Advocate. Inform. Empower

My Story

By Maritza Smith Meiring

09/02/2014 – I recently got my operation date. To realize we will never have our own baby, even after giving hope in 2009 after my big operation. I can’t help but to mourn, grieving like someone very , very close to me has died. It’s like a big loss , loss NOT being like a broken bone which will heal with little showing on the surface , more like an amputation – a visible, constant reminder complete with phantom pain from the lost limb. It is something I will deal with for the rest of my life. The closer to the time of the opp, the more painful it is, but the results of the pain (amputation) will always be with me. I even get morning sickness, night frights of having twins, bloody, screaming and constantly crying twins….

At 32 I have to have a hysterectomy to end severe endometriosis, Endometrium lining cancer in my uterus, fibroids and cysts. This was the most difficult decision I ever had to make in my life and properly ever will.
Everyone I know is having children and it seemed like pregnant women were everywhere, some even grumbling about being pregnant. And its driving me crazy. Women with children don’t understand this attitude. Jealous much? Yes I am, I am full of envy, full of desire. I still hope, believe wish that by some miracle that on the 1ste of April the doctor will say “Mrs.Meiring we can operate, you are pregnant”. Crazy? Ja call me crazy.

I SHARE this so you know I too have bad days, I too can’t always be nice all the time, smiling constantly while my soul is being crushed , while the air in my is starting to get less each day, my heart stops for a few seconds and the rage…Oh the rage in me. Sorrow…

Please don’t give up on me. I might be at the end of my rope, but hope hangs out at the end of ropes. I’d like to tell you the empty feeling goes away, but it doesn’t. What does happen is it stops haunting you every day when can I accept that God has made me to be broken? Maybe Never , maybe one day. I’ll have days when it is more difficult than others to deal with my pain, but the days will become moments with the passage of time – I hope so I really do. I will hibernate on Mother’s Day and turn my phone off so I don’t have to hear yet another person make the assumption that I’m a mother. But this has become a moment, not a day. On father’s day I’ll be more nicer towards Etienne, he shares my pain. Smiling but I know he is hurting to. Staying sane and strong for me. What do we say to each other? How do I ease his pain when mine is so raw and big?

Pain can make you stronger or it can destroy you. It’s a tough choice to make, but choosing the former is worth the effort, frustration and heartache. Grief, sorrow and pain are loss’s companions, but people has overcome the troubles of this world. I don’t give up easily, this time it will just take longer to be strong. I will take one day at a time and before you know it, I’ll have a day when I don’t think about what I don’t and can’t have.

My madness and nightmares will end eventually I will breath normal again, the pre-signs of being pregnant will stop. The 2nd of April is getting near and I’m starting to get scared, losing my mind, loosing control. Writing makes me calm, some sort of a pain killer so I don’t feel the “phantom limb” , complaining much, yes but isn’t it refreshing to get it out? For now yes… Better to put it down in words – black and white, then to cry every time someone asks if I’m ok? Much….
I will always say I’m fine even if I’m dying and breaking inside – I’m just that kind of girl…

To my family, friends and other childbearing people :
I want to share my feelings about my infertility with you because I want you to understand my struggle. I know it’s hard to understand what infertility really means, there are times when I do not understand it myself. This fight is intense and unusual feelings stirred up in me and I am afraid that my comments/statuses and very important my state of mind, will be misunderstood by you. I hope that my ability to contribute this explanation will increase your ability to understand this because it’s hard to share my feelings with you. But I want you to understand me.

You will perhaps see me as: obsessed, moody, depressed, jealous, too serious, disagreeable, aggressive, hostile and cynical. These are not admirable traits, no wonder you find it difficult to understand me. I’d rather describe myself as: confused, scared, isolated and alone, guilty and ashamed, angry, sad, despondent and upset ever so heartbroken.

Infertility makes me feel confused because for years I’ve planned and dreamed and now it feels ironic that I did. I feel confused because I thought that if I get better, longer, more devoted, smarter it would help in all fertility treatments, I would have become pregnant. Nothing was less true. If I think of the money I made hubby spent on all the fertility meds, injections, doctors’ visits I feel like a fool. Money wasted. Down the drain with all my hopes and dreams.

