Thursday, February 24, 2011

My moment of silence

Most of us have times when words fail and silence ensues. There are awkward silences and content silences and angry silences. And Camber silences.

My silences happen when too much goes through my brain for my mouth to convert into coherent English expression.

Like when a patient asks me how long I've been married.

Four years.

Kids?

Not yet.

You guys are so smart to wait to have children until you have more money and have your career established.

Silence.

What I want to say is, actually, you're wrong, we're not waiting at all. This may surprise you, but 20-25% of all couples will have problems at some point in bringing the old stork around to visit. We are one of them. I want to explain about how yes, we've been to the doctors, and no, I'm not exactly interested in hearing that so-and-so adopted and that made them get pregnant right away or that so-and-so just stopped stressing about getting pregnant and then got pregnant, or that I should just be glad to have time to myself for now before I have kids and it ruins my life and my marriage. I want to tell you all about the agony of hoping each month, of knowing that this month it's really going to happen and then learning that it's not. I want you to understand but I don't want you to drown me in sympathy, nor tell me last when someone you know gets pregnant. I want you to tell me that having kids is wonderful, and that it's worth it--all of it. I want to tell you everything so we can understand each other. So you please, please won't think that I'm a selfish person who hates babies.

I think all this in my brain, but by the time it reaches my mouth it's turned into "Ummmm..."

And a little more silence while I scramble to change the subject to painkillers.

5 comments:

  1. Having kids is wonderful and it's worth all of it and you're going be a fantastic mother and love that little baby all the more because of what it took to get him here (yes, I'm already assuming that your first is going to be a boy. Subconscious desire for baby boys at my house? Perhaps.)

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  2. Hmm, if the patient really knew you, they would know that you are a nurse, and nurses make a difference every day. And where better to make a difference than in the lives of your own children!

    I don't really understand what you're going through, so thank you for sharing this with me, even if you can't share it with your patients.

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  3. Two thoughts:

    (1) Even if you were waiting, I don't think that makes you a selfish person who hates babies. There are lots of reasons why people wait, and having kids is an important enough decision (like marriage) that your timing is between you, your hubby, and God, with no need to explain yourself to anyone else.

    (2) Kids don't ruin your life, per se, but they change it, completely, indelibly, and forever. One of my favorite motherhood quotes is, "Being a mother means deciding to forever allow your heart to walk around outside of your body." In my experience, it is tough to do that, and I relish every moment of preparation I had before the stork came by our place. (At least, in retrospect.)

    (3) Not really a thought, but an emotional expression. I love you. You are awesome. You bring great value to this world and to my life personally, even from many, many states away.

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  4. I love you, Camber!

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  5. Camber, I have felt a lot of the same feelings as the ones you wrote in this post! We purposely waited a few years, but then tried for several months before getting pregnant (it was actually 12 months of trying, and looking back that may sound short to many other people, but at the time it felt like forever because I was starting to think that it would NEVER happen!), and it actually didn't happen until I took Clomid. Thank Heaven for fertility drugs (in my case)! Not being able to conceive when you want to is so emotionally, spiritually, and mentally difficult! My heart always goes out to women who have had to wait and wait for children to come.

    One thing that helped me when I was waiting was to talk about my feelings to close friends and family and others who have dealt with similar problems who may understand. It was worse to pen it all up inside. So this is good that you posted this. I read a book called "A Few Good Eggs" that was informative and comforting too.

    And you know what? Maybe in the future when someone has the nerve to assume the reasons why you don't have children such as they did in the comment above, you could reply with something like, "Actually, we're NOT putting off having kids. We've been trying for a long time but they just haven't come yet!" And that will give the other person a long moment of silence! ;)

    I'm thinking of you and praying for you! You will make an amazing mother someday! Keep the faith!

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