Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Setting It Down

When we first started this journey, our secret was a tiny pebble of Hope; I loved carrying it around, knowing it was always there, full of possibility and potential.

Every month, the pebble grew. It was still Hope, but it was gradually coated in layers of Disappointment. Sadness. What-ifs. Frustration.

And then, Loss. With Loss came Sorrow and Fear, and the tiny pebble of Hope was further buried, deep inside a boulder.

And still, I carried it alone, hiding it from almost everyone we know, everyone we love. [Jason carried it, too, but not nearly as much as I did, and in different ways.]

I'm not good at asking for help; I'm not good at showing what I perceive to be faults.

And, frankly, I didn't want to deal with other people's questions and advice. It's just like one of my favorite prints from StoryPeople:


"Most people she never tells about the tightrope because she doesn't want to listen to their helpful comments from the ground."

I have friends who have carried this burden before me and I thought I was learning from their mistakes, avoiding the problems they complained of, by keeping our secret and carrying this burden alone. I didn't want to hear the "helpful" comments from the people on the ground, people who hadn't walked this same tightrope and carried this same burden but were all too willing to tell me how to do it.

But every month our burden continued to grow, bigger and heavier, with new layers of Hurt. Heartache. Guilt. Dejection. Impatience. Sorrow. Shame. Despair. Confusion. And yes, even Jealousy, and Envy, and Bitterness, though I fought those most of all.

And lately, it feels like too much to bear alone. I'm sad, and I'm tired of pretending that I'm not (or making up ridiculous excuses for my sadness). I'm tired of lying about why I can't or won't or don't want to do something, just so we can keep this burden to ourselves. I'm walking around doubled over under this weight, and all I can see is the ground in front of me. I'm missing the sunshine, and the rainbows, and my friends' smiling faces.

So, the time has come: I'm setting this burden down.

I know that by setting it down it won't go away; it will still be here. But my hope is that setting it down will cause little cracks to develop; our friends and family will come and lay their eyes upon our burden, and their Kindness and Love and Compassion and Understanding will seep into the cracks and expand, like ice breaking up asphalt, like tree roots breaking up a sidewalk. My hope is that together we'll be able to break this boulder into pieces and let that tiny pebble of Hope see the light of day again.

Some people will walk away; they don't need or want any more troubles in their lives, or they won't know how to handle it. A few people will even scurry off, uncomfortable, and avoid us. But some of our friends and family will bend down and pick up a piece, and they will help us carry our burden. Some already have.

And now, moving from metaphor to actual words, I'm stuck, caught, with a lump in my throat, crying and afraid.

{Deep breath...}

For as long as I can remember, since early in my childhood, I've wanted to be a mother. And like most women, I assumed that when we decided it was time to start our family, my pregnancy would just happen, like it does for millions of women every month. (And until then, I took great care to make sure that it didn't. :))

And then we decided it was time.

But it didn't just happen.

For months

and months

and months,

it didn't happen.

Until finally, last June, it did! And we rejoiced, and eagerly awaited the day we could "safely" announce our joy to the world.

But then... in late July, with Jason 3000 miles away and mostly out of cell phone range... well, it un-happened.

Today, March 10th, 2010, would have been my due date.

The doctors told us it was a good sign that I had gotten pregnant, and we hung onto Hope and the stories I'd heard about women who got pregnant again soon after a miscarriage.

But it still didn't happen.

And we still didn't want to tell anyone. Every month was a new chance, full of Hope. We decided that when it did happen we'd tell our story, revealing our journey to show how long we'd waited and how happy and grateful we were. But every month was a new chance, too, for renewed Heartache.

In January, my body started showing the exact same early signs that it had last June when I was pregnant. I was hopeful and cautious and excited and nervous, waiting to see if it was really happening this time. And then I started bleeding and cramping, and having the exact same signs I had last July. And I grieved all over again.

I had some tests run, and there were confusing results. So I grieved this loss just as I did the previous loss, but I had an added side of confusion and doubt throw in for good measure.

And since this mysterious loss, I've suffered more. The burden has felt heavier. I've felt sadder. That pebble of Hope feels far, far away.

And while I'm--of course!--joyful for my friends who are announcing their pregnancies and births, a voice inside my head taunts, "Not you not you not you not you still not you." Lately, this chant has become a drum-beat, seemingly always present; in the past ten days alone I've received word of two new pregnancies and four new babies, with three more babies expected any day. And with every announcement, I text Jason, "Life's not fair," so he knows to skip the "How was your day?" when he comes home and just hug me instead.

When I realized today, this day that could have been so very different, was approaching, I talked to Jason and we decided:

This burden is too heavy to carry on my own, so I'm setting it down.





To answer some of the questions I'm sure people will have:

Yes, we've started the infertility testing and process. Our insurance requires a certain number of months without achieving pregnancy before we're declared "infertile"; because of the pregnancy and miscarriage last July, the clock got reset. We're not waiting for it this time, even if it means paying for testing and etc ourselves (and there are certain things insurance wouldn't pay for anyway). Tests have been done and are scheduled to be done and we're doing what we need to be doing.

