Silent Sorority

I’m reading an incredible book – Silent Sorority by Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos, I’ve just started it and I’m a slow reader, but so far I’m loving it. Pam has a way of using words to describe her feelings that speak right to me, that I relate to and I feel connected to and I understand and feel understood!

She refers to her soul as bleeding after attending he best friends baby shower and I know there have been times where my soul has bled along this journey. My soul bled when I hosted my sister in laws baby shower, two days after getting confirmation of my second miscarriage. I remember how my face hurt from the effort of smiling, while playing baby shower games and pouring drinks for everyone, I remember the feeling of the blood pouring out of me, of cramps and heart break while smiling and trying to feel like I fitted in, like I belonged, my soul was bleeding. I understand/know what it feels like to have your soul bleed to the point where all you can do is lie on the couch and stare into space. I know what its like to lie there and even your brain is to tired to think, to be so thirsty but not have the strength to sit up and take a sip of water, to reach over and press the power button on the remote, to reach over and turn on the lamp, to have my soul bleed and drain me to the point where I would rather lie there, in the dark, cold and thirsty but not have the strength to help myself.

I love the part of the book where she realizes that her Grandmothers arthritis was a metaphor for her infertility:

I realized that arthritis was a great metaphor for infertility. Sometimes it was a dull sensation, barely recognizable in the course of a day, but it was always there. Other times, like Grandma Stella, I ached too much to dance. It was becoming clear to me that each day brought a different degree of discomfort. Of course I much preferred the days when I could dance and sing and feel good, but the pain always managed to find me again, delivering sharp pangs. On those day I was reminded how much effort it took for Grandma Stella to dance.

I think every one of us that have walked this journey, regardless of how long or how short, can relate to that metaphor. I know I can. I know that in the past year or so, my ability to dance and be happy has greatly increased, that my good days far out weight my bad ones, the pain ridden ones. I’m not sure it its because I’ve learned to live with the pain or if I’ve become really good at living in denial. But I do know that there are times when the pain is really unbearable and its that degree of pain that scares me as I head on into this FET cycle. My last failed IVF was excruciatingly painful, I’m terrified of facing that degree of pain again and yet the very fact that we are in fact trying again brings with it pain and hope in varying degrees all of which play havoc with my mental stability and emotional state. Since my scan on Monday I’ve been extremely tearful and excited. I’m so excited for the possibility of trying again, I guess that’s what hope does to us? I’m very emotional because I’m fearful of the pain that could be waiting to envelope and overwhelm me just around the corner.

But that’s the nature of this journey isn’t it?

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  • Reply Lea White

    I don’t think you’ve ever lived in denial. I think that happiness is a state of mind and unlike the sad and dark and down days, we have to work harder at the happy days and it takes more energy to focus on it, but once you have reached that happy point I think that’s when the situation became more manageable (never easy, but certainly made you feel more in control). That’s what I found with our journey anyway. So I do believe that you were able to dance and be happy because that was the point in your journey that you reached. I can well imagine how very scary things must be for you right now. I bet it feels a bit like walking in your room just after you switched off the light and it is so dark you can’t even see your hand in front of you. You know there is a bed and you keep wondering if you are going to bump your foot or not. But please take a deep deep breath and please tell those “what ifs” to leave you alone. This is your moment and you are in control (even if you might not always feel that way).

    Lots of hugs, prayers and thoughts!!!!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:49 am
  • Reply Hela

    I’m hoping and praying for/with you. Praying that you don’t have to deal with any pain from loss or failure. Only the aches & pains of a full term pregnancy!

    I even find myself excited for you and also scared for you.
    Afraid to dream too much or be too optimistic. But also afraid to not dream and hope. Coz reality is just that it can go either way. There is no guarantee of failure or success.

    Take Care of yourself through this emotionally fragile time.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Melanie

    I absolutely love your blog, but this post is so insightful and i so understand and relate to what you just said. Wow!!!!

    Keeping you in my prayers and thoughts.

    P.S: You should have been an author

    September 17, 2009 at 11:17 am
  • Reply Abs

    This book really spoke to me as well but scared me too…alot. Let me know how you feel about the book as a whole once you have finished. Brilliantly written and so honest. Unfortunately not the happy ending we all hope for.

    Someone sent me this today…think you may find strength in it too. xx

    Don’t Give Up

    “Do not run through life
    So fast that you forget
    Not only where you have been,
    But also where you are going.
    Life is not a race,
    But a journey to be savoured
    Each step of the way.
    Do not give up when you
    Still have something to give.
    Nothing is really over until the
    Moment you stop trying.
    It is a fragile thread that
    Binds us to each other.”

    September 17, 2009 at 11:42 am
  • Reply C

    Good Luck for your FET. I really hope this is the one for you so that your soul does not have to bleed again and that you won’t have to experience those dark times again. All the best!

    September 17, 2009 at 9:14 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    That book is on my to read list. It sounds incredible.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:33 pm
  • Reply Stacey

    Excellent metaphor and sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing your heart, your soul, and even your fears. Thinking of you.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:35 pm
  • Reply Pamela

    It feels more than a bit conceited to comment on a blog post about my own book, but just wanted to say that I’m glad you feel it speaks to you … there is great comfort in knowing that someone else truly understands what we think and feel. I know that’s the way I feel when I read your blog. Wishing you much peace and happiness, my friend…

    September 18, 2009 at 4:53 pm
  • Reply Kait

    This was such an amazing post. I too have read Silent Sorority and also loved that metaphor. It really does apply to anyone who has ever walked the road of infertility or miscarriage loss. When I read about your own bleeding soul, I started crying, both for your pain and my own. This is such a difficult journey and it’s so unfair that only some have to take it while others will never know it even exists. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    September 19, 2009 at 12:37 am
  • Reply loribeth

    It’s a great book!

    September 19, 2009 at 2:59 am
  • Reply monica lemoine

    I’m glad you found some solace and insight in this book, Shaz! Pamela is an awesome writer and her Exhale columns always speak to me.

    September 22, 2009 at 1:39 am
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