, my mum, our families. Our nieces and nephew. All reasons to smile. Some days it takes tremendous strength to be “OK” but I think that’s sometimes what makes us warriors. I do often feel like I’m at war, with my body mainly. My anger, my sorrow, my fear are of cause all part of what we deal with, but my love, my sense of fun, my need to find my smile in the worst moments is bigger. It wins.

Is it fake? Sometimes. Show me anyone on this journey that hasn’t had to fake a smile here or there. Not just on this journey but in general. But a lot of the time it’s not. I’m fighting every day to find the positive in this. Not just New Years. Every day, Every bloody day!!

Dear Santa….

Another year has passed. I’m grateful for a lot of things in my life so there’s not much I can ask you for. Material things seem unimportant as long as I have warmth, shelter and food. So many don’t have these things so anything above this feels greedy. I do have something above this however that I am so incredibly desperate for.

A baby.

It may seem repetitive as I have asked for this for so long and in truth I almost didn’t ask at all this year but who knows how many more years I have that it’s even a possibility? I’m getting old in baby making years so they say. I don’t feel it. My brain still thinks I am 18 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️.

As each year passes I’m resigned more and more to a life without a child. I try hard to focus on the good things in my life but the ache just won’t leave me. I watch with jealous eyes as families make plans for your big day, the activities and adventures they have, the pantos and nativities, theplans and parties. I watch some what displaced and out of reach. We just don’t fit in.

Each year I have wondered what the next will bring, the optimism that this will be our last as Childless, next year will be our year. As time moves on the optimism has died, so this year as I reflect on the ones before it I will actually change my Christmas list.

This year if you can’t bring us a baby, please bring me peace and acceptance. Make the pain I feel from the chips and breaks my heart from every child we have lost feel less. As we wake on Christmas morning I no longer want to mourn the loss and wonder what the day would have been with excited cries of “Santa’s been”. Let me be truly content with journey we have had to take.

I look forward to another day with my beautiful husband and hope that one day the above will happen.

Thank you, Merry Christmas ❤️🎅🏻

Childless at Christmas ….. I’m broken.

I try really hard to carry on and don’t let the scars show but sometimes it’s hard.

I always find Christmas difficult although I absolutely love this time of year it’s bitter sweet. The reality of dealing with infertility has meant for me that I have built and armour around my heart. I tell myself I’m ok and to not think too much about the what ifs.

I do well at this normally.

Just now I’m failing miserably.

As my husband and I sat in our cosy little living room the other night, he was watching the tea time game shows he loves so much and shouting the answers (mainly right) at the TV like the contestant might hear him and I sat doing a 5D diamond art, I felt an over whelming sense of grief and loss. I don’t know what sparked it or why it flooded me with sadness but it did.

My mind wandered to what we may be doing as a family with children, certainly not what we were actually doing. Perhaps we would be doing homework or bath time and stories. Perhaps we would be colouring in with them or praying for a moments peace to be doing exactly what we were actually were doing having “me time” while they ran rampaged around the house. Maybe we would be watching a christmas movie together as we hung the decorations. ……. I can’t even continue to finish this line of thought in blog form. It hurts too much.

I bury those thoughts so deep that when they escape and I let my self wonder, I feel the crack in my amour and I cling on so tight to the tears that threaten. Not just the silent tears I have so often cried but the body wracking sobs that I hold in. I hold them so tight my head and throat ache from them.

It was made worse by reading a news article of a little baby around a month old murdered by his mother and step father while they were high. I’m completely broken by that little boy. The life he could have had if he was only born to someone like us that would have protected him, kept him safe, loved him. I don’t understand how the world is so cruel.

People often say that they can’t imagine how it feels to be going though what we and others like us have. I think the feeling is a simple one. To step back just for a few moments of your busy life, to look at your beautiful children doing what they are doing good and maybe the tear your hair out moments too. Now imagine what your life would be if they were never there.