No, this is not going to turn into Infertility Blog. Jason and I are still fairly private people; we won't be talking about it a lot to most people. I most likely will not be sharing a lot on here. I'm not too sure yet; I'm still getting used to the idea of people knowing. But I can't imagine that I will ever feel compelled to share Jason's sperm count or the status of my Fallopian tubes on this blog. It's nothing against anyone who does that, at all... it's just that, like I said, Jason and I are pretty private about personal stuff. If & when I do talk about it, there is a 99% chance that it will be about my feelings about the process.

No, I'm not telling how long we've been trying. Whenever someone asks how long and they get an answer, I feel that it helps them to file that person away in their mind, somewhere between, "Oh, that's not long, she shouldn't be worried yet," and "Oh, it's probably hopeless, then." I don't want to be filed away. As my friend Andrea said, "All that matters is that you want this and haven't been able to achieve it, and that is devastating."

Yes, I know that things will work out the way they're supposed to. I know that one way or another I will be a mother if I'm meant to be (and I believe I am).

No, our marriage has not suffered one tiny bit through this process. Jason has been amazing and I feel that we are stronger than we've ever, ever been. We are partners and a team and best friends. I feel incredibly lucky to be married to him, and he says the same thing about me... although I find it hard to believe on the days he comes home to a weepy wife and a disaster of a house. :)

Yes, it's hard sometimes. Even while I'm happy for them, friends announcing pregnancies and births can be hard. So can going to Target and walking past the baby aisle, watching TV, watching a movie with a pregnancy or miscarriage (I bawled in Up), going grocery shopping and seeing a very pregnant woman or a new baby, hearing a song on the radio... pretty much any little thing can be hard. But sometimes it's not, sometimes I stroll through Target hoping for some sweet deals on clearance items in the paper goods section, without a passing glance at strollers and onesies. Sometimes I laugh at birth control ads and how worried I used to be if I was a couple hours late taking a pill, ha! Sometimes I'll see a tiny terror in the grocery store and think, "Maybe it's not such a bad thing I'm not dealing with that quite yet." Sometimes I'll stay in bed reading until noon, or take a three-hour long bath, just because that is a luxury I'm still afforded (even if it costs a lot). And hearing that a friend is pregnant or had a healthy baby, after a struggle to get pregnant, fills me with hope. So yes, sometimes it's really hard, and sometimes it's not. I'm pretty good at looking on the bright side (even if I would trade it in in a second).

Yes, you can help. Pray for us if you pray. Think of us. Send me cards and presents. I'm kidding about that last one (mostly). :) Let me know you're thinking about me. Give me the benefit of the doubt when I forget to get back to you about something, or I'm moody, or I don't want to do something, or when I have one or three too many glasses of wine. Hug me and tell me that you love me.

Because I know that some people won't know how to handle this or what to do, I've talked to a few friends who have struggled with infertility and put together a list of Please Do's and Don'ts as a guide.

Please do continue to talk to me about normal, everyday stuff. Please don't think that because I'm dealing with this I don't want to hear about how your boss is a jerk or you got stuck in traffic or whatever. Distraction is good. :) I'm still your friend and I still want to know what's going on in your life.

Please do ask me how I'm doing; even if I don't feel like talking about it it will mean a lot to me that you asked and were willing to listen. (And please don't ask if you're not willing to listen.)

Please do be honest with me. Saying, "I don't know what to say, but I'm sorry you're going through this," is fine. Perfect, even. I don't expect you to know what to say.

Please don't ask questions like, "Any news?" or "So, are you pregnant yet?" Trust me, if/when I'm pregnant and it's safe to share the news, I will shout it from the rooftops! Don't ask me, I'll tell you.

Please don't tell me to relax. I guarantee you that while this process is, can be, has been stressful, I'm also relaxed a lot of the time; I'm taking good care of myself (even at the expense of my business, housework, etc). I'm thrilled for you that you were able to get pregnant after having a couple of cocktails on vacation, or having a massage; that doesn't mean I can. Trust me.

Please don't give me "helpful comments from the ground." Meaning: if you haven't walked this tightrope, please don't give me advice. Everyone knows someone who "had trouble" getting pregnant, and the miracle diet/magic elixir/sexual position/herbal supplement/etc that helped them to get pregnant. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I'm 98% sure that I don't want to hear it. [If you've truly walked in my shoes and have suggestions, that's different.]

Please don't say, "Just call me Fertile Myrtle!" or "He can just look at me from across the room and knock me up!" That's an amazing blessing for you, but you might as well just punch me in the gut when you say it, because that's what it feels like to hear someone take their fertility so much for granted. Please do be aware of the impact that what you're saying can have on other people; just because you don't know someone's trying doesn't mean they aren't.

Please don't feel guilty for anything you might have said to me in the past. Please do be mindful in the future (around me and others).

Please don't be afraid to tell me if you're pregnant (or just gave birth). I have infertile friends whose friends would come to them tearfully, apologetically, to announce that they were pregnant. Pregnancy is a miracle and a blessing, and I'm your friend; you shouldn't be afraid to tell me about your joy. But please do appreciate the blessing you've been given and know how lucky you are, especially if it happened without a struggle. And please do understand if all I can manage is, "I'm so happy for you," before my eyes fill with tears and my throat clenches up. I am happy for you, truly. It's just hard.

