November 17, 2016

A moment I will never forget


This was taken on July 20, 2014.

It was the day we moved into our home that we purchased together as a family. We were ecstatic during this time, not only because we were happy to finally have a place to call our own with a backyard for Piri to play in, but we were also expecting a baby. Our little family was going to be a family of 4. And we were so ready for this next step and so happy because we had always planned for us to grow together, with Piri.

In the beginning when we got married, as selfish as it may sound, I wasn't ready to become a mother. Or maybe to be more accurate, I didn't want to become a mother. To be completely honest, my heart was just full and content with Yangkyu and Piri. The three of us.

Then there came a point when my best friend had told me she was pregnant and that gave me a push to start trying. And by then, I welcomed the idea of becoming a mother. I imagined the three of us, Yangkyu, Piri and me, welcoming a new little person into our family and it just seemed so right. 

I can't count the years we've been trying. In the past, it was all about calculating and counting days (counting days till I ovulate, after I ovulate, my cycle, years trying, months trying). It's all a blur now. 5 years next spring? Yeah, that seems about right. 

In the beginning it was hard. You know, the whole dealing with infertility. But not just going through it physically, but dealing with everyone else who had an opinion or advice or even a solution. Somehow everyone had that one aunt whose friend's roommate's sister's mother went through years of infertility and after she stopped thinking about it just happened. Or they told me I am just stressing too much. I need to relax. Have I tried IUI or IVF? Who's fault is it? You can always adopt. Enjoy your time without a baby because it's really hard work. It'll happen when it happens. You're still so young

One time I had a conversation with someone who kept telling me not to give up and have hope and how he knew someone who went through the same exact thing (because every infertility experience is exactly the same, right?) and him and his wife eventually got pregnant. "So, Jane, don't give up and have hope."

After four years of this I had enough and I politely told him, "I know you are coming from a good place and you are trying to be there for me. But what you are saying to me isn't helping and is more hurtful. Please respect my feelings and what I'm going through." He listened as I explained that I may be that one person he is giving this advice to, but I had to listen to the same message from so many different people through the years. It isn't helpful. Infertility, when you look deep into it is more about having hope and not giving up. He listened to me and then said, "Ok. I see. Yeah. I didn't mean it that way. I understand. But Jane... just don't give up."

In the past I would've gotten very angry at his last comment. At this moment though, I just felt defeated. And invalidated. 

But among all these experiences - these well intended comments that didn't feel so well intended brings me back to this picture. This moment, which I will never forget. 

It was taken after we had moved into our new home. But just hours before, during the middle of the night, I had miscarried. It was one of the most physically painful experiences I had in my life. 

After coming back from the ER, I didn't get any sleep and got ready to move. I scrubbed and cleaned and moved boxes. I didn't know where this herculean strength was coming from. But then I crashed.

Piri hasn't snuggled with me often. He used to when he was younger, but as he aged, he preferred his own space or random neck scratches more than cuddling. But as soon as I laid down, Piri who was near the balcony door came to me slowly and carefully and laid right next to me and stayed there. I remember being surprised, and I cried, and I thanked him because I felt like he knew and the best support he could give me was to just be there by my side. And somehow, even though it was so incredibly sad, I knew that things would be ok. We were going to be ok because we had each other.

I mentioned from time to time that when Piri passed, it was more than just a dog dying. To me, it brought out all different kinds of emotions and memories. And it brought back our struggle with infertility. It was all of this. We were going through it together, the three of us. We had hoped so much to become a bigger family. And the thought that this was no longer a possibility shattered my heart. It still does.

I cried every month for the first 36 months when my pregnancy test came back negative. But that went away... eventually. Maybe I got tired. Maybe I learned to grow a tougher skin. Maybe it didn't matter anymore. Maybe I grew to be more positive. But I took it in stride. "There is always next month.." 

But when Piri passed, a part of me mourned for all those months I tried to keep positive. 

Piri's passing has been more than a dog dying. It was saying bye to a life I had known. A life I had hoped for. 


A collection of our infertility stories...
 // {Superstitious} Thoughts
 // Carrots 

5 comments

  1. I'm really sorry for all the things that you are going through Jane. I don't know what to say...sending you lots of love.

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  2. Jane, I really have no words to express my sorrow in reading this. Sorry just doesn't seem enough. Just know that you and Yangkyu are in my prayers. XOXO

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  3. Sometimes pets just know things and I forget that (way too often). That's one of the reasons they're so near and dear to us - when they surprise us with the way that they care

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  4. Animals can be very intuitive and Piri must've known how much you needed him at that moment. I feel as if I can't say much to bring you comfort now but my heart hurts for you Jane. *hugs*

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  5. I'm so sorry Jane for all your heartache xoxoxo

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