Infertility scares me. Childlessness is full of insecurities and I still need definitive answers to my questions. How long will my sorrow be, will I grieve forever? What should I do with my life if I am not a mother? How long must this humiliation last, a lifetime? How much pain do I have to endure? Why my body cannot do what I want? Why does it hurt so much? I’m afraid of my emotions, afraid of my body untrustworthy and fearful for my future. And my faith has been questioned in so many ways. Have I been seen by God and founded to be unfit? Has he punished me for something I did? Why?

My infertility makes me feel isolated and alone. Everywhere I am reminded of babies, children? It seems I’m the only one who suffers from this invisible curse. I stay away from those with children, because it hurts to communicate with them. Nobody knows how horrible my pain is. Although I can think normally wise, I’m suspicious. I wonder if I will survive this.

I feel guilty and ashamed because of my infertility. Frequently I forget that infertility is a medical problem and should be treated as such. The barren destroy my confidence and it feels as if I fail. Uteris cancer was my future. Why am I being punished? What have I done to deserve this? I am not worthy to have a child? Is this the end of my family line, this is the end of my existence? Will my family be ashamed of me? Will I die old and alone? Who will bury me? God made me, why did he made me with such a huge motherly instinct just to not give me a child? Didn’t I pray, promised or cry enough?

Ja okay I’m having a really bad emotional week, all I wanna do is cry, sleep and die. It’s been almost a month of good days, why now? Why now does it hurts so much, suffocating me and reminding me that I haven’t grieved enough, haven’t cried enough. It hurts, it really does. And some mornings when I wake up so nauseous (because of the implant) I actually think whoa can I be pregnant? Crash boom bang – hallo? HOW? And then my soul just get crushed again….Infertility makes me angry. Everything makes me angry, and I know that I lay my anger at the wrong people. I’m angry at my body, because it let me down. I’m angry at my partner because we cannot share the sadness, because we each deal in our own way with this grief. Does he understand my pain?. I wish there was someone who could help me. Actually, I’m angry at everyone. Everyone has a simple solution to my problem. Everyone thinks they know so much about infertility. Everyone says too much and listen too little. And Adoption is never an answer.
I’ve lost my future, and no one knows the intension of my sorrows. Infertility deprives me of my energy. I’ve never cried so much and so easy. My childlessness makes me shaky. My life is on hold. Making decisions about my life seems impossible The more I struggle with being childless, the less control I have over my own corpse.

Unfortunately, this struggle knows no limit and no end seems to be near. I stagger because I find no obvious, easy answers to my questions.

Sometimes I feel the panic slipping and I learn little by little with childlessness how to get up and go on, but what happens if one day I just can’t get up. I’m learning to listen to myself. I try to be more than a childless, struggling to find the joy in life again. That it is sometimes is not easy. Finding joy in a sad sad soul? Patching a broken heart?

You can help me. I know you care about me and I know that childlessness affects our relationship. You’re sad because I have sadness that hurts me, hurts you, too. I believe we can help each other, because together we are strong. Perhaps the hints below may help you to understand my infertility.

You only have to listen to me. Because when I can talk about my grief, things get out weighs less. I get an insight into my own grief. Talking is difficult for me as I feel that you really do not have time to listen. And sometimes I just don’t want to talk, then you don’t need to hover, just let me be. Tell me no success stories of other couples who suffered from infertility and how easy it was solved their problem. Never say to me adoption is an option. Never say someday the hurt will go away? How can it if you are surrounded by fertile woman? And never say we are lucky we don’t have kids. Ill rather live poor, give every single thing in my life to have a little baby. Every case is different and you are not helping by saying these things.

I need your support. Understand that my decisions are not taken lightly; I’ve lain awake nights over this. Tell me that you respect my decisions, even if you do not agree with it, because you know that I deliberately took it. Do not ask me, “Are you sure about it?”, but tell me you understand that dealing with infertility is hard work.

Do not feel uncomfortable in my presence. By talking about infertility you can be comfortable with. Are you afraid to say the wrong thing? Tell me if you’re afraid that you’ll hurt me with what you say. Ask me if I want to talk about my grief. Sometimes I don’t want to talk and at other times it seems like I cannot stop talking about my sadness. By asking lets you know that you still sympathize with me.

