7 Quick Takes #47 x FTSF

— 1 —
Finish the Sentence Friday

The hardest choice I ever made was…giving up my dream of being a mum.

For anyone who’s new here, a potted history: I lost one baby last year, one this year, and my Husby was then diagnosed with primary infertility after a degenerative endocrine condition well, degenerated. The docs are working on it.

For anyone who’s been here before: Yes, I know I keep posting about my hopes and dreams of being a mum, but stick with me – this does make sense in the end.

I always knew I wanted children; preferably before I was 30 (because everyone knows that once you hit 30, your ovaries shrivel up in despair if they haven’t been used) so meeting and marrying Husby before 30 happened to me, was a Really Big Deal.

And yet, we decided we’d wait before starting to try for a family – we’d take the advice of those older and wiser than us and spend a year just getting to know one another, learning to live together and Be Married. If ever there’s a FTSF prompt for ‘biggest regret’ I’ll bring that thought out again.

So we waited.

Then Husby got sick. And while sick, the furthest thing from our minds was starting a family. Until through his eventual diagnosis it became apparent that actually, our time-frame for doing so had been cut agonisingly short.

So we tried and after two earth-shatteringly painful losses, and that eventual diagnosis that we were too late, we were done.

By that point I almost breathed a sigh of relief – the goalposts weren’t going to move any more. I would just have to reconcile myself to being infertile and that would be it. The pressure was off. No more desperate attempts to try to make sure the little swimmers got to the right place. No more obsessive checking for potential symptoms of pregnancy. No more psychosomatic sore boobs.

No more ugly-crying each time my period showed up.

No more drinking to block out the screaming in my head when I seemed to be the only one to sense the urgency of that deadline.

No more being torn between wanting to jump between the sheets and get baby-makin’ and wanting to never get between them again in case I grew another baby which died.

It was all over.

I write about it simply, as if it was ‘just a thing which happened’, when in fact it plunged me rapidly into the depths of sorrow. There was more drinking, more ugly-crying, and a lot of neediness. And far too many visualisations of being stuck at the bottom of a dark pit of infertility with those two, tiny graves, while all my fertile friends and family (and, in fact, infertile friends who’d never lost a baby) were frolicking out in the sunshine at the very distant top of this pit.

I felt alone, even with Husby there, because it all felt different to him, and our capabilities to communicate our hurts were significantly diminished by the trauma of what was going on.

I finally realised I had to give up the idea of having biological children in order to be a good adoptive mother – I would never be able to be a good parent to an adopted child if I was constantly wishing I could’ve given birth to my own. I would never be able to foster an understanding of belonging if I forever “wanted my own” – they would need to BE ‘my own’ and know it. And I would need to know it.

So I consciously chose to give up the idea of having babies. And Oh. My. Gosh. Hardest thing ever, definitely, and not a choice I’d ever wish on anyone. But I chose and kept choosing.

More recently I’ve admitted another Truth to myself.

Because of Husby’s depression, The System will (rightfully) not let us adopt. Not now, and possibly not ever, because adoption is hard anyway, and when the child will definitely be traumatised and need careful, consistent, theraputic parenting, having one parent with a history of depression is a massive gamble. Having one parent with recent depression is not good enough. And having one parent with current-but-seemingly-improving depression is a point-blank NO. The potential damage and destabilisation the child might experience is just unacceptable, so they take big precautions to ensure no child will go through worse than they’ve already been through.

So I’ve had to give that up, too.

And all the while I’ve been choosing to give up these hopes and dreams of children, the medication has slowly been working its magic, and Husby’s fertility levels are not good yet, but raised. As in, it’s not impossible that we might conceive.

But I’ve made a choice, and it’s a choice I shall continue to make. Because un-making that choice, stepping back on that rug where I let myself get caught up in the desperation of wanting a child so badly, the non-stop pain of not having a child, the gnawing fear that time is running out and the utter heartbreak each month when I’m not pregnant, is not something I can deal with again. Not in a foreground way. The background hurt is still a long way from being overcome, but the choosing helps.

If a happy surprise happens in my future, and somehow we find ourselves blessed with a child (or, who knows, children) then I will be over the moon and so happy. But for now, this choice is about self-preservation, because chasing that hope, that dream of a circumstance which seems so unlikely, was too exhausting, too draining, and there’s too much else in my life which needs that energy.

Life is on purpose. But this choice seems necessary.

— 3 —

Let us move forward into happier waters.

If you’ve been here before, you’ll notice something different. Did you see it yet?

