Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Feelings...Nothing More Than Feelings...

Recently I was reminded of something I felt when my mom announced that my brother and wife was having another child a few years back. Even though I was happy for my mom and my brother and his wife (and happy to know that my nephew would have a sibling), there was a part of me that felt a bit frustrated that I was losing my mom to "more grandmotherhood" because I knew she would fall in love with the new child and her life would revolve around the child. And I know that when the grandchild is still young, it'd be more of a challenge to take my mom out for dinner or a movie or both when I come for a visit to Indo because her mind would be all about the child (she was the same way when we were young).

What made me remember that feeling I had a few years back? Well, a friend of mine has just announced her second pregnancy and although I am happy for her and her family, I couldn't help feeling like I was losing her to "more motherhood". One of the first things that came to mind after getting the pregnancy announcement was the timeline of events, moments, and stories that can happen in a child's life. I felt that I was also losing her to more motherhood bonding with the other mothers as they would be naturally swapping pregnancy stories/comparing with the previous one, birth stories, and many more future stories (first day of school, girlfriend/boyfriend, wedding, etc.). The feeling of being left out once more was palpable because I wouldn't be able to respond with my own personal stories.

For what it's worth, she was really sensitive towards me and she gave me plenty of signs beforehand that they had been trying to have a child. She even wrote me first to tell me the news herself before she told the others and I'm very thankful for that, but you know what else I feel? I feel a tad sad that she had to be that sensitive with me because of my infertility history. Her email had a sweet, apologetic tone and it broke my heart a little. I couldn't help feeling "if only I hadn't been CNBC, then she wouldn't have had to be that careful with me when breaking such happy news..."

Yet the second that "what if" thought appeared in my mind, a part of me gave myself a good whack on the head, because I certainly did not ask for this to happen and I'd like to think that if I were on the other side of the fence, I'd be sensitive towards someone in my position as well. It's not my fault, it's nobody's fault. That said, her sensitivity reminded me of the many (side) effects of infertility and I mourned a little. 

Another thing I've realized lately is this: I've been waiting for some (specific) friends to breed and be done with it so that I can have some respite from the similar feelings of losing them to "motherhood/more motherhood bonding", though I suspect that in the far future the cycle may start all over again when they start having grandchildren.

On the flip side, though, I've felt some connection with two different women on two different topics altogether. The first case reminds me that every now and then we all struggle to embrace/remember our innate self-value and to find our own personal mission in life regardless of whether or not we have children. The second case reminds me again that my infertility grief journey is beneficial, irreplaceable even. I'm grateful for these two occasions as they remind me that despite the disconnect I feel sometimes, connection is still available in unexpected places.

Friday, July 10, 2015

When Heart and Mind Collide

When you talk about letting go (esp. letting go of complicated things), many times over your mind knows already what to do and your mind is totally ready to let go and has probably started to let go, but your heart will have to catch up and it's taking its own sweet time. The mind is knocking your head over and over again while saying, "You should know better! You should know better! Let go!" but then your heart is saying, "I'm not quite there yet, you know? I need more time." The mantra "be kind to yourself, be kind to yourself" must then be repeated over and over and over again as you try to let go of your own frustration.

Today is a friend's birthday and it reminded me of something that crossed my mind during TTC. I was born two days before my mom's birthday, so in a way I was her early birthday present. This fact never really raised to the surface of my consciousness until we started TTC (chuckle!). And furthermore, on husband's side, his eldest brother had the same birthday as their dad. At that time the idea of being able to get/give a birthday present this way (either for me or my husband) was really appealing.

I realize now that this was one of the things in my "baby dream package" that I had to let go of. This and the fact that I would like to be able to tell our child her/his birth/childhood stories the way my parents did. These wishes are just a few examples of the many, many, many layers of invisible losses. No wonder it takes a lot of time and a lot of work, especially when your heart is taking much more time to catch up. And no wonder it's so misunderstood, don't you think? When the world scratches its head and responds, "Loss? What loss? Get over it, I'm not comfortable with your pain!", what we truly experience is a complicated maze of losses or rows and rows of buried wishes (some of which we'll only find further away in the journey) and in the depth of it all, it's so overwhelming that it's difficult to even begin to explain it to someone outside the journey. All you can do is find your own tribe and take as much time as you need...


Anyway, this is something unrelated, but I'd like to share this gorgeous video clip with you all. Someone in the comment section wrote this: "this performance was dedicated to their former teammate, who died from brain cancer. this was the song he used to perform with when doing the individual competitions. usually group gymnastics have teammates cheering them, clapping before/after each big feat, but for this they remained quiet for their said teammate. so moving and so beautiful!"


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mourning Has Broken

Today I'm taking as much time as I can to mourn the heart distance between me and some people...