This one may be the scariest that I’ve posted. Below you will find two poems. My poetry is very personal to me, so posting this is very difficult. These are going to be serving as the open letter to my body. The body that I hate most days. The body that doesn’t work. The body that is broken. This body.
A wasteland so bareen A dry and dusty hue Nothing has sprouted Nothing had grew
Tears used as water Blood to nourish Heart providing warmth But nothing will flourish
Will life be seen? Will cries be heard? Will the world come alive? Will growth be stirred?
It matters not The death the land bleeds Gone is the life The end of the seeds
Blood turns to dust River paths run dry Flesh gave away To live you must die
Growth may never return 1095 days to see something bloom Only to be gone Taken from the world too soon
The wasteland is still barren Gray, sad and alone The nights and days blend The maiden becomes the crone
Is it life or is it death? This blood that flows through my veins It gives life It carries your breathe It keeps you alive As long as you don't loose too much Because then you die Once a month, I die a little I bleed and hate myself Twice last year, I blead for days I lost a potential life Blood means death It means loss and heartache I ask myself Why can't I bleed in my more constructive manner? Why can't I bleed in a way that will allow me to truly die? Instead, I have to live with half deaths. Blood that kills my soul but not my body. It makes me loose my heart but not its beat Blood means both life and death And once a month, I die.
I know these are very difficult to read. I know they can be triggering. They are dark. My poems tend to be, but I hope they resonate with someone. You are not alone.
Please follow me on my social media accounts below. I also beg you to please donate to our go fund me to start IVF treatments. Please. I want to stop hating my body. I want to stop hating myself. I want to give life. I don’t want to always be a wasteland.
I see you out and about, roaming the baby aisle at Target with a purpose while I go through those isle, looking at the contents with longing. You pat your belly, picking up various items, inspecting them with a huge smile on your face. Occasionally you’ll show your significant other, and you will discuss pros and cons.
A part of me hates you, but then I instantly feel guilty because the truth of the matter is, I don’t know your story. You could have gone through years and years of infertility like me, only to end up spending your life savings on IVF for it to work for you, or you could have gotten pregnant by accident, the result of a night coated with inhibreation and lose inhibitions.
I don’t know you so I shouldn’t hate you, but I do. I know it’s jealousy, the envy that lives deep inside of us all coming to the surface. I hate it, but I don’t really know how to stop it. I just… I want to be in the baby aisle of Target with a purpose. I want to bicker with my husband about the pros and cons of a certain brand of diaper. I want that, but the American healthcare system has failed me. It’s failed us all really.
Maybe you are one of the people who spent your life savings on a chance to be a mother. If you are, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the healthcare in our country is so fucked up that you have to spend somewhere between 10,000 and 15,000 dollars just to become a mother. I’m sorry that it cost twice that to adopt.
At this point, I have been told that IVF is really our last option, but my husband and I cannot afford it. We don’t have any kind of savings. We don’t have anyone to help us. We have nothing in this battle. Just like everything else in this country, if you’re not rich then you don’t matter. Your wants and needs do not matter.
My insurance is more than happy to cover limp-dick syndrome but it covers 0% of infertility cost. That’s right ZERO. Meaning, every single procedure I’ve had in regards to infertility has been paid for out of pocket or billed to me with a lovely little bow. Each IUI cost somewhere between 300 and 500 dollars. That seems like chump change in comparison to the cost of IVF. IUIs haven’t worked though. Nothing works, and IVF isn’t a guarantee.
So, I guess I will just stand in the baby aisle of Target, looking at the merchandise with longing. I guess I will continue to feel like a failure in this world because my body cannot do the one thing that it is biologically supposed to be capable of. I cannot give life, only death.
So please, Stranger, cherish your pregnancy and baby. Cherish motherhood with everything you have because some of us are forced to just view it from a distance. Some of us aren’t gifted with the ability to create and hold life. Some of us are just wastelands of dust and sorrow.
I had a dream last night. It wasn’t a nightmare in the traditional sense. It didn’t leave me screaming or jumping out of bed with my heart pounding in fright. It was a bad dream, though. It left me feeling sad with a sense of hopelessness and loss. I’m a logical person. I know it was a dream, but I couldn’t shake it. I spent my morning trying to hold back tears every time I thought about it.
I dreamed that you had gotten back together with your ex-wife. I was still a part of the relationship because we do have an open marriage. In my dream, she had gotten pregnant a few weeks into your renewed relationship. I overheard you both whispering about it excitedly, talking about your dreams and hopes for the baby’s future. In the dream, I laid bawling in the adjacent room, praying you couldn’t hear me. You had finally gotten everything you wanted, and I couldn’t give it to you.
I know this is a dream. I know that your ex-wife actually had her tubes tied, and you wouldn’t ever renew that relationship. It was what the dream was truly about that really bothered me. You see, I know deep down inside, you could easily go find a woman that can give you something I can’t: a biological child of your own. The problem has always been with me and my body, not you.
So… what’s stopping you from doing this? I know, I’ve asked you this before. I know I have shared this deep seated fear of mine with you, and you always say that you love me regardless. If it doesn’t happen with me, then you don’t want it to happen at all. I hear you, and it’s not that I don’t believe you. Fears are just… illogical.
I know that if the roles were reversed, I would say the same thing to you. I would feel the same way. I just don’t value myself the same way I value you. My self worth is pretty much non-existent and every time I think about infertility, it diminishes to nothing. Working on valuing myself, whether I’m able to have children or not, is up to me, not you.
