Monday, April 19, 2010

feeling

From the beginning, I have been open about our infertility: to friends, to family members, to anyone who will listen. It is so great to have that extra support and to surround ourselves with people who truly care. But I often find myself struggling to answer their most common question:

How are you feeling?

I close my eyes and think, How am I supposed to answer this question? On any given day, the response may be different. It may even be different from hour to hour or minute to minute.

There are days or moments when I feel great. When the sun is shining and I can see things in the brightest of colors. I see things differently. I laugh. I feel warmth. I can walk into a baby store, browse through the tiny onsies, and hold a little pair of shoes in the palm of my hand. I can close my eyes and envision what our baby’s nursery will look like: the colors, the furniture, and me sitting a chair rocking our baby to sleep. I can feel the warmth of my child’s embrace as I send him off to his first day of school. I can feel the pride in my heart as I watch her graduate from high school and college, and settle down to start a family of her own. And I can feel the joy when my child places his child in my arms and calls me “Grandma.”

During bright days or moments, these images make me smile. And the hole in my heart seems a little smaller.

But then there are days or moments when the clouds rolls in. Before I know it, the sky is dark and the winds are howling. The temperature drops, buckets of rain begin to fall, and the lightning and thunder appear out of nowhere. In the blink of an eye, pregnant women and babies surround me. The rain is so hard that I can barely see straight. My body shakes passing the diaper aisle at the grocery store. The Earth begins to spin and I feel as if I am going to fall off the edge at any moment. The sky goes from dark to black. The storm swallows my heart and everything in it, and then? Then there is nothing: no feelings, no fear, and no hope - just numbness.

But no one wants to hear these things. And I don’t want to say these things.

So, instead, I open my eyes. I do everything I can to smile and say,

I am feeling fine. And how are you?

29 comments:

Kandid Kelli said...

ily katie. i hope that fro here on out you only have sunshine. You have been through so much, you deserve an island type of sunshine!!

xo
-K

Kim said...

I totally relate to this post. Not sure why the moods the change or what causes the despair to seep in, but it does...and it's easier to lie than to spill your guts or have a borderline breakdown with someone whom you didn't intend.

I hope those dark days are few and far between. i suppose we can't avoid them completely, but as long as the suny warm days out number the dark ones, we are good.
xoxoxoxox

Katie said...

I'm so sorry for your "dark" days, but just remember that you have a TON of support here for those times. I know that doesn't REALLY make it better, though....

Every day, I hope for you and J. Every day.

((hugs))

Rach said...

Same here. Even on the worst days I always respond "doing pretty good." If they only knew.

Dawn said...

I hope your future is filled with many more bright sunny days rather than cloudy ones. When the clouds do roll in, I hope they don't stay long, and we're all here to support you when they try to ruin your day.

Thinking of you!

Marla.z said...

I can relate, too. There are days where I'm feeling totally content with life. I've got a great husband, family, friends, lifestyle, and most days, I focus on all those positives.

But then there are moments where I get totally depressed and think about the baby I might never have, and then I just cry and cry in my pillow, and I feel like such a failure. Stupid hormones!

*hugs*

Maureen said...

I feel the exact same way, Katie. I never know what the day will bring.

Al said...

I can so relate to this post and the constant wavering of my emotions on any given day. I hope the dark times are few and the bright days are more common.

Kelly said...

I agree with you 100% and I no longer ask others this question. In many cases (especially if it's a co-worker or someone less close to me), they don't really want to know. It's just an attempt at small talk.

If people only knew the reality behind that answer.

suchagoodegg said...

Yep, I hear you. I have my canned "I'm good, how are YOU?" at the ready at all times. It has gotten me through some on-the-verge-of-tears moments. You are currently PUPO, so I'm hoping there's a lot of sunshine in your world right now. :)

Jessica said...

I was just telling my DH how much I hate putting on a happy face when I really feel empty inside. Its just one of crappy side effects of IF!

Ashley said...

Oh Katie, I have good and bad days too and I can totally relate to this post. :( I think I'm just too afraid of people saying something stupid if I open up and respond with how I'm really feeling.

elainescott77 said...

