Friday, October 17, 2008

It's been a while

It has been a while since I written.

I have been working on my management skills...
* Managing how to live every day with out breaking down while walking past a field of kids playing.

*How to not yell at a mother who is acting out at her frustrated kid

*How to not cry at every commercial that has a parent and a child.
*How to not be bitter

I am an artist, a maker of things and ideas.

The inability to make a child was a blow to my creative my soul.

I have been squirrelling away ideas and images of my infertility and have decided that it is time to start working with them "out loud".

I am a print maker and have started a series of my infertility images, ones that have deep resonance for me.

Below is the first image in the series:

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Pieces of my heart

I have just returned from a vacation with my husband and our friends. We traveled with a family of four, to a resort that was VERY family oriented. I never thought about that as we booked the trip or were getting ready. If I did think of it, it was in passing.

I was slammed head-on when the time came, well, when we sat down for our 5 hour plane trip.
We were on a plane filled with families; parents, babies and toddlers.
It was like being on a school bus for a field trip.

I put in my earplugs and worked on my management mantras. I thought I was doing well until I spied a little boy with bright red hair.
The color I imagined our child would have had.
He was beautiful and quiet and perfect.
I could feel my tears welling heart breaking just a little, yearning to hold him in my lap and smell his soft bright hair.
As I closed my eyes, my husband caught sight of me and whispered " I'm sorry"

I was lost for a while after that, at some point I got myself to fall asleep for a little bit. When I woke, he was playing with my goddaughter, closer to me even still. I was lost again in the daydream of a child.

We spent 7days at a family resort, trying to avoid child based activities and places, to no real avail. We spent a lot of time watching our friends play with their children on the beach and hear the girls argue and make up tales from their imagination.

Some days left us running for the quiet of our room, other days just left us quiet.

In the end, we decided that we had fun for the most part, but would want to go to an adult only place next time, or simply on our own.

The Barreness was in my backpack, showing me all I have lost and all I never got the chance to have.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

20 years later

As I near what will be a 20 year marker, I am faced with words I have chosen to not mutter except amongst very close friends or family.
I am going to be asked over and over and over again if I have kids.
I have tried to take the title of The Barreness by the reins and ride the wave high and openly in order to answer this question with ease.

I am trying to integrate into everyday language that I am not able to have babies...I can not make them or grow them. I did not choose this, nor did anything to make this happen. My infertility is something that was done to me, chosen for me and must be carried by me.

I read a great article in BITCH Magazine(issue 40) and found some vindication in it and it's powerful need to bring us infertile ones out into the light.
It is with this article that I have found a revival in my need to take the title again, but this time truly try and wear the crown with grace and pose.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Mother F***'s Day

I know that the holiday was created by the card industry, but it doesn't change the fact that I wish I could avoid it all together and let it be just a normal Sunday.
I still have to honor my Mother and mother in law and so on...I have made the obligatory gifts for the reproducers that will be attending my Aunt's soiree this weekend.
She has decided to now call the day "woman's day" in feel in a vain attempt to try and rectify what she has blown apart with me.
Changing the name does not change the feelings that I have about the day or the life long herstory of what the day means to me.
I watched for years as these women were honored at a Sunday brunch and doted on with ooooh and awww's and little gifts were bestowed to them and I watched thinking that one day, I would be in the circle of honored women.
When I found out that I was not going to be in that circle I stopped going to the "production" but instead opted to simply have a quiet celebration with my mother. My Aunt does not truly understand what a HORRIBLE day it is for me. It is a grief day for me. I grieve that I will not be a mother, I will not be in that inner circle of women. I am hard to relate to because of it.

This year, she has re-named the day.
I am fuming, as my mother is going to this event and that seems to be the only real way I can spend a little of the day with her. I will drag my ass to a home I wish to not be in, be subject to questions I don't want to answer kindly, be around people that will wonder about me and my reproductive system and witness this ritual of doting again. I will be miserable.
No amount of alcohol can change this.

To top this lovely sundae off we are also celebrating my father's 60th birthday that day, as he feels that "everyone will be there,so it will be easy"

I hope to have some time to simply cry and grieve for what was taken from me.
I am The Barreness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Upcoming Birthday Mantras

With my birthday in just a few days, I am experiencing what I do every year. The questions we all ask ourselves from time to time. It just seems that my daily desire to find an answer to this question is dialed up even more in the days just shy of my birth.
What the hell have I done with this life of mine?!

