Saturday, May 17, 2008

Don't forget to dance

As many of you know, infertility can takes it's toll on our self esteem and drastically change how we view ourselves and the world around us.

Tonight was a strong reminder of that. I went to a wedding that was filled to the brim with pregnant ladies, infants, toddlers and young children. Even though I didn't have the overwhelming desire to flee as quickly as possible like I would have a year ago, it was still a tough crowd to hang out in. I felt that oh-so-familiar funk settle in on me. Over the last six years I have mostly adjusted to a new normal of sadness and feelings of inadequacy and bitterness. I don't mean the times when these feelings are particularly strong and you would rather stay home and stare at the ceiling for hours than participate in the world; I mean the times when it is hovering around the edges and you know you ought to be enjoying things more, but you just don't feel up to it. That's how it felt tonight. That is how it so often feels.

Then the 10-piece Salsa band started up and Brad and I got up to dance. We probably only remembered about 5 moves from our ballroom dancing days, but it was more than enough. We felt the music move through us as we smiled at each other and flirted with our eyes. We sat out more songs than we danced - I'm afraid I am a bit out of shape, but we still danced quite a bit. We even participated in a conga line for a long song and it was so much fun to let the music tell my body what to do. I wish I could explain it better. I just danced and expressed myself and it felt great.

All the way home, I had a content grin on my face. I felt reconnected with myself - my old self. The one that isn't quite as broken and bitter. The one who defined herself in broader terms than just someone who couldn't have a baby.

It makes me wonder - is it worth it? Is it worth what we put ourselves through to be parents? Why couldn't we just have decided all those years ago that we would simply take a different path? Imagine . . . "Hmm, looks like it would take a lot to have a kid, why don't we just travel more instead?" Done. Just that easy. But, for better or worse, there seems to be something about the desire to parent that is beyond logic and it leads so many of us to tax ourselves to the near breaking point to achieve that goal.

Right now, Brad and I seem to be almost there. I'm sure we will say it was worth it. I hope we will also create a new new normal that feels closer to the old normal. Maybe we just need to go dancing more often.

22 comments:

stacyb said...

you will create a new normal...and it may look nothing like the old one... it may have even more salsa dancing then now (among other things)!

Lori said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori said...

I've been thinking about you, Kami.

They say "adoption doesn't cure infertility," and that they are two different things, each dealt with separately.

What finally "cured" me was the thrill of being a mom (short but intense) and then the long-lasting busyness of parenthood. Truly, the ache went away. It must have been processing itself while I was otherwise occupied.

I don't know if you consider yourself infertile, like I do myself. So I don't know if you need to heal from it. But I want to give you the hope that it is possible, with very little effort, that the process will carry you to full healing.

Dancing is good!

(oops. typo on last entry.)

Kami said...

Stacy - I imagine dancing with Little Butterfly - more sounds nice!

Lori - Thank you so much for this. I'm not sure if I consider *myself* infertile or not. At times I am in denial about the egg thing, but I have always considered *us* as infertile. Thank you, thank you for the "hope that it is possible, with very little effort, that the process will carry you to full healing."

The positive experiences of people who have "been there" mean so much.

Fertilized said...

Kami - this is where I just feel connected to you. Our paths are different but our joy is through dancing. I feel this way every time I find a good beat. It is like my body just knows the rythme and it just takes over - there is no thinking involved - somethng happens in my mind and it's just me and the music - I get this feeling every time I dance ..

The song "I hope you Dance" has spoken volumes to me many many times over. I can close my eyes and just sway.

Michell said...

This sounds like fun and I'm glad you found a part of the self you used to be.

Summer said...

It brought tears to my eyes thinking about how you reconnected with your old self. I definitely think more dancing might be in order!

peep said...

What a great post. I'm glad to hear you were able to enjoy something you love again.

B said...

I had a similar dancing experience not so long back.

I am glad you found a way to re-connect with your "old self" although maybe it is your true self that has not had much time and space to surface. I also think that a consequence of infertility treatments is a disconnect with your own body. On the one hand obsessing about it, on the other trying to remove yourself from your body to cope with things being stuck in and up it. Somehow dancing (hiking yoga -whatever your thing is) helps reconnect ourselves to ourselves. Reinhabit and reclaim our bodies as something other than a broken fertility machine.

Glad to hear you had this moment.

Barbs

Pamela Jeanne said...

I agree with the idea of finding a "new" new normal, but I can also very much relate to what you wrote here: "the times when it is hovering around the edges and you know you ought to be enjoying things more, but you just don't feel up to it."

It truly is a balancing act to keep the sadness for what might have been in check so that we can experience and enjoy what's around us in the moment. Glad that your dancing allowed that...

Cindy said...

Kami, I remember you from FF and found you through a comment on Laurie's blog. I'm so excited to see you're pregnant and due soon!

My journey lasted 3 years (with 3 early miscarriages along the way) and I completely understand that sadness... that loss of self...

My baby girl is 2 1/2 months old now and I remember when she was a few weeks old, saying to my husband that the ache was gone... that deep sadness that never went away, even in the happiest of times, wasn't constantly present anymore.

It's not that I'm happy all the time now... it's that I'm not sad all the time now.

Bee Cee said...

I love the song "I hope you dance". Glad you didn't sit it out, glad you got up and danced.

Bee Cee said...

I love the song "I hope you dance". Glad you didn't sit it out, glad you got up and danced.

Busted said...

It sounds like a wonderful night. I'm glad you were able to establish that connection to your old normal. And I'm sure you will say that this was worth it.

Familyof2 said...

Garth Brooks has a song called "The Dance" and the line I like was..."I could have done without the pain, but then I would have missed the dance"

So I think if we look at life like that we will all be OK :) Only you took it a step further and actually remembered to really dance :)

Anonymous said...

I have read many of your blogs. I too am having difficulty concieving a child. But you know, there are alot more things that define me as a person. A wife, daughter, sister, hardworker and so forth. I really wish for you the before your beloved child gets here, that being a mother does not measure your worth as a human being.

Flo said...

How did LB like the dancing? It sounded like a fun night!

Change is scary isn't it? I am very aware of the fact that our lives are going to change in a couple of months time as well. When I share my concerns (about the travel for example- or rather possible lack thereof) with parents, they say without exception that you CAN still do everything you did before. It just changes.

About the old and the new you... It is all you. Your experiences shape the person that you are. And a lovely one at that, Kami! I love your posts!

hope548 said...

Great post Kami!

Foreverhopeful said...

I always love reading posts like this because it gives me hope that its possible to find and reconnect with your old self that was lost in all the pain of infertility. I'm so happy for you and keep on dancing.. :)

niobe said...

What a lovely post.

jodie38 said...

What a cool post - I don't really have much to say, just wanted to check on you. Good luck and hugs to you, Kami!

Kate said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog! It's very encouraging to get support from total strangers! I'll be following your story as well!