I know some may glamourise our life, that we don’t know tired. We don’t know worry. We can just do what we want when we want but the fact is I would do anything to have my life turned upside down. No ones life is perfect. I know if we had kids we wouldn’t find it easy. It’s bloody hard. But nothing worth having is easy. I want so badly to know.

To hold a child that’s a little of me and my crazy family and part my husband and his family. It’s so sad that we may never know.

I know I’ll be ok. I will find a way of pulling my amour back into place and continue, after so long it becomes the norm for me. Still, every now and then, I do wonder just how it would feel to be complete. To have this hole in my heart repaired. I think that would be a relief.

It’s OK not to be OK….

***IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A SUNSHINE MOTIVATIONAL BLOG … perhaps skip this one 😁😁***

Christmas was a little tough. I’m struggling. Mentally I struggle a little anyway over such a family focused moment in time, because of cause I do wonder what it would be like if our babies had made it. But this time it was the other side to infertility that spoilt it for me. The physical side effects, and the last two months it’s been the worst! No break from the pain.

I am so tired of brave facing it.

I am on the whole a glass half full sort of person but recently my glass is most definitely empty.

I personally have never suffered from depression. I have a few people in my life that do, so I don’t feel embarrassed to share that I am struggling. It’s important to talk about, I my case I turn to what’s always helped me process things, my writing (however bad it is lol).

How do you pick yourself up when you are so low that even getting up and getting dressed is a struggle? The pain I’m in at the moment is constant and I am so fed up with it that it IS effecting me mental health. I would be happy if I could live in a bubble of Netflix, a good book and my duvet! I can’t obviously.

I’m not sharing this with you guys so that I get the “ahh poor you’s” I don’t need that, but because I know that I’m not alone and I feel like I need to let it out. There are so many off us suffering through the side effects of having these long term fertility issues and I know a lot of you like me find themselves having to justify and explain how bad it is and why you are struggling, that it’s more than just a normal monthly. Those social events missed or going out doing anything. The guilt of letting people down again. But now, I am more than just feeling guilty. I’m actually angry.

I just feel pissed off that not only is it preventing me from giving my husband a family, but it effects every area of my life!! I never know how I will be able to cope with going out, shopping, meals, traveling, etc because of the pain or if I can leave the bathroom floor!! I always have to check dates and hope for the best.

The pain this time started mid November and it’s still going thanks to some complications that I won’t bore you with and a lovely new cyst!!

This weekend for example I spent on the couch because anytime I stood up right I had incredible shooting pains from the tops of my legs to my jaw, every time I moved it had to be a calculated cautious one, timidly feeling how bad the pain was going to be when I did straighten up to then just get to the toilet or kitchen etc.

There are so many horrible and worse illnesses out there I know and when I am feeling moany I try to give myself a shake and then generally feel guilty for being a wuss.

Some times it’s easier to get back up and continue at 100% effort. Other times I just can’t and the pain is relentless, for the last two months especially there has not been a day passed that I haven’t had to stop what I am doing hold my breath and try not to cry out in pain. I so fucking sick of it. The last two months have been bad but this isn’t the first bad stint, ever since my very first AF (Aunt Flow) at 10 years old the pain some months has floored me.

Currently I’m at “well I’m awake and dressed what more do you want” level of effort. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

What makes this worse for me is that I continue regularly to go thru this pain, a regular cycle that should have brought us a baby and still my arms are empty and feels like it’s punishing me further by making them so hard to deal with. The crushing disappointment of another failed month followed by terrible pain and sickness. It makes me so resentful I could scream!!

After all these years we are so close to the final phase of treatment. I have 27lbs to loose to have IVF. But I have never felt so fed up with it all. I’m slowing rolling back round to the “why us” way of thinking. WHY US?! Why do we have to go thru this. Isn’t 13 years enough already of this!?

Yes. I realise this is like a blog tantrum. And no I do not care. 😁

If anyone needs me I am under the covers with chocolate ….. oh no wait…. I have to work and I’m loosing weight….. FML!!

Feeling The Loss of Our Babies…

For those who know me in the real world. They don’t see a lot of the pain I feel. I’m sure reading these blogs offers a shocking insight into how I’m really feeling when they may have seen me that day smiling and getting on with things.

