Friday, July 07, 2006

.....And I think i'll retreat into the bomb shelter

Yesterday morning on my way to work, i happened to look at the car to my left, or actually i looked into the car & instantly in the back seat i noticed a childs special capsule seat & a hanging toy from the car roof supposedly to entertain the baby or toddler (note; i dont even know what the right name is for the seat)....anyway....instantly my losses & pain flooded into the forefront of my mind. Perhaps I'd been distracted by appointments of the day but not anymore. Each & every time I see a childs car seat or baby capsule in a nearby car, intense loss mixed in with yearning & unbelievable pain is triggered & floods through every part of me. Instantly I thought of Jill & how at the meeting with the funeral director she had been referred to as a mother & the two events were connected. The pain I feel with every witnessed baby capsule is the pain of never been called a mother, never experiencing the name, the joy, the title, the role, the experience. And whether its a baby capsule or a pregnant woman or a mother walking with a pram or any other slight reminder of the fact -i havent been able to become a mother, I havent been able to successfully carry to term, i havent had a 12 week pregnancy, I havent fulfilled this lifelong significant dream....suddenly im there in the whirlpool of darkness.

Later in the day the new members of staff were taken on a tour of the holocaust museum. I was the only jew in the group & our tour guide was a holocaust survivor. The atrocities of this genocide were there right in front of me. Whole families were massacred, millions of them, children, mothers, sisters, fathers.....& then there are others who were blessed & who managed to survive the war & land in another country & have to start over with no one and nothing. And in this culture, religion & race of ours, there is such a primal instinctive drive for family and generations & the passing of traditions.....and in that context, my own pain was triggered is so important to me to have a family with A, to surround our family with the rituals & traditions we have both grown up with & loved, to continue these traditions, to know our past, to be connected to it intimately yet create our families future.....& how do we do this without children & particularly without our own children???

After my work day was over, we took the boys on a long walk. we bumped into a close friend of As & his new partner. Instantly I felt uncomfortable. They were not in my inner world. After our meeting, they walked away & I was filled with a distressing thought. I imagined the new girlfriend asking her boyfriend why we didnt have kids? I then imagined him letting her know we were having a hard time & we'd had already quite a few miscarriages & in my imagination, even though he was sensitive about it, it still hurt like hell. A instantly knew I was upset about something & after much persuasion i recounted to him this imagined conversation. At first he couldnt understand why i thought such things, why was i torturing myself? i tried to explain to him - that this was my reality. Seeing people who arent in my inner world doesnt feel safe to me, it feels like seeing the baby capsule. Even the possibility of acquaintances discussing our difficulties fills me with pain. Every tiny trigger reinforces how unbearable this.....and hence, why living in our bomb shelter is an easier alternative.

Though A feels intense pain at not being a father, i do believe it is inherently different. I dont think the triggers are so intense, frequent, profound or painful. I can tell A doesnt feel the need to live in our bomb shelter. He still likes the idea of venturing out into the world & doesnt feel instantly confronted if we bump into people. Though Im sure it hurts him, i dont think a neighbouring cars baby capsule makes his eyes well up with the tears of 4 miscarriages & the fear & dread of remaining childless.

Tonight I was watching a favourite drama of mine on foxtel & a main character was telling his son a story & recounted that often people dont let go of a painful journey or process because in actual fact theychoose pain over nothing. Pain is better than nothing. I went inside & wondered whether that was happening for us. Are we so afraid that we will end up with nothing, childless, empty....that we keep trying for the pain of recurring miscarriages ultimately more acceptable or palatable than the alternative?


Anonymous Kath said...

Dear Womb, those moments can take your breath away, you are never ready for them, or able to cope with them well. It seems to be much more visceral with women -- men suffer, but in a more abstract way. It makes sense, their bodies aren't involved. And yes, it's so hard when you're hurting like this, to make small talk with people from outside your inner circle. I'm so sorry, my dear. I so hope it gets a bit easier for you soon.

Your post about Jill really touched me. As did her answer. And I hope that you never come to the point of the Decision -- but I hope and trust that if you're ever there, the alternative route will no longer hold such fear for you. Hoping for you in every way.

9:54 PM  
Blogger running wildly said...

I want to thank you for your vulnerable honesty in the words you write. I was so moved by this post I can't even begin to describe how my heart aches for you. I have not experienced the tragedy of miscarriage but your post has opened my eyes to the reality of those that have. The pain, the longing, the suffering. I am beginning to get a glimpse into that world of yours and for that I want to thank you.

3:15 PM  
Blogger StellaNova said...

Sometimes, the shelter feels like the safest place. I agree that men don't always understand the overwhelming consistency of our thoughts related to infertility. Even when we're not consciously thinking about it, it's always there. The missing presence that we want to protect - the gap we don't want others to acknowledge. Don't get me wrong - I know they are hurting too, but their answer is to 'get on with it' (a favourite saying of my husband) and they seem to able to do that so much better than us. I hope you feel OK again soon.

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Nikole said...

Dear friend, you can retreat whenever you need to. Those daily reminders--pregnant women, babies, strollers--they are everywhere, and they are so very painful. Your experience in the holocaust museum, and the thoughts and emotions it triggered brought tears to my eyes. I'm sending you buckets of love.

1:22 AM  

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