|Celebrating one year of dating, in 2010. I look so young!|
My friends with young children frequently say things like, "I can't believe he'll be 2/3/4! The years fly by so fast." On the contrary, I feel like the years have crawled by in my childless life as I've watched infertility mark every aspect of my life with sorrow. For the past 2.5 years, ever since we were officially labelled as infertile, there has rarely been a day that didn't hurt. There are no mornings when I wake up and don't remember how much I want to be a mother. I never see a pregnant belly without feeling a tiny bit sad. Someone told me recently that she is afraid to ask her infertile friends about their issues because she does not want to reopen a wound. I told her that what she's missing is that for us in the journey, our wounds never close. I feel like the walking wounded, and every moment that I'm smiling or laughing or going about daily life, it's because I've learned to live with the constant ache. I've learned that most people - even the ones that say they care - do not want to hear that you are wounded. They want you to pretend it doesn't hurt. Trust me, time does not fly by when you are always nursing an open wound.
I want to end this on something positive. I'm sure that I've grown in some positive ways in these past few years. I hope so, anyway. I've obviously gone back to school and traveled and made new friends. When I look at these years, though, I grieve. I'm sad that half of my marriage has been marred by infertility, that we cannot remember any more what it's like to believe we'll be parents. I grieve the relationships I had with friends back when I was sunny and emotionally able to support others, back before I greeted each morning with tears. I grieve the big family that I was going to have, because even if we do conceive, we certainly do not have the time to try again several times. I weep for the moments that I imagined and may never experience: The first time I would feel my baby kicking; the look in my husband's eyes when we would find out we were expecting; the joy of seeing my baby on the ultrasound screen. I grieve the self that I feel like I've lost. My pastor recently said that we rarely see God's hand in the present. It's when we look at the past that we are aware of where He's been working. I hope that one day, I will look back on these three years and see the sparks of light that I missed, because most days things still look very dark.