Monday, August 17, 2009

Acceptance, Laughter, and Infertility Drawers

First I wanted to thank every one for their support last week. The comments and emails were such an encouragement to me. On Tuesday morning, one of my friends came by with flowers and cards from my friends here in DC which was such a wonderful surprise. It meant so much to both John and I to know that people were thinking of us and praying for us. I believe the Lord truly answered those prayers. In many ways the days leading up to last week were more difficult than the day itself. Once the day was upon me, I had a greater sense of peace and acceptance. Don't get me wrong, there were still tears shed and I know I will always grieve over Johannah, but there was a sense of closure about the day. Going to Philadelphia with John the weekend prior really helped as well. It enabled us to re-connect after his incredibly difficult summer semester at school. We didn't try to pack too much into the weekend. We saw Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, ate some great dinners, and relaxed on the porch at our B & B. Through all we have been through, we have only grown closer together. I find us laughing together now more than we ever did. I love that. I love to laugh. I think laughing together is one of the most important things a husband and wife can do together through infertility. Find the humor in your circumstances where ever you can.

Overall, I am doing okay, though I am still feeling a little overwhelmed as far as adoption decisions. John has actually been having a very tough time these past couple of weeks. Now that he has finally had a break, infertility and his desire to be a dad has really hit him. This is the longest I have ever seen him stay upset. In "The Infertility Companion - Hope and Help for Couples Facing Infertility,"* the authors talk about the differences between the way men and women handle infertility. They talked about how women think more globally about infertility, meaning it is connected to all parts of our lives. Men, however, are generally more compartmental. They described men as having an "infertility drawer." When a man opens the drawer, he feels sad, but he can close the drawer and not feel sad and many would like to keep it closed. John and I have always found this to be a useful metaphor for us to understand how we each process and deal with infertility. When John brings up something infertility related, I will often say,"drawer's open?" Of course when it is, I will want to settle in for a heart-to-heart about how we are each feeling and........... drawer's closed :) Anyway, this is the longest the drawer has been opened. I know this is a good thing in some ways because I know John needs to fully grieve the loss of biological children and be fully prepared in his heart to move forward with adoption. But I hate seeing my hubby sad. Please say a prayer for him if you would.

I know I have said it before, but I will say it again - I love you all and feel so blessed to be a part of this community. Thank you again.

*The Infertility Companion - Hope and Help for Couples Facing Infertility is by Sandra L. Glahn and William R. Cutrer. It is published by Zondervan and endorsed by the Christian Medical Association. I found it to be a great resource especially at the onset of treatment.


Mark and Niki said...

I was just thinking about emailing you when I noticed on my RSS feed you had a new post :) I'm glad you were able to take some time and reconnect with John. It is so true that we process this stuff differently. You were certainly in my thoughts and prayers that day.

The adoption decisions are tough. We met with 2 agencies, a local pregnancy crisis center and an adoption attorney before we decided what direction felt "right" for us. Praying for you as you continue to investigate your options.

A said...

Thanks for the book recommendation- I may have to get that one! I have been praying for you :)

Our Journey... said...

Continuing to pray for you guys.

Alicia said...

I'm so glad that you got to rest and laugh a lot with you husband in Philadelphia. I will continue to pray for you and your husband durring this difficult time.


Mrs Emilee said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your struggles. It completely sucks. My prayers are definitely with you guys!

PS- I have an infertility blog as well, and I came across yours. Hope you don't mind me stalking you :)

Stacey said...

I'm sure that last week was hard. I totally know what you mean about the build-up sometimes being harder than the actual day. I'm so glad that you had that time away with your hubby, and that you've both been talking (and even laughing) through this.

I have to say, I was sure wondering what "infertility drawers" were! :)

Love you too, Becky! I'm glad to know you!

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

What a lovely couple you are. Your post blessed me today. I'm shooting a link to Dr. Cutrer, as I know he will want to read it, too. Sending this comment with a prayer for you and your hubby.

Sandra Glahn

Dr. Bill Cutrer said...

Sandi did forward your post, and I too was blessed by your sharing your heart, along with the kind words about our book. Thank you, and may the Lord bless you on this most difficult journey.
Dr. Bill

Jackie said...

Continuing to pray for you guys as you walk through those valleys. I am sorry it took me a couple of days to read this. I just found out my Grandma is dying of Cancer.