I cried myself to sleep last night. I haven’t done that in a really long time. There are lots of bad days for us Infertiles. 🙂 I hadn’t had one for awhile, until this past week. The whole week seemed like a bad day. It caught me off-guard and sent me reeling. Those of us on infertile ground are all too familiar with this scenario:
Adam and I joined our friends in Zion this past week. It was fun and relaxing, and I would do it all again tomorrow. Having said that, I have never, until now, spent significant time with my friends’ children in close quarters. It was more difficult than expected. I am usually pretty good at keeping it together and staying rational, but I was on the verge of tears more times than I could count this last week. I cried a little on Saturday morning, and I couldn’t bear to pay attention to sweet baby Paige, but I did okay on the group hike and everything after.
Sunday came though and hit me like a ton of bricks. I was sitting by Valerie at church who had Paige nestled on her lap all cuddly and pink–cooing and smiling at her mommy. I looked down the line and could see Adona playing on her daddy’s lap. And in the middle of it all was me totally feeling sorry for myself. I was trapped! My sweet husband held my hand and I cried for a long time. I completely lost it during the musical number. I am really grateful for the song though. As I sat and listened to the sweet words about the Savior and his suffering and sacrifice, I found a bit of strength.
I am not perfectly strong, but I am strong enough! I decided at church to keep approaching life as I have the past couple of years–and that is to go straight through the problem, not around it or over it or under it. It is not baby Paige’s fault that she was born. (Duh, I know…it is especially not her fault that she has a crazy Aunt Rachel.) So I cried a little more with my friends after church, and I held baby Paige at dinner. She and I even went on a little walk together. I know Val wants me to pay attention to her kids. Her children are her gifts, and they should be celebrated.
And let me be clear, my friends did nothing wrong. They said nothing insensitive. They didn’t thrust their children into my lap, or ask me to feed them. They were kind and open and compassionate. The simple fact is, they have given birth and I have not. They have had the experience of carrying life inside of them. They have felt a little baby kick and move and squirm in their bellies. They have succeeded in the great miracle of bearing life! And the fact remains that I have NOT.
The closer the adoption gets, the more I think about wanting a successful pregnancy. Isn’t that weird? I guess it’s to be expected. There is no doubt about our adoption. There is no hesitation or melancholy in my mind. I want my children home with me now! (and they will be very soon) But I have realized in the last few weeks that our adoption will never replace our experience with infertility. At first I felt guilty about this because I don’t want my children to think they are second best. They are NOT! Having said that, I would never ever wish the hopelessness of infertility on them. I pray fervently that my children never have to experience the despair that I have felt. I want them to experience having a child with their spouses–it’s silly to think anything else. And that makes me feel better. Our adoption and our infertility are tied together in so many ways, but not in this way!
I don’t know if I’ll ever have a baby, but I would like to think that a newborn would also never replace the last four years of experience. It is painful and heart-wrenching. Some mornings it makes me want to pull the covers over my face and never get up–for real. However, my experience with infertility blesses me. I feel more aware of myself. I will soon be able to truly taste of the exquisite joy of my four children. And if I am ever blessed with the experience of a newborn baby, I will appreciate him or her all the more.
The bitter really does help us savor the sweet!!!