Sunday, October 28, 2007

Speechless

My husband's continued positive attitude still astounds me. David made a comment tonight that started "Just think, someday we'll be bringing our kids over to Grandpa Roberts.." (we were leaving my dad's house) and I actually gaped at him a moment because he said it so assuredly. I wish I felt that certain.

He wasn't really talking about the path to parenthood at all. He was actually making a joke about the road to my dad's house ever being fixed. (It's been under construction & completely closed FOR.EV.ER.) But he just announced it. Pure, unadulterated hope. Just thrown out there like it was common.

I, however, was unable to respond.

I always say "maybe someday we'll.." or "If we're lucky enough to have kids..." always with the recognition that it isn't a given.

I'm actually glad to know he still thinks positively. Even though his optimism sometimes (often) annoys the shit out of me, it's part of who he is, and I'd hate to see IF beat that out of him.

In that same vein, I was actually dumbfounded the other day because I genuinely had no clue how to respond to something said to me. It wasn't rude or anything. As a matter of fact, I probably would have had a better (any?!) response to something rude 'cause I'm so used to that rude now.

The background is that there is a woman at work who we'll call J. Now there is lots of history between J & I, mostly bad, but it's not really pertinent to the story except to say that she's one of those people that I never expect to be supportive AT. ALL. but has actually turned out to be probably one of the most supportive & least stupid-shit-saying people I know.

I'm going to include a little history only so that you realize that this is not a woman who speaks haphazardly.

Several months ago we were all talking about sick time and I casually mentioned that the only time I'd been out sick in the last year was when I was off for my first (at that time - only) miscarriage. It wasn't a discussion about babies, but about being off work so I didn't expect a response. Most people are glad to have a reason to gloss over such a thing. To my surprise, she actually interrupted me to say she was sorry. In that "look you in the eye, I really mean I'm sorry not just trying to make you shut up" way.

Because of my surprise I simply said "thank you" and figured that was the end of it. I don't remember what she specifically said after that but she basically ended up telling me about her DIL's ectopic & subsequent trouble TTC. Her son & DIL now have 3 healthy boys, but she was not giving me the oh-so-hated "So & So had problems and now they have three kids" speech, but simply sharing a story about watching her DIL suffer through it and expressing her sympathy.

After my 2nd miscarriage, she sent her sympathies again. No one at work had known I was pregnant but since I was gone for so long, lots of people contacted me wondering if I was okay. Being the completely out of the closet lunatic that I am, I was honest. And honestly, it didn't bite me the ass. Most people ignored it, but a few were way more supportive than I expected.

One night a few weeks ago, a few of us at work were talking & something got brought up about people saying dumb shit to sick people. I nodded knowingly and mentioned that I get a lot of dumb comments about infertility & miscarriage.

J looked suddenly sad. She went on to tell me about her daughter who passed away a few days after birth. She was born at ~23 weeks and didn't live long. She told me about the box she has at home with her birth certificate & foot prints. We both cried.

She told me her mother always told her that it was a blessing the baby didn't live because there would have been something wrong with her. "She probably would have had a learning disability."

J said that she always responds to her mother, "So what?"

I shook my head in disappointment and replied, "As you though you wouldn't have loved her anyway? What in the hell is so hard about saying you're sorry and just shutting up?"

J agreed whole-heartedly. I could see her get angry about it all over again. More than two decades later & the memories were still clearly painful.

It might sound odd, but it was actually comforting to me to feel her pain all these years later. Not that I want her to be sad, but to know that her daughter is remembered. Somehow it meant something to me. Who knows why.


She then went on to tell me that she'd actually had a miscarriage before her two sons. The daughter that she lost was her last pregnancy. One of her sons was killed in a car accident just a couple of years ago. So much pain. And she'd been willing to open it all up to me.

My point in sharing all of this is simply to illustrate that this is not a woman who says things carelessly.

Cut to Friday evening. I was working intently. (Okay, let's be honest, I was probably playing online, but in any case, I was focused on my computer & not on what was going on around me.) I hear J say "That's what's going to happen to Trish," which gets my attention.

I look up and ask "What is going to happen to Trish?"

She explains that they were talking about a woman's feet getting larger when she gets pregnant. That was what is going to happen to me and they wouldn't get smaller again and none of my shoes would fit.

It was that kind of casual conversation that people who have never faced a possibility of never having children would have. Only, she wasn't one of those people. And she wasn't speaking all that casually.

My reaction: "........."

I think I might have squeaked out "oh." but I don't know that it was actually verbalized.

I wanted to argue that she had no idea if I'd ever have a baby. But it felt.......disrespectful. I was acutely aware that she aware of the meaning of her words. She had spoken them on purpose.

I'm rarely at a loss for words. (You may have noticed how wordy my blogs are. Yes, I'm like this all the time.) But I honestly don't know how to respond to hope.

People often say "Oh I know you'll be a mom someday" but it's almost always in that dismissive way, as though I am stupid for being worried. They don't actually have any idea what the odds are of that happening or how they dwindle continuously. It's essentially false hope.

That is easy to deal with. I dismiss it as quickly as they dismiss my reality.

But real hope? From people who actually DO know, but have hope anyway? From not-insensitive, been-through-it-people like J & my husband? It feels wrong to argue with them considering I know that they know the score. But it still feels just as wrong to accept it as fact.

I guess it goes back to my inability to speak of hope. So for now, I guess I'll remain speechless on hope.

I'll be sure to send some words to heaven to thank Him for surrounding me with it anyway.


--Trish


P.S. Much gratitude is also being sent both to heaven & to all of you who responded to my last post. It was a rough few days and your kind words truly helped.

7 comments:

Fertilize Me said...

WHAT a GEM of a human .. I am glad that she was able to open up to you. I bet she is glad for you in m ore ways than you know! That is an awesome story

Yodasmistress said...

"If we're lucky enough to have kids..."

You took the words right out of my mouth. My husband TRULY believes we will have bio kids. He actually, literally has no doubt. I am completely and utterly astounded and baffled as to how he can be so sure... but he is. Some days it is heart warming but more often that not it's frustrating... like he doesn't UNDERSTAND the gravity of the sitation???

Jenna said...

I understand this completely. it's so hard to speak from a place of hope. It feels too vulnerable. Mike (dh) is always hopeful. I sometimes stand in awe of how easily the words come from him.

What a great story.

Marz said...

Wow!
Sounds like you found someone that truly understands what you're going through. So much pain in her life, poor woman. I couldn't imagine losing one of my children and to have someone close to you say "it's for the better"? wow! that's just incredible.

BTW, that thing with the feet, yup, that happened to me too, lol.

Tracy said...

I wish we had our innocence back when it was easy to be hopeful about a future that included babies.

I hope your feet DO get larger. ;)

I'm glad you do have those surrounding you that have hope and are able to speak it. ((hugs))

Carrie said...

Isn't funny that our husbands seem to be sooooo positive when they have been down the same path as us?
I just don't get it either.

Sorry your get it person let you down. That stings a bit, huh?

Kami said...

I have decided that I will accept hope from others (well, from the ones that understand) without worrying about whether or not I believe it. It is actually nice to hear someone being hopeful and I doubt it will ever come from me.

My husband has always been very much like yours. Every cycle from our first IUI to our 4th IVF was "I know it will work." Well, IF finally beat that out of him and he has been as nervous and pessimistic as I have. I hope that never happens to your DH