Please do invite me to your baby shower (or Christening, or child's birthday party, etc) if you would normally invite me; I would love to know you were thinking of me and would hate to find out about it and feel excluded. But please don't be upset if I decline to come, and please don't try to cajole me into attending.

Please do remember that I'm still me; I still love to read and make art and eat carbs and take photos, and I still dislike licorice, inconsiderate people, sports on TV, and "angry" music. I still prefer smaller gatherings and intimate conversations to large parties and being the center of attention. My favorite chocolate is still dark with chili peppers and cinnamon, and if given the choice between a bowl of homemade mashed potatoes and gravy or a piece of almost any dessert, I'd still choose the mashed potatoes every time. I still love organizing and I still hate cleaning. I still long to be graceful and I still run into the foot-board and door frames all the freakin' time. I'm still me. I'm just me who wants to have a baby and hasn't yet, and that's changed me in some ways, yes. Infertility is a part of me; it's not all of me.

Please do give us whatever love, support, compassion, understanding, and sensitivity you can, now and throughout this process.

I set my burden down. Here it is.

{Exhale...}

78 comments:

kellie said...

This was beautifully written, though I'd expect nothing less from you, my friend with the love & gift of words. So from me who talks a lot, but sometimes still can't find the words... I LOVE YOU. You know that. I am still here for you (and always will be) whatever you need. I will listen or read anytime you need me to! :) xoxoxoxo!!!

Anonymous said...

I've been there - if you want to talk, I am always here. Just know that I love you (and Jason!) You are in my prayers

Deitra

Erin said...

You know that you've been in my prayers since July. Every single night. I know how much it took for you to write this, and I so admire your strength. I hope you find comfort in writing out your fears, in giving them up to us to help you carry the burden of your fears and disappointments, that they may someday turn to hope and joy.

Jessica R. said...

It takes a lot of courage to ask for help, even if it's just a shoulder to rest on. I'm glad you did.

Hugs to you from someone you don't know but who's there holding your hand if you need it.

Lori Hudson said...

So well written. Love you and respect you. But please, please do share Jason's sperms count! lol!

cynthia said...

Please know I am praying sweet friend. And now knowing my instincts were right. I knew there was more going on. Little story people will be coming your way:)

Katherine said...

Keeping you both in my prayers!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I hope you can feel the biggest hug from me tonight, a virtual hug of the sort, but a hug nonetheless.

Also, I love the story people and that saying is perfect. I know your post will help others even tho you probbably didn't have that in mind, while sharing your own heart, I'm certain your are touching many other hearts, too.

Again, hug hug.

xoxo
Steph

Heather said...

I came here through a link on twitter. I am so very sorry that you have had to deal with this heartache and loss. I know many people who are struggling with infertility and while I don't know first hand, I know what a burden it is on them. I can't even imagine.

I will be following your journey. I will be praying for you. Lifing you up so that above all you can have peace and soon be starting your family.

I have suffered loss and my heart breaks each and every time their due date comes around. I always wonder what they would be doing, would they look alike or different. It tears me apart.

Much love.

Tina said...

I found you through Erin on Twitter. I'm praying for you.

Rachel said...

So beautifully written.
I'm so sorry for your losses and simply amazed at your ability to speak this way, to write about it and to lay it down..

Hugs.

Melissa said...

I applaud your courage and strength, we've been off birth control for a few years now. I've not told many people for the same reasons you've mentioned.

Sending hugs and prayers from a stranger.

therootofallevel said...

i'm so sorry to hear of your losses and infertility. when my son was born still at 37 weeks i felt as if i might as well have died along with him. but after finding an entire community devoted to babyloss, i started feeling somewhat human.

there are lots of infertility and miscarriage communities out there and if you would like me to point you towards some, it would be my pleasure. that way you can connect with other parents, and know that you are not alone.

thinking of you and the hubs. if you need someone to talk with, i'll be there (all michael jackson style!)

julie

Kari said...

Cameron, you write eloquently about something that's so hard to put into words. I'm sorry you're struggling so much on the path to your dream. My husband & I are experiencing the same struggle, and your post says what's been in our heads for a while. So many little things come as reminders every day about this ultimate dream and goal and it's sometimes extremely difficult to stay positive. I'm glad you have friends & family to support, encourage, & console you along the way. Best of luck to you & Jason.

Desiree Fawn said...

This is my first time visiting your blog (via Steph) and I just want to say I'll be thinking about you lots and wishing you the very best! <3

Anna-Marie Still said...

brave, brave girl, how I adore you.

anymommy said...

I came from twitter and I couldn't leave without responding to your words. I don't know what to say, but I'm so glad you shared your burden, I hope that makes it lighter and I will keep you in my thoughts and hope that you will carry a very different, much lighter burden soon.

Monica said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this, and I hope by letting it out you will find a source of strength from those of us reading and wishing you the best.

Tauni said...

