The Childless Mother

Christmas No. 35

 

Merry Christmas

It’s Christmas Day.  My 35th Christmas.  Mom, Dad, Mark, and I went and saw War Horse at the theater – a Christmas tradition to go to the movies while my siblings are away celebrating with their in-laws.  Our festivities were last night.

So often I find myself shying away from this space anymore, because I assume no one wants to read about my sadness anymore.  ‘Enough, already’, I hear my readers say.  But today I am reclaiming this space as mine – for my journaling and cataloging my life, my thoughts, and my journey – not for anyone else, but for me, and whoever may come after me…

…which of course is the root of my pain right now.  How can this always come to bite me when I get to a place that I feel resolved that I will not have children?  When I’ve convinced myself that I can live a full life without any?  When I agree with that voice in my head that says, ‘you’re too old, too tired, too particular to have children.’?

Last night when all my nieces and nephews were excitedly opening their gifts with moms and dads, aunts and uncles, grandma and grandpa gathered around seeing it all through their eyes – all I could do was look at my parents and think of what they have, what I’ll never have.  Their progeny.  Their legacy.  The life they will leave behind.  That death wont end with them.  They will live on, always, through their children and grandchildren.  They had a home full of love and life.  And I couldn’t help but picture myself at their age, feeling as lonely as the tree in my picture looks.

And I write this and have to make myself not erase it, for fear of what you (anyone reading this) are thinking.  ‘Get over it.’  ‘Look at what you do have.’  ‘You don’t have to be alone.’  All of the judgment that I assume I receive.  But I’m not going to.  I’m going to keep it right here.  Because it’s my story.  And my inner world.  And it’s true for me.  And this is my space.

I couldn’t stop my tears even long after the movie today, which was really moving, but I had to take the time to write in hopes to get this out of my system so I can move past this today, because I know these tears are not for a horse and his boy, but for the loss and grief that may be with me forever.  Maybe I should just surrender to that, instead of fooling myself into resolve.

And, oh, my gosh, my family is wonderful and I am so blessed to have them in my life.  This grief does not take away from that, by any means.  I imagine that I can love my nieces and nephews in ways that my siblings never could love theirs, since I don’t have my own to love.  I get a lot of joy out of watching them together, my brothers’ and sister’s kids, playing, being kind, and loving each other.  I imagine my own children in the mix of cousin play, and I long for it so.

There are times I wonder ‘why?’.  And when I quickly realize that asking that question does not help, I try to remember this beautiful prayer:

“God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.”

And I pray for guidance to know where to turn for any help I may receive in conceiving and carrying a child to term.  And I beat myself up for all the ways I don’t try and for all of my excuses and justifications of why not.  And all I can ask is for strength, O Lord, every day, to bear the burdens you have decided I seem fit to carry.

 

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Homeopathic Elixir For Infertility | Rubis I

Rubis I Homeopathic Elixir for Infertility

Rubis I Homeopathic Elixir for Infertility

Yesterday I checked in with my holistic doctor for a digital examination.  No, not digital as in ‘computer’.  Digital as in, well, you know… right?  Years ago, before I was ever trying to get pregnant, while having a gynecological examination, my doctor told me that I had a tilted uterus.  This is something that had no relevance to me then, but her words have been ringing in my head lately, so I scheduled this digital exam with my holistic fertility doctor to either confirm or deny this tilted uterus theory.  If it was true, then perhaps that would be the reason I’m not getting pregnant.

Well, I walked in acting as if this would not be awkward at all (isn’t it always harder when you kind of already know the person first?), which carried me through until he walked out the door and I could get up and put my clothes back on.  Ugh.

So there’s good news and there’s bad news.   The good news is that I don’t have a tilted uterus.  The bad news is that I don’t have a tilted uterus!  Hehe – am I impossible, or what?!  Had the results been ’tilted uterus’, at least I feel like I we would have had something to fix.

The doctor said I am very healthy, and then, he gave me the magical homeopathic elixir!!  This, is what he said does the trick, if after the nutritional regimen he puts people on isn’t working after a year.  He put me on it right away since I’m running out of time!  (I love how the light and shadows cast what looks like a heart behind the elixir in the picture :-)

As far as nutrition, of course, he recommends a raw foods diet – full of raw vegetables and fruits, good protein – including pasture raised eggs every day, raw milk (some of you are freaking right now!), lots of animal fats and other good fats (raw butter, cream, avocado, nuts, seeds, etc.)

