Friday, January 16, 2009

A Bitter Taste

My good friend Blair recently posted about the difference between Miscarriage/Infertile Girls and Fertile Girls (and to some extent the group that exist between), and her struggles to avoid being a M/C Girl. A M/C girl is frequently marked by bitterness and harshness towards fertile girls, which she strives to avoid.

I think there is a lot of good in that, and her post was excellent. You can find that and many other witty, funny, fabulous posts here: - highly recommended reading.

Anyhow, I think many of us struggle with that post-miscarriage or when dealing with trouble ttc. Few people want to be bitter and few people revel in not-very-nice feelings when confronted with pregnancy announcements or trying to sympathize when pregnant women complain about late pregnancy or new mothers complain about lack of sleep. Most of us know (logically anyway)that just because their struggles center around the thing we want doesn't make them less difficult to deal with and try to overcome or ignore the pangs we feel when faced with those situations.

But I cannot deny that despite negative feelings, I have bitter days. I have bitter thoughts. There are days I wonder if I will ever have what I long for and days when I angrily throw questions into the winds of the universe about why this is happening to me and whether or not I've been through enough yet. I think with bitterness about those people who do not appreciate the gifts they've been given with their easy conceptions and pregnancies or who abuse their bodies or children. I think - why them and not me?

I've had more than a few bitter moments lately, as this nonsense has dragged on, especially again as I was faced with a strong possibility of an ectopic. People who read regularly know how worked up I was, whereas people who just got quick updates commented more than once on my strength. Which is funny to me, because I don't feel strong. I feel angry.

I think some bitterness in life is not a bad thing - I've heard my Jewish friend say before that it is the horseradish on the Passover plate, to remind us that life is hard and bitter and that we should enjoy the richness and sweetness we also experience. But I do not want to be consumed by bitterness. I do not want to always be a M/C girl - whose life is defined by that tragic event.

I reflected on this recently, and changed my profile/About Me to mention this. My m/c is frequently near the front of my mind and I do talk about it. I don't hide my failed pregnancy in shame and it comes up because it's fairly recent in my life. I want other people to know I experienced it, both to honor Chickadee and to get it out there that it happens and you can survive. But though I talk about it, and though ttc is among the biggest focuses of my life - it is not the defining event of my laugh. I still do things that have nothing to do with it and think on other things and live life. Soon, I'll be pruning and planting for the new patio garden. That will be consuming a lot of time. I still write, working on both a (very bad and formulaic) original work and a fanfic (replete with both good and awkwardly written sex scenes). I do some craft work, but not as much as I should. My m/c is a part of me (now literally, with my tattoo), but it isn't all of me. This medical mystery is a part of me, but doesn't consume me (contrary to popular belief - I do think, talk and write about other things!).

There is a bitterness lately though. I read today back through some old entries, including all the letters I wrote to Chickadee. It made me cry a bit, there was so much hope contained in those letters, so much love. And the whole time, for each one, my Chickadee was gone. There is a lot of anger in my writing since then, and though I decry it, there is still a great deal of hope in my blog. I don't like it, I don't want it, I push it away (much as I realize I've been doing with God lately), but nevertheless it is there (much as I suspect God is), it swirls through me and fills me and encircles me, even against my will. I was surprised to find that early in my letters to Chickadee I touched on that in a positive way - encouraging Chickadee to know that hope, like love, is always there, always growing and abundant.

It's true, even when we neither want nor deserve it. Even for those of us with little faith, hope and love abound - waiting, swirling around, eager to fill us and give us strength and purpose. Would we recognize that sweetness and light, if we did not have some bitterness to contrast with it?

1 comment:

jess said...

I don't want to push the issue on you (I'm not very religious myself), but if you want to talk to anyone in the clergy about this kind of stuff, my mom is a Methodist minister in Houston, and she's always happy to counsel or just listen to someone. Her experience with ttc is different from yours (I'm adopted, my parents ended up going that route after a few years of ttc), but I know she remembers the frustrations. Feel free to PM me on ST if you want any contact info :)