Behind the smile of a lot of couples dealing with infertility is pain carried silently. There are tears shed in private and never shared with the world around them because it can’t often be articulated. The words just sometimes won’t come out.

The last few weeks I have been struggling. I’m having some health issues which are side effects from the PCOS meaning I am in a great deal of pain at the moment and I’m exhausted. So because I’m so tired I feel terribly low.

My whole family is also struggling with a loss. I mention my cousin a lot here, he was my little bro really. We miss him so much. Loosing him and our babies are the only time I really can say I understand “heartbreak” as in my heart feels like it’s actually painfully broken. We lost him in early January 2016 so the Christmas period was just awful and now it’s a reminder of that as hard as we try to “Get on with it”

I’m sure this is why I am struggling with our babies too. Normally I am quite good at packing those feelings away in a box and leaving them there. I don’t dwell. If I did I wouldn’t never get out of bed. But right now any moment that I’m quiet or alone, my brain is taking those memories out and parading them around. Not just the memories of the experience of actually loosing them but the “what ifs” that often are a side effect of this time of year.

Unlived lives of our little ones plague my dreams and make it impossible to get back to sleep. The excited moments leading to the arrival of the big man, the joy and overwhelming love watching your children revel in all the wonderful moments of the season. I can imagine those things. I can almost see our life with our children. Instead I’m just ….. empty. The ache from wanting to hold my babies is sometimes overwhelming.

I long for a time when it won’t hurt so much. I’m terrified that it won’t get any better and worse we will never have that child. I don’t think even if we do it will ease the last 13 years. How could it?

So laid here in the dark, I am sharing this with all of you out there who may also be laid in the dark shedding tears you won’t shed in the light of day. Tomorrow I will get up and dress for work. I will take pain killers for the physical pain and I will push down the emotional scars. Like so many others out there.

If you are reading this as someone trying to understand a friend or family member in our position. Just take a look around you at your children. Hug them extra tight. It’s simple really to empathise with us, just understand we feel the love for our unborn babies or the babies we long to have in the same way. We have imagined our lives so often with our children. Our arms are simply empty. All you have to do is be there to hold their hand. No advice needed. They may not tell you about these moments that they are alone and crying but they will be happening. Be careful with your words.

Some of the things said to couples that they have shared with me are thoughtless and even cruel. Try to remember they haven’t asked for this. It’s not as easy as “moving on” they certainly are not being “selfish” if they aren’t able to face baby focussed events that often people ask them to attend for other people. Often assuming we should be the ones to brave these things so they don’t upset family members. They use their brave faces a lot, try to understand and support them when they can’t do it. It’s not selfishness it’s them trying to survive what they are going through.

If you are a couple going through infertility and are often found alone and weeping as I am now. Know you aren’t alone. I can’t promise that we will all get our miracles, but I can promise you that for as long as I can I will share our story to help others understand. To speak for those of us who can’t find the words.

I hope that one day we find peace with it all. That I find a way to never for get my babies but that it won’t be so painful. Is that so much to ask?

Surviving The Holidays With Infertility.

It’s almost impossible to get through this time of year without reflecting on the struggle to become parents. Regardless of it taking one year or like in our case 13 years. It’s painful and sometimes you wonder how you will get through it.

I feel that a certain amount of autopilot happens. The first few years I was still optimistic so we would have the “This time next year! Fingers crossed!!” conversations. As the years passed those conversations are less frequent and in truth because I am getting older I think people just don’t want to bring it up. That’s ok by me.

In the early years there really were some awful moments around the holidays where I felt like taking a holiday from interacting with people. So while I absolutely do not claim to be an expert in anyway, this is my guide to surviving The Holidays.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF ALCOHOL!

YOU ARE WELCOME. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

HAHA – only kidding. I actually don’t even drink! But use the advice where applicable lol!