Beautifully written, Cam. You hate licorice? Really? All these years and I had no idea! I'm here for you if you need anything. Love you.

Rambling Rachel said...

Found you through Adventures in Babywearing on Twitter (BabySteph). I'm @schreiberwriter

I've been meaning to write about my miscarriage, it's been on my mind. Healing is certainly a continuing process.

Thank you for sharing your journey

Leslie said...

Wow - you are incredible writer - your story was written so beautifully. I am so sorry for your loss and pain and I will pray that your dreams come true. Being a mom is the best. I will be at Inspired with you in May and would love to just give you a big hug.
Without even having met you I feel like you are an incredible person and I will be honored to get to know you. Take care.

debiellis said...

We love you Cam! I wish I lived closer so I could just sit with you, hold you, rock you, cry with you......

Anna Willett said...

girrrl... you are in my prayers. i ache for the pain that must have been overwhelming as you carried this burden alone. know that you are deeply loved and cared for. your bravery is heroic. and you are truly amazing.
<3 anna

Andrea said...

We love you! And think you're strong and inspiring for putting it all down so eloquently. If you need to cry (or just drink lots of wine), I'm here.

Heather @ Storming the Castle said...

I've been there. I've walked that tightrope, and although the people on the ground mean well, by and large they do not, can not understand. I wish I had had your list of Do's and Don'ts when we were struggling with infertility. I would have kept it printed out and ready to hand to those well-meaning, but clueless people in my life. I have simultaneously loved and hated my pregnant friends with every fiber of my being, and I hated myself for feeling that way. I celebrated their joyful announcements, and then went home to cry for hours in solitude. Too many of my friends received Babies R Us gift cards instead of presents, because they were located at the front of the store, and I could get in and out with a minimum of pain. To this day, it still hurts SO MUCH to think of what we went through, and your beautifully written story brings it all back. My heart aches for you, although we've never met, and this is my first visit to your online home.


I'd like to tell you that it goes away, once your journey ends, but it doesn't...not completely. There is a part of me that (even after 2 beautiful children) will always be a card-carrying member of the Infertility Club. But that's okay, because it has made me a better friend, a better advocate for those in my life who can't explain why the words "Just relax" sends them into a RAGE. I've walked the tightrope, and if I can help someone else keep their balance, then it was all worth it.

Sending you hugs and prayers from a stranger (to echo Melissa!).

Chiara said...

I love you girl and cry all the tears you need too and it is perfectly fine to grieve each loss. My heart broke for you when I was reading this post. I have been down that road more times than I want to ever admit. Even now with having 2 kids and time passing I still grieve my angels and what might of been.

All I can say is I am here for you and Jason and will keep you in my prayers and please know that I am here if you ever need to talk. Oh and there are lots of stupid and inconsiderate people out there.

Chantol said...

You are one strong woman!! Sending you hugs and keeping you in my thoughts.

L&L Always,
Chantol

Elly said...

Oh <3. I'm so sorry your hurting, but thank you for being brave and sharing it. You are brilliant. Happy thoughts, hey x

sharon said...

It's obvious that a lot of people here love you. I hope your shoulders feel lighter.

love said...

i'm so thankful for your beautiful, honest writing. i have prayed for you about this before. even though i didn't "know." and THIS is what we are meant to do. to LOVE. to carry each other's burdens. (Gal 6:2!)

so, i am in. for the short or long haul, you have my prayers. you are loved and He is for you. thankful to carry a small piece of this & i pray that you feel that part of the load lifted.

Anonymous said...

My dear sweet Camemon, reading this brought back every emotion Nic and I went through when we were going through our struggles, never knowing what our future would hold. I cried my eyes out reading this because just like watching the movie "Up"- it brought me right back to the moments of devastation that I will never forget. And even though sometimes you may feel hopeless (I know I sure did), know this- all of these hardships make us better mothers. I feel like because of my losses, I am that much more appreciative of the miracle that is life. I find myself never taking for granted even the most simple of things. It gives me that extra bit of patience that I need when I feel like I'm going to spontaneously combust from stress. So all of these thoughts/feelings will serve a greater purpose (not that you didn't think of that already, just hoping to add some positivity :). And I know how hard it is dealing with the jealousy and envy- I too felt the same exact things, and on top of that, I hated myself for feeling so ugly inside- it's not easy. I can only say that I love you and I can't wait for you to experience all of the wonderful things you deserve. And when all of these things happen for you, I can't wait to be there for the ride! I'm always here if you need to vent about anything... hang in there. My heart aches for you and I will be praying for you and Jason and future baby Yates <3
Love,
Trishamon

Anonymous said...

You and Jason are in my prayers... I love you Cameron...

Kari Johnson

summerdavid said...

My dearest Cameron, I love you for being able to write this and taking this step of settling your burden down. Everyone in your world is here to help you carry this from here on and I know you, of all people, will be grateful and appreciative of that.
You are a beautiful, dynamic, courageous woman and I know that when you become a mother, someday, however that happens (naturally or through the miracle of science), you will be an amazing mom.
I know we aren't as close as we used to be, but if you ever need to talk I'm here - all ears and shoulders to lean on. You and Jason are in my prayers. xoxo

Carrie said...

