Please note on your readers that I have a new blog: http://nowaystosayit.com.

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Thank you for all of your support over the years! xo

Sunday, April 24, 2011

the truth about resolution

There seems to be a misconception among outsiders that, once you have set on a certain path to motherhood – such as adoption – or once you have a child, you are no longer infertile. You are no longer in pain. That you perhaps you should consider getting over it.

Some people have negatively portrayed this idea onto me since we made the decision to adopt. As if there should have been this magic switch when we decided that made me go from "infertile" to "expectant mother." There are those who simply do not understand why I still struggle. I see this same expectation weigh heavily on a lot to women who are pregnant or who have a young child (or children) after infertility.

The myth is that having resolution suddenly makes everything better. However, the reality is that the diagnosis never goes away, and neither do the feelings that come with it.

Infertility is not the cockroach in the corner that you spray with Raid, flush down the toilet, and forget about five minutes later. Infertility is the cockroach infestation that you cannot seem to get rid of. Every time you kill one, another appears. And even if and when that day comes, the day when the last insect is finally gone, the memory of the shit you went through is what lives in your mind forever. You cannot escape it.

This is not to say that, for your entire life, you will live and breathe the disease, but there will always be reminders of it. There is the child in line at the grocery store, who is about the same age as the baby who died in your womb would be. There is the tightness you feel in your chest when your girlfriends talk about how they cannot stand the thought of another child, when you would give the sun and the moon to provide a sibling for your own. There is the sadness you feel when you sit in the waiting room at the gynecologist's office and you know that your belly will never look that way.

Even worse are the physical reminders: the doctor's visits, the pain, and, for some, cancer, radical surgeries, and other unimaginable experiences. All of this emphasizes where you have been and where you are or are not going. It is part of your life, whether you want it there or not. Letting it consume you is inevitable at points, but throwing it on the street corner and driving off is impossible.

RESOLVE's name is symbolic of this idea of resolving ones infertility – the point at which we achieve parenthood, regardless of the path we choose. However, people must understand that peace does not always come with a decision or with a resolution. There is no magic switch. There is no sudden transformation. There is no such thing as "getting over it." There is no such thing as a cure.

In some ways, I am writing this for others. To educate outsiders that finding or achieving a resolution to infertility does not always mean closure. Yet, I am also writing this for myself.

We made the decision to adopt back in the fall, and a couple of months ago, we made our first nursery purchase. That purchase - a beautiful decal that will one day adorn the wall of our child's nursery - sits in a closet. Most days, I feel good about the idea of starting the nursery before the baby arrives. I feel like it is the beginning of my healing process.

But for every good day I experience, there is a bad day. There is a day when someone or something sets me into a tailspin of grief. It is at those times when I must remind myself that there is no rush to decorate.

There is no rush to heal.

For more information on National Infertility Awareness Week, please visit http://www.resolve.org/takecharge. Also, take a few moments to learn about infertility at http://www.resolve.org/infertility101.

44 comments:

Pix said...

Wow. Thanks for this wonderful post! Healing is a long process and good to know you are giving yourself time and space to move through it. All the best!

Rebecca said...

Beautifully put, as always.

Kelly said...

Katie, I love this post. It's beautiful and absolutely true. There are some people I'd like to send it to, because anyone who has ever dealt with IF will always have it as a part of their soul. To say otherwise (or act otherwise) is just ridiculous.

Kakunaa said...

So, so true. New least favorite question: are you having more? What, did you forget how hard it was to have this one? So not an easy choice.

~C~ said...

I would give this a standing ovation if I could.

foxy said...

Excellent post Katie. I love the way that you can so eloquently take these complex concepts and write about them in ways that are so understandable and emotionally compelling.

For better or worse, this experience of infertility will forever define who I am. And the pain, grief, and loss of this experience will forever live in my heart and soul.

amiracle4us said...

I think that is one of the hardest parts of IF...it never goes away. Yes, I believe the pain will lessen, but it will always remain to be a part of us. Hugs...

AnotherDreamer said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for this.

Jennifer said...

I want to thank you so much for this post. It comes at a time when I desperately needed to read it. As the mother of a newly adopted child I'm struggling with feeling okay about being able to mourn the loss of part of my dreams without feeling extremely guilty. THANK YOU.

Kelli said...

beautifully said...thank you!

Baby Steps said...

This is an amazing post!! Thanks so much for posting this and for always being so honest and brave. You inspire me constantly~

Willow said...

You are so right! There is no getting over it, not really. We move forward, but the scars of infertility will always remain, and the pain flares up in so many unexpected moments, even after adoption, even after pregnancy. Finding resolution helps, but it doesn't erase the journey. Thanks for another beautiful post!

Kaitake said...

A beautiful and insightful post, so true, it never goes away. Best wishes for your adoption journey, I hope you can find peace :)

April said...

I could not have said this better myself! You are absolutely right. There is no magical switch once you have your sweet baby. There is no magic switch that now that we have adopted we are going to get pregnant (ugh I have heard this too much). People dont get at all that IF never leaves you. I have felt like the feelings deff were silenced for a while but now that my little guy is approaching 1 the questions have started flowing in on when #2 is coming. I just keep thinking thanks for the reminder that its been a year and adoption didnt get me pregnant or that we don't have another 20,000 to start the process for #2. I am enjoying #1 and have come to terms with the fact that he may not have a sibling.

Rita said...

Beautiful and perfectly said as always, Katie.

China Doll said...