Ok, so DAMAGE CONTROL – When I plan my social diary I look at what things would actually be fun and what things may be a fake smile and awkward conversations event. When it’s the latter, if I had to attend the event but I knew it would come with questions or “advice” I wish I had been more assertive, now I have no problem in saying,

“Can we just skip the baby talk” or “No just relaxing doesn’t help my ovaries don’t work”

Failing that a conversation before the event with the right people to say take the topic off the table completely. I have been known to completely ignore the question and change the subject. 😬😬.

I used to be so bothered by what others thought of how I reacted to things that the fact was I over compensated by being too OK with those conversations. Now if I don’t want to talk about it I just won’t. That’s ok to say nope – sorry not today!

If that’s not possible, or when inevitably the wrong things are said. Take a deep breath, smile and then I have a diary that’s full of rants that make me feel so much better – it’s now called my blog 😂😂. Preparing myself with what I may say definitely helps. I’m less likely to ramble or be caught in a day dream of head butting the person who upset me.

BE A LITTLE SELFISH: Putting the rest of the world before yourself – Don’t you find that you do this a lot? Why isn’t it OK to just skip it if you don’t want to do something. You cant do that all the time I know, but how many events do we do that we really wish we didn’t have to. I just sometimes want the two of us in a bubble no reminders of our issues, that’s just what you need to gain strength to continue on. Taking some time just the two of you is perfectly OK.

BE HAPPY: Find the happy in your life – So OK, another year has passed and we still have no baby. But what else has happened in my year that was amazing. I might not be attending nativity’s and school plays, or going on Santa trains but I have awesome days with my husband and fur babies, enjoying the season and there are lots of other fun things to do. Plan some things in that don’t involve “what if we had kids” moments. Even if we do something family orientated I can guarantee Ben and I are the biggest kids there anyway!! Don’t miss the now of it all because you are always thinking about the future. Live it now!!

LAUGH AND LET IT OUT – If it’s a night out (or even in) with friends. An activity that you enjoy. Plan something fun, find something to make you laugh! Find someone you can talk to and rant out the things that may have upset you. Almost like your Infertility sponsor!

HUGS – now I am NOT a hugger. My family and friends will tell you I pretty much avoid it at all costs! But a hug when I am low from my hubby or my Mam is pretty much the best medicine.

BE HONEST – if the thought of an upcoming event is causing you anxiety talk to someone about it. If you have to go at least having someone around you know it’s hard for you will help. Don’t feel like you have to shoulder it alone.

FINALLY BE KIND TO YOURSELF – Do you know how many times I have told myself I am useless, that I am a mess, a failure that my husband could do so much better and should?! That inner voice is a bitch! Instead of letting her say those things now I tell myself. I am a warrior. My heart has been made mince meat and I am still standing. My marriage has endured some of the worse pains you can go through and we are stronger than ever. I put my brave face on everyday some days while in terrible pain and get on with it. We are so strong. That’s what you need to remind yourself every day!!

I know better than most after 13 years of wanting, this time of year will have its hard moments for you. The biggest thing I can share with you all is that I know how you are feeling. You aren’t alone. I know how it feels to be surrounded by people and feel empty and quite alone. It has gotten easier for me over the years. I have learned to cope. I have found a way to be happy again and when I can’t be happy I allow myself to feel sad, to stop trying to fake it as much. I know it may feel like you can’t face it, but look how much strength you have so far. Never loose hope.

One day you just never know ……❤️❤️❤️⭐️⭐️

I hope that you do have the best Christmas that you can. I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year 2018. May all our dreams come true. ❤️🌟❤️

When Does It Get Better?

I put a brave face on a lot of the time.

I pretend I am OK in the hopes that one day I may actually be OK.

The rest of the world can’t stop moving around me just because we can’t have children and I wouldn’t want it to. There are still moments however that sting, that I have to hold my breath and wait for the aching lump in my throat to pass before I can talk. Those moments are getting less frequent but they still hurt. It could be something someone says, an anniversary of a due date, a crazy month of possibility that I have given into the crazy symptom watching and pregnancy test, negative of cause. The following shame that I allowed myself to be swept up in the possibility, in the hope.

