It is a funny thing, feeling broken. It is a surreal state of existing, not being able to do something I was designed to do. I do not even feel like myself in this place. This place where I once laughed and dreamed has been replaced by a cyclic loop of disappointment. It is a pain I didn’t know could exist. The gut wrenching ache of hope deferred. It is the most repellent of foes, yet I’m forced to know it’s toxicity intimately.
It was on a summer morning some years ago in our little apartment in Echo Park, Los Angeles that Mouse (I call my husband Mouse, he calls me Bear – roll with it) while sitting at the kitchen table stoically turned to me and softly said, “Bear, it’s time.” We had never really talked about children before, so his statement should have been a confusing one to me; yet, I knew precisely what he meant and I shook my head yes with a smile.
Years later, the hope kindled in that moment now has become home to a dull and at times two-year-old kind of tantrum-throwing ache that never seems to go away. It feels like a spectre or phantom that hovers, ever-present in my waking (and occasionally sleeping) thoughts; a reminder of a groan I can never quite let out. You see, most of the time I’m too afraid to cry or tap into how I really feel. I’m afraid that if I cry and begin to fully process the pain of not being able to conceive then I might never stop crying. I might never stop pounding my fists and hating this body that has not done what it was designed to do. Those are the darkest days for me. The days when the swell feels too big for my raw heart to navigate.
You see, most of the time I’m too afraid to cry or tap into how I really feel. I’m afraid that if I cry and begin to fully process the pain of not being able to conceive then I might never stop crying.
It has been an arduous journey through this mine field of emotions and volatility. There are good days and bad days, and then days where I just want to disengage my heart to numb the pain. But it is on the good days that I am re-introduced to the neglected path of hope. It is there that I’m learning to see again, to feel again and to believe in the impossible again. In that place something mysterious happens, a belief takes root debunking fear and agony – a belief that I WILL be a Mother. I’m not sure how or when it will come about, but when I choose to embrace hope I see and feel its truth. I will be a Mother.
You see, hope is always at the ready should we choose to call it into action. Should we be brave enough to do so. We as a generation have forgotten the power of hope to alter, transfix and elevate the human soul. Instead we are too afraid of being let down that we fail to press in; to dream and grasp of it’s limitless worth. I have been that person these last years. Too often I have let hope deferred bully me from picking up that which I need most, hope. No more. Hope is too sweet of a friend to this hurting heart, to continue that way. So no matter what comes, I will hope because the view from up here has changed everything.
… I know that when we become a people that forget the power of hope, then we become a lesser people.
If you’re in the midst of your own journey with infertility, here is what I say to you: You are not alone. So few understand the myriad of emotions you are battered by each day. I do and I say you are not alone. I do not know your story or your future, but I know your path well. I am with you in saying I do not understand, I am pissed off and I am scared; but I know that when we become a people that forget the power of hope, then we become a lesser people. One day we will each be Mothers; whether through natural means, IVF, adoption, mentorship or any other way such a gift can come. It is to that truth that I ask you to choose bravely by remembering that being a Mother starts here and now, in the choosing of hope so that our children will never have to know a world where its potency is lacking.
Image via Emily Blake