When I was small my birthday was a HUGE deal, I was the first grandchild and to boot the first girl in several generations to be born on my father's side. I was my parents first kid, and the first niece and I was one of the first kids to be born in my parents circle of friends. When I was born, I was blue and not breathing, I was given CPR twice to bring me back. It was considered a big deal by my parents and doctors. Sometimes that scenario goes through my head when I think of my Barreness, maybe I was suppose to be "weeded out". Darwin's theory, survival of the fittest; or in this case the fertile.

As I aged, my birthday was celebrated highly and I began to get use to a party and a big "ta do" about it. But when 30 hit, it all started to quiet down, I had aged, aged to a point where big parties are not a big thing; unless they were landmark years. I have been learning and embracing the simpler birthday's these last few years. Last year my husband and I simply went to dinner, no balloons, no flood of cards. I am looking at it as a practice in humility.

It was when asking what I wanted to do this birthday that I realized something.
Most of my older family is no longer around, I have left my job and a lot of socializing behind.
There really are not a lot of people in my life anymore.
Maybe I have started walking that path of humility, making my life simpler and quieter.
Parties are meant for big gaining another year of life, simply isn't that big of a deal.

I am still looking for the smoothest road to walk on that one.
I keep finding a lot of rocks in my way.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What was that?

I have officially left my job. It feels more and more wonderful as time passes.

My plan is to re-connect with my creative side, make as much as I can for as long as I can.
My husband feels this is what I am suppose to REALLY be doing.
I have given up fighting it anymore and have just welcomed the chance to be creative again.

I have been sewing non-stop for three weeks now; making the clothes I had started making for my nieces and nephews and expanded the line to other things as well. I am hoping to add more as time passes.

I sold some items to a family friend and they were asking if I was trying to get a line of clothes made. I expressed that I make everything myself and like the one-of -a- kindness of the clothes. That seemed strange to them; but what was even more odd was the fact that I might just stop one day. As I explained that it is a very emotional process for me, making clothes for other peoples children.

This was lost on them and was simply followed with the question" why don't you make more?"

Deaf ears are a true friend to The Barreness.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

It's lonely out here

So I have been released from my job.
Well, technically, I took a leave of absence for 8 weeks.
According to my doctors and my husband, I was/am in need of some serious downtime.
To avoid being sent to the sea or a sanatorium I took the time off; though the idea of being filled with drugs and weeks of sleep are appealing....I opted for the more grassroots version.

I am amazing how my mental health can be so easily brushed aside by me.
Even after seeing a show by Doctor Oz on what stress does to your body and how no matter how you manage it, it still takes a physical toll.
I got scared, and cried a lot and then forgot all about it.
It was when I woke up in the middle of the night to find myself half way across my bedroom looking for an incoming fax...we do not have a fax machine.
It was after that, that I gave work the information.
" I am being encouraged to take time off, to at the very least, get some sleep"
I haven't had a real night of sleep in a LONG time.

I had to stop being so naive, stop ignoring the exhaustion and try and find some sense of happy again. I love my husband too much to check out early over a STUPID job.

Now, now I have so much time, I can sit for hours contemplating all the things that have gone wrong in my life over the last few years while I was distracted by this job.
All that I have lost and not become.
Time sometimes wounds all heals....or at least rips off all those carefully laid band-aids.

I am the Barreness, I shall bear no children.
I am lonely.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Comedy of tragedy

I was flipping through some of my favorite blogs and found a link to a movie that is coming out:

I am all for laughing in the face of fact I will most likely see this.
What freaks me out, is the number of movies that are now "making light" infertility.

I saw JUNO and felt honored and happy that Jennifer Garner portrayed that silent pain of shattered hopes in such a beautiful way.

I am just afraid that every Hollywood studio will now find this theme something to "throw into " new movies.

It hurts and isn't always funny, even when I laugh at it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Are you sure now?

I went to another doctor, to have another set of eyes look at me and my situation.

This answer was the hardest to swallow; in fact it took weeks to recover from.
The doctor told it to me strait, leaving out no detail or risk.
The route she outlined involved:
  • more tests
  • surgery
  • blood transfusions
  • weeks of recovery
  • chance of recurrence
  • chance of miscarriages
  • high risk pregnancy
  • surgical delivery
  • hysterectomy

She asked me the question that sent it all over the edge:

" So you have decided that you do not want to have a child"

I felt completely broken when I left.

I will always want a child, I feel that the fact that I need to make a choice between my desire to have a child and self preservation is not a fair question.

The struggle to save a sense of self is sometimes exhausting.

Sometimes it is almost too much.