Tag Archive | Mourning

Infertility’s Isolation

The drapes are drawn, the sun shines brightly, but for now it’s glow and warmth is held at bay.  The TV mumbles something in the background droning on in its purpose at the moment to drown out the thoughts of helplessness and sorrow.

The pregnancy test still sits in silence, abandoned with a negative result on the bathroom counter where she left it.  She was so sure this time.  All the cues were there and she’d hoped so strongly that this was the moment.  She hasn’t told him yet.  She thinks to herself that she couldn’t bear that look in her husband’s eyes and hear the words, “I’m sorry Honey” once again.

She’s often imagined the scene where she in her private glee, waits for her husband to awake from sleep.  She planned to have the tiny knitted baby nightie and hat lay calmly on the pillow where she usually slept.  Upon waking, he’d see and know immediately that their heart’s longing had been answered.  They’d be parents!  They would embrace until one of them could not hold the squeal of joy one moment more. She imagined the little girl’s sweet sleepy pout at the early morning feedings.  The prophetic pictures of her two-year old wading in the puddles after a winter melt. A funny five-year-old princess that parades and twirls with royal elegance.  Images that now squeeze with a painful ache.  She feels she’s failed again.

Hands cover her eyes as she lets the pain take her again and sobs give release to tears that liberate the pressure in her heart.  She feels so alone.


Isolation and pain seem to go hand in hand at times.

Some individuals can find places in their time alone as an occasion to recharge and find new strength.  This is a healthy practice for the introverts among us.

What is it about the raw emotion and real situations that cause us to retreat and hide from the ones that care about us the most?  Are we still afraid of being that vulnerable?

Where do we find the courage to let others in?  It requires trust and a feeling of being safe in our vulnerability.

Many moments in my life I have found that place of feeling so very alone when facing the infertility diagnosis I was thrust into and I felt no one could understand. I had to come to that place where i could let it go and release that pressure though the scene repeated time and again.  My full story can be found here:  http://www.emptyhandsopenarms.com/  Believe me it was easier to write the book than to live it.

On the other side of my resolution where God intervened and picked me up in my surrender I did finally find the courage to share my struggles and I have found peace. Don’t face infertility in its darkness alone.  Firstly there is Jesus who understands and the Bible says, “feels” the feelings of our pain.  He is praying for you as you agonize in those moments of pain.  Secondly, God has placed many who care and who have a hug and a shoulder to weep with  you, pray with you and are not ashamed of your hurt… many who are not put off by your tears.

Who is she in my mini story above?  She is me.

Preparing for the “Home-going”.

Photo Courtesy of Bing Images

Photo Courtesy of Bing Images


In the fall, I watch with fascination as each leaf once green and alive, begins to shed it’s cloak of health to reveal the ebbing away of it’s very life in hues of orange, brown, red and yellow.  Nature all around prepares each year for the harshness of the cold, yet there is a beauty in its process.  Now the snow and winter that seemed to last forever is finally gone and spring brings it’s new life once again.  These transitions seem to turn faster the older I am.

The Canada Geese have found new friends that bound them together for the same journey they took together in the fall.  They have attended general gatherings and assembled themselves in the familiar “V” formation in order to make the transition easier.  I have waved to many of these groups lately, welcoming them home.

Today I have read a story of a woman who is struggling with cancer.  After two years of treatment, she is beginning to understand the meaning of preparing for the possibilities of the end of this life on earth.  She has stopped responding to the Chemotherapy.  As nothing more can be done, she is wondering how her husband will cope and how he can manage with the children without her.  Some moments she is peaceful and quiet and other times anxious and concerned.  Her “home-going” is continually on her mind.

How does one shed the cloak of health to reveal the hues of the colors of letting go, hoping for a remission and making the best of the time that is left.  There is a preparation that seems to last forever and it’s journey is unique to those who are on it.

Canadian Geese find that in flying in the “V” formation, they are able to fly effectively with little effort as the first in the formation moves the group forward with incredible efficiency.   According to National Geographic, “As a bird flaps, a rotating vortex of air rolls off each of its wingtips. These vortices mean that the air immediately behind the bird gets constantly pushed downwards (downwash), and the air behind it and off to the sides gets pushed upwards (upwash)  If another bird flies in either of these upwash zones, it gets free lift. It can save energy by mooching off the air flow created by its flock-mate.”    When one bird gets tired of flapping it can move to an area where the flying is less strenuous.

I was thinking of this today as I pondered how we can help one another when the flying in life’s difficulties gets too strenuous.  Whether it is a cancer diagnosis, or a life- altering event, or even looking to the future as one is getting older, what can we do for each other?  How can we know that what we say or not say is helpful or hurtful?  Is silence and respect for silence in another helpful?  What if it’s not?  Can we actually ease the pain of another?