Well written, my friend. I hope this has helped you to lay down the burden and gives you some relief. IF sucks and I feel for you girl, but I have hope for you. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you. In the mean time, I will be praying!!! Avery is nothing short of a miracle from God and I will pray that you will get your very own miracle soon.

Cheryl said...

I am praying for you and Jason. I truly feel your heartbreak, it took us nearly five years to have our miracles. I am always here if you need me.

Katie Kermeen Swisher said...

I am right there with you. We have been trying for 4 1/2 years now, and still no baby. We got pregnant last May, but lost the baby at 12 weeks in August. I never knew my heart could feel so broken. It continues to be a hurt that I feel daily. It's nice to know we're not alone, but it also stinks to know there are so many women out there who have experienced this type of loss. Praying for you both!

Nikole said...

A beautiful, beautiful post.

Our wee girl arrived after five losses. I hope with all of my heart that you get your miracle too.

Sending strength and hope.

Skip's Girl said...

I just want to say I am so proud of you! I think sometimes the hardest thing for us to do is to recognize when we need to lean on others for support and encouragement. You write so eloquently and I can only imagine how many other women have found their voice through these words. You have a gift for sharing our thoughts as women, you help us relate and understand each other even better. I have prayed for you both over this since you first mentioned it. I read this as I was going to bed last night and my heart breaks for you, yet rejoices in the hope I see in your words as well. You are an amazing women, put on this earth for specific purposes. I believe you will persevere in this journey. Please know that if I ever ask how you are doing, it is not code for asking if you are expecting, but always to know how YOU are doing. I am so blessed that we had those brief Italy encounters and our time here together so far. HUGS, PRAYERS and LOVE to you both!!

Anonymous said...

YOU R A BEAUTIFUL, WARM AND LOVING WOMAN. LOV YA :-) ALYSON

Jilliene Designs said...

Oh my friend - so very sorry that you are going through this. I felt the same way when my father died. I know it is apples and oranges but you described feeling I have known. I had such sadness and it didn't go away after a month or 6 month or even a year. And every time I saw a dad and daughter out together or a movie or commercial that showed the beauty of the father/ daughter relationship, I held in big giant tears because it wasn't something I felt I could share or should share or even wanted to admit to myself. I'll be keeping you in my prayers and am so glad you shared your story. love you!

ang said...

loveyouloveyouloveyouloveyouloveyou. Love you. :)

Crooked Eyebrow said...

You just took the biggest step ever and I am so proud of you. Continue to feel the love and I just think the world of you.

You'll continue to be in my thoughts

xoxo

Anonymous said...

I'm an avid wearer of your jewelry and love your posts of the funny stuff you and Jason say. Thank you sooo much for sharing your heart. I am going through many of the same things you are, in about the same time frame as the dates you mentioned. I am still not ready to talk about it, even with close friends or family--don't want the "helpful" advice. I've been thinking about you a lot today, and just wanted to add to your ever-growing list of supporters and admirers. You are loved!

paula :: plays with mud said...

You are such an amazing, inspirational, generous, creative spirit and your post brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing this journey. You will be in my prayers and I can't wait to see you at Inspired this year!!!

jenwcom said...

You are beautiful beyond measure. I love you beyond words. I pray that the act of sharing your heart relieved it a tiny bit. As brave as it was to write out your pain, know that you don't have to be brave every day. There are many who are willing to do that on your behalf. Thank you for being exactly who you are.

Traci said...

I have never met you. I may never meet you. I know you through Kate. I LOVE (and I mean LOVE) wearing your jewelry! I follow you on your blog and facebook for the same reasons other do......you are a wonderful person. Don't ask me how I know, I just do. You and Jason are in my prayers. If you ever need an ear, I'm here.

Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry said...

I don't know what to say, really. but I can't close your site without leaving a word to let you know that you are being surrounded by prayers from people who know, at least a slice, of what you are going through.

And know that with each night you go to bed not pregnant, each morning you'll wake up CLOSER to being a Mom. This I promise you.

Sending love, hugs, positivity and light in your direction.

Ava's Mom said...

I'm just so so sorry, and so moved by your eloquent writing. I am sending prayers and warm thoughts and lots and lots of hope...

Ryley @ That's My Family! said...

Wow. What a beautiful peice of writting. I've read it now maybe 4 times. and every time I am so moved by it.

I love the words Beth gave you. Though it may not see so, every day is getting you closer.

I love that there are so many people in this community going through, or have gone through, what you are experiancing. They are here to surround you in good thoughts.

I LOVE that you posted and do and don't list. I, myself, have always wondered what the right thing is to say. and worried I was saying the wrong thing.

I know you said not to feel bad about anytihng that was said in the past and I hope I never over stepped boundries by talking about it with you before.

You are so loved..
dont ever forget it.

~Ryley

Sara Joy said...

My goodness I can't say it better than anyone else here, but you certainly know you're on my heart and in my prayers.
I am with you, so very with you here. And I really just love what Beth said - she is right. <3

claudine hellmuth said...

