Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to life


All Summer I have been dreading the day that my kids would head back to school.  I knew that this year would be particularly hard for me since both of my kids would be in school all day long.  And when I say all day long that's pretty much a true statement.  My kids don't walk in from the bus until about 4:30 p.m., that's a long school day if you ask me.  So when my kids started back to school last week it ended up being a really hard week.  In a lot of ways it was even harder than I thought it would be.

I haven't made it much of a secret that I would love nothing more than to have more children.  When the two I have came along they came easily (um, we weren't even trying, in fact we were preventing, ha!), and close together.  At the time I thought they were too close (they're only 14 months apart), and that I was going to end up with 10 kids by the time I was 30 if I wasn't careful.  So for a few years after Hallie was born we were careful.  Very careful.  But I thought when the time was right and we were ready for more that I could easily go back to being "Fertile Myrtle."  But that's not what happened.

What has happened was a miscarriage followed by years of infertility.  For a year or so I put off medical help.  I don't know why exactly.  It seemed to me that we have two children, so this has obviously worked before and we should be able to make it work on our own again, eventually.  But eventually turned into too long. So I decided to really focus on having a baby and finally sought medical help.  For sure that should work.  But it hasn't.  We've tried fertility drugs and we've done artificial insemination, none of which has worked. And unless you've been through this yourself I don't think you can imagine the emotional toll this takes on you month after month.  It's so hard to spend so much of your month hoping and praying, and trying to make a baby only to be let down every time.  It's exhausting.  I always think "I'm okay" and then something catches me off guard, and I lose it, and give in to my sorrow.  But that only lasts for a day or two, and then I move on, only to have it happen again the next month.  And that's the hard thing.  Every month you suffer the same loss, and go through the same emotions, and it's a horribly sad cycle.  For that reason I've taken some time off of the baby making being my main focus.  I have to. I'm trying to selfishly focus on myself right now and put some positive energy back into my soul.

I think there are those who would say, "you have your boy and your girl, you should be fine."  But I can't express the heartache that comes with infertility, even when you already have children.  I never wanted to do anything but be a mother.  And I feel so lucky and blessed to be a mother, I have amazing, healthy children, and we have a very happy family.  But we all feel the desire to have more children, even my children feel it.  They want a baby almost as much as I do, and it gets really hard to hear them pray for a baby, and talk about what it would be like to have one come to our family, but not be able to give that to them.  I've made them promise me that they will at least have 4 each so even if I don't get more of my own I can have a healthy brood of grandchildren.

So for a lot of reasons I feel like I've kind of lost my purpose in life.  At least weekdays from 9-5 anyway.  I got really excited about this blog and building a following, and worked hard to do that, enjoying every minute of it.  But lately I wonder if there is real worth in that.  And I'm not talking financial worth.  I wonder if I'm spending my time being productive and making a difference.  I'm not asking anyone to validate this.  I'm just wondering if I shouldn't get a job or put my time into something more meaningful than crafting.  My kids school schedule doesn't lend itself well to me getting a full time job.  They go to year round school and have many times a year where they are home on break for three weeks at a time.  And I don't want just any job.  I want a job I love that pays me what I think I'm worth.  Is that too much to ask?  I always thought that I'd spend my 30's growing babies and taking care of toddlers, but that dream is feeling really elusive right now.

So I guess what I'm saying is I've been doing some soul searching lately.  I feel like I've found myself in a lonely place and I don't know where to go from here.  I promise I'm not depressed.  I've never struggled with that.  I just want my life to be meaningful.  Sure I can fill the time, but I want to fill the time doing something worthwhile and meaningful.  But until I figure out what that means for me I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, and what I love.  I'm going to keep going with this blog.  It at least gives me something to do and helps me connect with other people.  I am strangely busy.  I'm still the primary president, that means that I get the privilege of being in charge of 100 something beautiful children at church every Sunday, and with that comes a lot of behind the scenes work.  I've signed up to volunteer in each of my kids classes every week, and I'm planning on taking some sewing lessons, and maybe looking into a photography class.  I'm even trying to exercise more regularly - no more "not enough time" excuses.  Like I said, I can fill the time, it's just hard to fill the void of a baby, and some days I feel like that's all I've been trying to do.  

So bare with me.  I appreciate all the followers and readers I have, I'm amazed so many of you have stuck around.  I promise to get back to crafting and cooking and doing the things I love while sharing them with you.    Sometimes I think I stop myself from posting because I think about all of you, and I don't want to disappoint anyone.  Weird, right?  But it gets intimidating feeling like I can't even live up to my own expectations, let alone anyone else's.  And if you read this whole post please consider yourself my friend, and thanks for being a shoulder to cry on.  I've been doing a little too much of that lately, so I feel like it's time to turn off the tears and get myself a life.  I'm going to do my best to make it a good one, the kind worth sharing.


34 comments:

Claire said...