I know you’re probably sick of me apologizing by now, but I feel so fucking guilty. I’m sorry I can’t give you what you want. I’m sorry my body is broken. I’m sorry your luck was so shitty, you ended up with someone who couldn’t bear you a child. I’m so fucking sorry. I hate myself, and I wouldn’t blame you if a small part of you hated me too.
It’s truly okay if you do. I am a very understanding person. I do my best to look at things from all perspectives. If one day, you decide you no longer want to be with someone who can’t give you something you want, then how can I blame you? I couldn’t blame you doing something that will make you happy. I would always love you, but I understand you have to do what you must to be happy. I may never be able to make you happy.
It is National Infertility Awareness Week. I started writing this series several weeks ago as a way to deal with all of the loss I have experienced because of infertility. I never intended to publish it, but I thought there was no better week than this one.
I have been very quiet about my struggles, but now it’s time to be open. To any woman reading this who is struggling with infertility, you are not alone. To any woman reading this who has never fought this battle, please understand how hard it is. This series is very raw. Each one features an open letter that I am writing to someone in specific or a group of people.
Content Warning! Topics discussed in this post are as follows: infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy loss
Dear Pregnant Best Friend,
We initially bonded over the fact that we were both trying to get pregnant. I found out I was pregnant in March then two weeks later, you sent me a picture of your own positive pregnancy test. I was thrilled to have someone to talk to during such a life changing time. We had already talked every day, and now we had so much more to talk about. Your due date was only weeks from mine. We would get to experience this together.
We created a group chat with another person who had the same due date as me. In the group chat, we talked about our pregnancies and our hopes for our unborn children. It was a wonderful environment. We talked every day, and we were so supportive of each other.
When I was 11 weeks along, I messaged you all and explained that I had been cramping with some bloody discharge. I had spoken to my doctor, and she instructed me to go to the ER. I was scared but in good spirits. You both said that you didn’t think it would be anything bad and told me to let you know.
I walked into the ER that night alone. I couldn’t have my husband with me due to Covid restrictions. They admitted me and took me back to a room where they drew some blood for testing. After a while, they wheeled me to another part of the hospital to do an ultrasound.
To say I was excited to finally see my baby is an understatement. I had been wanting to see it for several weeks at that point. I hate that it was under the circumstances, but I was so sure that I would hear a heartbeat. I even asked the sonographer if I could video chat my husband. She said I could but to wait until she started to get a reading.
So I laid on the bed in nervous anticipation. She said I was far enough along to do an external ultrasound and asked me to pull up my hospital gown. She squirted some gel onto my stomach, and it wasn’t as cold as I had anticipated. Maybe I was just too excited to notice. I felt like I was going to throw up as she began to press the probe onto my stomach.
Her face fell, and I immediately knew something was wrong. She explained to me that she didn’t see anything, so she was going to switch to an internal ultrasound. She said maybe my due date was off. I knew it wasn’t, though. I knew the exact day I conceived. My heart dropped, and I held back tears.
I spread my legs, and she placed the wand inside of me. I looked up at the screen, silently begging to hear a heartbeat, any sign of life. I heard nothing. The silence was both heartbreaking and deafening. She said that the sac didn’t look like it developed passed 7 weeks, but she wouldn’t tell me anymore. I knew, though. I knew I was miscarrying and the baby I wanted so badly was dead.
They took me back to my room where I began bawling. I called my husband to tell them what she said, and he cried with me. He couldn’t even touch me. We couldn’t comfort each other because of the pandemic, so I had to tell him over the phone that the baby we wanted was gone. It was the worst moment of my life.
After I hung up, I continued to just cry in the hospital room. I had never felt so alone. I could tell the nurses wanted to comfort me, but they weren’t allowed to make contact due to the restriction set in place by the CDC. They just looked at me with pity in their eyes. I hate pity.
The doctor came in and told me that I was, in fact, miscarrying. He discharged me with some pain relievers and instructions to call my doctor in the morning. I was devastated. I just felt numb. I couldn’t believe it. My mind was racing with all of the people I would have to tell now, all of the hearts I would have to break. That’s the burden of being the woman in this, you’re the first to know when something is wrong. You are always the one that has to deliver the bad news.
I went home and cried with my husband until I finally passed out from exhaustion. The next day I began sending the heartbreaking messages recounting my nightmare from the day before. I told you I was going to leave the group chat because I couldn’t stand the idea of watching you all talk about your healthy pregnancy while I bled. You were understanding. Of course you were because you were an amazing friend, unlike me.
After that, I tried. I tried to keep up with your pregnancy. I tried to talk to you some and make sure you were okay. I liked your post on social media about your sonogram and how you were having a boy. I looked at the pictures from your virtual baby shower then eventually the ones of your newborn. I was so happy for you, but I just can’t force myself to speak to you.
You remind me of everything I lost. You remind me of how absolutely useless I feel as a woman and a wife. You have your family now. You were able to give that to your husband, and motherhood looks so amazing on you. I wasn’t able to do any of that because my body doesn’t know how to do a normal biological function like reproduce. I’m sorry, I’m such a terrible friend. I’m so fucking selfish.
After everything I had been through, I just wanted a happy ending. You got yours while I had to watch mine bleed away.
A Selfish Acquaintance
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