Tuesday, April 5, 2011

a missing gift

Tomorrow is my birthday, and there is something about turning another year older without being a mom that makes me sad.

I should be happy. We are on a great path to motherhood. I have a fabulous husband, wonderful family and friends, a good job, an awesome dog, a roof over my head, and food on the table.

None of this, though, can make up for the piece of me that's still missing.

Of all the milestones I come across each year, this should be the easiest to deal with. Soon, we will all suffer through Mother's Day commercials, followed shortly after by Father's Day ads. Then we get a break from the madness until late fall, when kid's Halloween costumes and Christmas decorations come out and slap us in the face. There's nothing like watching a tiny child rip up and drool all over wrapping paper that makes us want to crawl in a hole and hibernate until January 1.

Yet there's something personal about this time of year that is especially difficult for me. Maybe it's the fact that my birthday, Joey's birthday, and our anniversary - both of our wedding and trying to have a baby - are all so close together that I can feel the time slipping from under us with more force. Maybe it's because both of us are getting older, taking away valuable years in a life that is never guaranteed to last for long. Mostly, I think it's because I lack the one gift that I've wanted so desperately. I can sit there and politely respond with, "A gift card to ______" when friends and family ask what I'd like for my birthday. Truthfully, that is not what I would like at all. What I want can't be placed in a greeting card or opened over birthday cake.

I know: just as I should be happy on my birthday because I have a wonderful life, I should be happy with the presents I receive. And I am.

But none of these gifts can take away the painful reminder of the gift I've not yet unwrapped - the one that's still out there, waiting for me to claim it.

26 comments:

Sarah S said...

Ugh,

Birthdays bring on a lot of depression for me, many years I would just want to crawl into a hole and forget that I was turning another year older with empty arms.

(((Hugs)))

Happy Birthday!!!

myinfertilitywoes said...

Happy early birthday to you! I'm sorry you're bumming about it though. I kinda know how you feel. My bday was just a couple of weeks ago and I was quite reflective that day not wanting to talk much to anyone. And, I'm dreading mother's day this year mostly because we just lost our dog and I felt that at least I was his mommy...

Hope you can find peace in your birthday and celebrate the specialness that makes you, you! :)

(((hugs)))

simplifyingandcrafting said...

I could have wrote this post myself ... thanks for putting my thoughts on the screen.

PS: long time lurker ;)

Miss Conception said...

This was very beautifully written. Just try to pamper yourself on your birthday and appreciate the life you have, no matter how hard it might be.

Thinking of you...

JPom said...

Today is my birthday, and it also marks the 3rd birthday I have spent without this gift I so desperately want as well. I am so glad I read this today, you put to words the feelings I just could not find a way to express. Thank you and here's to us getting our miracle this coming year!

JJ said...

Happy early birthday--wishing you a very very celebratory year. Wish I could send you a glass of wine!

manymanymoons said...

Birthday's are such a double edged sword sometimes aren't they. I'll be sending lots of good birthday thoughts your way even if I can't give you what you really want on that day. Happy early Birthday!

Krista said...

I could have written this post. My 33rd birthday is looming (next month,) and I never thought in a million years that I'd still be childless at 33. I know exactly how you feel.

Happy Birthday Katie!! I hope this birthday year brings you the gift you REALLY hope for!

Rita said...

((hugs)) Katie. You deserve every happiness in the world this birthday.

Rebecca said...

Many ((hugs)). When people wished me happy birthday this past year it was all I could do to keep from crying. I know the feeling.

Brave IVF Girl said...

Yes, yes - I know precisely how you feel. I have a great life, but... *hugs*

Anonymous said...

I can so relate! But it's still ok and possible to be thankful for all the blessings in one's life and yet be sad for not yet being a mother. Don't fall into that trap--otherwise we're just applying assvice to ourselves, in a way ("could be worse, I could have X Y or Z affliction, thus I should just be happy").

It's actually a trap I fall into myself in reverse, sadly enough, when someone has happy baby news--"Must be nice to be able to conceive within 6 months on your own," like somehow her happiness should be diminished by lack of struggles.

Forgive me if I've projected my own feelings into intrepreting yours!

May all your birthday wishes come true.
(longtime lurker, don't yet have a blog)

someday-soon said...

{{{HUGS}}} I'm so sorry...I hope your time is coming very, very soon!

AL said...

Birthdays are such a hard reminder of how much time has passed. I hope this year you get your most precious gift.

hugs.

amiracle4us said...

Very well put. At Christmas this year the MIL asked C what he wanted. His response 'something even you can't give me'. When he told me this my heart broke. This is such a personal journey and except for someone offering support, they can't help. I hope this is the last birthday, mothers day, fathers day we spend without the cries of a little one to call our own!!! hugs...

marriage20 said...

I understand. My birthday was difficult this year for the same reason. I think it's okay not to be happy sometimes. You can appreciate all of the beautiful things in your life and still be sad about what's missing. You can make progress toward becoming a parent and still be sad that it's been more difficult than you expected and hoped. Wishing you a peaceful day tomorrow, and hoping that all of your wishes come true in the coming year!

bodegabliss said...

I couldn't even bring myself to celebrate this year. But it felt okay not celebrating. It seemed right.

Sorry you're feeling like this. I hope you find some happiness on the day any way.

Birthday Hugs!

conceptionallychallenged said...

I understand.
Thinking of you.
Hoping that the missing gift will arrive soon.

Wade's World said...

Thinking of you and hoping you have a wonderful birthday...you deserve it!

AnotherDreamer said...

Birthdays are always so hard (*hugs*) Try to do something nice for yourself.

erika said...

I am praying and hoping that this time next year your dreams will be perfectly fullfilled and all of your wishes come true! this road is paved with sadness. It's true. Just impossible to forget about the ultimate gift we want so much and still don't have. I so want this for you! I am hoping your process will go through as quickly as possible.
Tremendous love your ways, beautiful girl!!!

It Is What It Is said...

Sorrow and gratitude can live together, side by side, without diminishing each other. It is OK to acknowledge the longing for what you don't have while simultaneously feeling gratitude for what you do.

Happy, happy birthday!

Kelly said...

Agreed, Katie. Perhaps it's good to get all the gross stuff over with all at once? I don't know...trying to help but didn't do such a great job.

Focus on your trip if you can...how many days??

Dawn said...

I hope this is your last birthday that you have to feel this way! It sucks that birthdays, anniversarys and holidays have to cause pain rather than joy!

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I agree.. events just stand out more when you are going through this... You know what's awesome for me? I started TTC on my birthday, so that's been a treat as you can imagine. I want to go back and shake myself a little wee bit.

Happy birthday Katie!

WaitingVicky said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you manage to have a nice day despite all the pain.