Thankfully, we have a chicken farmer down the street from us and we’ve been eating his eggs for months now.  They aren’t fed any grains or corn, and they are free to roam the farm and pick at the soil for nourishment.  Sometimes we see them roaming around among the horses feet – so cute.  I don’t know what the farmer will feed his chickens in the winter…

Hubs and I have been raw milk drinkers for about four+ years now, so that is no problem for me.  Raw milk from pastured (not Pasteurized!) cows who roam free in an acre or more of their own and are grass fed is perfectly safe and healthy.  It was drank (having a brain fart… did I use that word correctly?) and used for medicinal value up until after WWII.  Sadly, pasteurization and homogenization kill all the good bacteria, and hence leave store bought milk lacking in any nutrition (not to mention all the dangerous hormones and whatever else they put in there).

We also started juicing about a month ago to infuse our systems with all the vitamins and minerals that we don’t always get when eating the vegetables whole (the fiber in the vegetable gets in the way of optimal absorption).

Those things being said, I know I have lots of room for improvement!  I still eat fast food (ew), processed foods, and sugary desserts.  Over the years I’ve implemented lots of nutritious habits – perhaps now it’s time to get rid of the bad ones. : (

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Natural Infertility Treatment | A New Journey

Mother Needs Baby, As Much as Baby Needs Mother

Mother Needs Baby, As Much as Baby Needs Mother | by Angela DiGiovanni

Yesterday I met with a Naturopath, Dr. Jensen, who I am going to be working with for one year to make a last ditch effort to get pregnant and carry a child to term.  My first meeting with him regarding infertility was grim.  He was honest.  And it stung.  I’m getting old for a healthy pregnancy, he said.

Continuing, he said that he has a 90% success rate, working with infertile women!!!  Holy smokes, my heart jumped.  “But,” he said, “I’ve never worked with anyone your age.”  Ouch.  Nothing like rubbing salt into the wound.  But seriously… 90%?  I so have hope in this process right now.

I can’t count how many times I’ve gone back and forth the last year – deciding to give up, freeing myself of the emotional turmoil of trying for a baby closing in on year five now, and then half-heartedly convincing myself to keep going, that I can do this.  I’ve countless times firmly decided recently that I can have a fulfilling life without children – no screaming kids in the grocery store, no demands, no schedules, no restrictions…. ahhhh.  Sounds like freedom, right?  YES, I convince myself…

…until something unexpectedly triggers my deep down yearning for a child, the yearning I’ve been trying desperately to ignore lately, and the emotion creeps up like a thief in the night, and the tears just fall.  How can this be, I wonder.  I’ve decided I’m done – I’m over it.

But I cannot fool myself, hard as I may try.

I had lunch with a friend a few weeks ago, who said, “try all that you can try before giving up, so you’ll never have to wonder.”  And that’s been haunting me (in a good way – as it has inspired and motivated me to this new action).

It’s usually an awkward conversation when people ask, “well what have you tried?”  Have I tried everything there is to try?  Certainly not.  It is very, very expensive to obtain assistance in having a baby if you aren’t naturally blessed.  Tens of thousands of dollars can be spent without a guaranteed outcome.  So, for one, I don’t have the resources for those avenues.  And, two, I’ve never felt impressed to go down any of them.  But I knew my friend didn’t mean these ways.

I’ve always believed that if I am to have a baby, it will happen naturally, and at the right time for my child(ren).  But have I tried everything within that scope?  No.  And God blessed me with a loving friend who gently encouraged me to dive a little deeper.

So I feel very good about this path with my holistic doctor.  The first time I worked with him several years ago, I had so many health problems – with my kidneys and liver, mainly.  After these several years of implementing the practices he taught me, my kidneys and liver checked out perfect yesterday.  I was thrilled to see it.

My experience, plus his result of 90% of previously infertile women bearing children after his treatments is very, very encouraging.  After this year, I think I can feel complete – that I tried my best.  If my arms are full as a result, of course I will be thrilled.  If I am to remain a Childless Mother, then I believe I can finally find peace, let go of the process, and work on the plans for the rest of my life accordingly.

