Monday, October 23, 2006

Stages of Grief

As I contemplate what Mel stated today in her blog:

"The one-upmanship that sociologists pick apart on the playgrounds begins with who has the more fertile womb. Because what is more feminine, more female, more powerful than the ability to create life?"

I am faced with an entry that I've started and never finished. About grief.

When I think about infertility, I try to pick apart the portions of the topic that I can learn about. To understand in a scientific way, especially when you consider that most of infertility has to do with the great unknown.

As I've stated, I am grieving. Research has been done on grief. I can learn about grief. So, it lead me to the Wikkapedia.

The stages are:

  1. Denial and isolation - The "No, not me" stage.
  2. Anger - The "Why me?" stage.
  3. Bargaining - The "If I do this, you’ll do that" stage.
  4. Depression - The "It's really happened" stage.
  5. Acceptance - The "This is going to happen" stage.

I realized recently that I have gone thru some of these stages and am seeking the final stage desperately.

(Side note, knowing myself, I know that I won't go thru "Bargaining - The "If I do this, you’ll do that" stage." Mostly because I don't bargain anymore. Not since I was in high school and I tried to bargain for a friend's life. I know that God doesn't work that way. He doesn't bargain with anyone. Therefore, I no longer do it either, after all it is a HUGE waste of time.)

The stages and my take on them:

1. Denial and isolation - The "No, not me" stage.

I believe this stage hit me in November of 2005. Despite the fact I'd come to the conclusion that something was wrong with me. I wanted the doctors' to tell me nothing was wrong. I really did. It was unreasonable, but I was disappointed when they agreed that I needed some help to get pregnant. The denial portion for me was only about a week. Reality quickly set in.

The isolation portion of this stage, for me it should be a separate stage. I practiced isolation for several more months than denial and still have a tendence to go there. Isolation was safe and I did it until June of this year. I've gotten better, but even now I still would love to isolate myself and T from the Christmas season. Truly a fantasy to skip Christmas.

Christmas is a holiday for children. It brings the lack of child very much to the for front for me.

2. Depression - The "It's really happened" stage.

Once I got over the shock of it and stopped denying the truth. I was sad. Looking at a child hurt. Holding one, left me empty. The longing was enormous. I felt empty. And all I could think of was having a child. This stage hits me every so often, most of the time I think I am over it. But, then God has a sense of humor and it is almost like the emptiness hits all over again.

3. Anger - The "Why me?" stage.

(My current stage.) I realized recently that I've been grieving over my fertility or lack thereof more than not having a child. Instead of it making me sad or depressed, I am ANGRY. It makes sense, because I am slow to anger. It always takes me a while to get angry, I have to think about the situation and then let it hit me and come to the conclusion that there is something to get angry at.

It is a slap in the face that my body doesn't perform in the "normal" way. It makes me feel less of a woman that I cannot ovulate on my own or create the right hormones to get pregnant. It is frustrating that nature has caused this in me and there is nothing in my control that I can do to change it.

I get so furious, when I see people get pregnant by accident. To parents who I know aren't worthy of that child. To see children born that I know won't be taken care of well. To see people who have done things to themselves (like take drugs or starve themselves) and yet they have no problems. It makes me angry that I have a problem and these people don't.

I feel like a whinner, but it really isn't fair. Just.

And then I remember that things happen that aren't fair or just, all of the time. Things aren't always right.

4. Acceptance - The "This is going to happen" stage.

It leads me to the belief that the final stage is not far. To accept would be a great gift. And sometimes I think I have it, and then I remember the anger or I get slapped again with the grief. Maybe I need more time for me to be at this stage. But, I am praying for it.

That someday, I will be OK with my body.

OK that we had a child with help from medical science or adoption. Or OK with the fact that we haven't had a child.

I am seeking acceptance. Anyone know how to get there?


Anonymous said...

Dianne, what a beautiful, raw, honest post. You've really touched my heart. Many infertiles will see ourselves in what you've written.

When you find the path to Acceptance, show me the way.

Sending you hugs and peace.

Unknown said...

Dianne-I second what Kristin said. Although I believe that I've reached acceptance...I'm not really sure that's the case. I'm afraid that I'm in complete denial and will wake up one day paralyzed with the pain of reality. Nonetheless...I honestly hope for you to find acceptance. I constantly remind myself that the children I end up with (whether through donor eggs/donor sperm, IVF, adoption) are the children I am meant to have-the are MY children no matter what. I take comfort in that. Here's a big HUG for you!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think I've reached acceptance -- and then I find myself in angry tears, raging against the world yet again. I also worry about the line between denial and acceptance.