I so know how you feel, I was thinking the other day how I feel really happy then later that night I felt so depressed and sad anbout not being pregnant yet, lots of hugs to you xxx

Crossed Fingers said...

Yeah, totally understand where you're coming from. People WANT you to be fine and any answer besides fine, good, great results in the "oh crap why did I even ask" look. They can handle fine, they squirm under "It's not a great day today."

That's why you have us - you can tell us how you really feel and how you really want to respond. We understand.

The Millers said...

Katie, I read your post with warm tears just pouring down my cheeks. I feel like so many days you say exactly what i am thinking. You are reading straight from my heart. Today is a black day for me. I feel like there are rainbows dancing all around me and taunting me to give in...but I cannot. The black surrounds me and it is like I cannot breathe.
I hope and pray we both can feel the warmth and joy the beautiful sun can bring....and I hope that is very soon.
Thank you for such a beautiful and honest post. You are in my prayers and in my heart.

Arlyne said...

I too, can totally relate to your post & your feelings ( though even on the best of days I avoid the baby items). I hope that there's nothing ahead for you but sunshine & bright skies, & when there's not, remember you have a friend to lean on!

xoxo

JC said...

I can relate to this too. And on the dark days if I tell someone exactly how I'm truely feeling they have no idea how to react. Lately they just seem to cut me off. I guess it's better to lie or say "fine" and change the subject. =( Still want to do lunch this week?

2catdaughters said...

I'm right there with you, Katie. I've got good days and I've got really horrific days. I never know how I'll feel or what might trigger a downward spiral. Thank you for placing these feelings into words for me. You expressed it perfectly. ((hugs))

Basic Girl said...

Oh Katie, this is just so dead on. I once wrote an email to my bestie when she asked how I was doing with everything. And I told her the very same thing. There are hopeful days, I have them, and I positive this is going to work...we will have our baby. But then there are days I just can't breathe, it all closes in on me and it feels like I will never crawl out. Its emotionally exhausting, the highs and the lows. Thinking of you, and hoping away this month could be it for you!!!

ifcrossroads said...

This is really dead on. I still feel this way ... hard to explain why.

Alice said...

Your dark day description gave me the chills..I don't like that place either. And, I hate that "how are you?" question. I truly, truly hope brighter days are in your future.

Jen said...

This is a great post; you really are a talented writer. It's such a double-edged sword, that question. It's like you appreciate someone taking a moment to ask or even care how you're doing, but at the same time you wish they just wouldn't ask! We're not easy to please :-)

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I can totally relate! The hope and sunshiny days get us through. But it's okay to let some rain in sometimes, it's normal.

S.I.F. said...

Such a beautiful post Katie. And so true, on so many levels. No one ever wants to hear when we are buckling under this - why would they? They want to hear that we are always good, but that simply isn't the case.

I loved this one...

Rebecca said...

You just said it perfectly. There are days when I just feel so positive and then suddenly plummet into the darkness. And, again, all I ever say to anyone "I'm fine." Thanks for this!

Stefanie Blakely said...

It's totally true...what are you supposed to say? How you're really feeling? If you don't read Park Slope Purgatory, pop over there-- she just wrote about the same thing. (Link on my blog.)

A said...

I laugh sometimes when people I don't even know ask me how I'm doing. I'm not saying they're insincere, but that's become such a normal greeting phrase that I don't think people would be prepared/expect to hear how I'm actually doing some days!! And I'm just as guilty because what do I say? "I'm good, how are you?" Ha!!

Madeline said...

Thanks for sharing all of this Katie! I sometimes feel like I'm the only one who feels this way. It seems like recently all my friends and family members are pregnant or just having babies...and it's so frustrating that Ryan and I can't! I had no idea there was such a community out there! Thanks again for sharing.

PS. I almost had a meltdown at watching "16 and Pregnant" the other day! geesh!

Sara said...

I have had so few loved ones brave enough to ask how I was (or am) feeling about IF over the last 7 years. It's interesting to hear your experience, because I always longed for someone to show some interest. I knew that they cared, but they never asked. I think they were afraid of the answer. But I wish they'd come up with the courage.

(here from creme)