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