Grief, My Reproductive Nightmare

Empty Arms

FLowersThere are many times in many days that my losses will creep up on me. But if it’s slow enough – I can squash it back down with a distraction or a re-direct. Daily, I feel myself thinking things like, “I wish I could go back to thinking about baby names.” But it’s a subtle, slow thought that I can push away before it controls my emotions.

Sometimes my kids do things that make me think of my Dad and I try to react with a smile and a warm memory before the pain in my heart reminds me of how much I miss him.

These slow pop-up moments are easy to process, to deal with, to push away.

But then – sometimes – they just jump up, smack you in the face, and rip out your heart.

Like when Nikki says, “I want to have a little sister some day.”

And I look at her and wonder Does she know? because the timing is so odd. But of course she doesn’t. And then she asks, Do you think you’ll have any more babies, Mom? And the crack in my facade goes deeper and my composure begins to shake. I take a deep breath and I muscle through.

Daddy and I would love to have more babies, Nikki. But it’s hard for my body to have babies. We worked really hard to have you and Wes and if that’s all we have, we’ll feel lucky.

And then I go to take out the half-full garbage. Just for a moment alone.

And of course the kids follow me out the door. Talking about the old sidewalk chalk and the bubbles and wondering when the leaves will be off the trees. All the while the dam in my heart is cracking underneath the pressure of my grief and all I want to do is sit down in my driveway with the bag of garbage in my hand and cry until I can’t cry anymore.

But I muscle on. There’s always plenty of time to cry. I’ve found through my latest foray into insomnia that the nights are long and lonely and offer plenty of room for tears to be shed. So I take a deep breath, I smile at my kids, and I know that I’ll spend time later crying for the children I’ll never hold.

14 thoughts on “Empty Arms”

  1. Would it be so bad for them to see you cry a little? That’s a SUPER personal decision, so feel free to tell me to shut the hell up, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be so bad for them to see that sometimes you hurt over things you can’t fix.

    No matter what, I wish I was there. I want to hug you, or at the least fill you with beer and chocolate.

  2. I’m so sorry. Infertility sure as hell takes a huge toll on your life and it sucks. I wish there were more things I could say to help but I know there is no such thing. Hang in there.

  3. Oh, how I know this feeling. If only my husband and I were on the same page about more kids, but we aren’t and we’re running out of time to ever be. And last week out of nowhere my son (Nikki’s age) asked me, for the first time ever, to “please turn one of the eggs in your belly into a baby.” And it hurt to have to answer that my body isn’t really good at that. And this week has also brought lots of questions about his Poppa’s death (in July). I am ALL KINDS of torn up this week. Sending you lots of love and praying that things get easier.

  4. This is so poignant. I mean, obviously, but I think I kind of get it. All my losses were before we got lucky this last time, which makes it a little easier to now think back on the four times that could/should have been but weren’t to be. At the same time, it’s harder now, knowing exactly what was taken from us. I’m so glad to have our son, but it’s still hard to think that he could have had at least one older sibling come before him, and if we have another loss if/when we go to try for another (I have to acknowledge the possibility – one baby out of five pregnancies is too shitty of odds to ignore), I imagine it will be a million times more brutal than the four I had not really knowing exactly what we were losing. Le sigh. I hope you can find the strength to also NOT be strong when you do need to let the hurt, well, hurt. But I’m so sorry that it has to hurt. Hugs….

  5. I am so sorry you are having a rough day. You constantly amaze me with how you always seem to know what to say, in your blog and to your kids. I know I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together. Your kids are so lucky to have such a great mom.

  6. Oh, how I’m hurting for you right now. I’m so incredibly sorry that you have empty arms and babies to grieve. You are holding it together much better than I would. Please know you are surrounded by so much love that if it were tangible, you’d cuss and trip over it.

  7. I’ve shed so many tears over those babies I will never hold. And yesterday would have been my mom’s birthday, so it was a bittersweet day.

    You put this beautifully, as always. I am sorry you have to know this pain. Like Heather, I do think it would be ok for the kids to see you cry for those sweet babies you will never hold. I know you don’t want to tell them, but you could just say you are crying because it’s hard for your body to have babies.

  8. I’m behind on your blogs so I’ve only just seen this. I think you are very strong and are doing amazingly well. You can’t be expected to be fine all the time. Big hugs.

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