(((hugs))) I am praying for you both and thinking of you. We need an art day together!! xoxoxox

Michelle said...

i am stunned and breathless by your honesty and the baring of your soul. what a poignant and truthful post. my heart now holds your heart and your burden and is here for you at any time. praying and wishing and hoping for you and jason to find the miracle of parenthood in any way it is able to come to you. much love!

Brittney said...

KCam, I'm so sorry you've been going through this! I know that you are a beautiful, amazing woman and that in some way it will all work out for you in the end. Love you Lil' Sis!
L&L
Brittney

Carri, Lou & Josie Schneider said...

This is Carri. I came to you as a stranger, until I just read your post. I found out (and you shared your blog) when I emailed you about your beautiful "Three Little Birds" necklace that I chose to memorialize the three miscarriages I have had. The third, just days ago at 11 weeks, still has a reeling. And after reading your blog post, I feel so connected to you and to your pain. It's something that (as you said much better than I can) no one can understand unless they've walked that tightrope themselves. I am so sorry that you have suffered. And you are so brave for sharing your story. We also chose to share our story on our blog, although it was a difficult decision to let people help us. I too have been overwhelmed by the stories of people who I thought I knew who have suffered great losses and also struggled with infertility. It's just something that doesn't get talked about. So thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I really love you "Do's" and "Don'ts". I sent a similar email to my family and I'm amazed at how similar our lists are.
I wish I had something to say that could instantly make everything better, but I know that such a thing doesn't exist. Instead, hold firm to all the people who love you (which is very obvious by all the comments here) and don't give up hope. Be gentle with yourself. And thanks for sharing your beautiful work and your story. I can't wait to receive my necklace. It will mean even more to me, now knowing that it was made by hands that understand why I bought it in the first place.
If you'd like to see the tribute to our loss, our blog is www.threeschneiders.blogspot.com
We have a 2 1/2 year old daughter that I never thought we would have. And you will have your child/ren too.

Take care.
Carri

Becca said...

I love that you've been able to express so beautifully such an incredibly personal and painful thing. I just followed a link to your blog, so this is my first time here. But I am all too familiar with many of the feelings you describe.

I chuckled a little at your description of how hard it is to see a pregnant woman or walk past the baby section at Target, because those were two of the very hardest things for me when my husband and I were going through infertility.

I think it would have helped me at that time to recognize that many of those angelic little babies (and the tiny terrors too) came to their parents after painful experiences with infertility and miscarriage. I think I assumed that anyone with children had come by them easily (just like my Mom and sister had), and that I was the only one that knew the pain of not getting pregnant over and over and over....

I have one of each now, an angel and a terror, who both became mine through the miracle of adoption. And now I look back on those tough times and I wouldn't trade any of it. Those experiences brought these two kids to me, and I KNOW that they were meant to be mine. And I am a better mother than I would have been otherwise, because I had to work so hard to get them.

You are entitled to the pain and grief and all the other emotions you are experiencing. But hold onto that little bit of hope, as hard as that might be at times. Because if being a mother and a father are what you and your husband really want, you will find a way to make it happen.

I only have two pieces of advice from "the ground." First is for you and your husband to communicate with each other what you are feeling as you're feeling it. I was open to adoption for months before my husband got to that point. Sometimes I would feel impatient with him, but most of the time it was okay, because we would talk about it. Second, don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. I still regret that I didn't say anything to my uncle who gave me a lecture about not waiting to have children, and that having kids right away after he and my aunt were married was the best thing he ever did. He didn't know that I was going through infertility, but he had a son and daughter-in-law that had gone through nearly the same thing not long before us. He really should have been more sensitive. Sometimes the most well-meaning people say the most wrong things.

Katy said...

Notes from another Tightrope walker.
I use to think that the answer to all the heartache and depression would be resolved when I had a baby. The baby was the solution. Then I met a friend who was way worse off (with the depression) then me who was struggling with infertility after having one baby so easily. I remember thinking she should be grateful for the one she’s got. Then I realize the baby is not the solution. I had to come to peace with the situation, or it was going to ruin me. I started working on the underlying feelings that come with infertility. For me they were fears that God didn’t answer prayers, or that I was unworthy of being a mother. (I’m not sure if you are religious, but by your plea for others to pray for you I assume you are).
In the bible the story of Hannah and Samuel brought a lot of peace to me. When Hannah got pregnant the KJV reads “and the Lord remembered her.” At first this killed me because since I wasn’t pregnant it made me feel as if God had forgotten me. But then I remembered all the ways He had remembered me. Or all the things I am able to do now because I don’t have a baby. Things that I’d willingly give up, but nevertheless were making me a better person. I realized that God does here our prayers He is mindful of us and of me individually. He answers prayers in His way and in His time. For me I felt that this was a trial of my faith and I grew in my faith as I held firm to it.
My second fear was overcome by realizing that worthiness in God eyes had nothing to do with it. That is obvious by all the aborted babies, or by my cousin who smoked marijuana during her pregnancy because it “calmed the baby down so it wouldn’t move so much.” How could any of these women be more worthy of a pregnancy than me? The truth is that we live in an imperfect world and life isn’t fair. It’s not me who did anything wrong. It’s just the way it is.
I don’t know if any of this helps or not. Just know you are not alone. There are tons of women out there walking this rope with you. And if they can’t help God can. He can carry your whole boulder and bring you peace in your life even without baby. I came to that peace and held on to my hope for a full year before I got pregnant (took me 4 years with no diagnoses every Dr told me there was nothing “wrong”). Now I have 3 beautiful daughters (5, 3, and 2) and 2 sweet angels waiting for me in Heaven both lost at 12 weeks in the last year. I’m off next week to revisit the infertility docs for the first time in 6 years. Has it been hard the second time around? Of course. Like you said it doesn’t matter how long you have been trying it is something you want and don’t have and that is devastating. But it is easier because I know that God is mindful of me, and I feel that He is sorry that I have to go through this again but that is part of being human.