Yes – Considerings has had an overhaul.

A new, scrumptious banner, button, colour-scheme, Size of Stuff, and (most importantly) the FONTS (ohhhh my gosh, the fonts – I cannot begin to describe how happy I am to not be seen in the vile Ariel any more! Times New Roman is my font. I even dream in it (for real))

All of this is brought to me and to you by the absolutely LEGENDARY Julie (you know her? My sidekick, Bad Juju) of Next Life No Kids.

Not only is she smart, funny, incredibly talented at this blog design stuff, and an awesome friend to boot, she also charges very reasonably, so if you’ve been thinking of having a blog makeover, I can definitely vouch for her.

She’s so kind, she even hung around on Facebook and baby-stepped me through the technical aspects of
Making It All Happen (I was having a few ‘dense about technology’ moments all at once).

All I can say is, thank you SO much – Bad Juju, you brought me some wonderful good luck today.

— 4 —

Today a VERY exciting thing happened (once I was mostly over the Being Ill, which has royally mucked up my working week) and I managed to FINALLY make my way into the world of Bubblews. It has been a lesson in painful frustration, and you can read about it here. If you Bubble, come on and connect πŸ˜‰

— 5 —

When plans come together, it is a beautiful thing.

One set of plans involved me getting off my ass and doing something I’d been meaning to do for months. It’s not a big thing, but something I’ve been wanting to do. I’m also going to be deliberately and annoyingly vague about it to see if I can get a rise out of you. Are you pissed yet?

That’s right. ‘See if you care!’ Ha! – it’s okay – we’re cool.

The other set of plans is new. I’m in the throes of starting a poetry blog with fellow Ten Things co-host, Zoe, who writes marvellously, and who (gratifyingly) jumped at the chance of a shared blog when I suggested it to her. I’m really looking forward to beginning our shared venture in the next couple of weeks, and seeing what happens over there once we unleash the literary-ness we both know we’re capable of.

— 6 —

My latest read has been ‘Carry On, Warrior‘, by Glennon Melton (who I adore, if you remember the paroxysms of delight I went into when she followed me back on Twitter (I know!)). It’s an absolutely marvellous read, full of honesty, Big Truths, lots of Brutiful and massive, encouraging tracts of Wonderful. I thoroughly and heartily recommend it to you all.

— 7 —
We didn’t have a Co-Host interview this week, because they’re all over, but fear not – there are planned Ten Things of Co-Hosts posts coming soon.

I will share two of my favourite Co-Host moments from today (both courtesy of Kristi)


Come back on Saturday to read more of her

Ten Things of Thankful

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
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71 thoughts on “7 Quick Takes #47 x FTSF

  1. lizzi, i read this post and i was like, yeah, i totally get that! the fertility struggles can get so overwhelming that i wonder when can i just get back to normal. when can i stop feeling fear, anticipation, hope, and just live a regular life again?! self-preservation as you call it. yes, that is more important than all else really.

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  2. I don't make it over here very often (my loss), but I made it today:

    I seriously doubt that my words can convey what I am truly feeling after reading your 'story.' But, please know that my heart goes out to you. Your 'strength' is amazing. Blessings come in so many forms. I pray that your Smile will never vanish.

    As for everything else… So much happening and I wish for all the best to you, your Hubs, and your writings. Sounds amazing, Slu

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  3. Karen, I haven't seen a single one of the posts for this week's prompt which made me think it was a selfish or silly choice, ESPECIALLY not yours. The thing is, I couldn't stay sane while trying to hang onto the dream, and that's why I had to give it up. Thanks for the prayers and encouragement – I hope that peace is something in my near future.

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  4. ((((HUGS)))) I can't imagine your resolve and strength to make that decision, I think my deicison seems to selfish and silly compared to yours. I don't think I dould have remained sane with that decision, I will pray for you and truly hope that if you can't get what you most desire than possibly feel peace with your decision and find peace in life.

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  5. Sorry to hear about your loss – not surprised you 'went dark' for a while, but I'm glad you feel able to write about it and get it out theraputically that way.

    Glad you like the banner – the funny pic is (a heavily doctored one) of Julie, my friend who made said beautiful banner, and button, and who helped me so much with changing the look of the blog.

    We discussed donor sperm, but as it would have as much chance in the ICSI process, in our one shot, as Husby's would have (because of the nature of the procedure, the playing field is levelled there) we've discounted it as unnecessary. Which makes one decision easier, at least.