Time heals, so they say. First of all who’s they? Second of all “they” haven’t felt grief deeply if they believe this to be true. The passing of time doesn’t heal, we simply learn to live with it. But I do wonder.

Does it get better?

I don’t want to live with this ache, the empty incomplete pain for the rest of my life. I want to be able to move forward and heal. I just don’t think I can do that without trying everything. When we have tried everything if my arms are still empty, I have no idea how to begin to be OK with that.

My life is full of love, this is true. I am blessed in so many ways. I want to be content with this. I want for that to be enough. But still ….. always lurking ….. always waiting, this ache. The feeling that my heart is so broken it can’t be repaired. I don’t want to just “get on with it, just move on” I feel like that’s letting go of my babies. I can’t do that.

This blog, my pages, you beautiful people that take the time to read my rambling thoughts. You are the best thing to come from this pain. To feel that we aren’t alone, that you get it. It helps so much.

I am not ashamed anymore of my body failing me, I feel like we are freaking warriors. Fighting every day to get our family’s. Fighting for that moment that our arms are no longer empty.

Dear Santa….. we need to talk!

Dear Santa,

I have written to you so many times now. The joke has clearly been on us!  I watch as December arrives and the children in our life switch between angelic well behaved beauties to sugar fuelled demons with no inbetween in the sheer anticipation of your arrival. My heart aches for a child of our own.

At this time every year I make a private wish.

“Next year…… please let it be our turn and please, by next year, let us finally be holding our baby.”

I have tried many ways of getting this wish/Christmas request to you, I have written to you, I have burned a letter in an open fire, I have gazed up at those beautiful stars at night and closed my eyes tightly and begged you. I have been on my knees, pleading. Just one child. Let us be lucky to have one child.

It’s been 13 years now I have asked for just one thing. Only resulting in empty arms and brief moments of hope ripped away. Wishing has proved pointless. In reality I know we may only help ourselves. Faith can only take you so far.

I love to read, you know that, you have brought me many books over the years. I long to sit in a nursery cradling our child and reading to them the night before Christmas, to listen to the excited tone of our child’s voice asking for the millionth time when you would get here. To awake on Christmas morning to the sounds of excited whoops and yells.  “He’s been, he’s been!!!”

In the shops I pass aisle’s after aisles of advent calendars, reindeer food for Rudolph and his chums,  Santa treats for you, Xmas eve boxes and so much fun to be had making treats and decorations for your arrival. I have imagined many times my husband and I sat around a table creating the perfect ginger bread house, making our own decorations or taking our little one to a grotto to visit you so you can hear their wish for that Christmas. I would hope a solution to world hunger and poverty but more likely the latest fad toy!

As I sit now quietly writing this letter to you, we are still only a two. Do you know how many tines I am asked as a woman in her thirties by complete strangers

“are your kids excited for Santa?!”

Do you know that mainly I lie?  I tell them “absolutely”!! I do that because I can’t face the look of pity when I say we can’t have children and equally I can NOT face telling them we don’t want them to save their feelings. My mouth will not say those words no matter how much easier that would be, it feels like I am dishonouring our angel babies.

I would just like the festive season to welcome us, to for once feel like a normal couple. To feel less of a failure.  To take part in all the parts of Christmas that are meant for happy families! Because we are a happy family. My heart may be Swiss cheese and I may be often crippled with the grief and loss. But I am happy all the same, we are happy. I am so blessed to have my Husband, he’s really the other half of me.

For that reason this year, I am not asking you to give me a baby. I am working on making my body more healthy and strong to do it myself. Instead I am asking you to look over all of the people out there struggling with this journey this year. Help them to find the happy in their own lives. Help their hearts to heal and when they can’t find that happy, surround them with love and support so they know they are not alone. Can you do that?

Good luck with the big night, and even though we don’t have any children we will still leave you some cookies and milk ……. it’s just in our house you might find the milk is spiked with a little (or a lot of) whiskey 😉😉 .

Merry Christmas and thank you for listending ❤️❤️❄️🎄🎅🏻🎅🏻

 

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