Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Dear Husband

Dear Husband,

On this eve of a new year, let me write you this lovenote of a different kind.

2014 has been awful. Those looking in,  and even you, will hear such a statement and remind me of the good in our lives. Our beautiful home, our overcrowded bed filled with furbabies, our vacations, even our material possessions. My intent would never be to overlook these things,  nor to appear ungrateful.  Don't think for a moment, my love, that I fail to recognize just how lucky I am in this life. I remain aware with every blink of my lashes how much we have together.

But this year was still awful. And for that, I owe you an apology.

Infertility took what should have been our honeymoon phase and tossed it out the window. In its place were more tears than I care to admit, more visits to doctors than I'd ever care to count, more frustration, defeat, disappointment, and heartache than I felt I could handle most days.  It turned your optimistic, healthy wife into a depressed, emotional-eating, sad human being. Yet despite this, you would remain true to the inscription in my wedding ring, smile, hug my (slightly larger) body tightly, and remind me that I'm "still your sunshine." For that, I love you even more.

The thing about this road we've traveled is that I've yet to determine what I need from you. I've used up your strength and I've exhausted your kindness. Infertility feels like a beast inside me. I remain fully aware of what a shell I've become, yet I spin my wheels trying to emerge a stronger, better wife.

To imagine my life as anything but a mother is nearly impossible. It feels as though it would require a complete deconstruction of everything I've defined myself as being. My sense of self is woven tightly with a sense of maternal belonging. A fiber strung through every thought in my day is difficult to silence. The yearning in my heart is relentless.

I apologize for losing me. For looking to tomorrow when I should have been looking at today. For being a distant resemblance of the woman you fell in love with.  For completely wasting 2014 in the waiting game of fertility. I let infertility define me when I should have defined it instead.

I don't promise to have any master plan to fix this for 2015, but I do promise to take some time to be more present, to articulate what I need from you at my weakest of moments, to try to contain infertility and grant it less power over our lives, and to work at restoring my health and happiness. Your sunshine has faded and as much as I'm sure you miss her, I grieve her disappearance just as much.

2015 will be our year. It will not be infertility's year. Ours. We will define it.

Always your sunshine,

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wishes Need A Bubby Too

Each year in the office, we have a craft fair in a rather large training room. Coworkers and vendors fill tables and displays with lovely homemade relics and holiday crafts.

Today was craft fair day. I recall how much I loved wandering the aisles last year. What I didn't recall was how many baby items there were. It seemed every table had miniature booties, beanies, blankets, or dolls. A handmade reminder of where my heart and head have been these holidays.

With each step, each finger I stroked across each item, I felt the formation of a lump in my throat. I swallowed hard and smiled merrily at my coworkers, exchanging pleasantries as I fought the good fight within. I admired a crocheted bib and a brightly colored dog-print quilt.

I knew I didn't need any of these items. Why torture myself with a purchase for what isn't? But I loved them. I've always loved handmade gifts. And for some reason today, they were special.

So you know what I did? I swallowed my tears and I bought them. It was the most nervous I've ever been making a purchase, as if they'd look at me with pity for buying a gift for a child I've only wished for. "But they don't know," I reasoned with myself as I made my purchase and returned to my desk. In hindsight, my face was probably an advertisement for my emotions.

I felt a bittersweetness wash over me as I tucked it away at my desk. I ran a finger across the satin binding of the quilt,  remembering how much I adored my "bubby" and the countless hours I ran my chunky little digits across the smooth, cool satin trim. I loved that blanket.

I bought a blanket for a baby we don't have. I texted two close friends and my mom, hoping they'd make me feel less crazy. And they did. Reassuringly, they reminded me I was just getting ready for the baby we would someday have. 

And someday, somehow, what isn't will turn to what is and I will lovingly wrap that child in this blanket and hold them close to my chest. I will remember when they were just a wish. A wish I bought blankets for, because wishes need a bubby too.