Monday, May 9, 2016

#Microblog Mondays: What Does the Dream Look Like?



Many, many years ago, when we were first trying to have a baby, I would imagine a baby.

It didn't really have a face, but I could see a warm little bundle that I would hold and rock and nurse.

And then, as we did IVF and had some limited success and knew we COULD get pregnant (not knowing that would be a fleeting experience that we'd have two summers in a row and then never again), the baby became more real to me.

What I saw, weirdly enough, was not a tiny baby but a toddler, maybe two years old.

I saw him or her from the back (so he or she could remain ambiguous I'm guessing) and he or she had curly towheaded hair. Curly for me, towheaded for Bryce. He or she was always giggling and running away from me, playfully.

The other night we were talking about different aspects of our child interest grid, and Bryce asked me if I still see the child we thought we would have, if that is a loss that I feel.

The answer is no. Without trying to sound overly dramatic, that dream died. The dream of having a child that looked like a combination of Bryce and me, of having a somewhat predictable vision to hang on to through all the injections and procedures... that is gone for me.

I find this not so much sad as sort of exciting. Who knows what our future child will look like? What color their eyes, texture their hair, shade their skin? It makes the mystery even more mysterious. I could look at it like a horrible loss, and maybe if we hadn't whittled away the genetic link to our children one donor at a time I would have seen it more that way...but I don't.

I see more possibility in our future, even if I can't visualize the actual child anymore. He or she will be revealed, eventually, and he or she will look exactly like what our child should look like, even if it's absolutely nothing like either of us.

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

21 comments:

  1. During our last cycle, my therapist David really advocates for visualizations. The idea being that I was learning how to hope again (I had gotten very good at steeling myself). I never could imagine a baby or being pregnant. But I had the toddler image down, even though it was nondescript. Either of the Beats look like that child I conjured. But that's okay because I have a special place in my heart for that imaginary child.

    It is sad to say goodbye to a dream. But it also is exciting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing your story -- I love the idea of having a special place in your heart for an imaginary child, visualized in a space of hope. And thanks for acknowledging the sadness of the loss, but the exciting times of all the possibility.

      Delete
  2. When we first started considering adoption it was a bit weird to realize that we truly had no idea what our child might look like. But, similarly to you we also started to get excited about the possibilities. And, we had no idea what our son would look like, but I can tell you right now, I wouldn't for the life of me change a single thing about him. He's perfect just the way he is. And, I am completely confident that one day soon you will feel the exact same way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you! It's a beautiful mystery, right?

      Delete
  3. I always imagined having a boy, for whatever reason. I can't remember what "he" looked like in my mind. I'm not much of a visualizer anyway. The way you describe your shifting expectations is pretty cool. Shows a lot of flexibility and willingness to adapt. I agree, whatever your future child looks like I thik it will feel exactly right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny -- I started with boy, then girl, now I have a hard time picturing anyone. Thank you for your kind words -- I feel like if we haven't learned to be flexible at this point, we'd be so very broken. Good thing we can adapt!

      Delete
  4. . . and he or she will look exactly like what our child should look like

    So wise.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was the weirdest part of foster parenting for us. That first moment, when they showed up, and you had this little person there in front of you that was now "yours" even if only for a moment. We would always find ourselves taking lots of pictures, or even just staring at them as they watched cartoons or played games that we had ready for new comers. Although, I'm sure it's different from seeing your newborn for the first time out of your womb, it's an amazing feeling none the less. It's an awesome experience when your heart takes over and you feel like you are living outside your own body for a few minutes and look at this new life in front of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet! I love that idea of the heart taking over.

      Delete
  6. Oh My Gosh! I love this! What a great attitude you have. How many people do we all know who waste so much of life looking behind them and you're seeing the possibilities ahead instead... & being excited about them. So much healthier. Amazing! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! You have to look ahead, if you look back too much you trip and fall on your ass. :) So much good stuff is ahead, and the possibilities are lovely to think on.

      Delete
  7. You have an amazing attitude, and I am constantly impressed by how you manage to take such a difficult situation and find the silver lining!

    Yes, your future child will look exactly like they're supposed to be, and I can say one thing for definite sure. They will have a near constant smile on their face, thanks to their wonderful parents.

    Oh, and side note - about 15 years ago, my older sister (biologically half sis, same mom, different dads, and my dad adopted her in her teens) worked at the nursing home where my dad was in his last years. Everyone constantly told her, "I knew right away that was your father. You have his eyes/smile, and you look exactly like him!" She always just smiled, and said thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you -- I try, sometimes it's hard to find that silver lining but I can eke it out some days far more than others! :) I can only hope that my child will have our smiles, our laughter, our ability to give good hugs. Those don't come from genes. :) Great story about your sister!

      Delete
  8. What is mind blowing is that one day you will look at this blog post and realize there were days before your child arrived and now days after and you have all the answers. There was a time when you didn't know, but one day, you will know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I look forward to that knowing... it feels like I have spent a LOT of time in this ambiguous space of possibility, of mystery, of not-knowing. Something to look forward to for sure!

      Delete
  9. This is a beautiful post. I remmember holding Boo in the wee hours of the morning in a hotel room - it had only been 48 hours and there was a very real possibility of me saying goodbye to him and I just stared into his dark marble eyes and every visualization of the little girl I had carried for so long just faded away. I realized so many things in that moment. And because I have such a great imagination, I can still conjure up that image (always from behind) and she doesn't seem like my little girl anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you for such a beautiful story. It made me cry just a touch. I love that last sentence. Thank you.

      Delete
  10. We're leaning towards donor sperm, and this is exactly how I feel about it!

    I also look forward to people telling my husband "he/she looks just like you!" because you know they will, because people see what they wanna see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't that funny? I definitely think people see what they want to (unless it's totally obvious that there's no genetic link, but even then it can happen!). Isn't it nice, all the possibilities? I feel like when we did donor egg and then donor sperm, we were picking people who looked like us, and hoping that we'd have a child that fit our imaginary vision... and now the sky's the limit. Which is lovely in a different way, right? Possibility over limitation. :)

      Delete
  11. This is such a beautiful post and I love how you talk about how your child will look exactly the way they're supposed to. Your flexibility, positive nature, and grace are amazing. There is so much here - both the letting go of one dream and the embracing of a new one.

    ReplyDelete