Friday, March 27, 2009

An "empty arms" week

Like deaths, I think that pregnancy/birth announcements and baby showers come in threes. Those events never seem to spread out over time; instead they coincide. Such is the case with this week.
Two birth announcements from two different cousins arrived within days of each other. Yesterday the faculty held a baby shower for one of the teachers. Emails with baby photos galore. A Bible Study small group that ended with extensive discussion on children (I'm the only one in the group without any kids). All in one week! Granted, none of the new parents nor people involved sent/said those things out of malice. But I do wonder while staring at those little bundles of joy, if the new parents know how blessed they are?
I think of my friend K, who has already buried 2 babies. I think of the fellow support group members who are undergoing all kinds of medical pursuits and adoption. And I think of the extra time it takes to closely follow the Creighton Method, when it seems like every other woman can just snap her fingers and get pregnant. My diocese is participating in 40 Days for Life, which involves peaceful prayer in front of the local abortion clinic. Unlike last time, I cannot bring myself to go pray there. It maddens me to stand in front of a center where women can kill their babies while I remain barren. For some reason this is affecting me more than in the past.
Two weeks ago I watched someone announce her pregnancy to our Bible Study leader. I couldn't hear the words, but could tell by her face. (I used to have this sense when all my friends in college got engaged! scary!) Sure enough, the following week I saw her showing pictures of her first ultrasound. Of course, I'm happy for her, but it still hurt. Those of you who have been there know what I'm talking about. To have gotten to the point where I can tell someone is announcing their pregnancy just by looking at them...well, it's kind of sad. As my friend anticipates the birth of her 3rd child in a couple weeks, I don't know if I can even hold the newborn. That too, brings pain.
Now that this week is coming to an end with the support group meeting tomorrow, I can only hope that by the grace of God I'll keep moving forward. And that a nice lull of baby showers, birth announcements, etc. is coming. :)
Check out Empty Arms: A Heavy Load to Carry for Scriptural reflections on infertility. That's also the website where I borrowed the image. (for some reason I can't get blogger to show my paragraph breaks; sorry about the big amount of text).


Anonymous said...

Your pain is so clear here that it makes me feel like I can feel a little of it (does that make sense?). I hope that you get a reprieve soon and that you find something (if not someone!) to give a little of this stifled love.

Maureen said...

If I could take your pain upon myself, I would do it. My heart breaks for you! The Lord ways are not our ways. One thing I know is that you, your group and this blog have been a beacon of hope and comfort to many in this situation. Think of the void you have helped to fill with this blog and group! It is a painful, yes but many great things can be accomplished by the pain and sacrifice of just one person. You are that person and something great will come from your efforts! I always knew you were going to be very special!

Lori said...

I found your blog through some links, and I'm also a Catholic wife. My husband and I struggled with infertility for three years before we conceived our daughter. It was the toughest time of my life, and it seems we are struggling to conceive again. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you are in my prayers. May God bless you!

Kasclar said...

Beautiful post! I got a baby shower invite this week too and this morning I got really angry about it, starting crying before I had to leave for work. Reading this just reminds me that I'm not the only one. Thanks!!

By the way, the anniversary of my first miscarriage is next week, so I'm probably a bit more emotional right now anyway.

Maureen said...

I found you through the F&F blog and wanted to say you are not alone. When I first married I volunteered at a crisis pregnency center. After infertility and beginning to navigate the adoption maze I found that I could no longer volunteer. It was becoming increasingly difficult to deal charitably with girls who saw the incredible blessing they were carrying as something they owned and could dispose of at will. We continue to support the CPC but not in an inperson way. CAring for ourselves as we endured infertility wasn't wrong -- it was ensuring that we and our marriage were healthy when we recieved the blessing of a child (by adoption and then by birth).