Guest post: Scars & Watermarks

April 2, 2009

in Guest Post

While I’m on a business trip (cue violins — I’m on the gulf coast of Florida), I’m leaving this space in the hands of some bloggers who may be new to you.

Keeping my chair warm today is Erica from Parenthood for Me. You may remember her as the winner in the Limerick Chick Contest.

Erica Schlaefer is an adoptive mom and co-founder of Parenthood for Me.org. Her non profit is dedicated to helping those building families through adoption or medical intervention by providing emotional and financial support along with educational tools. Visit her blog, ParenthoodForMe.

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Last night a couple of images came into my mind as I tried to fall asleep. They pertained to the effects of infertility on my life, how it has changed me, and how it doesn’t define me but is a big part of my life, my persona.

Scar tissue. Infertility is like scar tissue. The wound may eventually heal, but the skin surrounding the wound looks different, it feels different. The scar could be big or large- its size doesn’t matter. The fact that it exists is what matters. It becomes a part of your body just like the freckle above your eye or the dimples on your cheeks. As with many Infertiles my wound kept opening and closing, opening and closing. It never really healed in between failed pregnancy attempts, but it would become well enough that I could take the band-aid off and have the strength to continue on with another procedure, another round of needles.

Each failed attempt at conceiving changed me. In many ways for the better. Admittedly I cannot be sorry for any of the changes that happened to me because of where I have ended up and who I have become. I am a wife and mother. I am living the dream. I have a new dream to live.

Watermark. I also imagined a watermark. When we were going through the really rough times, I wore my heart on my sleeve. I was covered in an opaque watermark. Depending on which light you saw me in, my pain was evident– almost too evident. I was hard to be around because there was a big gaping hole in my heart and no one knew how to fill it. That watermark covered my entire being, and it didn’t make me feel pretty. It made me feel a million shades of different. I was sad, angry, and hopelessly lost. I was at the bottom; I could no longer continue in the same direction.

Lately I have noticed that my scar tissue is fading more and more; the watermark is nearly gone. I smile more and feel like I have come into my own. Open ends have closed; they’re packaged up, taped up, sealed away somewhere for me to revisit from time to time. There are new open ends like, what will my son be like next week, next month, next year?
When can we adopt again and bring Finn home a sister? When will be able to start really helping people with our nonprofit venture?

All these open ends came to me because of infertility. I know that struggle is a part of life and no one can escape it. Well, hopefully you can escape it eventually by finding a new way to be happy and finding a new way to fulfill your dreams. Infertility and loss are just one part of the road for me; I can move on.

I have moved on.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Terra April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

Wow, that was a beautiful post. I had chills as I read it. The human spirit and it’s ability to “move on” is amazing.

Reply

luna April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

this is a beautiful post, erica. thanks lori for sharing your space! I have often thought of my infertility and loss as a deep scar that only I can feel and see. it changed everything around it and its still there, but invisible to everyone else.

Reply

annacyclopedia April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

This is just a stunningly beautiful post, Erica. Thank you for sharing it here and thanks to Lori for having you. What you have written here speaks so much to the experience of healing, and I think everyone at any stage of the IF journey would find something to relate to in this piece. I may even share it with the members of my support group this month if that’s alright with you?

Reply

Kristin April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

What a fabulous analogy! Great post Erica!

Reply

Martha April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

This is lovely, thank you, Erica. Thank you also to our Wonderful Lori for introducing you to her readers!

Reply

Deathstar April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

That’s what we all need. Some hope that we’ll be able to lift ourelves out of the hole that we’re in.

Reply

devonmarie April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

Beautiful Post. You give me some hope that I won’t always feel so empty and broken. That eventually this pain will start to diminish.Some days it’s so hard to see past right now. I know that anyone touched by infertility is forever changed by it. I can only hope that it doesn’t break me.

Reply

Terra April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

Wow, that was a beautiful post. I had chills as I read it. The human spirit and it’s ability to “move on” is amazing.

Reply

luna April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

this is a beautiful post, erica. thanks lori for sharing your space! I have often thought of my infertility and loss as a deep scar that only I can feel and see. it changed everything around it and its still there, but invisible to everyone else.

Reply

annacyclopedia April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

This is just a stunningly beautiful post, Erica. Thank you for sharing it here and thanks to Lori for having you. What you have written here speaks so much to the experience of healing, and I think everyone at any stage of the IF journey would find something to relate to in this piece. I may even share it with the members of my support group this month if that’s alright with you?

Reply

Kristin April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

What a fabulous analogy! Great post Erica!

Reply

Martha April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

This is lovely, thank you, Erica. Thank you also to our Wonderful Lori for introducing you to her readers!

Reply

Deathstar April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

That’s what we all need. Some hope that we’ll be able to lift ourelves out of the hole that we’re in.

Reply

devonmarie April 7, 2010 at 2:06 am

Beautiful Post. You give me some hope that I won’t always feel so empty and broken. That eventually this pain will start to diminish.Some days it’s so hard to see past right now. I know that anyone touched by infertility is forever changed by it. I can only hope that it doesn’t break me.

Reply

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