Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Healing Bit-by-Bit September 18, 2010

I’m ovulating. The fact that my body continues to go through this useless motion is of little consequence, other than the fact that my hormones go wild and I click into nesting mode, cleaning and tidying everything in sight. For someone as disorganized as me, it’s useful to have this happen once a month, and especially so this month.

I am preparing for the Royal Visit, otherwise known as my mother’s annual trip to stay with us for about five weeks. As I work from a home office and we live in a small two-bedroom house, this means I have to convert my office into a guest room, while still leaving a small corner in which I can continue to work.

It’s a nightmare, self-inflicted, but no less horrendous. Yesterday I threw out six bags of papers, today I boxed up everything that I can live without for the next month-and-a-half, and the rest is in a pile in the middle of the floor, awaiting my decision regarding its fate. I’m thinking that if I don’t look at it, it will just go away, but I know that come Wednesday morning, I’ll be stuffing it into a closet, where it will remain, probably forever.

During yesterday’s purge I came across some things: all my notes and test results from my assorted fertility-related doctors, information from two different adoption agencies, and a baby naming book, half filled in.

The whole lot went in the trash.

Not that tossing it didn’t leave a dent in my heart. It did. But it was a small dent and will heal quickly. And this is how it works. This is how we move on, one small step, one event, one reminder, one discarded memento at a time. It’s slow and it’s painful, but bit-by-bit, it works.

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7 Responses to “Healing Bit-by-Bit”

  1. Robin Says:

    How long has it taken you to get to the point of being able to discard these things?

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Robin,
      My last related doctor’s appointment was March 2009, but if I was honest I think I had already mentally begun the process of stopping treatments and moving on, even though I kept showing up for my appointments. For me it was a gradual fizzling out of the madness, rather than a firm decision to stop. The healing process is the same. You throw something away, you go to an event and deal just fine, and you make progress. Then something will happen that triggers your emotions and you get knocked back down a rung or two. It’s a slow process, but as long as you keep getting up and dusting yourself off, you keep moving forward and it does start getting easier, I promise. xox

  2. Aja Gold Says:

    I still have the bag of medication boxes, vials, and needles from my treatments. I finally threw out the red medical waste box – filled with the used syringes – a small attempt to rid myself of this painful period (no pun intended) of my Life. We just got another bill from the RE office – will it never end?!?!

    • lmanterfield Says:

      Aja, I’m not sure if it will end exactly. Maybe someone who is further down the road than we are can answer that. As I commented to Robin, though, it starts to diminish. The bills will stop coming, you’ll throw things away, and the reminders will come fewer and farther between. One step at a time.

  3. Jodi Says:

    I still have yet to throw anything out. I was recently cleaning and found a folder full of pre and post surgery info from my RE….and I kept it. It’s from 2007. I hope to someday get to the point where I am ready to get rid of it all.

  4. mina Says:

    I spoke to a friend recently who had a similar experience to mine (Boyfriend running off at the plan of “making a baby” in a concrete sense). She claimed that it will “just” go away in a few months – maybe one, two years… having a child or not will simply no longer be such a big personal issue.
    i wasn’t so sure if she really was convinced of that – or desperately clinging to this idea.
    I’ve met a few women my age who were childless saying “but you know, it’s ok” – looking ok, but secretly i’m wondering how many tears had flown till they got to that point. Or was it really “just” ok for them.
    Is it harder for us who are grieving to even accept the idea that some day, it will be “ok”? Or is it just not the same for everybody.

    • lmanterfield Says:

      It’s definitely not the same for everyone. I think for me, I decided it had to be ok, because I was out of options. Since then I’ve been taking it step-by-step towards it being ok. And it is ok, but it wasn’t always.

      Someone I know very well is definitely not ok with their situation. This person doesn’t want to talk about it, think about it, or remember anything about it. Maybe this person is okay with not being okay. The point is, we all deal differently in our own way.


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