Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Drowning In A Sea Of Memories

This evening I decided to tackle the enormous chore of cleaning out my bedroom.  It has gotten to near-hoarder status and I knew it would be no small task.  But generally, when I am clearing away old things and cleaning a space, I feel my mood lift as I go.  It’s as if the emotional baggage, attached to the things I own, leaves when the items leave.  But not tonight.

Tonight, as I came across one thing after another, reminding me of the past few years and what I’ve been through, it was as if it got harder to move…harder to breath.  I felt like I was in emotional quicksand and each new forgotten thing I discovered was another weight attached to my feet, pulling me under.  I eventually had to stop cleaning because I became (and still am) so emotionally spent that I just can’t take any more right now. 

Here are a few of the things I came across, in no particular order:
  • A letter from a cousin, dated four months after my wedding, asking how I was doing and if I was pregnant yet?
  • An article on how to keep a marriage alive during infertility
  • Two years worth of Pregnancy & Newborn, and Fit Pregnancy magazines
  • Four baby name books, multiple lists of my favorite baby names and my family tree- to use to find “family baby names”
  • The box that my engagement ring was in when my husband proposed…before we knew how rough the next few years would be
  • The multitude of spreadsheets I made to evaluate egg donors
  • An old “vision board” made during a workshop at my infertility center (it was fun to make but it clearly didn’t work)
  • All of the paperwork ever given to me by doctors about endometriosis, infertility, IUI’s, IVF’s, my husband’s semen analysis, surgical instructions and discharge sheets, and pictures of my insides during the last few surgeries (when stacked, these papers literally go up to my hip…and I’m 5’7”).
  • Three journals that I have kept at various times through my infertility journey (looking over some entries, I realize that it might be best to destroy the journals because it hurts me to read the depths of despair I’ve found myself in, in the past…and The Prince and I have been in some tough times, that I’d forgotten about and would prefer to forget about again.)
  • Four different types of lubricants that are supposed to be “baby making friendly,” from back in the day when I believed that there was an off chance that we would get pregnant naturally between IVF cycles
  • And…the pictures of my embryos from the couple of IVF cycles that actually made it to transfer.  I look at those pictures and it feels like I am looking at pictures of my children who died.  I know that is terrible and I certainly do not mean to belittle the pain of anyone who has had a miscarriage, still birth, or has had a child die at a young age.  I can’t imagine that pain…but I know that I wouldn’t be strong enough to survive it because looking at the embryo pictures makes me break down in tears.  And yet, I can’t bring myself to throw them away.

The truth is, I didn’t throw away anything in this list, except for the email from my cousin and the article on marriage.  I feel like I need to let some of the other things go…like the mountain of fertility paperwork or the journals.  But the idea of throwing these things out makes me panic.  Like I’m giving up on having a baby if I let that stuff go.  Or like the pain isn’t real or wasn’t as bad if I don’t have “mementos” to remind me of how awful it was.  That’s ridiculous of course…there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t remember how much IF has hurt…but the irrational fear is there, anyways. And it is the same with all of the extra medications and needles I have.  I need to donate them back to the clinic, for people who can’t afford them…but if I let them go, then it is official that I am not trying ever again with my eggs.  I know that is the decision we’ve made, but for some reason, giving away the medication makes it too real.  Now I know why I’ve buried myself with this crap in my bedroom…the alternative is facing down demons I’m not ready to deal with yet.  But if not now, when?


aliciamarie911 said...

Your bedroom sounds very similar to our office. My husband and I have recently been struggling with our marriage. I feel like I'm so emotionally invested in having a baby that I can't let go of these intense feelings I have or the fertility information I've printed off. I want so desperately to be able to have a child on my own.

Christina said...

While I haven't gone through IVF, I can totally understand you viewing your embryos as your babies. I think it is losing a child, at least a potential child.

I definitely think you should keep all the paperwork, but maybe find a new home for it outside the bedroom.

Hang in there and I'll be thinking extra positive thoughts for your upcoming donor cycle!

Endo_Life said...

I agree with Christina if you're not ready to get rid of all the paperwork then maybe boxing it all up and storing it in the attic or garage (if you have either of those) out of sight but not gone.

How is the lupron treating you now? I will also be thinking positive thoughts for your upcoming donor cycle!

New Year Mum said...

Sounds like a huge emotional job... your brave to even think about tackling it - I've avoided stuff like that for so long. Your photos are of your little ones and I completely understand the feeling of seeing them as your kids... they are. Cherish those photos and all the things you want to keep. Love always xoxo