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To the Childless Mothers

Mother and Child by Gustov Klimt

Mother and Child by Gustov Klimt

I never expected Mother’s Day to be so hard.  Before church, it didn’t cross my mind once that the service would be all about it.  I sat in the pew and looked at the meeting agenda.  “Primary Children, Mother’s Day Medley.” Oh.  Great.  But even then, I couldn’t have predicted the mess of tears I would become during the rest of the meeting.

The Relief Society Presidency sisters each spoke.  As the first one spoke about motherhood traditions, my heart ached to think that I was quite possibly the only woman in the whole congregation who couldn’t bear children. Feeling like such an outsider, I squirmed in my seat.  I didn’t belong here today.

Then the primary kids got up and sang “Mother, I Love You.”  And then the tears came, so unexpectedly, I was so unprepared.  These words I may never hear cut me to the bone.

Then another sister spoke.  I was hardly able to listen because I was fighting with my tears, trying to make them stop so as not to make a spectacle of myself.  Just as I was about to walk out to dry my face, fix my makeup, and regain my composure, I realized she was talking about her own struggle with infertility.  She was my age, and had no kids, either.  I decided to let my tears fall as they may, but I was going to stay and listen.

Then the final sister spoke.  Also, no children.  She shared a story about working in her yard after she had bought a home at the age of thirty-something.  A neighborhood boy came up to her and pointed inside her house and asked,

“Are there any children in there?”

“No,” she said.

“Aren’t you a mother?”

“No, I’m not.”

“Well then, what are you?”

Yes, I wonder that all the time.  Well what am I?  If I am not to be a mother, then what am I to be?  Can my life possibly be fulfilling and complete if I am not to be a mother in this life?  Sometimes I come close to convincing myself so.  But then why the river of tears at times as these?  Why the heartache when I see an infant baby, like a sad reminder of what I may never have?

—————-

A Mother’s Day Poem to the Childless Mothers

happy Mother’s Day
to the wanna be mothers,
the infertile lovers

with the dream in their heart
for a family to start

who wonder if they’re not as good as another
for the most sacred calling of ‘mother’

to the childless mothers
who mother others

to the strong who wear out their bravery
while their hearts grow cold and weary

to the optimistic who try to see the silver lining
who lie to themselves to make peace, ever dying

to the tribe who feels misplaced, unplaced, overlooked, and blue
who may never hear the words, ‘Mother, I love you’

to the lone woman who feels the anguish of life ending with her, the woe
no posterity to pour into, no flowers to water and watch grow

I honor you for your sweet, broken heart
for your patient tears
for the hope of the dream that dies
with each of the years that go by

today I hear you
I have no comforting words,
I cannot fool you in your pain
I pray that you’ll find peace
and find your life again

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The U.S. Through the Eyes of An Emigrant

Provo Temple

Tina and Me in Front of the Provo LDS Temple

I’ll never forget the first day I spent with Tina right after she came into the United States for the first time.  Tina is the bride of my stepson, Jared.  They met while he was serving a mission in Pinotepa, Mexico – and while they couldn’t date while he was on his mission, he was sure to know how to contact her when he was done!

After his mission was over, we accompanied Jared back to his mission areas so he could show us around and share his two years of experiences with us.  Part of that was traveling the long journey to meet Tina and her family… ten hours outside of Oaxaca and Mexico City.  In other words, way out in the boonies.  A humble town, where most of the homes had dirt floors, and only empty squares without actual window panes in the walls.  At Tina’s home, they showered out of a bucket.  (I was with Tina the first time she ever stepped foot on carpet.)

Our next trip to Mexico was for Jared and Tina’s wedding.  With bright eyes and a peaceful countenance, I could see why Jared was attracted to this girl.

During the first few days of coming to the U.S., Jared needed to go to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Tina didn’t know another living soul in the whole country, besides Jared (other than having had met us twice). What could have been a rather awkward day, turned into a fun challenge.  Tina didn’t speak a lick of English, and we could only speak a handful of words in Spanish, and she was having to take in such grandeur that she’d never seen in her life.

We gestured and used a translation gadget that wasn’t very reliable.  But best of all, we laughed at ourselves together for our pitiful attempts at communicating with each other.  It was a great bonding experience that forced us together with Jared out of commission.

That was a couple of years ago.

Today, Tina and I shared a special time together in a sacred place.  For the longest time I’ve desired to be able to really talk with her – to know her feelings on things.  And today, we had one of those conversations, and I realized just how far we’ve come.

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