Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where's hannah?

So, though I have thought about this often, I've yet to post about it.

Where does your infertility go once you have a baby? Does its bitterness continue to hover over you? Does it sit across the room from you, staring at you while your little one dozes on your chest? Or does it simply disappear?

For me, it was none of these. And I know this may sound cliche or overly dramatic, but I swear, I had an infertile-to-mommy transitional moment.

During Ben's first few days at home, I was grappling with my infertility. What do I do with this huge part of my identity that I've been carrying around for so long? What happens when the hand that has only known alcohol swabs and needles now is grasped by tiny yet perfect fingers? What happens once the infertile is a mommy?

And then one day, it was only Ben's third or fourth day home with me, I was standing over his swing, staring at him contently swaying. He was the most amazing creature I had ever seen and I couldn't believe he was mine. I could keep him. Nobody (the fertility police?) was going to show up and say there was a mix up and that I hadn't actually been pregnant. At least I was pretty sure that wouldn't happen. Half my brain knew that wouldn't happen but the other half still thought it was a pretty strong possibility.

I've spoken before about how my infertility, or Hannah, seemed to always be hovering over my shoulder, invading my brief moments of peace. I never felt completely alone to fully relax and let my guard down. Napping, studying, hot showers, private moments with my husband. They were all invaded by her presence. And now, standing there admiring my tiny son, this exquisite little being, I felt her there, literally just over my left shoulder and I again pondered how I'm supposed to reconcile these two very different pieces of this new me: infertile and mommy.

And then she stepped back. Into the shadows of my subconscious. She stepped back. And as she did, she whispered softly that though she wasn't going anywhere, she would let me just be a mommy for now.

I can't even begin to fully explain this moment. I physically felt her step into the background of my mind. It was strange. And powerful. And finally, after a long and difficult journey.....peaceful.


Searching for Serenity said...

This is a truly beautiful and honest post.

Hannah, the friend you never intended to make. The friend that taught you so much about life. The friend that may still be there, but for now is keeping her distance so you can do your thing.

Gosh, I've never thought of it this way. But you've described it perfectly.

annacyclopedia said...

Amazing post - I'm so glad Mel kirtsy'd it. I've really been amazed at how the pain has receded and how much I've been able to enjoy this time of new motherhood without the sadness and doubt stomping on everything. I love how you express it here and I love that you have found this peace, at last. Beautiful.

VA Blondie said...

Thank you for this post. It is really beautiful, and captures what we infertiles go through as we transition to motherhood. It does not go away, but it does recede. At least for a time.

Anonymous said...

Here from LFCA. I wanted to share that I cried while reading this post. It was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. I could feel the peace washing over you during that moment through your words.
As someone who is struggling with being pg. after IF I appreciate reading about experiences of motherhood after IF. It's good to know that I might too find peace in this hell of IF once my little boy arrives.

Caya-Papaya said...

This is so beautiful and familiar. I struggled with infertility for many years- and now I am the mother of two children. I have a friend who is currently struggling with infertility and I notice that my tears are so close to the surface. It feels like only yesterday I was grappling with that painful cycle of heartache and hope. In some ways I hope I never lose sight of that struggle... it reminds me of how hard I fought for the family I am so blessed to have.

Stephanie said...

I'm so glad you are in that peaceful place.

I think that my infertilty still rears its head in ugly ways somehow. It seeps through and gets me when I'm not expeting it. I do have some anxiety issues, so when I have a bad day or week, I feel like it's the bastard IF just ripping at me again. Most days it isn't there, but when it comes back, it hurts. I can't even imagine what I will feel like if we ever TTC again. What a mess of emotions that will be.