I bought my beautiful #814 embroidery thread on Friday night. I had a moment of panic when I saw the empty space on the display, but then found some hiding under the other colors. Then...we had to go to Buy Buy Baby. My husband's best friend's wife just gave birth to their third child and we had to attend the bris the next morning. My husband, to his credit, suggested I stay home from the store. I felt touched that he would consider how going could be hard for me, but since I felt buoyed by finding #814, I agreed to go.
Big mistake. At first I felt okay. But when I saw all of the cute little baby clothes, my resolve started to crack. It hurt to see my husband exclaiming over various toys because it made me think for the zillionth time what a good dad he'll be. And I felt like, at any moment, they were going to announce, "Infertiles in aisle three! Infertiles in aisle three!" I know I'm super-sensitive right now, but it seemed like so many people looked at us, observed our lack of children, and then looked at my stomach before looking away. I felt the attraction of all the baby stuff and the feeling that I was some kind of mutant all at the same time.
The next day was the bris. We were told in advance that they wanted DH to be the sandek, the "Jewish Godfather" of the little one. When I saw him participating in this sacred ritual, it just made my heart ache. When will we get the chance to be parents? Thankfully, no one asked us directly why we don't have kids yet. There were some people who hinted by asking, "How long have you been married?" while looking at the baby. But we got through it.
After all the baby stuff this weekend, I felt deflated. All of the optimism I felt regarding our upcoming IUI vanished. So what did I do? I thought about how many "rock bottoms" I'd reached on this journey with infertility and reflected on how I'd always managed to go on. I started to think about all of the good things in my life right now. I looked at the thread on my wrist and thought about how it binds me to others who are feeling the exact same things.
And then I went out and bought a bottle of pomegranate juice. I wanted the fresh fruit, but they aren't available right now. I'm trying to lose a little more weight right now, so I couldn't drink a lot. But I poured myself a shot of the beautiful red juice and toasted all of the people out there who know what I'm going through and are struggling through it, too. And I'm going to keep toasting. It's my new healing ritual.
When I was in college, my suitemates told me about "praying mantis warriors". They said that a female praying mantis often bites the head off the male when they're done mating. She's got what she needs, so off with his head! The term praying mantis warrior referred to a woman who was strong enough to stand up for herself no matter what and would speak out when she was unhappy in a relationship. We all decided to try and live up to the title. Today, I'm declaring myself a Pomegranate Warrior. I'm battling infertility with the help of all the other people out there fighting the same fight. Sometimes it gets me down, but I always manage to keep slogging through. Who's with me?