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  6. A few things:

    Love the banner! (And your quip about dreaming in Times Roman…)

    While as always, I'm sad about your current (but quite possibly changeable) predicament, I enjoyed the style with which you wrote it. It's therapeutic to employ crafted writing even when discussing painful subjects. I disappeared for a full month from my blog because I found out about the death of a loved one, and was finally able to come back so that I can write about it – waiting the month to process allowed me not to forgo craft.

    I'm curious to know, what have your thoughts been on donor sperm?

    Finally, who is in that funny fabulous picture above?

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  7. I'll answer these both here πŸ˜‰

    The thing is, *I* can still bear a child. I'm fine. Husby's got a broken endocrine system, and it seems like we're reaching the end of the line in terms of what can be done, but we'll find out at his appointment next week.

    But yes – always a chance.

    And thank you for the encouragement and support πŸ™‚

    (Yes, me too! It's gonna be an awesome new venture)

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  8. At the age of 16 I was told in no uncertain terms that I'd never bear a child.
    At almost 23, I gave birth to my daughter.
    Admittedly, stuff went wrong afterwards, but the fact is, medics can't always be totally right about stuff like this, so there is always a chance, Lizzi.

    You're only a year older than my daughter, which means, to me, that you've still got a huge chunk of potential motherhood available. I pray your dream is fulfilled, in whichever way that will make you the mum you deserve to be, Hun πŸ™‚

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  9. Thanks Pam! I'm really enjoying the new look πŸ™‚

    It's still a choice I keep having to make – I think it will be that way for a time. Being cool about it is still a ways off, I think, because that's exactly the hope which starts up, and then needs to be mindfully extinguished.

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  10. Lizzi, the blog overhaul looks great! I give you a lot of credit for making the decision to accept not having children… I know that whenever we've decided it was time to make a baby, as hard as I tried to chill out about it, it was all I could think about. It's so hard to just be cool and not think about it when you're hoping every time you do the deed you are making a baby.

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  11. Why thank you Sir.

    I'm glad that you're appreciating the accessibility of it – it's what I aim for.

    I LOVE the font. I dream in it, when I dream of words.

    And Wordsworth, Poe, Milne, Seuss and Wilde would all disagree. HA!

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  12. Tatum, you just made me laugh so much there. I can't for one second imagine that your writing needs any help! But the hug is a nice thought, and the compliment is lovely.

    It's so important to me to be honest. If someone rocks up here feeling alone in her new journey of infertility or miscarriage, I want her to be able to take a look at the everything of what those two facts have meant for me, and how they've impacted my life. It was so important to me to be able to read other people's Truths when I first found out these things were part of my life.

    Thanks for the prayers – that might be all that will help.

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  13. pretty damn good Post, yo.

    There is an energy to your words that is pretty cool to watch, and of course, there is identification with what you are writing…not the actual events, but the relationship of you to your world. Reading results in a certain degree of sharing in your experiences and, as I am clearly alluding to, it is how you feel about the events of your life and (perhaps even more importantly) how they affect you and (therefore) change the world you are in living in… nice stuff.

    good font

    poetry's for girls….

    (lol… 'cept for that haiku stuff! that shit's alright!)

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  14. Lizzi, I want to give you a hug. First, I want to hug you so that maybe through osmosis your beautiful writing will spill off and make me a better writing. Does that happen? Second, I love how open and honest with such gut wrenching decisions you are. You're a beautiful person and this is a beautiful post and damn it, I want you to be a mom. prayers for you and yours.

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  15. Aw don't cry, it's okay(ish). Truly. It's a 'picking myself up, dusting myself off and carrying on' thing, which needs to happen.

    But thank you so much for your wonderful feedback, and your prayers – I think that'll probably help more than anything else in this ol' situation of mine.

    And thank you – it's super, isn't it? Julie did so well πŸ™‚

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  16. My apologies about all the scrolling! Sometimes I'm more controversial than even I know…

    The roundabout one was fun. I liked it a lot, though the sadness there I think can be attributed in several other directions than this. Be as that may, thank you for your kind words and encouragement πŸ™‚

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  17. Lizzi, I have no idea what to write, my heart is breaking for you and tears are streaming down my face. You are such a strong and positive person and you have no idea how inspirational that is for others. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. P.S I love your new blog look. xx

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  18. Good Lord I had to scroll for an eternity before I found a spot for my little comment here! I remember the first time I visited your blog because you had written a blurb on round-abouts. Your writing was beautiful and poignant and pulled me right in. I had no idea where the sadness was coming from but I could feel it when I read that piece. Now I know where it came from. Damn you're strong Lizzi. God bless you.

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