Beautiful post.. I agree with every word xx

Aramelle @ One Wheeler's World said...

Hi Katie...
I clicked over to your blog after reading your comment on Mel's post. I think I'll stay a while. :)

This post is really beautifully written. It totally made me cry. I'm planning on busting a similar myth on my own blog in the next day or two. I personally have been struggling with this idea of resolution for the past few months. My son is 16mos old. I am so blessed to have been given the gift of this sweet boy. And yet my heart still aches everyday from the pain of our journey to parenthood. I struggle with feeling like people just don't get it. Those who were so incredibly supportive while we were TTC have now moved on. After all, we got our baby. All should be right with our world now. Right? *sigh*

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful post. And it's nice to "meet" you. :)

someday-soon said...

Great post! Healing comes in waves and is different for everyone. {{{HUGS}}}

AL said...

great post Katie. The pain never goes away, I think it fades and presents itself in different ways depending on where we are in the journey, but the pain is still there in varying degrees.

Becca M said...

Wonderful post. I still struggle with the pain (and jealousy) even after getting custody of the babes. Almost broke down in church seeing a newborn and a preg belly.

Kate said...

Healing takes a long time, and I don't know that it's ever over. It's good to remind people that resolving to one path or another doesn't erase the pain. My heart goes out to you.

Serendipitie said...

Thank you

myinfertilitywoes said...

Great post! Thank you for your honesty & for sharing!

JJ said...

Love this--your words are truly powerful, my dear. Hoping it gets read--A LOT. By those of who "get it" and those who may not..

JNMcLain said...

Thanks for writing that. I just finished my 3rd harvest and we were again unsuccessful and had nothing left over to freeze for a future transfer. I am overcome with grief and know that all the support from the office is sweet but it only sends me into crying spells, and I don't want to cry at work. That PAIN of being infertile is overcoming my every thought and I know the people in the office mean well, but it is excruciating. I am lost at what to do next. But writing this always reminds me “I am not the only one.”

DMN said...

So true! Love your post!!!
http://ldsinfertility.blogspot.com/

crazytwinmomma said...

Thank you for recognizing those of us who have been lucky enough to have treatments work, as the feelings do stick with us. I often feel stuck between the fertile world and that of all my IF friends who are still struggling for their first child. Whenever I hear someone complain about their kids or talk about how easy it was for them to get pregnant it still causes those pains, and at the same time I feel guilty even talking about my kids because there are so many who are still striving for motherhood. Your post hit the nail on the head.

Jen Has A Pen said...

I have never considered the roach infestation thing before. But, you are right. Killing one roach is like tackling one fertility problem at a time. As you seem to check things off the list, your progress appears nil because all the while, 300 more roaches have appeared. Very well written.

Erin said...

Thank you for writing this Katie. It's so true. I have been blessed with two amazing daughters, and yet I still get sick to my stomach when someone announces a pregnancy. I still feel inadequate and like my body has let me down. Those feelings don't consume me as much as they once did, but they do stick around.

awomanmyage said...

ICLW

Speaking as one who has adopted after a long battle with infertility, those feeling you talk about did not go away. Caring for a child has blissfully taken up a great deal of my time, but it doesn't change the fact of what I went through. It does take a long, long time to heal, it's possible and it's different for each person.

awomanmyage said...

ICLW

Speaking as one who has adopted after a long battle with infertility, those feeling you talk about did not go away. Caring for a child has blissfully taken up a great deal of my time, but it doesn't change the fact of what I went through. It does take a long, long time to heal, it's possible and it's different for each person.

manymanymoons said...

I'm right there with ya. So happy to have something to look ahead to, but still so sad that the decision was taken out of my hands. So glad I have an "adoption buddy" who gets it.

Kandid Kelli said...

This is absolutely beautiful Katie.

Thank you for sharing.

xo
-K

Trisha said...

Great post and so true! Those feelings never disappear!

Keiko said...

Simply beautiful, powerful, and stunning. Thank you for this.

Emily said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you.

*Jelena* said...

This is such s wonderful post. Every word is absolutely true.

Sarah said...

Wonderful post.

Krissi said...

Wow this was very powerful and poignant...it's something that I have been dealing with too as I will never seem "to get over it" even though I now have my 3 children. I still think about what I went through and what I lost. It's just a part of who I am now. Thank you!

Suzanne said...

Very well said and written. Thanks so much for posting this :)

Dawn said...

Beautiful post!

Tami said...

My infertility was "resolved" twenty years ago, but I still carry the scars. Infertility will always be part of my story, and part of me. Thank you for writing such a beautiful post.

I pray that you will be blessed with a child soon, and for strength and peace for you during the process.

God bless!

Brittney said...

Thank you thank you thank you for putting so eloquently/thoroughly into words what I've struggled to say to my loved ones about my experience. Your post is beautifully written and so true! I went through a lot to have my first child through IVF and the pain hasn't magically dissappeared just because I am now a mother..it's so true that it stays with you. I worry and think a lot about enduring all the same tests and procedures over again in the quest to give my baby a sibling(s). Best wishes with your journey to motherhood. You'll be in my prayers!! ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Your post is truer than true. We have an incredible son that we adopted 2 years ago, but the longing to experience pregnancy has never gone away, and it has nothing to do with wanting a bio child but rather an experience that I fee; cheated out of. Unfortunately people think my problems are now over because we have a child, but sitting on the brink of menopause at the age of 27, I am reminded that my problems are still very much part of my daily life, both physically and emotionally.