I love your blog, Nancy. And I've missed your posts. You're a beautiful woman--both inside and out.

Sarah said...

I'm sorry you are struggling. You really are fabulous!

Valerie said...

Nancy,

You sound like one of those wonderful parents I see here at school. You give to your children, other's children, and all of us out here in cyber-world. Thank you for being you and sharing with us. Please know that you make a difference ever day!

Delia said...

Nancy...I was coming over to tell you that I made a twist on your jewelry organizer and posted about it. Then I stumbled on this post.

I just want you to know that even though I don't really know you I love you! I feel for you immensely and pray that your will be comforted.

Amy said...

Your pianist in primary referred me to your blog. I have struggles with the same thing... we miscarried 3 weeks ago... baby #4, I was 14 weeks. We have 3 healthy, happy children, but there will always be that void of what could have been. Keep your chin up and I'll do the same. I know some days are better and easier then others.

Emily said...

We want to see you guys more often. Let's do that.

Delia said...

Oh...it will post tomorrow by the way.

Katie Richardson said...

I love you!

You are super amazing!!!

Courtney said...

I think you're super amazing too. I remember all too well those months of disappointment and wish you did not have to experience it. It really can take over your life so I think you are wise to give yourself a little break from it.

I really hope your desire for another child is fulfilled and if not I hope you can find some peace and purpose. Love you!

Jennifer Woodbury said...

Nancy, I know the roller coaster well, and just reading about your struggle brings so many emotions to the surface. Just wanted you to know I think about you a lot and think you're wonderful. :)

Sarah Jane said...

Hey there! I haven't stopped by in a while, and I am so glad I did today! oh, I am so glad you posted this. It's such a hard thing to post about! Oh, I am just praying for you. I love you and think you are such an amazing mom!!!

Steph said...

Nanc...it was so good to talk with you the other day. I can't imagine all you have struggled with over the years. I do know what it is like to want another one & have an empty house all day. It is so hard. You are an amazing mom!

You are right, we need to live next door to each other so we can find some purpose with each other...even if it's hanging out all day every day! We would make great company for each other! Love you!

Oh, and don't stop blogging...seriously! I would be so sad!!

Rebecca Irvine said...

I always wanted more kids than I have too, but instead of infertility issues it was a difference of opinion marriage-wise. I guess the end result is the same--we both feel like our arms are emptier than they should be.

You are an amazing woman and I can't help but believe Heavenly Father has a plan for your life. Maybe it will be more children; maybe not. But whatever it is it will be wonderful and worthwhile!

Lynsi said...

Nanc.
I love to read your blog! You're so talented and I always love to see what you come up with! I love the pics of Halle and Dallas! (especially Halle's sass!)
You're an amazing mother! I hope it's not too much longer before your family grows! Thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

I came across you blog shortly after I miscarried twins (13wks along). I for the life of me can't tell you how I found it. I began scanning through and found a post that you also miscarried. You understood what I was going through and had the courage to post it on your blog. I did not. Everyone kept telling me I had 3 healthy kids and I should be happy with what I have. Or that Heavenly Father had a plan and we don't know it right now. It was nice to be able to have someone that understood that I didn't want to be made to feel better with little comments like that. That I was in love with these little beings even though they weren't here yet. That my husband and I had struggled for years with infertility. That I was thankful for the children that I have and that I was still sad and heartbroken over those that I had just lost. We live in an interesting culture as LDS. Moving back to Utah a couple months ago has been difficult. Out in the mission field with neighbors around you that are not LDS it isn't a big deal if you only have 1, 2, or 3 kids. Here I am still asked on a regular basis why we don't have anymore children yet. Don't you want more? You and your husband are still so young. Fast Sundays are painful when the babies are blessed. Though I am very happy for the families that have them.

Keep your chin up. Reading your post about it really helped me to feel less alone about this. We have seen the specialists for YEARS before we moved away. Without the big bucks there was nothing we could do, and even then the chances were very slim. We have been "trying" for 8 months now and it gets hard. I know this. It is now out of our hands I have come to realize...

I am thankful for a supportive husband that loves me and that understands the loss that I feel. A husband that shares in the hurt and emptiness without any blame put on either of us.

Know that you have made a difference for some of us out there. All your great posts on crafting had some life posts sprinkled in. I have felt this was a great blog on life and I have appreciated and enjoyed it very much.

Jen

brittanydaw said...

darling, i love you so much. I am sorry for your pains--you hide them too well. Make sure you reach out when you need it! I am always here.
Good luck deciding what to do. No advice here.

Angela said...

Love you Nancy! And love those sweet kids of yours, too. I'm with Emily, we should hang out more. Except I'm at work all the time. :(
Let's make some plans though, and I'll take a day off. It'd be good to see you.

Angela said...

p.s. And if you ask me, crafting and being creative is a perfectly meaningful thing to fill your life with. Just ask Elder Uchdorff!

Courtney said...