Stay right in your comments. It is absolutely not funny when other people make jokes about it. Hurting us with comments like: “Do you know how” it “should be done?” Trivialize my struggle by saying: “Take only one of my children.” And it does not help me when you say: “You never know, luck is around the corner.” Do not force me to go to visit the baby if I do not want to. Do not expect from me, to pamper others babies if I’m not ready to even touch one yet. I already feel sad and guilty enough, and I do not need this to feel guiltier. One day I’ll be able to hold a baby again, just not now so don’t tell me to get over the “fear”, there is a difference between pain and fear. Believe me. And never ever say hey if I carried twins one would have been yours. It’s disrespectful. My yarning is already hard.
And delete me from your facebook if my some bad days statuses irritates you, please do I’ll understand. Be honest with me when you are expecting Even though I am sad when you tell me this, it makes me sadder when u conceal it, I will be happy for you I always am.

Be patient. Remember that infertility is a grieving process. It takes time, lots of time. There are no guarantees, no right answers, no convenient tools on how to mourn. My needs may change. While yesterday I needed privacy, be that support when i may need it. You will also have emotions about infertility and me too. Allow me to be angry, sad, happy or hopeful. It’s my emotions, give me the space to feel these emotions, and give me time.

Encourage me to use my sense of humor. Show me things that make me happy. Remind me that I am more than a woman who could not conceive. Help by sharing your strength with me.

Know that my grief over my infertility will never be completely cured, because it has affected my whole life. I’ll never be the person I was, by the struggle that I have made. The road ahead is long I know. But I have change, maybe the road will also change one day and it would be easier. More accepting.

Thank you that you want to make this trip with me, by showing your understanding.
How do I deal with unwanted childlessness? I try. Ill just get up, lift my chin even when tears go down my cheeks ill still try to smile and go on. My eyes might be red a lot but ill still try to be nice to you and others. If I say im fine or ok, don’t push if I want you to know im really sad, ill tell you if not, just believe its dust making my eyes all red and teary. Thanks for listening and trying to understand me, my situation and mood swings. I might be vulnerable but I know I’m strong. Luckily hubby is a strong man, a huge foundation, together we can. It will just take time….

I’ll end with a quote today,
“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
― Ann Landers

Its almost 2 years now, the tears never dry , the longing never stops but you do come to terms and cope more with your grieve . Hope this helps.

Tags: #1in6

Comments (6)

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    Stephanie Phillips (Brookes)

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    A beautifully and honest piece of writing that I can totally relate to. Thank you for sharing your story, I hope expressing your hopes and fears has helped to release a little of the pain x

    Reply

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    Cindy

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    Maritza, saying I loved reading your story feels so wrong because there’s nothing to love about this rollercoaster. But I drank in every word, relating with you and feeling the twists in my heart where you probably felt it while writing this. You are not alone. Sending love.

    Reply

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    Tracy

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    Thank you for sharing your story, Maritza. I feel your pain. Every day I feel it deep inside. Every birth and pregnancy announcement is like a stab in the heart. Then you have to put on your happy mask and be happy for them when all you want to do is collapse into a broken pile of tears. I suffer alone, not sharing with anyone because nobody understands. As each day slips by my heart crumbles a little more. Crying alone in the shower, the car, into my pillow as my husband sleeps. It’s the most lonely feeling. Feeling angry and hurt that I can’t do the most natural thing in the world, something that every woman in know is able to do. Something that so many women take for granted. So thank you for sharing, for letting me realise that I’m not alone. For letting me realise that there are others who feel the pain I feel. God Bless

    Reply

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    Maritza

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    Thank you for the kind words, WE ARE NOT ALONE xxx

    Reply

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    anneeda

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    This is so amazingly raw and truthful.Thank you for sharing.A beautiful piece of infertility chronicled perfectly.Sending you lots of love. You are amazing Maritza,never forget that

    Reply

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    Thulisile

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    Thank you for sharing your story.
    I can relate to every word.The pain is so intense.At times you wake up in the middle of the night and the hole in your heart just keeps stabbing at you and your chest hurts like mad and someone “friends” randomly say “but why don’t you adopt”.
    I have stopped giving people the polite smile I just look at them and walk away.
    I belive the pain will go away soon not today maybe not next year but one day there will be more good days than the bad.
    Lots of hugs.

    Reply

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