Julia said...

First time reader - linked to you from Metropolitan Mama....

never dealt with infertility - haven't been on that tightrope - but I do know the heart wrenching anguish of miscarriage... I have no great answers, and won't pretend to... however, I will be praying - and I do know that the best thing for me after the miscarriage was not the answers, or attempts at answers - it was the hugs, prayers, and love of those who know me best... and those that continued to invite me to my normal life regardless of everything else... I pray you are SURROUNDED by THOSE people!

Becky Guy said...

What is brave about your post is that sometimes it's easier to not say something "out loud" - like maybe it isn't real that way. You have made it very real and that can be scary, but you will benefit from knowing so many people care about you. By not reaching out you were depriving yourself of that gift. I wish you all the best in your journey and although I don't pray, I will think of you often.

Anonymous said...

If I could I would send you one of the beautiful Oregon sunrises and some of the clean, crisp air that smells of fresh evergreen trees after a rainfall. It is good sometimes to just "be". Your honesty and courage to set this down touched my heart. I will lift you and your husband up in prayer, that you will have a peace about all things. Safe travels and know that you are being surrounded with love and prayers.
Melissa

Junie June said...

praying for you both.

Stephanie said...

Cameron, this is a beautiful, beautiful post. You write so eloquently and poetically. Thank you for being brave enough to share your heart, your experience, your pain.

I linked to this post on my blog and I am sure I will be passing it on to many, many friends.

stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

Becca @ Our Crazy Boys said...

You are SO brave, and I wish you all the best.

To Think is to Create said...

This is such sweet heartache. I know the pain of loss, I wish I could take it all away. From all of us.

xoxo

ANNIE said...

Cameron...now that you and Jason have set your burden out in front for all to share I see an amazing woman that I cannot wait to meet in May (Inspired 2010). Enjoy Puerto Rico...and Happy Anniversary by the way Cameron. Your heart is huge and holds much love...

Erika said...

I got an e-mail from a friend of mine that said your post reminded her of me. I've never been to your site before and I apologize if my comment is over zealous for a first time visitor.
I'm sorry that you've joined this ever growing, hard, never seems to get easier, club. No ones journey is exactly the same, but for me it has been a huge help to find others in similar situations. Those that know the self hatred feeling when you can't be as exstatic as you want to be for your friends pregnancy announcement. Or for how absolutely devestating another negative pregnancy test can be.
When/ if you're ready, there's a whole community of us on your tightrope willing to welcome you with open arms.

I'm praying for you to find strength, courage, peace, and most of all that your hope can be unburied. Good luck!

Dani said...

This was one of the most amazing blogs I've ever read. It's like you pulled some thoughts right out of my own head. We've been trying five years and I wish I had never mentioned the time to people but it's too late the cats out of the bag and I know what it's like to be filed away. I know what's it's like to hear your best friend is pregnant and to be so happy for her one moment but then not want to get out of bed for a week because you are so sad for yourself. Hang on to your hope!

Krista Sigsworth said...

Cam...you have touched me in a way that no one ever will! I am crying and my heart hurts for what you are going through! Thank you for sharing and for making me look at my blessings for just what they are...blessings! I'm sorry for you and Jason and hope that everything works out! You are an amazing person!

Krista

Marcela Beatty said...

This is my first time on your blog, thinking of you today and sending prayers your way.

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

I'm sending the biggest hugs ever across the ocean for you. I hope that writing and sharing have really helped you in this emotional experience. I can't change things, but I can admire you and hope for you and believe. Your friend Andrea sounds like a beautiful, wise friend.
Katie

Sunny -- aka Matriarch said...

I never saw your blog before today. I have no comments from the ground or anywhere else. What can one person say to another going through a dark passage? Just that breathing is sometimes all we can do. Your story will inspire someone, it will comfort someone, it will challenge someone. It will travel farther and longer and wider than you could ever dream. With this post, you created a different kind art -- human art.
As an older woman who has seen much and experienced much, thank you.

Pamela Jane said...

Blessings come in all sorts of packages. May you enjoy your many others while you wait, heart open, for this one.

The Mom Venture Blog said...