I think you should spend some time planning a trip to San Diego. I hear there is a good bed and breakfast in the area (translation: my house).

marloalder said...

Nancy, I know your struggle all to well. I know what your saying and it stinks. I hope too that ther is more down the road, babys, happiness, that life will have more meaning? I dont know. But remember you are not alone, and maybe that helps. Your amazing. I think going through this trail has taught me to be better at understanding. I hope, for most days atleast.

Sandra {sawdust and paper scraps} said...

Nancy, taking time for yourself is never selfish. Take all the time you need to focus on you and what you want. We'll be here when you're ready!

Joy said...

I am glad you are still blogging, I would miss you if you went away. Big hugs, xoxo.

Jacque said...

you are an inspiring mom and home maker, nancy.

i hope you find the peace you're needing... and just looking at your adorable kids makes me smile!

i love keeping up with your family through your blog!

Melissa said...

I understand what you are going through. We went through infertility at the beginning and tried for 4 years and then decided to adopt. Then after we had our baby for 2 months I found out I was pregnant! So I my oldest two are 10 months apart! Then I had another one, we weren't trying, and he will be two in November. Since him I have had 2 miscarriages and I am wondering if I should go to the doctor again. I just dread it because of exactly the thing that you talked about. The horrible cycle of hoping and getting let down. I will be lifting you up in prayer. That is the only thing that ever got me through.

Dusty said...

Nancy,
Thank you for sharing such personal thoughts and feelings. It was so great seeing you a couple of times over the summer. You are such a wonderful woman and I am grateful that I have known you as long as I can remember. The evening news was the best! We were so funny. I am so saddened by the struggles which you are going through at this time in your life. Of course I wish there was something I could say or do that would help but I realize there isn't. You are so talented in so many ways and I admire all of your wonderful qualities. I sincerely hope and pray that you will have the opportunity to be blessed with more children. After reading your thoughts I can't help but think what my own mother must have gone through. Love you Nanc.

abby said...

i appreciate this post, nancy. you are wonderful and i'm so glad you shared your feelings.

Mindy Kuen said...

nancy-

thank you for sharing your life with us.....don't worry you won't dissapoint us! I wish you & your family peace & happiness

tessa said...

Thanks for being so candid. My twins started Kindergarten (all day) this month too. It's strange that I've been excited for this day but at the same time feel some loss, like a piece of my identity as a mother is gone sitting at school. It's nice to hear I'm normal. I appreciate your honesty and am glad to have stuck around and enjoyed all your outlets and creativity. Keep it up in whatever capacity, you make the world a more beautiful place.

Dawn said...

Nancy, I am so sorry you are dealing with this type of trial in your life. When I talked with you on the phone the other day I could tell things were just not right for you. I wish we lived closer so we could see each other more often and I could lend my shoulder to you. You are the most amazing mother and friend. I am so grateful for all the memories we have growing up and I'm glad to be part of your life. I hope and pray that your prayers will be answered. I love you.

Ashley said...

You are such a great mother and an amazingly talented person. It's crazy when the things you expect to happen just don't seem to. I am so proud of you for not losing faith. Whatever happens you make a difference in more peoples lives than you can ever know. Take care and I am thinking about you.

Megan B ♥ said...

I love you, Fancy Nancy. I've been dreading the start of D-track for you. I've never struggled with infertility, but I do know a thing or two about being betrayed by your own body and the grief of unfulfilled expectations. I look forward to seeing where you choose go on your journey. One thing that kept coming to me as I read this post was the thought that what you do with your crafting and your cooking and all that makes you Fancy is that you make the world a beautiful and more pleasant place. There is nothing worthless about creating beauty in all of its forms. Sometimes it's writing, sometimes it's music, sometimes it's crafts, sometimes it's photography, sometimes it's a delicious meal. All of these things when done in the right spirit (as you have) are virtuous and lovely. As for me and my house, we seek after these things :) Thank you for making the world a more beautiful place and for inspiring the rest of us to spiff up our own little corners of the world.

Megan B ♥ said...

Oh, and if you ever get a burning desire to find out how the PTA can make use of your skills, you just give me a jingle :)

Amy said...

Nancy -
I just came across your blog through Censational Girl and found this post. I have to say your post touched me, because I've been there for many years. Its difficult, its not easy. It is comforting to know somewhere out there someone gets it! I am sorry for you pain. By the way your kids are adorable!!

Sarah S said...

Nancy, I'm just catching up on my google reader today and read this post from last month. I'm so sorry you've been going through this loss and infertility. I did clomid for 5 months and then did all of the infertility testing before I got pregnant with my first child. I have never felt so low as I did in those months when I was on those awful hormones and would still get my period each month. We had our second child relatively fast after the first, and now I'm starting to wonder if that was a total fluke, if it will be a long time before I'll be able to get pregnant again. Ugh. I hope you can find some things to do while your kids are at school that bring you fulfillment and take your mind off of the pain and frustration.