Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sally's Letter

While I was surfing online today, desperately seeking words to soothe my hurting soul, I found something that knocked my breath out. There I was, not really thinking I’d come across someone who fit my description even remotely. I mean, how many divorced, infertile, childless, 40-something women do you think are out there? Exactly. Even less of them are part of the blogosphere.

Well, I found Sally.

It’s a letter she wrote to her unborn child. Reading her story, I had one of those moments. You know, the ones where you are stunned silent when something you always said you hoped and believed in with all your heart suddenly turns out to be true?

The main part of Sally’s story could’ve been mine. And THAT is what was so stunning – there really is someone out there that feels the way I do!

This is part of her letter…

“Do you remember that skipping rhyme from childhood -- the one about "then comes love and then comes marriage, then comes Susie with a baby carriage"? I grew up believing, as all little girls do that that rhyme sang of my future. I dreamt of the handsome prince and the magnificent wedding day and, of course, the baseball team of children that we would raise together in a cute little house with a white picket fence! I had no idea when I got married at 24 (I was 25!) that I would never be big with child and feel my husbands hands caressing my swollen belly. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would be a mom and a great one at that! After all, I'm a woman."

"It wasn't until I had lived through years of hell -- years of trying everything to become pregnant -- years of tests, temperature charts, planned intimacy, surgeries and the feeling of total inadequacy that my dreams shattered."

"We divorced and I headed back home to the Okanagan (I moved to Pretoria)
to try to make a new life for myself. I buried my dreams deep. I now know that the emotional rawness of the past made way for the years of numbness that followed. I avoided pregnant women and babies and quite boldly told everyone that I was infertile, barren and didn't really like kids anyway. However something happened when I turned 40 and I realized that inside I was screaming to expose my emptiness not only to the world but, most importantly, to myself. “

Now it is for me:
“...too late for adoption, too late for in vitro fertilization and too late for dreams because my marriage did not survive my infertility. It died a silent death amidst the all-consuming struggle to become a family.”

Sally is still a lot further along the acceptance road than I am. She said the following at the end of her letter:

“…there is life after infertility, not the kind of life that we dream of as little girls but certainly a life worth living. I am no longer ashamed of my inability to give birth. The word "resolve" is in my vocabulary. There is a peaceful acceptance in my soul.”

I’m still ashamed of my inability to give birth.

“Resolve” is still just a word in my vocabulary.

“Peaceful acceptance” is something I thought I had, but it turned out to be only blissful unawareness.

But I do know there is life after infertility, even though it’s not the one we dreamed of.


Pamela Jeanne said...

Sally's letter -- and your experience -- speak volumes. You and others I've "met" online help me validate the very real and sometimes altogether overwhelming emotions that either remain or resurface after the RE visits end. A multitude of feelings continue to rock our worlds even after we've mastered some. Each day we learn to muster our strength in new and different ways. I hope that we can help each other and other readers recognize the many dimensions of infertility. I'm grateful that you've arrived in the blogosphere. You're now on my blogroll and I'll be sure to reference your arrival in an upcoming post.

Inconceivable said...

I am a late bloomer, thus why i am reading your earilier blog entries. I wanted to read the "whole story" OH HUG!!!!