Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I hid this last weekend...
well, I didn't plan to, but hiding under the remote control and a bowl of hummus
ended up feeling like the safest place to be.
Let me explain.
I attended my goddaughters first communion, I got a new dress and The Barren and I met her at the church with her parents and family. We had taken godparent classes at this same church 9years ago so we "as non-catholics" could learn the important role we were undertaking.
We take pride in being her back up team...
though we never really were called to service, well so far at least.
I took some photos of our girl, who was mortified at all the attention and parceled out who could take photos with her, and fought the waterfall of tears that were welling in her eyes from people looking at her. She was clearly stressed, but did really well under the circumstances.
Her mom and dad were respectful of her feelings and space and nothing was forced on her.
She went through the paces of the service, even told her older tween sister to "be less grumpy, because I wasn't grumpy on your first communion day". We were proud and watched her and the parade of squirming and fidgety kids line up and take the wafers.
Then when mass was over, but before we all left, the pastor asked all the mothers to rise...
I have read about this situation in many other blogs and I guess because I was in church for a totally different reason I was totally taken off guard.
When they called for all the mothers to rise, it was like a fortress suddenly popped up all around me.
Like these bodies all suddenly formed deep thick walls; I was shaken, physically and began to fight back a swell of tears, I felt so ostracized.
The Barren noticing this started to touch my back and the tears fell in two streams down my face, I was angry and so hurt. The pastor was blessing these woman, telling them how important they were and how they were special and had magical powers and could fly and make milk and shit rainbows.
I stopped hearing stuff, and instead tried to hide my tears, and curse my suddenly swelling eyelids.
Then I leaned over to The Barren and told him I was leaving out the back door, there were less people in that direction and I wanted to run...fast and far.
Once outside I wanted to tackle the pastor and priests and tell them how they made me feel, and how they had excluded a non-catholic even further! I thought about the "open letter to the pastors" I had read online and wanted to give them a piece of my mind....but on reflection decided this day was not about me, it was about our goddaughter
and I needed to save these tears for a safe place,
this place was not safe.
I proceeded to tell The Barren to treat me like I just had an epileptic seizure and
regain normalcy post hast, that it would help me.
We met the others out front and no one was the wiser to my knowledge.
The like magic, our goddaughter walked up to us to thank us for coming and said she would like to take a picture with us, queue internal tears.
We took a photo and moved onto lunch
I had not stepped three paces into the place when our goddaughters Aunt turned to me and said:
" when you posted that thing on facebook about infertility,
I have a friend that says he has a cure for fertility."
I said: "everyone does"
and walked away into the dining room.
I was cooked; I had a drink at lunch, ate greasy noodles and then went home
and hid through Monday morning.
No calls on Sunday, no check-ins to friends...just me, the cats and the TV
I look forward to a day when it hurts less or just doesn't appear to be so obvious.
How I sometimes am envious of that ostrich, it can run so fast!


Mali said...

Oh that's awful - the whole church thing (I know a number of people who are uncomfortable with that, many of them mothers - and I think you should send that article to the pastor), and the aunt's comment. I loved your "everyone does" reply.

I hope normal programming has resumed now.

Jo said...

What am awesome response to the aunt. I am filing that away for the future.

Lacie said...

"Everyone does." So perfect. Seriously. You're brilliant. People just.don't.get.it.

Peg said...

Mother's day sucks at our house for a completely different reason but I can totally empathize. Actually we also were at a first communion Saturday night and I had to fight back tears as the priest asked kids to put their hands on their standing moms. He also told those who's mom wasn't there to reach your hand to heaven. As the boys giggled reaching over to me I watched my niece hang her head down and slowly raise her hands.Why do that? Why do it at all? Why assume everyone has the happy little 2.5 kids, both parents alive happy family? I'm really sorry you were the ostrich. Thank you for sharing your words.

Denver Laura said...

I was at a conference over Monther's Day weekend one time, and like you, I was not prepared for the whole "all mothers stand up" portion of the meeting. A lady who knew of my struggles (and probably saw me holding back tears) told me to stand up too. That although I did not have a child yet, I would one day. Ironically, she was right. Five years later, we adopted.

JustHeather said...

I'm so sorry, Barreness. You're reply to the aunt was just priceless and true! *big hugs*

Gary said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gary said...

Oops! This is Jennifer, and I am signed in to my husband's account. This will help the post make more sense.


I just read your blog, and wasn't able to post to it, but wanted to contact you. I certainly understand the situation that you are in. My husband and I both faced infertility too. When we were making our decision on how to build our family from the many options that are out there, we answered two very important questions.

1. Do we want to be pregnant or do we want to be parents?
2. Can we love someone else's child?

With this information in hand we chose to open our home to foster children. We understand this isn't the path for everyone. There are also many types of adoptions paths to take too. Eleven years, 25 placements, and 5 adoptions later we have our hearts and hands full. I've had my hands empty, and full is better any day of the week. I never thought that I would be thankful for our blessing of infertility, but I am, and I would choose it again.

I wish you the best in your endeavor.

nicole said...

Love. I can only imagine how trapped and overwhelming that situation was. You are such a strong lady to be able to pull it back together and face family. I am sorry these scenarios seem to have been bombarding you this spring. Hiding out is sometimes the best solution.