Sometimes the hardest thing to accept is when you’re beaten and need to seek help. Throughout much of life I have prided myself on being something of a stoic, weathering the various difficulties and hardships without too many outbursts. Giving in, either to anger or to upset, has certainly been my idea of weakness and usually I feel worse, far worse, for succumbing to either due to the frustration at having failed to cope.
Not a sustainable attitude, yet one I’ve clung to much longer than is healthy.
The turmoil of emotions felt since having a miscarriage in November, has almost overwhelmed me this weekend. Usually kept at bay through busy-ness and ‘getting on with it’ and the ever-pragmatic ‘these things happen’ attitude, these feelings have clearly been swirling around in the back of my mind, and have broken loose in full force. I presume there may be some connection with Husby having heard back from the fertility people and his having qualms about their cavalier and seemingly money-grabbing attitude to our situation.
I have these qualms too, but feel there is little else to be done. Without their services, we may be closing the door on ever being able to conceive a child ourselves. To me, this is not an option.
Nor is it an option to continue as things are. Appointments are made up to the hilt. Everything is in progress and the only certainty is that Husby must receive treatment as soon as possible. All else is in flux.
In the meantime, thinking forward to the possibility of adoption instead of having biological children, I have been shying away from their edict that if you are applying to adopt because of infertility, you must take 6 months to get counselling and grieve, that kind of thing. Adding 6 months of waiting to an already lengthy process seems insupportable, particularly when foisted upon those who are likely already tired of waiting, tired of trying.
In our situation, things are a little different. We’d only been trying for a family for a month before we got Husby’s diagnosis. This effectively reduced our window of time to 5 months. Effective treatment may allow this window to extend into the future, but the treatment which seems to be most likely may well close it permanently.
I joined a group on Facebook for those who have suffered a miscarriage to try to find out if anyone else had experienced a similar situation and could offer any words of experience. This seems to have exacerbated things rather than helping matters, which is a pity.
I have been left with many ignoble feelings.
I have found fierce upwellings of envy, reading the posts of others’ miscarriage experiences, where they bemoan the loss of a baby sister or brother for their older children. Utterly inappropriate, because the loss of a child is a terrible, painful thing, regardless of whether you are fortunate enough to have other children. I should know better, but the shreds of compassion I can muster are outweighed by a sense of injustice.
And where does that come from? It can only be from a feeling of entitlement. A long-held assumption that I would grow my own babies. The knowledge that my body still works; that I could carry a child to term juxtaposed against the fact that we, as a couple, might not, is near intolerable.
Stemming from those feelings comes a deep and intense anger that so many people who appear so undeserving are able to become parents – teenagers who never intended on having a baby, who just wanted to sleep around; those who use abortion as a form of contraception; those who abuse their unborn children with excesses of drugs or alcohol; those who neglect or abuse their children once born; those who couldn’t care less about the gift that they have in their children.
Judgement seems to seep from every pore in the face of the knowledge that, if we are to try to adopt, every aspect of our lives will be scrutinised and questioned, our personal and medical histories will be called into question, our own experiences of childhood will become relevant and on any of these, we might be dismissed – told we are not fit to be parents, subject to the judgement of another. There is nothing about generating offspring which makes a person fit to be a parent, yet every day, this is the only basis upon which many people get to have, and keep, their children. And it rankles.
So the cracks have appeared, as the facade of stoicism has crumbled to show the bitterness and upset beneath, I am at least self-aware enough to know that to continue this path of inappropriate and controversial feelings would be a mistake. My resources are expended and I must gain assistance. My comfort are the words of wisdom from a fellow sufferer of miscarriage, who told me “Whatever feelings you have related to the miscarriage, they’re normal.” They may well be normal, but no longer acceptable. I am waving the white flag.
Addendum: I realise I come across as a completely horrendous person, but I’ve drawn a lot of hope and encouragement from the honesty of others when describing their experiences of miscarriage/infertility and their various outfalls. If, in future, even one person is helped by my honesty here, I shall feel any backlash or malignment resulting from this post to be completely worthwhile.