I am remembering hurts that are long-buried – and, oddly enough, as I pour out the words it’s generally not that painful. I thought there’d be endless tears, but there’s not; I am a bit obsessive about the journalling though.
As promised, this is very warts and all – two of these pages talk about the point where sex became a chore, and the start of my affair with Tony (who I’ve now been with for 26 years, so…), the pain of seeing everyone else have a baby and the years I spent on a fertility drug.
The process of remembering, recording, covering up and moving on is very healing. I continue to visit the cemetery a lot in my lunch breaks, and sit near the memorial stone to lost babies. So much healing…
I decided yesterday I’d do a journal about my angel babies, and pour out all the feelings onto paper. I knew once I started I would be a bit teary and obsessive – and warned Tony. Turns out I am obsessive but not teary. But my god am I dredging up old memories and hurts, and dealing with them.
Here’s an example of something I had tucked away but never let go of … Relatively early in our infertility journey my then-husband started showing the first signs of depression. My Mother-in-law, who I had a mixed relationship with, said “If you’d just have a baby, he’d feel better”. Well, f*ck me, why hadn’t I thought of that?
I’m being consistent about how the pages look because that makes me happy, and ensuring the bulk of the writing is unreadable because it’s so personal – but also contains other people’s personal information. Infertility isn’t a journey you take on your own, and impacts on all aspects of your life. I’ll be writing about love, sex, affairs, needles, medicine, deaths, depression, family, friends, betrayals … this is a ‘warts and all’ journey. I’m not sure it will end up being in chronological order because I suspect old memories will come back as I write. Thanks for being part of this healing journey with me.
Sometimes you have to open up old wounds if they’ve never really healed. It’s hard and it hurts but, ultimately, it’s the only way to heal and move on. I had a message from my best friend of 50+ years last night, Sandra, talking about my infertility and some of the stuff that happened. I won’t share our conversation, or what prompted it, but that kind of honesty is gold and I’d expect nothing less from her. She has my back, and always has had.
I’m starting to journal out my deepest thoughts about my miscarriages and all the things that went along with being infertile when everyone around me was having babies; the impact on my marriage, the people I loved and who loved me. Some of this is really shitty so I have written on the canvas in such a way that it’s unreadable – but my heart and soul know what’s written there when I look at it. As is often the case, the images might not mean a lot to other people, but each one has meaning for me.
These wounds are deep (deeper than I have ever before acknowledged, even to myself). It’s going to take more than one or two journal pages and paintings to work through it, but I feel like I’m finally on the journey. Thank you for being part of it by listening.
Many people know that in my 20s I lost a lot of babies to miscarriage. Because of the medical issues it’s hard to know exactly, but likely more than 12 angel babies came our way. A conversation with Sandra, my best friend of 45 or so years, last night reminded me of them. Not in a sad way, more a sense of heightened awareness.
When all that was happening I was living in Auckland and Wellington. I’d ring Mum often to tell her what was happening — Mum the nurse thinks I’m pregnant. Mum the baby has gone. Mum the pregnancy test was neutral, so they think I might be pregnant. Mum the baby is gone. Mum the Dr is suggesting we try this…
Mum listened patiently, without offering too much sympathy as she knew I had to hold myself together. She and Dad only had my sister Ailsa and I, and there’s more than a decade between us. I know she wanted more children but it never happened, and Dad loved all kids. I wonder how hard it was for them listening to me?
It always looked to me like Mum was a great Grandma to Ailsa’s children. They were lucky to have Mum in their lives and she loved them. There’s an ending to this that I am not going to write because it involves someone else’s child, and I have cried a little for my babies this morning but know, as always, that love remains.