I Cannot Bear It


Photo Courtesy of Bing Images


Okay  I have been thinking about cleaning and reorganizing my second bedroom for a couple of weeks now.  I am not sure if putting it off means that I have really made the decision to just stop the crazy life of waiting for a child.  It’s been a very long process to have gotten to where I am today.  I have been in the process of reorganizing it, but this past weekend I finally have moved somethings out of this room to signify the decision is final.  We are moving forward and have decided to stop trying to find a child for our family.  We have decided that we already are a family, my husband and I.

I began with the chest of drawers that had blankets and extra bedding for the little single bed in the corner.  Some I am giving away and some I’m keeping in the cedar chest for company.  I removed the “rock you to sleep” rocking chair into another part of the house for the sheer joy of reading.  I have boxed and stored some toys that will be used for a future possible Child Care business.  I am an Early Childhood Educator you know!

I had adjusted the location of a new pen holder several times on my writing desk.  No corner or area seemed fitting.  All was going well.  Then I looked heaven-ward to the top of a bookshelf and there he was.  A small sized fuzzy chocolate-brown bear with big brown eyes and a sad sort of turned down pout stared back at me.  His expression seemed to be mourning the change in me and the function of the room he observed.

“What are you doing?”

I was shocked how loud his imaginary voice sounded to my ears and the immediate sense of guilt that this voice implied.

“I… um… just cleaning a little and moving a few things into storage.”

“Well, I’m sure glad to see that Cabbage Patch Doll get boxed.  She was so annoying.  Where did the other things go and what happened to the rocking chair?”

“Well, Mr. Bear” I stammered, “I am reorganizing things to make this room more purposeful.  You see it’s time to move on as my husband and I are becoming child free.”

The stunned silence that followed gave me the opportunity to contemplate whether or not this curious little bear needed a place to rest for the time being in the special plastic box for stuffies that I kept.  I wondered how this fuzzy friend would handle it.  Seeing my chance I snatched the bear, he somehow missed my full grasp and tumbled to the floor.

“Hey, that hurt!!  Pick me up!  Put me back!  Put me back!”

“Okay little bear, simmer down.  You know you have always stood by me and all our children’s bedroom things for 7 years now.  You’ve grown a little dusty and a little cranky.  It’s time though to put aside this constant struggle of finding a child.  We cannot put our lives on hold inevitably.  It’s time to let go.  This room will be a music room and office now. ”

“A…a…are you letting go of m…m…me?”, he asked.  His imploring eyes went through my heart.

I thought for a moment.  I’d held him in my hands far too long and I couldn’t just let him go could I?  He stood for my hopes and what my dreams looked like.  He had been with me a long time and I couldn’t just toss him in a plastic box with mere stuffed toys for storage.   Yet my rule for all my things to have a purpose seemed suddenly cruel.  Two little bears appeared on each of my shoulders whispering opposing views. One carried a tiny pitchfork while the other angel wings.  I brushed them off and returned to gaze at the frozen stare of my bear.

“You and I have been together a long time haven’t we buddy?”  At this his tiny face softened as I squeezed him close.  Enough cleaning for now I thought as I placed the bear down.  Walking out of the room, I smiled.

This little brown bear will always remind me of the struggle and pain and cost of infertility and searching for a child.  Looking at him I realized I cannot file it all away and put it all out of my mind.  This would be a process… a slow letting go of what was.  A grieving of what could have been and moving forward.   For now my little brown bear sits smugly on my desk, almost clutching the pen holder there.  He too has a purpose. He fits perfectly.


A Song of Comfort


Photo courtesy of Bing Images

I never expected to write a song.  I had been going through a terrible break up with a boyfriend of long ago, and while I rocked myself through tears, a simple melody and words came in the form of a prayer.  It was here that I prayed to be held and and comforted by the only One who truly can walk me through times of trouble.  It is offered for those in difficult moments on this journey:

Holy Spirit, You’re my comfort, my consolation in Christ

You’re my standby, faithful Helper, always near my heart and mind.

Heavenly Father, You’re my refuge and the God of all comfort,

Holding me, holding me in Your arms.

Jesus, Master You’re my Savior, my help in time of need,

I hide Your word, it’s my heart’s treasure, planted deeply as a seed.

Heavenly Father, You’re my refuge and the God of all comfort,

Holding me, holding me in Your arms.

When I walk through times of trouble, You preserve my heart

You will fulfill Your purpose for me, we will never be apart.

Heavenly Father, You’re my refuge and the God of all comfort,

Holding me, holding me in Your arms.

by:  Paula Hernando ©