Found your blog through O My Family. Beautifully written post. I'm so sorry to hear about your struggle. I'll be praying for you and I was very glad to see that you and your husband are still going strong and really supporting each other. He sounds like an amazing man!

I wish you all the best, and don't let that pebble of hope get covered up! :) I have a friend that had fertility issues(Don't worry, I'm not going to get into advice on what to do!) and she has 2 children now using a fertility doctor. I think she had to get some sort of shots for each one in order to get pregnant, not exactly sure on all the details.

But anyway, as you already know, there's still hope!

Life with Kaishon said...

I just prayed for you. I pray that God will give you just the right baby at just the right time. When someone wants to be a Mommy there is always a way. And sometimes, the way that it works out is so different than what we are imagining but SO much better.

God bless.

Tristina said...

Okay.

I've read this post maybe a handful of times and each time I don't feel like I have the "right words" and then I suddenly feel guilty for anything I may have complained about on Twitter.

So here goes.

You are AMAZING. I only know you in 140 character increments but you are an AMAZING woman and I feel like I can call you a friend. It takes guts to write this and I can empathize with laying it out there. I recently wrote about my issues with my dad. Hardest thing to write.

Ever.

You WILL be a mom one day. I feel it in my bones and in my soul. And I will be here to jump up and down and cry happy tears.

Anytime you need a shoulder or an ear, I'm around. Email me, tweet at me, Facebook, phone...anything. I'm your girl and I'm in your corner.

Always.

I heart you, sweet amazing lady.

So fiercely.

jacqueline said...

Dearest sweet Cameron, it's my first time visiting. This is so beautifully written and it made my eyes misty. I am so so sorry that you and your love one have to go through so much. I only wish and pray that one day it will happen for you and you love one.
I'm inspired by your courage and strength. You are amazing and you are loved. Have a lovely merry happy birthday celebration and love to you!

Juanita said...

Dear Cam your post here is very moving; moving because even if I am not in your shoes, I know the pain that both Jason and you felt/feeling as I am no stranger in this dept even though it was not the pain you and Jason are going through and even though my Mother-in-law passed away in 1988, the pain is so deep rooted that I wish it would Go Away ENTIRELY but it never does. Everyone has some kind of pain and it is how we handle same. Probably the pain is still deep rooted in the recess of my mind is because, like you I kept it all inside of me and prob only my mum and aunty knew about it then, as Loving my husband, he is a wonderful husband, I never exorcise it because I loved him too much and didnt want to hurt him thinking that I am strong and can handle same but instead in a weird way I must have nutured it. I always told him not to fight my battles with her as she wont take too kindly to any Interference from anyone and she could NEVER tolerate anyone to answer her back when she voice anything so much so that was precisely what I did cos if I were to answer that eg "No, it was not me ...." the record would be Louder and LONGER so I always held my piece. Pse dont get me wrong. My MIL is a very loving mother to her children and grand children, my husband being the eldest and prob that is a partial reason as not easy being 2nd in yr son's life when you were the first woman the son loved. I rem there was once when she woke up at 6.30 a.m. and started her shindig; accusing me of BEING a nosey parker and reading her son in law's will as she found it not staked prop in her drawer as she is a neat freak. My father in law and myself worked in a law firm and he prep the will for my brother in law to sign. I got up from bed, disoriented and this was one of the occasions when I told her that I didnt. Why the hell would I want to read it when I have typed more wills in my life. When I told her that I did not do it, all hell broke loose. She then ranted on and on saying this and that and saying which culmulated with her saying that "If I dont listen to her [ie dont answer her back AT ALL] the lightening will strike me and if it does not strike me then it will stike my kids." When I heard that my dam broke loose; all my emotions came to the fore cos why is she cursing my kids, Who ARE her grand children and INNOCENT BYSTANDERS. That was the straw the broke the camel's back but I kept my silence and then went to work and at work I have always displayed myself like a joker, joking around even though I am so broked up inside;, NEVER once did I became a fighter at work just the reverse I was more understanding esp those who suffered some kind of plight; taking refuge in being in advisory position & trembling with fear Always when the time comes for me to go home, I lived with my inlaws for 13 yrs till her death. Then when I went back, she apologised to me as her younger son witnessed the signature of her son in law and didnt fold it properly when he kept in the drawer. WHY didnt she check all this before; why make an innocent party lived thru all this suffering for Nothing??? And this was the 1st time she ever apologised to me maybe she regretted cursing the kids or me, who knows? One thing positive that all this taught me was it Made me more Patient, Loving. I turned to baking to give me substance and I m glad I did that cos after retiring 6 yrs ago, I hv a small cottage industry. You will definitely be in my prayer list and I pray that one day SOON yr dreams will come true. Mine came thru when I was able to put my passion into cakes that my customers cant get enuf, haha. God bless you gir. If you ever want to check me out, go to face book. My name is Juanita Samson. The photo there would be of my husband at the front and I m slightly behind. God bless you.

Ann said...

Amazing post. Feeling very inspired with the idea of putting a burden down, and thereby allowing others in.

Rooting for you,

Ann

Janine said...

Just read this now. Thinking of you and sending lots of love and prayers.