Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Monday, June 8, 2015

#Microblog Mondays: You Keep Some, You Lose Some



Things are getting more and more real for us over here -- we were assigned our social worker, she's reviewing our files as we speak, and we were told to expect a call by late this week to schedule our two home visits.

Gulp.

I am super excited, but also suddenly slapped in the face with how much we have to get done once our home study is complete and approved and we are officially waiting parents.

So naturally, I went through the Baby Binder to see all the on articles on registering I've razored out (to supplement my obsessive Pinterest collection of lists).

That was a bittersweet activity, let me tell you. There are a lot of pages, a LOT, that I can keep right where they are--a lot of parenting advice, milestones, newborn stuff, gear and nursery stuff, diaper comparisons, photo shoot recommendations, choosing daycare options and pediatricians, all that good stuff. All things we need to seriously start considering so that we're ready for FutureBaby, even if we wait a really long time. You just don't know how long or short that wait will be.

The heavy heart lump that I've not had for a really long time started rising up into my throat though when I saw all of the pages that I don't need anymore, but haven't yet had the heart to pull out of the binder. Pages on eating right for pregnancy, exercises to prepare you for labor and a swift recovery, dealing with c-sections, what to expect from each trimester, what to expect from each phase of labor, poses/props to help with labor, maternity clothes, maternity photo shoots, a lot of nursing stuff for new moms who don't have to induce lactation because they just gave birth, postpartum advice, and basically A LOT OF STUFF THAT NO LONGER APPLIES TO ME.

It was surprising to me, just how sad I found myself. It wasn't that raw, painful, sobby kind of sad; more like an ache caused by that lump that grew and grew but never got stabby. I immediately felt guilty. Shouldn't I be more well-adjusted than this? Shouldn't I just be so overcome by the thrilling fact that I AM PREPARING TO REGISTER FOR A REAL LIVE BABY that those non-applicable pages don't matter--a turn of the lip, a slight swell of a tear duct, but that's it?

I have gained so much. We have actual hope. We have an actual baby, somewhere, sometime, coming to make us parents. We get to have a nursery, and learn infant CPR, and interview pediatricians and day care centers. We get to do all the things a "normal" person would do in their third trimester, it's just that our third trimester could last months to years with no specific due date and possibly very little advance notice.

Despite the comfort and excitement in all the things we get to keep, all the experiences we get to have (you know, like PARENTHOOD), in that moment, those pages I've lost hurt more than I thought they had a right to.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!

* Okay, fine, this wasn't really so "micro," but it needed to get out. I am so awful at brevity.

16 comments:

  1. I am so excited for the next steps on your journey! And, honestly, I am glad that you are allowing yourself to mourn the pregancy experience that you've lost. Those feelings surrounding infertility are so strong... Just because you mourn a pregnancy that never was doesn't mean you will love FutureBaby any less. Miss you.

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    1. Wise words, my friend. I have mourned, but I guess it's not a past-tense-only kind of thing. :) Definitely exciting.

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  2. I think grief comes and is dealt with in waves. Even after you're parenting, you may find yourself looking at those pages and feeling a little lump thinking about all the roads not taken. I think that's natural. Grief isn't neat. We don't get to wrap it all up at once.

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    1. What a perfect analogy... I always want things neat and wrapped up, and life is just so very messy. Thank you for reminding me this is totally normal.

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  3. Sorry to hear the pregnancy stuff was a trigger. I'm sure there's no way to avoid it entirely. You will be a wonderful mom, and I think those experiences will sting a little less as time goes by.

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    1. Thank you -- I had thought I was on to the scar part of things, but I guess there's still a bit of oozing. Ew, gross, sorry for the nasty metaphor! I'm all for less sting and more joy. Thank you!

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  4. Don't blame yourself for legitimate feelings. Adoption isn't a cure for infertility - and it is natural to feel the way you do about pregnancy. If you'd managed to walk away from the idea of a pregnancy easily without any grief or ouch moments like this, then I'd probably wonder if you were just burying your feelings. I think you're doing amazingly well, and having the occasional step back is all part of the process. In fact, I think it's healthy. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you so much! I kept thinking, "I've mourned, I've been mourning for so long, this shouldn't hurt this much." But I guess it's too big a hurt to wrap up, like Mel said. I am so excited for adoption and I was afraid this was somehow taking away from that excitement... but it's not. Thank you for your kind words, it helps me work though this! :)

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  5. Thank you for writing this. It is so honest and speaks so much to me. I'm sorry that the grief welled up for you...it is hard.

    I think it is possible to be incredibly excited/grateful for the new path and still acknowledge the losses along the way. Wishing you peace as you continue walking this road towards your little one.

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    1. Thank you -- it is hard to reconcile the grief and the joy, the loss and the gain. It's not as neat and tidy as I'd hoped it would be (what is? har har), but it's a beautiful mess. This will probably help prepare me for the knitting together of grief and joy that accompanies adoption, too... Thank you for your thoughts, I'm glad it resonated for you.

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  6. This is a really good post. I don't think you are wrong in your feelings, I think they are expected. You never get over a loss of something you wanted and expected, even if you manage to have a proxy. I GED doesn't stand in for a high school graduation; an adoption doesn't mimic a pregnancy. You still get to be a high school completed person or a parent- but that experience is lost.

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    1. Thank you -- what a perfect analogy. We can have the experience of parenthood, but it is a different parenthood, with losses and gains leading to that end result. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  7. I think this honestly speaks to the fact that choosing adoption doesn't suddenly mean your life is black and white. There will continue to be those gray areas pop up as you move forward to bringing your baby home. You can have hope of your dream, while still feeling the loss of your dream.

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    1. Yes! You are so right. No black and white, ever really. It's not a magical switch. I wouldn't want to forget the experiences we had to get here, even though it would have been nice to not have quite so much pain, but they help us be the people who will be amazing parents to FutureBaby. Or so we tell ourselves... :) Thank you for your thoughts!

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  8. Thanks for sharing. We have put everything on hold for a while, just to much grief and loss right now, I know that it won't ever go away completely and it is helpful to see someone in my online community processing through a place we may find ourselves in. I wish you peace and love in your ongoing processes.

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    1. I'm glad it's helpful! It is definitely a processing experience, and there is so much emotion in where we've come from and there will be emotion in where we're going -- birth mother loss, our child's losses, balancing grief and joy... I wish you so much peace as you move through your own considerable grief. It all takes time and work and figuring out how to honor the past while moving forward to a life that can be filled with joy, right?

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